These movies may be kid-centric, but they pack an adult-sized emotional punch.
The goal of this series is to show that being "manly" and being disconnected with your emotions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. While the approach to these articles is one of comedy and satire, the emotional core of these movies is very valid. Manly movies make guys cry, for example:
Child Actor Films
The shorthand for movies with children in them goes like this: child actor = expected to be bad. Only in a rare few films are the children true actors, as opposed to kids of the director who got the job despite little to no existence of talent or skill. When a rare movie does have such a pint-sized performer who knows what they are doing, the movie generally does quite well. These islands of quality turn a profit at least and become classics at best. And since most -- if not all -- of us used to be children at some point, we can identify with them as long as the writing is engaging. Can movies where the protagonists are children make us cry? I would argue that they're the most capable to do so.
1. The Goonies
A group of kids go on a treasure hunt to save their neighborhood from foreclosure, all the while being chased by crooks. There's no need for a twist, no stunt casting involved. Just a group of kids who not only did a hell of a job acting, but grew up into full-on powerhouses. Josh "Thanos" Brolin, Sean "Samwise" Austin, Corey "Lost Boys" Feldman...well that last one's debatable, but still!
This film does its best emotional work when we see life through a kid's eyes. Mikey struggles to have any sort of control over his life. His parents can't afford their house, his friends are quick to give up at the first chance they get, and even his body doesn't fully stand behind him (asthma). The most emotional part for me is when the crew has a chance to end their treasure hunt midway through. He stops them, explaining that the world is not their world, it is their parent's world. No matter who you are, you can relate to the feeling that someone else is making the decisions in your life, and you just have to take it. The allure of forging their own path, even if only for a little while, spurs his friends to push on.