'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

6 Best Movies to Watch with Mom

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in "Freaky Friday"
So, you decided to avoid the crowds and chaos at the restaurants for Mother's Day this year and have invited your mom over to your house instead. Good for you. Now, what are you planning on doing? Why not make a nice brunch and enjoy a movie together? If so, avoid Mommie Dearest and Throw Momma From the Train and go with one of these instead:

Mom's Night Out (2014)
Staring: Sarah Drew, Sean Astin and Patricia Heaton
Rated: PG

This underrated faith-based comedy arrived in theaters last Mother's Day and was a hit with many moms if not the critics. In it, Allyson is overworked and “up to here” with her kids, but then, that makes her feel guilty for feeling that way. Her husband encourages her to go on a “mom's night out” with some friends from church. They can even invite the pastor's wife. What could go wrong? Any mother feeling guilty for not being the “best” mom will appreciate this. The film is full of laughs, is non-preachy and encouraging and is something the whole family will enjoy.

Brave (2012)
Voice Talent: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson
Rated: PG

This is the ultimate mother/daughter movie that even the boys in the family will like. Merida is the strong-willed daughter and princess of Fergus and Elinor who is about to be paraded among some available bachelors, but unlike other Disney princesses, she wants none of it. So, with the help of a strange old lady, Merida chooses to change her own fate with humorous and almost tragic results. The film is full of strong messages with the main one being that sometimes being brave means to say that you are sorry.


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