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Movies Featuring Gifted Kids (and Adults!)

It's nice to sit down and watch a family movie together, and especially nice to find movies feature gifted children or individuals in a positive light. But sometimes those movies are as hard to find as other kids like ours, so here is a list to get you started. 

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Before you view a movie, consider the reviews:

Kids In Mind assign each film three category-specific, objective ratings on a scale of 0 to 10, according to quantity and context...
Movies Reviews on the most current and coming soon theater movies...
Screen It! Find out exactly why a movie was rated as it was, and more...
Warning: often gives complete plot details. 
Note: Screen It! now looks like subscription only site, but if you scroll down to the bottom, and click "No Thanks" you can still access the reviews...
 
Fostering the social and emotional development of gifted children through guided viewing of film by Thomas P. Hébert and Kristie L. Speirs Neumeister
The authors propose guided viewing of film as a strategy through which teachers and counselors may assist young gifted students in gaining helpful insights to deal with problems they face. This article presents a theoretical foundation for this approach, a variety of strategies for implementation, and a collection of films appropriate for use with gifted students...
 
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, a non-profit organization, recognizes and honors filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life.  A great place to find great films for the whole family!  Also check out Heartland's F.I.L.M. (Finding Inspiration in Literature and Movies) project.  Movies featured here include downloadable project guides, encouraging viewers to read the book, watch the movie, and experience the adventure!  Over a dozen F.I.L.M. projects are available so far, including Ratatouille, Charlotte's Web, Amazing Grace, Nancy Drew, August Rush and more...

 
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension or Instant Video (PG)
Peter Weller stars as Buckaroo, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, particle physicist, and, of course, rock star. He travels with the Hong Kong Cavaliers, a band of hard-rocking scientists who are also really good dressers. Buckaroo's interdimensional experiments with his Operation Overthruster throw him (and the Earth) straight into the middle of an alien war, and before you know it, he's got just a few hours to save the world. Confused? Hang on (old cult film, clearly PG protagonist, lots of great actors)
 
The Abbott & Costello Show - The Complete Series Collector's Edition or Abbott & Costello Christmas Show on Instant Video
Who’s on first? Featuring the routines that made them comedy legends, this special collector’s set includes all 52 episodes from the hilarious Abbott and Costello Show.  Classic humor from the past!
 
Akeelah and the Bee or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
An 11 year old African American girl tries to hide her intelligence in order to fit with her classmates and inner city neighborhood. Things change dramatically when she wins a school spelling bee and begins studying for the Scripps national bee...
 
Amazing Grace and Chuck or VHS (PG)
A 12-year-old Little League whiz decides to stop playing baseball until the world agrees to complete nuclear disarmament... and soon, other athletes around the world follow suit, as the protest escalates
 
Angus (PG-13)
An under-appreciated gem (coarse adolescent language)
 
August Rush or Instant Video Recommended (PG)
Cared for by a mysterious stranger who gives him the name August Rush, a child uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth...
 
Beauty and the Beast or VHS or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo (G)
A young woman who loves to read, and doesn't accept the common picture of acceptable society (Disney)
 
Billy Elliot or VHS or Instant Video (R) Recommended
Billy's got problems. His dad has scraped together the fees to send him to boxing lessons, but Billy has discovered a different aptitude: a genius for ballet dancing. Since admitting to such an activity is tantamount, in this fiercely macho culture, is very bad, Billy keeps it quiet. But his teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, thinks he should audition for ballet school in London...
 
Black or Instant Video (NR)
An Indian movie based on the life and struggles of a little girl extremely bright and intelligent but deaf and blind. Its her journey into the world of knowledge (very intense at times)
 
The Black Cauldron or VHS (PG)
Hidden by darkness. Guarded by witches. Discovered by a boy. Stolen by a king. Whoever owns it will rule the world. Or destroy it.
 
Brave (PG-13)
Is fate really predetermined, or can people change their destiny? Scottish princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) certainly believes that a teenager should have control over her own life. She has little patience with the conservative ideas her mother (Emma Thompson) holds about proper etiquette for girls, and even less tolerance for her kingdom's traditions regarding the marriage of a princess... Disney cartoon, a great tale for girls AND boys!
 
Bridge to Terabithia or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo or Instant Video (PG)
Film version of Katherine Paterson's award-winning novel Bridge to Terabithia (emotionally intense for sensitive young kids)
 
A Bug's Life or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo or VHS (G)
On behalf of "oppressed bugs everywhere" an inventive ant named Flik hires "warrior bugs" to defend his colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers, led by Hopper. But when Flik's cavalry turns out to be a ragtag group of flea circus performers, the stage is set for comic confusion ... as well as unlikely heroes! (Disney & Pixar)
 
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Blu-ray/DVD Combo or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Flint, a clever young inventor with a reputation for creations gone awry, has recently completed a machine that he claims will turn water into food. Like his past failed inventions, Flint's new machine doesn't work as planned, and destroys the town's latest attempt to bolster its failing economy.  The Mayor's quickly realizes that food falling from the sky could draw in tourists. Only Flint's father remains skeptical of his son's invention. Greed leads to strange weather events, which, while providing a huge career opportunity for brainy weather intern Sam Sparks who's masquerading as an air-headed TV personality, also threaten to destroy the town and its inhabitants. In the end, only Flint, his father, and Sam can save the town from certain destruction by the out of control invention...
 
Cold Comfort Farm or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
This hilarious spoof on British costume dramas based on great literature stars Kate Beckinsale as a strong-willed, young woman named Miss Flora Poste, who finds herself orphaned and without means in the 1930s. Moving in with some half-savage relatives on a country farm, Flora is hardly daunted by their primitivism, but instead takes charge and imposes hygiene, order, and good manners on the dirty, superstitious lot...
 
Charlotte's Web or Widescreen or Instant Video (PG)
Beautiful production of E. B. White's classic farmyard tale .  Great to watch the movie and read the book...
 
Clay Marzo: Just Add Water or Instant Video (NR)
Have you ever loved something to the point that it becomes what you live for? Meet Clay Marzo whose passion for surfing is so pure it defies description. Take a visually stunning and emotionally powerful journey through his life... More on Quiksilver Films
 
Contact or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
A radio astronomer (Jodie Foster) discovers an alien signal that contains plans for building a transport device to another world
 
Dead Poets Society or VHS (PG) Recommended
English professor John Keating (Robin Williams) inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. A compelling warning in it to parents who don't respect their children's gifts.
 
Elizabeth or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (R)
The daughter of Henry VIII becomes the Queen of England (Cate Blanchett) and must deal with various forces of betrayal and conspiracy that threaten her and the throne
 
Empire of the Sun or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
12 year old Jim who survives on his own wits and intelligence during the downfall of China during WWII
 
Ever After: A Cinderella Story or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Take away the Fairy Godmother, and what have you got left from the Cinderella fable? The story of a girl for whom a bad stroke of luck is no match for her internal strength and purity of heart. A romantic drama that purports to tell the "facts" behind the Grimm brothers' story... (Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston)
 
Explorers or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
An alien race, determined to make contact with earthlings, feeds some unsuspecting individuals the blueprints for space travel. The three kids in Explorers make their intergalactic trip in crystalline blue Flubber...
 
Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
Unschooling for gifted teenagers... (Matthew Broderick)
 
Finding Forrester or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
On a dare, Jamal sneaks into Forrester's musty sanctuary, and what might have been a condescending cliché--homeboy rescued by wiser white mentor--turns into an inspiring meeting of minds, with mutual respect and intelligence erasing boundaries of culture and generation
 
Finding Neverland (FS) or DVD (WS) or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Playwright J. M. Barrie finds inspiration for his greatest creation from four lively boys, the sons of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Though the friendship threatens his already dwindling marriage, Barrie spends endless hours with the boys, pretending to be pirates or Indians--and gradually the elements of Peter Pan take shape in his mind...
 
Fly Away Home or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
A teenager becomes "mother" to a flock of geese and then must learn to fly to lead them on their migration to the south
 
Frozen or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
A fairy tale about overcoming obstacles and the power of true love. Princesses Anna and Elsa are sisters and the closest friends until one day Elsa discovers that she can no longer control her power to create ice and snow. Terrified for the safety of her sister and everyone around her, Elsa isolates herself and vows to never feel any sort of passionate emotion again in hopes of suppressing her powers. But when Elsa comes of age and is set to be crowned queen, she must open the gates of the palace and let in the public, and her sister Anna. Things go horribly wrong... In the end, Anna and Elsa discover that only by embracing their deepest feelings do they have a chance of saving themselves and the kingdom.
 
Gattaca or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
A genetically inferior man tries to pose as a perfect human being in a future where a person's genetic makeup determines their social class and future
 
Good Will Hunting or Blu-Ray or VHS or Instant Video (R) Recommended
A therapist (Robin Williams) tries to help a brilliant, but troubled young man (Matt Damon) overcome his personal problems and realize his potential (crude language)
 
Hard Problems: The Road to the World's Toughest Math Contest (G documentary) Recommended
The story of six extraordinary gifted American high school students who represented the United States in 2006 at the world s toughest math competition: The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)...
 
Harriet the Spy or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
An 11-year-old wannabe journalist (Michelle Trachtenberg) who writes all her observations about friends in a diary. When the book is stolen and read by her peers...
 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (WS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (FS) or DVD (WS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (FS) or DVD (WS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (WS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (WS) or DVD (FS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Harry Potter Years 1-6 Giftset (WS) or Blu-Ray
Adapted from the wildly popular books by J.K. Rowling, stunningly brings to life Harry Potter's world of Hogwarts, the school for young witches and wizards...
 
High School Musical or Blu-Ray or Audio CD (PG)
While on a family New Year's vacation, shy brainiac Gabriella meets high-school basketball star Troy. During a karaoke contest at the teen party, they discover their love for singing... and an interest in each other. But will they be able to break out of their "expected" cliques and discover new interests and talents within themselves? Also
 
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (WS) or Blu-Ray or Instant Video  (PG)
Don't panic! Everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) wakes up one morning to discover that his house is set to be demolished to make room for a bypass. Little does he know the entire planet Earth is also set to be destroyed for an interplanetary bypass by the Vogons, a hideous and bureaucratic race of aliens... (fun cult film)
 
Holes (FS) or DVD (WS) (PG)
A great movie about team work and honoring differences, friendship, tolerance and justice...
 
Hoot or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo (PG)
While trying to resist being bullied on the school bus, Roy becomes intrigued by a barefoot boy running frantically along the sidewalk. As he investigates, Roy learns that a nearby construction site is a habitat for a protected species of burrowing owl and that a tough girl at his school named Beatrice has some connection with the barefoot boy, who has some connection with vandalism at the construction site...
 
How to Train Your Dragon or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo (PG)
Hiccup is a failure as a Viking: skinny, inquisitive, and inventive, he asks questions and tries out unsuccessful contraptions when he's supposed to be fighting the dragons that attack his village. When one of Hiccup's inventions actually works...
 
The Incredibles or VHS or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo (PG) Recommended
A family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers are desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash... (Disney & Pixar)
 
Infinity or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Story of the early life of genius and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (Matthew Broderick)
 
An Innocent Love
Made for TV-movie about the early entrance program (EEP) at the University of Washington
 
The Iron Giant or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
Hogarth, a young boy, befriends a giant robot. The iron giant is a misunderstood outsider who becomes a child's best friend, and Hogarth does his best to hide the massive figure from his mom and the local scrap-yard beatnik (animated)
 
Kiki's Delivery Service or VHS (G) Recommended
Japanese anime by Hayao Miyazaki. A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service... excellent animation, good stories...
Spirited Away or VHS Recommended
Princess Mononoke (DVD only)
Castle in the Sky or VHS
The Castle of Cagliostro or VHS
My Neighbor Totoro or VHS
Nausica of the Valley of the Wind
Ponyo
 
The Last Starfighter or VHS or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
A video-gaming boy, seemingly doomed to stay at his trailer park home all his life, finds himself recruited as a gunner for an alien defense force
 
Little Buddha or VHS (PG)
A perfect introduction to Buddhism for anyone with his child's eye still intact. Where the film really succeeds is showing the nature of impermanence
 
Little Man Tate or VHS (PG) Recommended
The difference is the little boy is human, and not just a brain. He worries about people dying, envies the popular athletic boy, all the while plays music in competition form and forms math problems in his head
 
A Little Romance or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
A young girl is studying in France and meets a street wise kid; a movie about the innocence of childhood loves
 
Matilda or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Based on the Roald Dahl classic book; cursed with a cretinous family and a witch of a school principal, a bright young girl (Mara Wilson) learns self-reliance--and develops unusual powers
 
Ma Vie en Rose or VHS or Instant Video (R)
An innocent little boy, Ludovic (Georges Du Fresne), who wants to be a girl. Convinced that he's the product of misplaced chromosomes, he sets about righting the mistake... Language: French 
 
Mean Girls or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG-13)
Based on Queen Bees and Wannabes, it's funny, but right on target and a great starting point for conversations with our daughters...
 
Meet the Robinsons or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (G) Recommended
When 12-year old orphan Lewis can't seem to get adopted or make his inventions work despite repeated efforts, he begins to seriously doubt himself and his abilities as an inventor. An odd boy named Wilbur Robinson shows up to warn Lewis about an evil man hanging around the science fair, and ends up taking Lewis on a whirlwind tour of the future and Lewis's own future family. In the end, Lewis returns to the present with a whole new inner strength, a sense of his place in the world, the knowledge that his actions directly affect others, and an optimistic determination to "keep moving forward."...
 
The Mighty or VHS (PG)
A presumably dimwitted giant of a seventh-grader and an intelligent, but diminutive boy suffering from a degenerative disease combine their best assets to forge a friendship that allows them to cope with the world in which they live
 
Mr. Holland's Opus or VHS (PG) Recommended
Being a true musician is about leaving your legacy for future generations, and by inspiring his students, Mr. Holland is ensuring that his passion will live forever, through them
 
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium or Blu-ray or Instant Video (G) Recommended
Mr. Magorium is an eccentric 243-year-old owner of a magical toy store. He has lived a long and happy life and is content to leave his emporium to his employee Molly Mahoney. A former child prodigy who has grown up unsure of herself, she barely knows who she is, much less what she wants to become. Molly is both frightened that her beloved boss is leaving and that she will be left in charge of a store she doesn't know how to run. "Are you dying?" she asks him. He replies, "Light bulbs die, my dear. I am departing," a take on death is both comforting and matter of fact, things younger viewers may find soothing when dealing with mortality. Dazzling visuals and a premise that who you are isn't equivalent with who you think you are...
 
My Father's Glory or VHS (G)
Language: French. "My Father's Glory," and its sequel "My Mother's Castle," tell the story of a young boy’s "wonder years" growing up in a family with an adored father, a lovely but frail mother, and assorted eccentric relatives and friends
 
My Left Foot or VHS (R)
Don't feel sorry for this character! 
 
My Neighbor Totoro or VHS (G)
Japanese anime by Hayao Miyazaki. See Kiki's Delivery Service (above)
 
October Sky or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
A West Virginia teenager hopes to break free from his predetermined coal miner's life by winning a national science fair competition with his rocket building designs
 
The Power of One or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
The theme is Apartheid and personal responsibility
 
The Princess Bride or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Gently satirical, hyperbolic spin on swashbuckled adventure...
 
Pump Up the Volume or VHS (R)
Definitely highly gifted, frustrated high school student, embarrassingly accurate portrayals of school officials. (crude language and behavior, brief partial nudity)
 
Rain Man or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (R)
Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie.  Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that becomes a voyage of discovery for Charlie, and, perhaps, for Raymond, too (a different kind of gifted, but gifted none the less...)
 
Real Genius or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
The freshman year of a nerdy kid who enters college at a young age, with a subplot involving computers and military secrets
 
Reduced Shakespeare Company DVDs...
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged with the help of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, not only can you catch all of Shakespeare's plays at once, but you can have a riotous good time doing so.  Three men performing 37 plays in less than two hours may seem a bit of a stretch...
The Complete Word of God, Abridged the hilarious interpretations, the tongue-in-cheek humor, and the jokes that you have to know about to understand, this is a must-have for anybody with even the slightest sense of humor and self...z
The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas  Chase those Yuletide blues away with this hilarious spoof of Hanukkah, Kwanza, and an obscure little holiday called Christmas.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company - The Complete History of America (Abridged)  The fast, funny, and physical highlights of American History, bringing you everything you should have learned in history class but probably didn't.
 
Remember the Titans or Blu-Ray/DVD Combo or Instant Video (PG)
Fact-based story begins with the integration of black and white students at T. C. Williams High School. This effort to improve race relations is most keenly felt on the school's football team, the Titans, and bigoted tempers flare when a black head coach is appointed and his victorious predecessor reluctantly stays on as his assistant...
 
Robots (WS) or Instant Video (R)
Even in a world populated entirely by mechanical beings Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor) is considered a genius inventor. Rodney dreams of two things, making the world a better place and meeting his idol, the master inventor Bigweld...
 
Rushmore or VHS (R)
The story of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman ), a 10th grader at Rushmore Academy, editor of the school newspaper and yearbook; president of the French club, German club, chess club, and astronomy club; captain of the fencing and debate teams; founder of the Double-Team Dodgeball Society; and director of the Max Fischer Players, for whom he writes and produces plays about police corruption, inner-city violence, and war. He is applying for early admission to Oxford. (Harvard is his safety.) He is also one of the worst students in the school and has been placed on sudden-death academic probation...  Also Rushmore: The Criterion Collection
 
RV or full screen or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Stereotypes turned upside down.  Robin Williams stars as a man who's been working too hard and hasn't been spending much time with his family. Ostensibly as an attempt to bring everybody together, he cancels their planned Hawaii vacation and instead rents an RV and takes them to Colorado...
 
Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) or Instant Video Recommended
In the 70's and 80's, the catchy Schoolhouse Rock tunes taught millions of children the fundamentals of math, grammar, science, history and money. DVD includes every song from the landmark series, over 50 tunes including classics "Conjunction Junction," "Three is a Magic Number," "I'm Just A Bill" and "Electricity, Electricity." Features an all-new song about the Electoral College, "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote To College" written by the show's original creators...
 
Searching for Bobby Fischer or VHS or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
The chess prodigy (Max Pomeranc) who refuses to become ruthless despite the prodding of his father (Joe Mantegna) and his surrogate-father / chess champion (Ben Kingsley)
 
The Secret of Roan Inish or VHS (PG)
Quiet story about a girl, her grandparents, and legend. The story belongs in Ireland and makes you want to go and capture a bit of the magic it spins
 
The Shaggy Dog or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13)
Family friendly old film that deals in good part with the travails of an under-achieving over-achiever... (note: this is the original)
 
Short Circuit or VHS or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes
 
Sky High or Widescreen or Blu-Ray or Instant Video (PG)
Young Will Stronghold, the son of the Commander and Jetstream, tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and an extraordinary being...
 
Snow Cake (unrated, teen or adult)
(Alan Rickman) Alex, a morose, laconic ex-con just released from prison. A tragic twist of fate brings him to a Canadian small town and the doorstep of Linda, a functional autistic woman with a decidedly anti-social personality. (Sigourney Weaver) Linda is a wonder in a fiercely committed, vanity-free performance. "I don't like normal people," Linda states...
 
The Soloist or Instant Video (PG-13)
Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, whose job it is to report on the character and characters, of Southern California. But even a (slightly) jaded reporter can be profoundly touched by a story he reports on, and then allows to unfold in real time. The subject of Lopez's column is Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless street musician whose lovely music--played on a battered two-string violin--Lopez hears one day on a walk not far from the Times office. Lopez learns Ayers once attended Juilliard before mental illness sent him into a spiral...
 
Spellbound or VHS (G)
Follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee...
 
Stand and Deliver or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
A dedicated teacher inspires his dropout prone students to learn calculus to build up their self-esteem, and they do so well that they are accused of cheating
 
Temple Grandin or Instant Video (PG) Recommended
Temple Grandin, the main character in this eponymous HBO movie, is, well, different--she (in the person of Claire Danes, who plays her) tells us before the credits start that she's "not like other people." But "different" is not "less." Indeed, Grandin, who is now in her 60s, has accomplished a good deal more than a great many "normal" folks, let alone others afflicted with the autism that Grandin overcame on her way to earning a doctorate and becoming a bestselling author and a pioneer in the humane treatment of livestock. It wasn't easy...
 
The Tic Code or VHS (R)
A musically gifted child with Tourette's. Either must-see or must-avoid for the family of gifted kids with Tourette's Syndrome - parents preview recommended, teens only
 
Truman (PG)
From his roots as a Missouri farmer to his tenure in the White House, and as the man who made the decision to drop the first atomic bomb, this HBO production traces the storied career of U.S. President Harry S. Truman (some war footage)
 
UHF (PG-13)
"Weird Al" Yankovic stars in this comedy about an offbeat guy who turns a deadbeat TV station into a raging success! Broadcasting Weird Al's uniquely strange brand of humor, UHF's Channel 62 is a place you'll want to visit...with increasing frequency!
 
Vitus or Instant Video (PG)
Young Vitus is a virtual genius and a prodigy at the piano. From an early age, his parents push him to succeed and live up to their ambitions for him. But as Vitus grows older, he decides on a different path, one that leads to an ordinary childhood. This heartfelt tale won the Swiss Film Prize for Best Film of 2007
 
WALL-E or Blu-ray (PG)
As the last robot left on earth, Wall-E has outlasted all the "Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class" robots that were assigned some 700 years ago to clean up the environmental mess that man made of earth while man vacationed aboard the luxury spaceship Axiom. Wall-E, who doesn't speak for the first half-hour of the movie, has dutifully gone about his job compacting trash, the extreme solitude broken only by his pet cockroach. When the Axiom sends its regularly scheduled robotic EVE probe to earth, Wall-E is instantly smitten and proceeds to try to impress EVE with his collection of human memorabilia. EVE's directive compels her to bring Wall-E's newly collected plant sprout to the captain of the Axiom; Wall-E follows in hot pursuit. The human world is turned upside down and the Captain joins forces with Wall-E and a cast of other misfit robots to lead the now lethargic people back home to earth...
 
War Games or VHS or Instant Video (PG)
A young man (Matthew Broderick) finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III
 
Whalerider or VHS or Instant Video (PG-13) Recommended
One of the most charming and critically acclaimed films of 2003, the New Zealand hit Whale Rider effectively combines Maori tribal tradition with the timely "girl power" of a vibrant new millennium. Despite the discouragement of her gruff and disapproving grandfather (Rawiri Paratene), who nearly disowns her because she is female and therefore traditionally disqualified from tribal leadership, 12-year-old Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is convinced that she is a tribal leader, and sets about to prove it...
 
What the #$*! Do ωƩ (k)now!? or VHS (R)
Science and spirituality come together in this mind-bending trip down the rabbit hole. The unlikeliest cult hit of 2004, a lecture on mysticism and science mixed into a sort-of narrative...
 
Willow or VHS (PG)
Willow attempts to save the world from evil by protecting a baby. Not about a child, per se, but about the development of gifts and self
 
Wordplay or Instant Video (PG)
The linguistic ballet of the crossword puzzle and the obsessive minds that wrestle with them are a source of delight. Though there's no story, the movie has a definite hero: the clever but modest, Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle...
 
Word Wars - Tiles and Tribulations on the Scrabble Game Circuit (unrated documentary, some language)
Follow four "word nerds" through their fastidious preparations and smaller tournaments that lead to the national championship Scrabble tournament in San Diego in 2002. These men are highly motivated (obsessed, even) and are not above uttering a few four-letter words when the going gets tough...
 
Young Einstein or VHS or Instant Video (PG) 
A tender coming of age story... (comedy!)
 

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Last updated February 26, 2014

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