The Exhausted Father: The 2022 Movie Protocol for an 11-Year-Old


As a companion piece to my Best Movies of 2022 feature in this section, I decided to amplify the voice of Team Wilson’s toughest critic – my 11-year-old daughter.

We showed her a lot of movies, old and new, this year and she had opinions on them! I’ve done my best to fairly reflect their opinion on some highlights of old and new movies:

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

“It was good.” The hesitation means she’s being diplomatic.

“Hotel Transylvania 3”

“Not as good as the other Hotel Transylvania movies.”

“Sing 2” (2021)

None of us can remember anything about this film.

The Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy (1990-1993)

She really liked the 1990 original. She pretended to like the two sequels so as not to hurt my feelings.

“To redden”

She loved it, but it also made her nervous since she had seen it before she started middle school.

Apollo 13 (1995)

We didn’t tell any of our kids what happened before we started the film. My daughter loves all things space and she was on the edge of her seat the entire movie.

“The Lifeguards of Chip n’ Dale”

“I don’t understand why you find this funny, Dad.”

Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), Spider-Man: No Way (2021)

“All the ‘Spider-Man’ movies are really good, Dad.” That’s because I didn’t show her the crappy ones!

Batman Forever (1995)

I tried to explain to her how excited I was as an 11-year-old to see this colorful Batman film in 1995. She found it strange and unsettling. Just wait till I show her 1997’s Batman & Robin.

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“Sonic the Hedgehog 2”

“Not as good as the first movie.”

“The Sea Creature”

An underrated animated Netflix original. Let’s say both!

“light year”

Like everyone, she was puzzled by the lack of connection to the Toy Story franchise. But she liked the space stuff.

Jurassic Park (1993)

She ended up saying she liked it, calling it “intense.” Then I refused to talk to her until she declared it was the best movie ever.

“Jurassic World: Dominion”

She liked this one because it wasn’t scary. Doesn’t she understand that that’s part of the problem?!

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

I spent most of the runtime explaining the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

“Good, but short,” she said.

I said, “Thank God it’s short!”

“Thor: Love & Thunder”

We saw this as the second of a dual role at a drive-in theater in Washington. It started around midnight, so she remembers almost none of it. Neither do I.

“ET the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

This was her second viewing of “ET” after seeing it in a movie theater four years ago. Let me double-check my notes, but I think she said, “ET is the best movie ever made, with the possible exception of Jurassic Park.”

“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

She acted like she liked this one too.

Pinocchio – live action remake from Disney Plus

“Why does everything look so… awful?” Why actually.

“Liar, Liar” (1995)

She said this is one of the worst movies she has ever seen in her life. I think it’s clear now that my daughter will not approve of any of Jim Carrey’s buffoons.

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“barbarian”

“Not bloody enough,” she said. Was just a joke. Of course I didn’t show her this insane horror movie!

“Wendell & Wild”

“This movie was weird.”

“Disenchanted”

“Meh.”

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

I think all the death talk in this movie scared her, but she loved the stop motion animation.

“Matilda the Musical”

All four of my kids wanted to restart it almost immediately after it finished. Look out! It’s on Netflix!

“A Christmas Story Christmas”

“Why did they make this movie?” Because it’s all a franchise now.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)

We tried to show her that last year and she ignored it. That year she succumbed to several belly laughs. I asked her what she thought about the swear words. She said it was nothing she hadn’t heard from her parents before… I mean other kids at school.

• • •

Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer, full-time student, and father of four children, ages 5 to 11. He is tired. He can be reached at [email protected]

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