I need a middle school movie...

I need a middle school movie…

April 30, 2009

Lloyd, School

We needed to fill up a little time on the last day of school. There’s an awards ceremony and closing devotion in the morning and a little roller skating in the afternoon. We decided that we would show a movie for the kids who were done with all of their homework, and make anyone who wasn’t finished work on their missing assignments in the office. But we don’t know what movie to show. I looked at a bunch of lists of movies and came up with these as possible ideas.

I’m looking for some help to get this list down to about a dozen. Which ones do you think would be best for 6th, 7th & 8th graders? If you have another movie idea, throw it in the ring. If you know a reason that I shouldn’t show one of these, lets hear it. Once we get down to about a dozen movies that I like, We’ll let the kids vote on them.

Update:

This post gets lots of hits, so I decided to make a slightly more useful version. At 50 Best Movies for Middle School you can sort the movies by release date, run time and rating. There are also links to the IMDb entries for each movie as well as the Parent Guide.

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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42 Responses to “I need a middle school movie…”

  1. Lauren Said on:

    I can’t believe that Paint Your Wagon is not on this list.

    I think that ‘Hairspray’ might be a little iffy. I liked it, but I think there might be some stuff that would make me uncomfortable with kids. (Or maybe I’m imagining that.)

    Reply

  2. CousinSam Said on:

    The musical Oklahoma- It will get them ready for another disappointing football season. Plus, Poor Jud is dead.

    Reply

  3. Beth Said on:

    Wasn’t there a Pfennig post here just a little while ago? I’m so confused.
    And I think you should include the movie Clue. 😀

    Reply

    • Karla Said on:

      Thanks Beth. I’m glad I’m not the only one confused.

      Reply

      • Lloyd Said on:

        I went to bed early last night, and I thought I had this post “scheduled” to appear today, but I didn’t actually submit it. So when Lauren woke up this morning and yesterday’s post was still hanging around she put up another post that I had been working on yesterday (and that she had made a drawing for).

        We would have just run with the Phennig post, but I had just mentioned that I was looking for a good middle school movie for the last day of school somewhere else.

        Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      Oh Yeah, Clue is a good idea.

      Reply

  4. Karla Said on:

    Don’t show My Dog Skip. Arron did that one year and all the kids went home crying.

    Reply

  5. Karla Said on:

    Okay, I’ve thought it over, and I vote for Hook or Princess Bride.

    Reply

  6. Deanne Said on:

    The Secret Garden is too girly, as is Freaky Friday, Ella Enchanted and the Parent Trap. While I personally love Labyrinth, Willow, and Goonies, it may appeal to a smaller subset of the middle school class. My recollection is that the protagonist of Whale Rider kills herself at the end. I think Babe and Happy Feet might be a little young; however middle-schoolers are in that spot where sometimes they yearn for something on the young side -- one foot in childhood.

    If I were picking 3, I would pick War Games, School of Rock, and Secondhand Lions. War Games because it’s a really fun movie that they are very likely not to have seen, Secondhand Lions because we really enjoyed it with the kids -- they just mentioned it recently -- and it’s likely many of them haven’t seen it (too sentimental? but the guy-ness would appeal to the boys and the sentimentality would appeal to the girls), and School of Rock because it’s a fun movie that would be familiar to most.

    Please do let us know what the final 12 are and what the kids actually pick!!

    Reply

    • kiwe Said on:

      -I think school of rock has too many drug references in it.

      -I agree that all the ones that you listed are too girly.

      -When I showed part of hairspray all the 7th grade boy could see was the cross-dressing

      -My vote is for Second Hand Lions or Goonies

      Reply

  7. Rae Said on:

    What about a Narnia movie or National Treasure? I am very surprised that Sam hasn’t voted for School of Rock -- he is a HUGE fan of that one.

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      We’ve taken them to see the Narnia movies in the theater as they have been released, so nearly all of them have seen them already.

      Reply

      • Rae Said on:

        I figured there was a reason you didn’t include them in your original list. Say, sorry i didn’t call last night. Time sort of got away from me.

        Reply

        • Lloyd Said on:

          We also show The Karate Kid every 3 years as part of a bullying unit, so I didn’t include that. Oh, and I show Searching For Bobby Fischer to the 7th graders before I teach them how to play chess.

          Reply

  8. Annette Said on:

    Simon Birch is really good….really good! As is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Both have great moral messages.

    Next year “Haunting in Connecticut” should be out on DVD. I’d vote to show that one to kids who DON’T have their homework done!

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      Thank you! I was trying to think of Simon Birch yesterday, but the only name that would pop into my head was Billy Elliot

      Reply

    • Deanne Said on:

      Not only is sisterhood very girly, but a high schooler has a physical relationship with a college student, not only breaking the law, but also… I won’t let Susana read those books until she gets to high school. She has seen the movies, however, and we had some interesting conversations as a result.

      Reply

  9. Todd Peperkorn Said on:

    BETTER OFF DEAD. The greatest 80s movie of all time, and perfect for middle schoolers.

    Reply

  10. Curt Said on:

    Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!!!

    Clue is an excellent suggestion. The princess bride. I say have them watch an older movie they wouldn’t have seen before, early 90s or older.

    Where’s The Holy Grail on this list?

    Reply

  11. Peggy Said on:

    Back to the Future
    Goonies
    The Sandlot
    Secondhand Lions
    Karate Kid
    Carrie

    I’ve never seen Clue…so due to the rave reviews I’ll go rent it. Is there only one Clue…or is there an old one and an updated one etc.

    Reply

    • Brad Said on:

      It’s been a while since I saw it, but if I remember correctly, “Carrie” had a little bad language in it.

      I own “Clue”. I’ll try to bring it to you.

      Reply

      • Lloyd Said on:

        Some of you probably saw this already, but I just ran across this Clue Trivia post (spoiler alert at the end).

        Also, I can’t believe Brad didn’t suggest The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Now there’s a movie with something for everyone.

        Reply

  12. Aaron Said on:

    i vote for remember the titans or the sand lot 2 be my second choice if it was unavailable.

    oh yeah i drinks me beer like Popeye eat’s his spinach.

    Reply

  13. Lauren's mom Said on:

    We don’t see many movies. Is “Enchanted” the same as “Ella Enchanted”?

    Reply

  14. Christina Said on:

    I vote Labyrinth or Princess Bride. Brittney saw both around 7th grade and loved them! Or you could show The Lost Boys and say every line just before the actors!

    I am taking Paint Your Wagon to work tomorrow to let a co-worker borrow it! Surprisingly she had never heard of Clint Eastwood’s only musical????

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      I’ve gotten about 50% of the people who go to Ukulele Night to use the phrase “It’s no Paint Your Wagon” when when they need to say (perhaps sarcastically) “It’s good, but it’s not that good.”

      But I think only 2 of them have actually seen it. I keep forgetting to bring my copy.

      Reply

  15. Marty Chaffee Said on:

    I vote for The Sand Lot, Goonies and The Princess Bride. I remember Little Rascals being pretty funny as well.

    Reply

  16. ciara Said on:

    where is cars 1 and 2

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      I tried to stay away from animated movies here. Also, my understanding is that most people consider those the two worst Pixar films.

      Reply

  17. I suggest these Said on:

    These 50 best movies for middle school movies are not for middle school. The movies on that list are for little kids I mean seriously happy feet, Babe! Why would anyone think these are for middle school their obviously for elementary school. I suggest these, because the following movies are better for middle school. Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter series, thirteen, Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia, Dawn of the dead remake, Troy, The Matrix, Angels and Demons, Godzilla series, King Kong, War of the Worlds, The Patriot, Braveheart, Star Wars, Windtalkers, and Jaws. The movies I said are more suitable, and not as little kidish. And contrary to popular belief, R movies are suitable for middle school.

    Reply

  18. I suggest these Said on:

    I saw enchanted in 6th, grade. And I hated it, I thought it was the worst movie I had ever seen and still think that. Don’t bring that piece of garbage, everyone will hate it. And everything else here, execpt haunting in Conneticut, is to young.

    Reply

  19. I suggest these Said on:

    lol. Probably.

    Reply

  20. jeanne Said on:

    I teach 8th grade and my kids really enjoyed School of Rock. I’m in a diverse demographic and my kids are pretty street-wise. I also showed them Avatar, which they also enjoyed. I’m always looking for something suitable but not too childish for 13 year olds.

    Reply

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