Ty Burr, a Boston Globe film critic and the author of The Best Old Movies for Families (Anchor, $17, amazon.com), shares a few gems.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Gene Kelly hams it up in this musical comedy. Ages five and up.
North by Northwest (1959). This thriller plays like a big windup toy. Ages seven and up.
Some Like It Hot (1959). Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis join an all-girl orchestra to flee gangsters. Ages seven and up.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). An alien lands in Washington, D.C., befriends a boy, and warns earthlings to cool it with the A-bombs. Ages eight and up.
More Recent Must-Rents
Cole McNamara, the 13-year-old behind kidspickflicks.com, suggests:
Open Season (2006). A domesticated pet bear is returned to the wild. Ages two and up.
Stormbreaker (2006). James Bond for kids, with plenty of action and cool gadgets. Ages eight and up.
Stick It (2006). It may be about girl gymnasts, but it’s funny and unpredictable. (In other words, boys like it, too.) Ages 12 and up.
Surf’s Up (2007). A penguin’s trip to a surf competition, told in mockumentary style. “The most overlooked movie of 2007,” says Cole. All ages.