The Broadway musical Matilda put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras. Joan Marcus hide caption

itoggle caption Joan Marcus

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story. Kino Lorber hide caption

itoggle caption Kino Lorber

The paying and collecting of taxes might not be the sexiest plot point in an industry that depends on sizzle. But that doesn't mean revenuers haven't made their mark on screen. Airyelf/iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption Airyelf/iStockphoto.com

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) acknowledges the crowd in 42. Warner Bros hide caption

itoggle caption Warner Bros

When Kit (Martin Sheen) meets young Holly (Sissy Spacek), it's a match made in cinematic heaven. The pairing of the young couple in Badlands was the beginning of prolific careers for both actors. The Criterion Collection hide caption

itoggle caption The Criterion Collection

Jean (Vincent Rottiers) assists his ailing father, the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), in his studio on the French Riviera. Samuel Goldwyn Films hide caption

itoggle caption Samuel Goldwyn Films

As embattled, closeted lawyer Andrew Beckett, Tom Hanks brought gay rights to trial in 1993's Philadelphia. Bureau L.A. Collection / Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Bureau L.A. Collection / Corbis

The prehistoric family in The Croods takes a visually stunning but comically tired road trip in the latest outing from DreamWorks Animation. 20th Century Fox hide caption

itoggle caption 20th Century Fox

Rosa (Alice Englert) and her sometime best friend Ginger (Elle Fanning) are nearly torn apart by the political and social changes of the 1960s. Nicola Dove/A24 hide caption

itoggle caption Nicola Dove/A24

Theodora (Mila Kunis) is the first person the young conjuror Oscar (James Franco) meets when he lands in the mystical, magical Land of Oz. Walt Disney Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Walt Disney Pictures

Rachel Weisz plays the witch Evanora in director Sam Raimi's upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful. The film is one of nine upcoming Oz adaptations and tackles more frightening and adult themes than those that came before it. Walt Disney Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Walt Disney Pictures

Despite its dark themes (slavery and the Civil War are hardly feel-good topics), Lincoln, like other Oscar nominees, has done very well at the box office. Disney has spent about $10 million campaigning for the best-picture prize, hoping for a payoff down the line. DreamWorks hide caption

itoggle caption DreamWorks

As dockworker Terry Malloy in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, a young Marlon Brando firmly established himself as a leading Hollywood icon. Criterion Collection hide caption

itoggle caption Criterion Collection

Brash ad man Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) brings a youthful, positive energy to a campaign aimed at ousting a dictator in the political drama No. Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Sony Pictures Classics

An overextended Sandy (Jason Bateman) must prevent the raunchy Diana (Melissa McCarthy) from continuing to use his identity as a financial crutch in Identity Thief. Universal Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Universal Pictures