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Should You Go to the Movies to See the Latest Installments of the ‘Trolls’ and ‘Hunger Games’ Franchises?

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, theaters traditionally aim to provide family-friendly entertainment for the holiday. But are the new releases in the “Trolls” and “Hunger Games” franchises worth the trip to the movies?

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Trolls Band Together – In Theaters

The “Trolls” return to the big screen, bringing vibrant colors and lively musical performances, delving into the backstory of one of the characters and showcasing well-choreographed musical mashups.

The film carries a bouncy and fast pace, with themes that lightly touch on marriage and family values while emphasizing the importance of hard work in achieving fame.

However, the movie’s humor is geared more towards adults than children, with some mildly suggestive jokes that may go over kids’ heads. While this may provide entertainment for grown-ups, it may not elicit the same reaction from younger audiences. Additionally, some jokes carry a mature undertone.

If considering “Trolls Band Together” for a family outing, it’s important to be mindful of the adult-oriented humor and suggestive content.

Read the rest of the review here. Watch the trailer here.

Be sure to listen in to The Plugged In Show, a weekly podcast with lighthearted reviews for parents and conversations about entertainment, pop culture and technology:

Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – In Theaters

At its core, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” is a commentary on humanity. It explores the moral compass of people and the purpose of the Hunger Games, delving into the choices individuals make between good and evil.

The film depicts characters who resist the immorality of the Hunger Games and strive to do good, yet they are surrounded by citizens who either justify the Games or are too afraid to take a stand.

The story portrays the devastating impact of the Games, including the separation of families and the exploitation of the Capitol. It presents the brutality of the events, with characters reveling in violence and the callousness of those who place bets on the tributes’ lives.

The film maintains minimal language and sensuality but includes depictions of drug addiction and alcohol consumption.

“The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” raises thought-provoking questions about human nature, but families may find the grim storyline and violent content reasons to approach this prequel with caution.

Read the rest of the review here. Watch the trailer here.

Next Goal Wins – In Theaters

“Next Goal Wins” presents the inspiring story of the American Samoa soccer team, who persevered despite a long history of defeats, emphasizing the joy of playing rather than the pressure to win.

The film follows the familiar sports movie formula of a coach training underdogs, adding a subplot about a transgender character on the team and featuring occasional strong language.

While the film may resonate with some audiences, it falls short in delivering the comedic style expected from Taika Waititi, potentially leading to a disappointing experience for viewers.

Despite its inspiring message, “Next Goal Wins” may not be a winning choice for families considering its mature themes and language.

Read the rest of the review here. Watch the trailer here.

Plugged In is a Focus on the Family publication designed to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Through our reviews, articles and discussions, we hope to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Reviews written by Bob Hoose, Emily Tsaio, Kennedy Unthank.

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