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Tara McNamara

Tara McNamara is a film journalist who specializes in family films, movies from the 1980s, and female-forward entertainment.

At Common Sense Media, McNamara’s work focuses on giving parents the information they need to make educated choices about entertainment for their children.  As the Editor-in-Chief of 80sMovieGuide.com and the co-host of the podcast ‘80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents, Tara explores and celebrates movies from the totally tubular decade, looking through a modern lens at why they’re so beloved and how they affected a generation. 

As the Chair of the Critics Choice Association’s Women’s Committee, Tara leads the CCA’s Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment initiative. Called the “SOFEE”, the Seal recognizes outstanding new films and television series that illuminate the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories. 

Previously McNamara served as the Fandango Film Mom where she co-hosted the digital series “Mom’s Movie Minute,” and was a regular panelist on recurring segments “Reel Moms” on Today and “Parents Guide” on The Insider. She’s also a frequent contributor to TV, print, and digital outlets including Variety, Entertainment TonightInside Edition, CNN, USA Today, and Newsy. She also cohosted HDNet Movies’ “Iconic ‘80s” summer series with actress Lea Thompson. 

Tara’s journey as a film journalist began in 2002, while she was working as a VJ for Country Music Television. She and her son, Cole, then 9 years old, spent hours devouring Turner Classic Movies together. Their binge watching 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. It was acquired by a tween entertainment news site in 2014.

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