Hollywood Uplink – January 2007: Dove Staff Picks Top Ten Movies for 2006

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January 2007

        Issue: 16:1

www.dove.org [email protected]


Dove Staff Picks Top Ten Movies for 2006
by Dick Rolfe, co-founder – The Dove Foundation

The Dove Foundation ranks movies based on content and production value. Content measurements for each movie are fairly objective, with numerical values for the amounts of Sex, Language, Violence, Nudity, Drug & alcohol use, and Other issues. Every Dove movie review includes a content chart, providing an easy-to-read snapshot of the movie’s content that may be of concern to readers.

Choosing a favorite movie is more subjective and takes into account personal preferences which are influenced by each person’s life experiences. Noted film critics, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, have never agreed on their top movie picks for any year during the run of their TV show.

The Dove Foundation staff voted for their ten favorite Dove-approved movies of 2006 in order of preference. Our staff is a pretty diverse group made up of four men and three women whose ages range from the 30’s to 60’s. One employee has a child in kindergarten; two have teenagers, and the others have grandchildren ranging in age from 2 – 12. Here are the TOP TEN MOVIES FOR 2006, according to the staff votes.

Only two entries made it on everyone’s list. The movie with the most points is Facing the Giants, the story of a Christian high school football coach who uses his undying faith to battle the giants of fear and failure. This film is a low budget effort of volunteers and members of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. “Giants” barely edged out Eight Below, the Disney wilderness adventure about eight sled dogs that are left alone in Antarctica due to an accident and perilous weather conditions.  While the total revenues varied substantially, per screen average revenues of these two movies were very close, but the relative profits were greatly different.  With a budget of $40 million, the Disney film grossed $81.6 million on 3,122 U.S. screens ($26,137 per screen) for a 101% profit. “Giants” on the other hand, grossed $10 million on 441 screens ($22,675 per screen) against a budget of only $100,000, for a profit of 1,000%.

Staff comments for movie number 3, The Nativity Story include; “A beautiful film focusing on the relationship of Joseph and Mary,” “Very biblical,” and “A wonderful story of two faithful people chosen by God to bear and raise His Son.” This movie was produced by New Line Cinema, one of many secular film studios interested in serving the Faith and Family audience.  For reasons that defy explanation, this movie performed below expectations at the box office. Hopefully, it will do well in DVD and become a perennial favorite, as has happened with many Bible-based movies of the past.

Charlotte’s Web came in at number 4. It is also a staff favorite, with accolades like, “Some movie!” and, “a classic children’s story wonderfully brought to life.” Production company Walden Media recently ventured into the movie business with a mission “to provide families with programming that inspires, engages, enlightens, and entertains.” Walden goes on to say, “We believe that quality entertainment is inherently educational and can capture the audiences’ imagination, rekindle curiosity and demonstrate the rewards of virtue and knowledge.” Charlotte’s Web is one impressive installment of that mission, joining other popular Walden hits like Because of Winn Dixie, Holes, and mega-hit, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

According to our staff, movie number 5, Everyone’s Hero is “a feel-good story with something for every member of the family!” and “It emphasizes positive relationships throughout,” and “It’s a wonderful, animated story about an intact family with traditional values.”  This popular movie was the vision of actor Christopher Reeve before he died. His wife, Dana, picked up the project, and upon her untimely death, close friend Robin Williams guided the film to its completion. Celebrities Raven-Symone’, Whoopi Goldberg, Mandy Patinkin, Rob Reiner, William H. Macy, and Robin Williams voiced the various animated characters in the film.

Number 6 is the popular superhero series sequel, Superman Returns. Directed and co-written by Bryan Singer (X-Men I and II), this episode has been credited with many Christian allegories by our staff members and Christian scholars. Some theologians point to the significance of father Jor-El (El is Hebrew for God), sending his son Kal-El, to save those on earth from the wrath of evildoers. Others see Superman as the fictional, secular equivalent of the “Sacred Hope.” Whether or not you see any Christ-like characteristics in the man of steel, the movie is a thoroughly entertaining and exciting portrayal of good overcoming evil.

Selections 7 – 10, in order, include an against-all-odds football story, Invincible, M. Night Shyamalan’s mysterious, Lady in the Water; End of the Spear, an epic story of ultimate Christian sacrifice and forgiveness by missionaries and their families; and limited release, Second Chance, the story of racial tension between members of a suburban and an urban church.

We’ve had a busy year with 59 family-friendly theatrical releases; more Dove-approved movies than any other year since our beginning in 1991. If family-oriented and faith-based movies continue to attract audiences, we will see their popularity rise. My hope is that the increased number of kinder, gentler films won’t outstrip the audiences’ financial abilities to support them.

Click here for the complete list of fifty-nine
Dove-approved movies for 2006 ordered by their release dates.

Top Ten Dove-Approved Movies of 2006
selected by Dove Foundation staff.
(select a film to read the review)

  1. Facing the Giants

  2. Eight Below

  3. Nativity Story

  4. Charlotte’s Web

  5. Everyone’s Hero

  6. Superman Returns

  7. Invincible

  8. Lady in the Water

  9. End of the Spear

  10. Second Chance

The Dove Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Our mission is to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of wholesome family entertainment.  We are supported primarily by donations from families such as yours who want to move Hollywood in a more family-friendly direction.  All donations are tax deductible.
Copyright © 2007 The Dove Foundation. All rights reserved.