As a critic, journalist and digital content creator, Tara McNamara loves watching movies, but more than that, she loves spurring viewers to think about movies.
McNamara is a frequent contributor to both print and TV outlets, including Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, The Insider, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, SiriusXM, Variety, Fandango, The Huffington Post and USA Today. 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.
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. Tara believed that encouraging kids to share their opinions on movies would teach them to think critically about the messages they were receiving. 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 went on to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of two more movie review sites: one for teens and another directed at parents.
Tara continues to make movies a family affair, working now with her other two children, 17-year old-Riley and 7-year-old Tate. The threesome provides GIF-length visual movie reviews with @ZeroWordReview on Instagram. Tara and Riley are preparing to launch two projects celebrating “why we love ’80s movies, why their messages are so wrong and how they affected a generation”: the website 80sMovieGuide.com and the podcast ‘80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents (an idea that Tara conceived at the 2016 TCM Film Festival).