As a critic, journalist and digital content creator, Tara McNamara loves watching movies, but more than that, she loves spurring audiences to think about movies.
McNamara is a frequent contributor to TV, print and digital outlets including Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, CNN, Variety, The Wrap, USA Today, and What the Flick?!. In print and on screen, she focuses on motivating people to think how media messages affect their own actions and opinions. To that end, she has appeared as the Fandango Film Mom, co-hosted the digital series “Mom’s Movie Minute” and had recurring segments, “Reel Moms” on Today and “Parents Guide” on The Insider. Currently, she’s a film critic and interviewer with a parent perspective for Common Sense Media.
McNamara’s film journalism career began in 2002, while she was working as a VJ and news anchor for Country Music Television. Tara and her son, Cole, then 9 years old, spent hours devouring Turner Classic Movies together. Their binge viewing ignited a passion for films that inspired them to create KidsPickFlicks, a website where kids of all ages could send in their own movie reviews, providing a kids-eye view of movies offered by no other site. Mother and son ran the site for a decade, resulting in unparalleled insight into the cinematic tastes of youth. In 2013, tween pop culture site Fanlala acquired KidsPickFlicks.
Tara continues to make movies a family affair. After Tara’s 18-year-old daughter Riley declared ‘80s movies to be her generation’s classics, the duo created 80sMovieGuide.com and the podcast ‘80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents, celebrating why we love ’80s movies, why some of their messages are so messed up, and how they affected a generation. (Tara will be giving away Rubik’s Cubes at this year’s TCMFF, so track her down and ask for one!)
Always looking to innovate, Tara, Riley and her youngest, 8-year-old Tate, provide gif-length movie reviews in a glance @ZeroWordReview on Instagram.