The Family category has 1314 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
sorted alphabetically

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SURVIVOR
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A State Department employee newly posted to the American embassy in London is charged with stopping terrorists from getting into the U.S. That puts her right in the line of fire and she is targeted for death and framed for crimes. Discredited, she is forced to go on the run while she tries to clear her name and stop a large-scale terrorist attack set for New Year's Eve in Times Square. SURVIVOR is directed by James McTeigue and also stars Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett and Robert Forster.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

CRIMSON FIELD, THE: PART 1
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses, and volunteers work together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches of WWI. The hospital is a frontier: between the battlefield and home front but also between the old rules, hierarchies, class distinctions, and a new way of thinking. Kitty (Oona Chaplin, Game of Thrones), Rosalie, and Flora arrive as the hospital's first volunteer nurses and struggle to be accepted by the established medical team. The girls are flung headlong into a world for which nothing and nobody could have prepared them, but this is also an opportunity to break free of the constraints and limitations of their lives back home.
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MENTALIST, THE: 7TH AND FINAL SEASON
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - The FBI's masterfully manipulative criminal consultant Patrick Jane is back for the seventh and final season of the clever crime series. Formerly employed by the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Jane spent two years off the grid and in exile after tracking down and exacting vengeance upon Red John, the serial killer who murdered Jane's wife and daughter. After crafting a deal to work for the FBI, Jane convinced former CBI agent Teresa Lisbon to join him. Supervised by the no-nonsense Agent Dennis Abbott, Jane and Lisbon work alongside their former CBI comrade Kimball Cho, FBI analyst Jason Wylie and the young, ambitious agent Michelle Vega. Now that Lisbon and Jane have confessed their love for one another, they must find a way to be partners in both their professional and personal lives as they begin their new relationship. 13 on e hour episodes.
Runtime: 572 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love - as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I had not read the book nor heard of the film Far From the Madding Crowd when I saw it. So, this review is from the point of view from someone with no prior background knowledge of the source material. Please keep that in mind, fans of the book.

When I saw that BBC had a hand in producing this picture I immediately knew a few things, 1) it would have a down tempo pace, 2) The acting would be good and 3) that the cinematography would be good. I was right about all three. Nevertheless, I had no expectations for the script which was inconsistent.

There are times when the dialogue flows well. The conversations fit the tone and nothing is over-the-top dramatic. And then, there are times when I rolled my eyes at the clich� lines. It's that type of romance movie. It became apparent to me though, that the dialogue is specified to show character and relationships rather than good conversation. The dialogue succeeds in moving along the plot and expanding on the characters' situations rather than creating conversational scenes. I can understand that, especially considering the genre of the movie. Yet, it still proved a bit problematic.

This film stars Carey Mulligan as an independent, head-strong protagonist and, what a wonderful job she does. She takes what could have been a very one-note character and makes her complex. Bathsheba (the protagonist) could have easily been portrayed as stubborn and inconsistent, but is instead portrayed as someone fighting for her equal rights as a woman and as a woman dealing with emotions for the first time. And, just her luck, she gets three men to fall in love with her. How about that for first relationship dealings?

The supporting cast does a fine job with a few hiccups. The standout among them is Michael Sheen who takes his supporting part and almost steals the show from the leading lady. Matthias Schoenaerts provides a steady consistency as the moral compass of the film and plays the untainted, instantly likable love interest well.

As for the aesthetics of the film, I was not disappointed. There are scenes of beautiful landscapes and breathtaking shots that aren't necessarily needed, but are surely wanted for the eye-candy effect. They provide good transitions and help keep the pace of the movie in tact.

Because of the acting, cinematography and overall investing quality this film has over an audience, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. I'll end on this note: I spoke to a couple of people at the theater after the film who had read the book. I asked them how accurate the film is and if it does the book justice. They both confidently said, "yes." So, if you're a fan of the book and were iffy about seeing the movie, I hope that testimonial might influence your decision to see this movie. This is in theaters now so, enjoy.

Reveiwed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SUNSHINE SUPERMAN
MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular -and dangerous- feats of foot-launched human flight.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

PITCH PERFECT 2
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PITCH PERFECT 2
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfield - it's a girl comedy
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is truly a teen-focused comedy starring Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick and Hailee Steinfeld. The humor is silly but the message poignant. When you're not laughing at the antics of these girls, you are tuned in to their becoming better friends and supporting one another. It deals with issues that kids can relate to - secrecy, jealousy, yearnings. The including of the YouTube star Flula Borg is a pleasant surprise and he literally steals the show when he's on-screen. But, actually, all the cast members are pretty well positioned. They may not be the best actors but they can SING! The romance between Fat Amy and Bumper is a sweet addition and, in my humble opinion, I think that Adam Devine's character Bumper is probably the most interesting in the show. Parents might want to know that it does include use of some pretty specific words for genitalia - in context of the big mishap in the opening scene.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun and compelling sequel. The Barden Bellas are back! Because of a embarrassing performance they become a laughing stock and, in order to restore their title they, enter a world competition which no American team has ever won.

If you loved Pitch Perfect then you are going to enjoy this film even more. Pitch Perfect 2 has updated music, new characters and a lot of laughs. You can see the first film to get in touch with the characters and story, but it's not necessary.

The highlight of the entire film is the musical performances. Think of the last film and multiply it by 1,000. The Barden Bellas are now a tiny fish in a big pond up against a Capella groups from all over the world. Even the famous group Pentatonix have a cameo appearance. This allows the film to showcase grand productions from all corners of the Earth.

The cast embrace their roles and voices. This is a character driven franchise. Like the first film, you have to buy into the absurdity of these over-the-top characters in order to enjoy it. After you do that, you will find the comedy funny and can fall in love with these characters. Actors like Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and many others make this film what it is. I also have to mention the comical cameos from Snoop Dogg, David Cross and even Keegan Michael Key who add to the amusement of this film.

The comedy style is shock humor and pop cultural references. This leads to a lot of jokes being hit or miss. Most of the shock humor comes from the two announcers, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. Their comments are insulting but the comedy comes from the fact that these people could not exist and still keep their jobs.

My favorite character is Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), the newest addition to the Bellas team. I love Steinfeld as an actress and I usually associate her with dramatic roles and not much for comedy. This film shows that not only can she carry a note but also be very funny.

I have a tie for my favorite scene. The first one is when the Bellas' German rival team, Das Sound Machine performs at the world competition with Light' em Up by the Fallout Boys. The other scene is equally good because it is Fat Amy singing a love song to her boyfriend, Bumper (Adam DeVine). One scene is epic, the other hilarious. Both are absolutely incredible.

The moral of this story is, "Stay in touch with your true voice." The Bellas, as a team, loose who they are, so they go to a retreat to understand each other. With the help of an old Bella member, they find their voice and become the great team they were before.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 13- through 18-year-olds There is adult humor and language that younger audiences shouldn't watch, but for the older crowd it's a thoroughly entertaining film. This film opens in theaters May 15

Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Pitch Perfect 2 is directed and produced by Elizabeth Banks. I love this film because it is very funny and made me laugh constantly throughout the whole movie. Pitch Perfect 2 employs enjoyable aspects from the original Pitch Perfect such as phenomenal music and amazing costumes, wicked humor, the commentators Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins) who are quite funny and the beautiful Beca (Anna Kendrick).

It is a bit racist in how it shows the three girls. Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) is an Asian who is more like a cartoon character than having any real personality. Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean) is a gay African American and Flo (Chrissie Fit) plays a South American.

This movie is about seven girls, soon to be eight, who make up the Bellas, an acapella group from Barden University. They are known for their singing and dancing. When they are performing in front of President and Mrs. Obama, Fat Amy has an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. After much ridicule from the press, the group is suspended and is unable to compete or recruit any new members. They are devastated and intent on winning the Acapella World Championship in Copenhagen in order to regain their competitive status. They have to compete against the German group, DSM (Das Sound Machine) which is definitely their biggest competitor. The Bellas are joined by a new member, Emily (Hailee Steinfield), whose mom (Katy Sagal) was a previous member of the group.

The screenplay is very well thought out and the plot is easy to follow. It has several subplots that help keep the action moving. The actors are hilarious in this repeat performance. Rebel Wilson really stands out as Fat Amy because she is completely over the top and steals every scene she is in. There are lots of cameo appearances which keeps the viewer looking for familiar faces.

I give this film a 4 out of 5 stars and strongly recommend it for ages 13 to 18 years old, due to the crude humor and sexual innuendos.

Reviewed by Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NOBLE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOBLE
ASPIRATION MEDIA Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Vietnam. 1989. Fourteen years after the end of the war. When Irish woman Christina Noble flies into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) she leaves behind an extraordinary life story. But the best is yet to come. Christina lands in a country "that she wouldn't be able to show you on a map". With a few dollars, a dream and her own hard-won courage, she is about to change everything. For hundreds of thousands of people. Forever. NOBLE is the inspirational true story of a woman who believes that it only takes one person to make a difference. And of how she is proved right.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The inspirational film Noble is very enlightening. It helped me realize that a kid's life in America can be so much easier than a kid's life in other countries. It also inspired me to help others that are not as fortunate as I am. The movie is very well acted, in terms of creating believable character. Noble is a film that touched me emotionally and mentally and definitely put a new perspective on life.

The film is about an Irish woman named Christina Noble. The movie shows three parts of Christina's life - her childhood played by Gloria Curtis, her teens and twenties played by Sarah Greene and her midlife years played by Deirdre O 'Kane. Christina has a revelation through a dream that makes her to decide to help the homeless children in Vietnam to prevent their childhood from turning into an unfortunate childhood. Christina creates very strong bonds and connections with the people in Vietnam while on her crazy adventure of helping children.

The main character, Christina Noble has a very protective, brave and emotionally strong personality. I enjoyed how the director Stephen Bradley separates the film into three parts to show Christina's difficult life as a young child and into teens and twenties. When she gets older, she starts helping kids. One of the interesting part of film is the editing which is not sorted chronologically. Instead, it is all mixed together. For example, there might be a scene showing her in her teens and twenties. Then, it's followed with one from her childhood. The next scene might show her in middle age. The acting is very believable. In fact, at one point, I found myself in tears and, at another point, smiling. The film is like an emotional roller coaster. The cinematography is also very good. It is very good. I was very impressed and inspired.

I rate this film five out of five stars and recommend it for children age 12 to 18 because of some adult content and some inappropriate language.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BLANKET QUITE RARE, A
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLANKET QUITE RARE, A
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - There once was a boy with a blanket quite rare that his mother had told him was made with great care. It came on his birthday with colors so bright It made him feel happy all day and all night.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A Blanket Quite Rare, written and illustrated by Lisa Geotis Ikegami is a rare gem of a book for children ages 4 to 10. A young boy receives a special hand-knit blanket for his birthday. That evening he is frightened during a thunderstorm and takes refuge in bed under the safety of his birthday blanket. Not only does the blanket calm him, but it takes him on a magical journey.

Both boys and girls will find A Blanket Quite Rare to be appealing and engaging. The story is written solely using rhymes, but there are several pages with only artwork which keeps the flow of narration from becoming trite. Using watercolors, the illustrations are attractive and children can depict the emotions of a frightening thunderstorm and the resulting joy in the peace and calm of a sunny day. Some of the drawings are very detailed and might encourage a child to linger on the page and enjoy looking to see what all has been included.

This book meets the KIDS FIRST!. Overall content of the book is good. The story is easy to follow with a clear beginning, middle and end. The production quality and the visual appeal of the book are very appealing. I recommend this book for any child who might ever be fearful during a thunderstorm.

Reviewed by Ruth A.

This title is very whimsical with beautiful watercolor illustrations throughout. The pictures are unique and very colorful. The book mainly takes place in a boy's room while he is under his favorite blanket weathering a storm.This ebook may give children a new perspective on nature and how it is why it is. It may also help them cope with fear or insecurity. The main character's challenge will encourage a child to imagine and inquire in ways that maybe they wouldn't have before. Reviewed by Elizabeth B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This book by Lisa Ikegami is a very loving story. In the story, a kid gets a beautiful blanket and loves it up. He goes through a problem and the blanket fixes it. Reading this book would help kids not be afraid of thunderstorms. The pictures are not just fantastic, the author painted them too. I love all the water colors and how she blends the colors together. The book is not a long book so it's a good length for a short story. The language rhymes sometimes and sometimes not, it can be a tad confusing but it does not make too big a difference. This is a book for little kids but also may be a good bedtime story for some older kids. I rate this book 4 out of 5 rainbow blankets because of the pictures and tale of a sweet boy and his blanket. My age recommendation is 3 to 10-years-old because it's not a scary picture book and it is a very cute, sweet story. Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: Book


FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
PURE FLIX ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - With the Vietnam War raging in 1969, two young fathers report for duty. A man of great faith and a doubtful cynic. A quarter-century later, their sons, Wayne and John Paul (David A.R. White and Kevin Downes), meet as strangers. Guided by handwritten letters from their fathers from the battlefield, they embark on an unforgettable journey to The Wall-the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they discover the devastation of war cannot break the love of a father for his son.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has not been reviewed by adults. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This faith-based film is very touching and emotional. It shows us exactly what our soldiers go through to protect our country.

Two fathers of different paths were brought together by the Vietnam War and, after their deaths, their sons are brought together for peace. These two sons Wayne (David A.R. White) and John (Kevin Downes) never had the opportunity to really see their fathers. However, the letters that they received from them displayed messages of love and pride.

One of the main reasons why I like this film is that the portrayal of our soldiers in the war is so realistic. It shows us what they had to go through to claim freedom for our country. The different plot lines are woven together very well and the script is written with smooth transitions from one time period to another. Even though this film has lots of great characters and scenes, I think that some of them are unnecessary. My favorite scene is when Wayne talks about his past in a jail cell with John. It's a tender moment and is a very emotional scene that gives layers to Wayne's character.

My favorite characters are the two main characters, Wayne and John. They feed off each other very well and their different personalities actually complement each other. I like the references of Bible verses this film has which gives comfort and strength in life and death situations. Even when the fathers are facing death, they can have eternal life in heaven if they choose and believe.

This film has a great message about fatherhood and getting along with others. It spreads the gospel of Jesus and touches your heart.

I recommend Faith of our Fathers for ages 12 to 18. Although there are war scenes, it's not overly graphic or gruesome. People who like faith-based films will thoroughly enjoy it.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It is a good film that tells the gospel and has great messages. <[>Thank you to all our service men and women who serve to protect our country on a daily basis. Faith of our Fathers is in theaters on July 1st, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CHEF'S LIFE, A: SEASON 1
CHEF'S LIFE, A: SEASON 1
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - A Chef's Life, Season 1 Join Chef Vivian Howard's personal and culinary journey from the top restaurants in New York to her return to Eastern North Carolina as she explores the rich bounty of farm fresh cooking, family and community. Each episode follows Vivian out of the kitchen and into cornfields, strawberry patches and hog farms as she hunts down the ingredients that inspire her seasonal menus. Disc One Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea Strawberry Stay at Home Pimp My Grits Cracklin' Kitchen Tomatoes...You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey The World is Your Oyster Muscadine Time Disc Two A Road Trip For Rice Peanut Pastime Love Me Some Candied Yams! Collard Green Queen The Buttermilk Belt Have Yourself Some Moonshine This DVD features subtitles in English
Runtime: 390 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


WILD KRATTS: SHARK-TASTIC
WILD KRATTS: SHARK-TASTIC
PBS DISTRIBUTION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt are studying the secrets of great white sharks while their nemesis, Chef Gaston Gourmand, is looking for ingredients for his shark fin soup recipe. Later, when Martin knocks the Creature Power Suits into a deep Arctic trench, the brothers search for them in the brand-new Octopod submarine where they witness a Pacific octopus' defense against an attacking shark. Then Aviva takes the lead when she wants to upgrade the Tortuga with swimming capabilities, so the Kratt brothers seek out a sea turtle for inspiration. Finally, the Wild Kratts team is on a mission to decode the secret language of dolphins using one of Aviva's new inventions, but a hungry great white shark puts their animal friends in harm's way.
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the Avengers series delivers almost non-stop action. As an adult, I sometimes felt totally assaulted at the amount of violence in the film and began to question the descriptive term "gratuitous violence." This is a term that KIDS FIRST! has long employed as one of its criterion for endorsing a film. You might argue that the amount of violence used is acceptable since it is relegated to good fighting evil. But, on the other hand, I would venture to comment that surely the violence drives the film. The story line is pretty meager, or as one of our youth critics commented, "doesn't really matter." It is all the action shots that draw in the audience.

Did I enjoy it? Would I see it again? I can't say that I found it particularly enjoyable or thought provoking. I certainly wouldn't have the need to watch it again though, many of our youth reporters would, particularly those who are comic-book fans. Even my husband, who does love action adventure films, was a bit worn out after the viewing.

So, there you go. I certainly wouldn't recommend this for young kids even though I'm sure many parents will take them. But, for older kids who can discern the difference between fact and fiction, go at it. It's pure escapism, in the name of good.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Another monumental Marvel movie! The Avengers assemble once again go up against a new corrupt, A.I. Ultron (James Spader). As the troupe pursue their mission, we're given a deeper understanding of our favorite super heroes.

There are not enough words in the world to express how happy I am. As a Marvel fan, this film showcases some of my favorite comic book characters together in one plot line in a bigger and better way. When you are dealing with a sequel, as a filmmaker, you're pretty much trying to top yourself. Thankfully, the filmmakers have out done themselves here. We're given a superior conflict, more characters and action beyond epic proportions.

I love this movie not only because it's a phenomenal Marvel film, but also an outstanding film in general. A movie is supposed to grab the audience and transport them to a universe with characters that not only we look up to but also identify with. Marvel has successfully created this reality. Every time I see a Marvel logo on a movie poster I'm excited to be sent back, once again, into their universe.

Marvel is a genius entertainment company because they establish their characters in previous films. The Avengers are the protagonist. Every character is given their moment in the lime light but, they are not the main focus. They all share the screen and have their own personal conflict, yet they respond as team. That is not to say that there is no character development, there is. Former story lines help save time so that the writers can focus on perfecting the current story. This also leads to much stronger relationships between the characters.

For people who have no history with Marvel films, I suggest that you see some of the previous films that feature the Avengers. The reason is that you may miss a connection with the characters that can be resolved by watching previous films. Although you will enjoy the action and story even without seeing the previous films, the inside jokes and interactions between characters become funnier when you understand the past.

The action in this film is awesome! The word awesome is a very primitive word, but it explains everything. While I love to go to the movies and appreciate storytelling and 3 dimensional characters, there are times when I just want to see things go boom! Every Avenger, with his or her different abilities, works together and kicks butt. An example of this is when Thor hits Captain America's shield and causes a devastating explosion. You have to see it to believe it.

My favorite character is, Vision (Paul Bettany) an android created by Ultron. Bettany is originally the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark's (Robert Downey, Jr.) A.I. companion. Bettany uses his fantastic voice to create Vision. I was excited when I heard he was going to be a new addition to the Avengers team. Not only is the acting and personality spot on, but the costume design is beautiful.

There are so many scenes that I adore, but my favorite is when the Avengers, "get acquainted" with Vision for the first time. This is the second A.I. the group has encountered and they're unsure if they can trust him. Vision is uncertain himself and gives a speech on why it doesn't matter because they all want to stop Ultron. At the end of his speech there is a comedic pay-off that shows which side Vision is truly on.

The moral of the film is, "The way to peace is not destruction." Ultron is built for one reason - to create peace in our time. Ultron is confused on how to fulfill that mission and believes the only way to achieve his goal is to wipe out the human race and start over. However, Ultron underestimates the soul of man.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 11- to 18 year-olds. There is language and intense action that younger kids might not be able to handle. Check out this film in theaters May 1 and remember, a true Marvel fan stays to the end of the credits.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

My friends have asked me what I thought of Avengers: Age of Ultron and my answer has always been the same: it depends on who you are. If you are a fan of this genre, superheroes, and/or a general movie goer you'll love it. But if you're me, who sees films differently, then the answer to that question is much more complex.

The plot of this film doesn't really matter in all honesty. I mean, you have the good guys fighting the bad guys, that much hasn't changed and it's not what I want to focus on in this review.

What I want to focus on, is the direction and writing of writer/director Joss Whedon. For those of you who just want to know if this film is tons of fun and entertaining and don't care about the movie buff stuff I'm about to spill in short: see this movie. But, I warn you, the movie buff stuff I'm about to spill may be an explanation for the feeling of incompleteness you may have.Joss Whedon wrote this film very ambitiously. He wanted to add the depth and character development of a drama, and keep the same thrills and mindless entertainment of a blockbuster. The issue is - that's very hard to do in a reasonable amount of time. The film already runs nearly 2 1/2 hours and is still incomplete.

I digress, Joss Whedon would have been better off picking a side: mindless entertainment or depth? Truthfully, I would have preferred depth. Getting to know the characters only increases the suspense when they're put in dangerous situations. It draws you in more. Whereas mindless entertainment doesn't because you know what's going to happen.

The thing about his film is that it develops this depth with each Avenger. It tells of their fears and gets into their personal lives. It develops these relationships and just leaves it on the ground, not to be picked up again. Joss Whedon doesn't follow through the idea and we're left wondering "what happened?"

Then, to top it all off, he begins something new. He doesn't come to a definite conclusion, yet he starts a new beginning. That, in my opinion, is a mistake. It's playing with the emotions of the audience who've invested themselves in these band of characters. Whedon shows us that these heroes are people and then doesn't expand on them. He doesn't conclude their stories. It's frustrating.

Yet, there are action scenes of pure bliss, brilliance and utter entertainment that send chills. They impress. It glues you to the screen. There are shots that are bound to amaze you. I still have the climactic battle in my head. It has a deeper meaning than many may give it credit for and I appreciated that.

Despite all that, this film is a great time. All of the heroes get their big moments, and each character is spotlighted. Before I end my review, I want to commend and point out the fantastic voice performance of James Spader. He gives Ultron such life and personality. It's further proof that there needs to be a voice-acting category at the Academy Awards. Brilliant work, Mr. Spader.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Please keep in mind that I saw this film in Imax 3-D. Those of you seeing it in 2-D may have a different impression that I did, due to the extreme differences in the way we experienced this film.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


AGE OF ADALINE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AGE OF ADALINE
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A young woman, born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After many solitary years, she meets a man who complicates the eternal life she has settled into.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This remarkable film truly delivers a compelling love story along with the struggle of a young woman whose life is a nightmare because she never ages. Some of us might love that idea but, as you watch the heartbreak of Adaline as her daughter becomes older than she, and then elderly, you realize the importance of growing old together with your loved ones. Adaline's life is threatened at times during the McCarthy era when the government wants to study her as a specimen and thus, she resorts to moving every ten years and re-inventing herself. She creates new identities in order to escape persecution. When she finally meets someone who pulls at her heartstrings enough to consider sharing her secret with him, a twist of fate pulls her back into her own drama and it is not without great resolve that she proceeds.

This film is worth seeing with your sweetheart, or even your teen as I did. I enjoyed this with my 13-year-old grandson and was surprised that it wasn't too romantic for his taste. The faux science behind Adaline's condition is well narrated and, in some ways it's almost believable.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Age of Adaline was not something I expected to love so much. The idea of tampered aging wasn't anything new to me and I wasn't excited to see another modern love story. But I found myself severely invested in this movie. There were times I completely forgot to jot notes down in my notebook...for there weren't any. This film is one of the best American romantic dramas to come along in a while.

Starring Blake Lively, in a career best performance, The Age of Adaline is a beautiful movie in all aspects. It is Shakespearean in nature. It deals with love in a supernatural context, of which the inexplicable remains unexplained, for its outcome is all that matters to us.

The movie is about a woman who develops the ability to never age. The film focuses on her, almost as a metaphorical character study, on how the major events and emotions of her life are stifled and affected by her condition. Her daughter grows older than her. She avoids love for fear of loss. And, she's always on the move. Attachment is her fear, yet one day, a man comes around and things start to change.

In a wonderful and scene stealing performance, Harrison Ford gives his best and most inspired performance since 42. For some, it may be strange seeing Ford not in his typical action-star tough guy. But, his acting in this film is nonetheless affecting, subtle, and impressive. Alongside him, stealing the show is my beloved Ellen Burstyn. She is simply sublime in everything she does and nothing changes here. She steals every scene she's in, even getting me to choke up in the final scene, as her ability to pass along emotion with a look of the eyes is an unmatched ability amongst this generation of film actors.

I am also impressed with Lee Toland Kreiger's direction and story-telling ability. He doesn't fall into any clich�s with flashback storytelling in a romantic drama. He doesn't present us with every explanation in the beginning. Instead, he associates certain memories with the situation presented so that Adaline's character is presented as the film goes on. As a result, we learn more about her and get to know her better over time.

The opening exposition montage is most impressive as well. The voiceover of Hugh Ross provides an objective, controlled, and un-distilled narration of Adaline's early life and events leading up to the film. He comes in throughout the film as well, providing a nostalgic overtone that comforts us in a way, communicating objectivity so that we understand essential events and plot points.

Lastly, and most importantly, this film, like any film, is geared towards a certain audience. Someone who's into Rambo and Terminator may not like this film as much as someone into The Notebook or Blue Valentine. So if you're reading this wondering if you'll like it or not, I tell you the kind of taste for a film like this is unique and not for everyone. And with that, I happily award this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It is playing in theaters now. Enjoy.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SI
SAMANTHA SMITH
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Description - Si, a temperamental 6-year-old, gets a goldfish from her parents after begging for a puppy.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES
ANDYLAND MUSIC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - Fifteen beloved folk and classic children's tunes capture the heart of the songs. Authentic instrumentation, thoughtful arrangements, restored lyrics, and Andy Z's friendly vocals complete this rousing CD that will entertain and engage for years.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From 'This Land is Your Land' to 'Happy Trails,' Andy Z brings a freshness and excitement to familiar songs that we think we may know but after a few extra verses that were part of the original songs and some well-played musical surprises our ears are buzzing with a renewed acquaintance with old friends. The vocals are engaging and the toe-tapping arrangements will have you dancing with a 'Turkey in the Straw' or breaking out a 'Hokey Pokey' or singing along with 'You Are My Sunshine'. 'Oh Susanna' you've got to listen to this CD and don't you cry for me now, girl!

The songs are performed as close to their original intent with all of the original lyrics and instrumentation approximated. This absolutely keeps the tradition of American folk songs alive and well. It is positive and uplifting and the interpretation of songs that a lot of us have heard for years is fresh and engaging.

The quality is excellent. The music mirror the birth of our nation which was an exciting time for America in terms of exploration and strong families along with adventurous and brave people immigrating from all over the world. These songs offer insight into American history from a musical point of view. The artist starts with the premise "maybe you're familiar with this song, but did you know there are other verses?" Particularly enlightening is "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with the wraparound lyrics.

The musicianship, choice of traditional instruments and vocal performances are well-done and engaging. The production value (recording) is very professional.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids enjoyed listening to this CD. They clapped and moved along. Overall, they seemed to have fun. All around the Kitchen and You are My Sunshine were two of their favorites. The songs are upbeat and energetic and it was nice to see the kids enjoying some of the old classics, some of which they apparently had never heard before. The performance is entertaining and the songs are fun.

One little boy said his favorite was the first one. Another child was excited about the kitchen song. An older boy said he liked the middle songs best. One girl liked the sunshine song best.

"It is good music." "We like all the music." "It is singing."
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS
SONG WIZARDS RECORDS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - Twelve cheeky, laugh-out-loud funny songs. Combining country and children's pop music with a wacky, seesaw feel, moving from a country stroll where the wit sneaks up on you to a rock 'n' roll sprint where an outrageous lyric slams into you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Put on the headsets and buckle up because 'Calling All the Elephants' is one of the best albums in a long while to make you laugh out loud and snort milk out of your nose! The word-play, songwriting and musicianship are exemplary. Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, two-seasoned performers, flex their musical chops and in the process push the creative boundaries of children's music in a profoundly wondrous way.

These crafty clutch of tunes hatch from basic concepts and happenings into mini-operas of mirth and merriment. Be yourself. Be resourceful. Be different. Be inventive. Be creative. Have FUN! Who could ask for anything more. Love this album!

Lyrics are stellar, brilliant and quite appealing. The music and production are terrific. Plus, there are many wonderful surprises. Very clever!

Everything clicks like an expensive watch. It's rare to discover an album that appeals to older children, doesn't talk down and takes conceptional chances. This is a breath of musical fresh air.

In ways, it is purposely disrespectful of what is considered appropriate in children's music. Therefore, kids will love it!

I love an album that invites frequent listening because you flat-out love it and / or continue to discover new elements and surprises that you missed before. This is one of those albums. Never gets old. Solid vocals and character voices, musicianship rocks and the recording quality is state-of-the-art.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is fun and original and many of the songs have a really good beat and rhythm to them. I like that this CD has songs with funny lyrics. My favorite songs are Last Word and Puzzle. I like how the lyrics in Last Word throw in words such as "foot" and then there is a pause and "ball" is added or "cow" and then "boy." Puzzle is just catchy and is fun to dance to it. Most of the songs are pretty cool and make you want to dance. Some of the lyrics are repetitive but I still think they are pretty good. There is only one song I really didn't like as much and that is Acting Like A Baby. I think it is just the topic that I don't really enjoy. The song is still catchy. But, how often do you really like every song on a CD? Over all, this is a CD with fun songs, catchy lyrics and I give it a thumbs up. Best for kids ages 5 to 10. Some older children may not like it as much. I would give this one 4 out of 5 stars.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


LONELIEST TREE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONELIEST TREE, THE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 5-8
Description - Not very far from the big city is a very special farm. It's special because it grows special trees...Christmas trees! The trees are able to stretch their graceful branches

covered with needles and pine cones toward the sun as they grow taller and taller--all but one.

"The Loneliest Tree celebrates themes of continuity, enduring faith and vision, and surviving loss and rejection at a special holiday season of love and peace." Midwest Book Review
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Loneliest Tree by D.G. Stern is an attractive picture book for children ages 4 to 7. The story follows a sapling in a Christmas tree farm and explores the tree's emotions as it makes its ultimate journey to its forever home. The illustrations by Deborah Allison are colorful, child-oriented and follow the storyline. She includes racially diverse community members among the many drawings of trees and heavy machinery. Young boys in particular might be drawn to the descriptions and illustrations of the trucks and snowplows.

The Loneliest Tree feels like a labor of love that unfortunately might have missed the mark of making the reader care about the tree. Character development is lacking, so it was hard for me to become emotionally attached to the tree or its outcome. One particular line in the beginning of the story, "Loneliness can sometimes be good" led me to think readers would be shown a depth or array of emotions which do not materialize.

This book meets the KIDS FIRST! . Overall content of the book is very good. The story is easy to follow with a beginning, middle and end, although the passing of time gets confusing. The production quality and the visual appeal of the book are very good. The story is suitable for young children. I rate this 3 out of 5 Christmas trees.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an excellent, fictional book. The story is about a special farm that grows Christmas trees. When Christmas comes, people leave their cities and arrive to the farm to buy a unique tree. All the beautiful trees were being brought except the smallest tree. Everybody neglected that tree. When the tree grows, guess who brought it? I can't reveal anymore you have to read it.

My favorite part is when the tree relocated to his new home. It is such an outstanding place and the tree is very happy and never feels lonely again. The tree shines with glitter and glam like a diamond, so pretty. I like this book because it is meaningful and the storyline is great. I can remember being a young child and sometimes feeling lonely myself.

The author, D.G. tells a great story about expectation and anticipation. The illustrator Deborah Allison, has created wonderful pictures with bright colors.

The message of this book is "when you think you are lonely, you are never alone. You always have a remarkable place in someone's heart."

I recommend this book for ages 3 to 6 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is an easy book to read and it has great pictures to look at that are bright in color.

By Tre'ana Hickson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.95
Media: Book


IRIS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IRIS
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - IRIS pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has not been reviewed by an adult. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Iris is a great documentary, particularly if you have a passion for fashion. Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old woman who embraces her unique eye for fashion and style. She takes the simplest things from shops and stores all over town and dresses them up in a variety of ways. She accessorizes her clothing by accenting them with very large and unique pieces of jewelry. Large pearl necklaces with big, bright colorful bracelets are only a few items that Iris uses. She believes each outfit needs to have color and sometimes lots of it. A lot of designers and fashion icons love her style and creativity.

The message of this documentary, produced by veteran documentarian Albert Maysles, is "success is a sacrifice." Iris talks about how she always wanted to have kids, travel and have a successful career. She realized that she could not have it all and be successful. She did not want her kids to be raised by someone else. So, she chose to purse her career and travel the world with her husband, Carl Apfel. Although Iris did not have kids as she once hoped, she still feels successful and that her life has made a positive impact in the fashion industry.

Iris is very witty, funny and inspirational. Even in her 90s, she continues to educate young aspiring fashion designers. She believes it will be a lost art if people do not learn the history of fashion and its origin.

The film Iris is a wonderful documentary. It is perfect for girls and boys ages 13 to 18-years-old who aspire to learn more about the fashion industry. Even if you are not in the industry and want to watch a good film about a wise woman who continues to inspire others, this film is a perfect selection. Iris will be released in select theaters April 29, 2015. I give this movie 4 out of 5 shining stars.

Reviewed by Kendyl P., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


5 FLIGHTS UP
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
5 FLIGHTS UP
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A long-time married couple who've spent their lives together in the same New York apartment become overwhelmed by personal and real estate-related issues when they plan to move away. Starring Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Cynthia Mixon. Directed by Richard Loncraine.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film has not been reviewed by adults yet. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the storyline, it may seem that this film will be boring to kids. But, when I started watching this film I fell in love with it. Morgan Freeman's perfect timing of jokes and Diane Keeton's wonderful and priceless emotions make this film entertaining and heartfelt from the very start to the last second.

It is a bit hard to say what the main genre is. Of course, there is a lot of romance between the two characters, Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keeton), there is also that funny side that makes it all that more enjoyable. And, there is still a serious dramatic side which keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end.

The story starts when an elderly couple, Ruth and Alex, live in a high up, massive apartment in New York City, Brooklyn actually. However, the five flight of stairs they need to take is getting more and more challenging so they decide to move to a location with an elevator. To add to the challenges, their dog is in the hospital undergoing treatment for spinal injury.

The director, Richard Loncraine makes this movie feel authentic and rustic and also shows how current society stereotypes elderly people, how they truly feel about it and how wrong it is. The cast is wonderful and the acting is just superior with serious and comedy scenes mixed together and standing out all the time. I also like how they lightly touch upon problems of the past as well as problems of today. For example, Ruth and Alex got married in a time when bi-racial couples were not welcomed with open arms. Then it shows how today a gay couple is making an offer on a house. They submit it along with a note telling how they tried to adopt a child and finally were able to adopt one. It is something Ruth and Alex wanted to do when they were younger but were denied.

My favorite scene is when they have an open house to sell their apartment and a huge crowd of people comes through, looking at everything and touching everything. Alex doesn't like it but Ruth tries to see the positive side but fails. I like that scene because it shows how the couple's life isn't perfect and also makes the film feel very real. Not only this moment does that but many others as well.

This film has perhaps several moments of adult content but none that is too mature. I recommend it to kids ages 10 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STORIED STREETS
STORIED STREETS
THOMAS A. MORGAN & JACK HENRY ROBBINS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - STORIED STREETS explores homelessness across America by telling the stories of those who live it every day. The documentary film-which premiered at the 2014 Sedona International Film Festival-profiles the homeless and the formerly homeless and their struggle to survive. Their stories are real, raw and compelling. These stories, coupled with the fact that right now homelessness is growing at an unprecedented rate in America, is the genesis behind STORIED STREETS. The film will provide a window into their struggles, question stereotypes and change the way you feel about homelessness. Directors: Thomas A. Morgan & Jack Henry Robbins. Executive Producers: Susan Sarandon & Morgan Spurlock

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN
BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN
REVOLVER ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - The story follows a young rickshaw-puller in Bhopal who gets a menial job at a chemical plant, but in December of 1984 a chemical spill in India takes the lives of almost 15,000 people and injuring more than 100,000. The film follows how the industrial disaster in the city changes his life and those of others.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

MONKEY KINGDOM
MONKEY KINGDOM
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - In South Asia, Maya the monkey and her son Kip struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the troop at Castle Rock. When neighboring monkeys take over their home, Maya's whole troop is forced to relocate. She uses her ingenuity to lead the members of her extended family to untapped resources amid strange new creatures and unfamiliar surroundings. Ultimately, the entire troop must work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya hopes her son will have a bright future. Narrated by Tina Fey. Directed and produced by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

PADDINGTON (2014)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PADDINGTON (2014)
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 4-18
Description - A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Starring Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Paddington is a great adventure, with lots of twists and turns. This film is playful, comedic, enjoyable and definitely a great film for friends and family.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw, voice) is a rare breed of bear that travels all alone to London. He wants to find a home after his is destroyed. While there, he discovers that it's not what he expects, but finds a family that's willing to take him in and look after him for just a little while. This is when everyone's adventure begins.

Paddington is so outgoing and adorable. You can't help but love this bear. He has an innocent way about him, but still is a little mischievous and gets into trouble. His visual effects and fur looks very real and life-like. Nicole Kidman's character (Millicent) is very determined to add Paddington to her collection of stuffed animals. She will stop at nothing to get him. She's fierce, frightening and intimidating. I love the story line, humor, and definitely the action. I liked that the climax of this film is very unpredictable and shocks the audience. My favorite character would have to be Paddington. He truly thinks of the wellbeing of others and his curiosity is adorable. He reminds you of a child learning new things. A scene that I would call my favorite is when Paddington tries to return a wallet to a man that dropped out of his packet while walking out of an antique shop. Paddington chases him, trying to get the wallet to him. Finally he catches up with the man by falling on him from the air. When he falls on the man they both tumble down and about 30 wallets fall out of the man's coat. Paddington catches a pickpocket and ends up in the paper on his first day in London. It's a very comical scene that makes the audience crack up.

One of the messages of this film is that families are not just made up by the people who are related to us, but friends and even animals can be a part of our family.

I recommend Paddington for ages 8 to 16. However it's great for the whole family and anyone who loves Bears. It's rated PG and there's nothing really you would need to look out for.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's a great film that makes you feel good.

Paddington arrives in theaters on January 16th, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the producers of the Harry Potter franchise comes another children's film that many families will love for its humor, storyline, special effects and of course - the Bear! Paddington will be loved by families everywhere.

This movie has a nice core of humor with an intriguing story that is not only intense, but lighthearted too. Breathtaking special effects, animation and a strong feel of adventure round out the show.

The story starts when a very intelligent family of bears is sadly separated. An earthquake happens and the aunt must send her young nephew to London for a better home. After arriving in London, this young bear is taken in by a family but immediately starts running into challenges of fitting in to the human world.

This film is wonderful. I love the cast - lots of talented and wonderful people. Ben Wishaw plays the voice of Paddington and is excellent at making his character seem adorable and innocent, yet smart and caring at the same time. The humor is off-the-charts amazing and the camera angles and shots are one-of-a-kind. Some shots I could not get over and had to watch again and again.

My favorite scene is when Paddington tries to say his name to Mr. Brown, who is kind of the father of the family. But, Paddington says it in bear language. When Mr. Brown tries to repeat it, Paddington looks horrified and says, "How Rude!" It is a funny and lighthearted scene and kind of sets the right mood for this funny film.

This film is diffidently meant for kids but adults will enjoy it as well. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 12
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN
COMMUNITY MUSIC, INC. Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 0-2
Description - Grammy Award-winning musical duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer celebrate 21st century families with this new album of songs and stories. The 15 tracks reflect the diversity of families in the US today, and highlight the idea that families are bound by love. Guest stars include Riders in the Sky, the Savoy Family Cajun Band, The Canote Twins and Kim & Reggie Harris. At the request of Nora Guthrie, Cathy Fink set Woody Guthrie's poem "Howdy Little Newlycome" to music, enlisting Irish super group Cherish the Ladies to perform. The title song reflects the fact that the kitchen is the center of many homes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dancin' in the Kitchen by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer knocked my socks off so I immediately decided to dance barefoot in the kitchen - great decision. This album is a breath of fresh air that climbs the mountain of rarefied musical integrity and promotes acceptance and tolerance on so many levels. First and foremost, I doff my symbolic cap to a duo that I have admired for so many years for their ultimate musicianship and steadfastness to true North. When you wrangle high-class talent, incorporate brilliant songs and deliver unswerving production values the gestation of your endeavor has value for the ages. Could I break down every song for you? Yes. Could you listen to samples somewhere? Yes. Is my review a teaser? Yes. Are samples a teaser? Yes. Get on up, people! You will not be disappointed or dismayed, this album is special and grabs you from the first downbeat to the last fade-away. XOXO.

This is an exciting and vibrant CD from the first downbeat to the final fade. There is a lot of wonderful music and supporting messages regarding the diversity of families and their makeup.

Cathy and Marcy know how to producer, perform, pace and structure an album. This CD has many guest groups and a wide range of songs that flow seamlessly.

Though topics of divorce, adoption and same gender parents are presented through song, it is never heavy-handed but presented with love and joy. Better learn how to get your dance on! Sit back and enjoy funny word play and stories and a wonderful array of musical sounds. These 15 performances are absolutely top rate. Vocals are spot on and engaging and the musicianship is stellar. The production value is impeccable. Review by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer is sweet and loving. The title song Dancin' in the Kitchen is very upbeat in a zydeco style. My two birds loved this song. They moved their heads to the beat. It was so funny! My favorite song is Everything Possible. It's very calming and has a sweet message that you can be anything. The two songs Dinnertime Orchestra and Who's in Charge of Naming the Colors are both stories. In I'm my own Grampa, I enjoyed the tune but found the words very strange. Also From Scratch is a sweet lullaby. Most of the songs have amazing lessons to learn about accepting our differences, such as if your family is different or your skin color is different than your friends. I belong to a Family is also very sweet. I recommend this for kids age 2 to 8. I can see a lot younger kids dancing to it. I give this CD four out of five stars because it is fun and a good CD for little kids.

Reviewed by Mia Anderson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This CD is a good form of entertainment to bring children of this age together. The kids in our group had a good time listening and dancing to the music. Though they are young and distracted, the music brought them right back to dance together. The stories told in the music are simple and their responses to all ones of enjoyment, smiles abound. The children loved the music and had a good time. The music is about families and togetherness and they could relate to that.

The dinnertime orchestra was particularly fun and kids responded to it enthusiastically. They listened intently and danced along. They were too young to sit and listen to the entire thing all at once but wandered off and returned frequently. The pace of the music is perfect, fast enough to be engaging but not frenetic.
Runtime: 35 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.95
Media: AUDIO
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MAYA THE BEE MOVIE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAYA THE BEE MOVIE
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Freshly hatched bee Maya is a little whirlwind and won't follow the rules of the hive. One of these rules is not to trust the hornets that live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are suspected and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. No one believes that she is the innocent victim and no one will stand by her except for her good-natured and best friend Willy. After a long and eventful journey to the hornets hive Maya and Willy soon discover the true culprit and the two friends finally bond with the other residents of the opulent meadow.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Maya the Bee Movie is one of our new favorites! Maya is an adorable little bee trying to find her place in the world. My children and I were mesmerized from the start. This movie is feature film quality, the voices are all believable, and the story is an adventure worth watching. I personally loved the numerous teaching moments and lessons woven throughout the movie. Themes of being yourself, courage, acceptance, friendship, teamwork, kindness, and creativity are all central to the storyline. I loved having my kids see this little bee refusing to judge others based on appearance, and instead finding best friends in those she was told to judge. Maya has courage to stand up and do the right thing against insurmountable odds. When she feels like she doesn't have a place and doesn't belong, she learns that it's okay to be different and that her differences are needed and valued by others.

Overall, I adored this movie and will show it to my kids again and again. I'm wondering why I've never heard of Maya the Bee before, and I'm hoping we will see more of her in the future.

Reviewed by Karyn A.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Maya the Bee is an incredible animated film, written by Fin Edquist and Marcus Sauermann, directed by Alexs Stadermann. Maya the Bee is a very funny movie. I laughed during many scenes and I also cried during a few scenes. I love the movie because the characters are funny and it teach great lessons throughout the film.

The movie takes place in a bee hive located in a colorful meadow full of beautiful flowers. In the meadow, there are many different types of bugs. Inside of the bee hive, there are lots of worker bees. All of the bees have different jobs and the jobs are assigned by the royal advisor, Buzzlina (Jacki Weaver). For instance, one of the jobs is picking up pollen. Another job is watching the adorable little baby bees. This is also where Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) stays until spring. Maya wants to be independent and explore the hive. She does not like staying with the babies, so she sneaks out when she has the first opportunity. When Maya sneaks out, she causes a lot of chaos within the hive because she is very young and does not know what she is doing. She takes you on a fun and exciting adventure.

The movie is well written. Alexs Stadermann draws out remarkable performances from the voice actors and brings out the best in each character. I love how Coco Jack Gillies expresses Maya's feelings. Jacki Weaver makes the royal advisor, Buzzlina seem so real.

My favorite scene is when Willi (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Maya meet. They seem to like each other from the very beginning. Another favorite part is when there is a battle between the bees and another group of bugs. My least favorite part of the film is when something horrible happens to Maya and she finds out a secret about the queen.

The message of the story is, everyone has a role to play in life. It takes everyone working as a team to get the job done.

The movie is fun, fabulous and family-friendly. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18 as well as adults. I give this movie 5 out of 5 gold stars.

Reviewed by Brooke S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Maya the Bee Movie is a cute and funny movie! It's about a young little bee named Maya who is very curious and eager to learn about the beehive. As Maya explores the beehive without permission, she asks a bunch of questions. Maya quickly learns that she is completely different from the other bees. She repeatedly finds herself in trouble by Buzzlena, the queen's assistant. As a result, Maya gets banned from the hive. Her friend Willie does not want Maya to be alone, so he leaves the hive and follows her. As Maya and Willie are out in the meadows, they learn that hornets and the other bugs and insects are not as bad as they have been told. While Maya has been banned from the beehive because of her curiosity, Buzzleana devises a plan to harm the Queen so that she can take control of the bees and the hive.

There are several different messages in this movie. The one that stands out the most to me is, "dare to be different." In this movie, the bees have to follow specific rules, specific directions and they must do as they are told. Maya is different and she is told that she does not belong in the beehive. She works hard to find her place among the bees. She learns that she is an important bee in the kingdom and that her voice is important.

My favorite part is when Willie is mad at Maya and decides to fly back to the beehive. Willie is scared of everything. But, when a frog sticks out his tongue to try to capture Willie for dinner, Willie hits the frog's tongue and flies away without looking back. That's pretty impressive for a fearful bee.

My favorite character is Willie. Willie is a very loyal and a true friend. He supports Maya and helps her when she's down and he's not afraid to tell her when she's not right. Willie is also very funny.

Maya and the Bee Movie is a wonderful movie! It has great messages for kids! I recommend this movie for boys and girls ages 5 to 10. I give this movie 3 out of 5 shinning stars!

Reviewed by Kayla Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.

If you enjoy comedy mixed with great animation, then you will love Maya the Bee Movie. Maya is unlike other young bees her age. Instead of following orders, Maya has a mind of her own. For example, instead of staying within the safety of the beehive, Maya decides to go off on her own to visit the surrounding meadow wish she became friends with Flip the grasshopper. At some point, Maya's curiosity led to her finding out that the Royal Advisor to the Queen Bee had stolen the Royal jelly saved especially for the Queen Bee which leads to the Royal Advisor's kicking Maya out of the beehive. At this point, Maya has to survive on her own in the meadow and is soon joined by her close friend Willy who fears for her safety and cannot let Maya be by herself in the mysterious meadow. Together, the two bees become friendly with a variety of other insects and other creatures. Eventually, Maya and Willie learn that the Royal Advisor has stolen the Queen's royal jelly because she was seeking to make war with the hornets. By the end of the movie, Maya, Willy, and their other young hornet friend Buzzy stop the Royal Adviser's evil plans and, after recapturing the royal jelly, bring it back to the Queen who then makes a complete recovery. For her efforts, Maya is appointed as the Hive Ambassador by the Queen Bee and she and Willy are made responsible for observing the meadow and reporting new friends that arrive.

My favorite character in the movie is Maya (Coco Jack Gillies). Maya is easy to relate to for me because she is very much a free spirit, unable to sit still, who always wants to be in on the action. I also enjoyed hearing from Flip the grasshopper. Flip is always able to provide Maya with excellent advice such as telling her to always "bee positive." The scenery is also colorful and beautiful and will be enjoyed by everyone.

My favorite part of the movie is when Maya and Willy are together out in the meadow attending the Jitterbug Hollow Musical Festival. There, they hear different insects playing a large number of musical instruments while Flip the grasshopper sings "It Don't Matter What They Say, Be Yourself Every Day."

This film has many positive messages that apply to younger audiences. For me, the most powerful message of the movie s that a person should be himself and does not need to follow in the footsteps of others. The movie also show the strong bonds of loyalty between Maya and Willy who have to work together in order to stop the Royal Advisers' plans. I also enjoyed the lesson that young people can make a huge difference in this world. In the movie, many grown-up bees and grown-up hornets are prepared to fight to see who would gain control of the meadow. In the end, it is too young bees and one young hornet who save everybody from being destroyed. I give Maya the Bee Movie 5 out of 5 stars. It is a great family movie. I recommend it for ages 4 to 9. I'm 9 and I enjoyed watching this movie and very much appreciated its excellent messages and wonderful music. Maya the Bee Move opens in theaters May 1 and is available on DVD on May 18. It is well worth the cost of buying it for a fun-filled night of family entertainment.

Reviewed by Adam C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 89 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD


HOME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOME
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 4-15
Description - When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From Dreamworks comes a new animated feature, Home with an adorable misfit from another planet who lands on Earth, makes friends with the locals and everyone discovers the true meaning of the word Home. Starring Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin, this film is filled with music and humor and is perfect for you to share with the younger members of your family. KIDS FIRST! Critics Harmony M. comments, "The film serves as great entertainment with its loveable characters, hilarious dialogue and feel good tone." Madeline R. adds, "The message of this film is that family is important and it's good to face your problems or fears instead of running from them." See their full reviews and Gerry O's interviews with cast and crew below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From DreamWorks, comes the delightful film Home. The film serves as great entertainment with its loveable characters, hilarious dialogue and feel good tone. The film is about an alien species, called the Boov, that invade planet Earth in an attempt to hide from an evil monster called the Gorg. By doing so, the alien race makes themselves at home and relocates all the humans elsewhere. While all the humans are transported, a young girl named Tip gets left behind and later encounters a Boov named Oh. Oh and Tip join together in search of Tip's mother who got taken away during previous alien invasion. A lot unfolds when Tip's mother is not the only one who needs saving.

It is very enjoyable and even shocking to hear familiar voices in the film such as Jim Parsons who plays Oh, Rihanna who plays Tip, Steve Martin who plays Captain Smek and Jennifer Lopez who plays Lucy. Jim Parsons is delightful as the voice of Oh. They couldn't have chosen a better actor for that role. Oh is an overly friendly, silly, trouble-making, outcast, who not only steals the hearts of the audience with his facial expressions and personality, but also with a voice that fits that perfectly. Fans of The Big Bang Theory will be so pleased to see his character, Sheldon in cartoon form. Home is Rihanna's first role in an animation film. Considering that, her portrayal of the sassy and adventurous Tip are spot on. I find it very unique that the Boovs change colors depending on their emotion, especially because I have not seen that feature in any other type of film. The dialogue is really funny because the Boovs speak with improper grammar which adds a comedic touch that all ages will love. The futuristic technology shown in the movie is fascinating, it will be especially appealing to the younger crowd.

The film is entertaining to watch and one I would enjoy watching again. Although the film is very good, it's not good enough to be a new classic or one that will be very memorable in the long run. It is cute, friendly, very funny, has amazing messages and puts you in a good mood. I recommend this uplifting film to people of all ages, especially between the ages of 5 and 11. Overall, I give the film a 4 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now.

By Harmony M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Home is a new animated family film from Dreamworks. The screenplay was written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember and he film was directed by Tim Johnson.

I love this movie! It is a fun, action-packed adventurous movie the whole family can enjoy together.

Home is about an alien named Oh who runs away from his own people, the Boovs who are trying to hide from the Gorg. He lands on Earth and meets an adorable and feisty girl named Gratuity Tucci, who everyone calls Tip. Oh and Tip form an unlikely friendship and go on an exciting adventure together to find Lucy, Tip's mom.

Home features a star studded cast. Jim Parsons is brilliant as the voice and personality of Oh and Steve Martin is hilarious as the voice of the Captain Smek, the cowardly leader of the Oh's. Rihanna plays the fun, yet determined Tip and Jennifer Lopez plays her sweet Mother, Lucy.

As a special bonus, both superstars perform original songs for the film which adds a lot of emotion and drama. Be sure to listen for Rihanna's new single "Towards the Sun" and Jennifer Lopez's new song "Feel the Light".

The animation is spectacular. I love how Oh and Tip ride in Tip's newly "fixed" car powered by multi-flavored slushis. My favorite scene is when Tip tries to teach Oh jokes to help make him feel better. She does the "Interrupting Cow" Knock Knock joke. It's really funny because it takes him a while to get it!

The message of this film is that family is important and it's good to face your problems or fears instead of running from them. Home is great for families of all ages, especially for families with kids between 4 and 14. I give Home 5 out of 5 stars. I love it and think you will too! Home is in theaters nationwide now.

By Madeline Rose, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WOMAN IN GOLD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WOMAN IN GOLD
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, who takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Susana H. comments, "Personally, it has everything I'm looking for - a little bit of action and seriousness and actually has somewhat to do with history, the Holocaust to be exact." Willie J. adds, "I was completely invested. The story is enough to take my heart, for I can easily empathize. Then, there is the performance of Helen Mirren to wrench your heart." See their full reviews below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Woman in Gold, an intriguing and true-life story, is excellent. Personally, it has everything I'm looking for - a little bit of action and seriousness and actually has somewhat to do with history, the Holocaust to be exact. There are very strong characters to play out the story including Rondol Schoenberg or Randy (Ryan Reynolds) and Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), which of course, has to be my favorite character. Even for an older woman, she is so sassy and confident, which I reminded me of myself. What really caught my attention is the writer and director's use of flashbacks throughout the entire movie because we are looking into Maria's past life during the Holocaust. Most of the time, flashbacks in parts of movies can be confusing. It's almost as if they are telling two completely different stories at once. In this case, it's done very well.

Woman in Gold is a true story based on Maria Altmann's experience with the Nazi's cruelty. About 60 years after Maria leaves Vienna, she begins her quest to regain one of her dearest family possessions, which have been taken away by the Nazis. Amongst them is a famous painting entitled Woman In Gold, hence the name of the movie. She meets an untrained, young lawyer and together they fight for what rightfully belongs to Maria. Along their path, they are faced with addressing the Austrian government, which is too stubborn to notice what is right from wrong and the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout her journey she constantly is reminded of her past.

My favorite part definitely has to be from one of the flashbacks. We see the younger Maria and he husband escaping the Nazis and being chased all over town. If you know me, you know I like a bit of action in my movies. They are running to catch a plane to leave Austria. As all of this is taking place, of course, I am holding my breath until they get away and dying to scream when the Nazi officers are right behind them.

The message of this film is to always fight for what you believe is right and never give up. Maria knows those paintings belong to her family and have been forcefully taken away. She knows she has to get them back for the sake of her family's honor and she does so. She has some help along the way but the motivation is all from her. She will fight to the end to secure the paintings along with her trusted partner by her side and, even though she might give up, Randy is there to support her.

I recommend this movie for people of ages 13 to 18 because it is a serious movie and uses a bit of bad language here and there. I give this excellent movie 5, out of 5 stars due to the strong actors and characters and interesting plot. It opens in theaters nationwide April 1.

Reviewed by Susana Hoyos, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.



KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FURIOUS 7
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FURIOUS 7
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Dominic Torretto and his crew thought they left the criminal mercenary life behind. They defeated an international terrorist named Owen Shaw and went their seperate ways. But now, Shaw's brother, Deckard Shaw is out killing the crew one by one for revenge. Worse, a Somalian terrorist called Jakarde, and a shady government official called "Mr. Nobody" are both competing to steal a computer terrorism program called God's Eye, that can turn any technological device into a weapon. Torretto must reconvene with his team to stop Shaw and retrieve the God's Eye program while caught in a power struggle between terrorist and the United States government.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is not for the faint-of-heart. It's action is absolutely non-stop and crazy! From dropping cars out of airplanes only to parachute to the ground where they begin their high speed chase through a forest and jump off cliffs. And, that's just the start. I am not an action/adventure genre fan lover but, I have to say, this one really does take the cake. It gets your blood moving. It is certainly not one I would take younger children to, or anyone who might attempt to replicate the decidedly unsafe behaviors displayed. But, for teens and adults who love this type of action, it will satisfy that thirst.

The storyline is pretty simple. The acting pretty rote. The camera work and stunts drive this film. And, of course, it is a tribute to Paul Walker who passed away during the filming of this movie. There are some remarkable scenes when Paul's face is CGI'd in on top of one of his brother's bodies and a simple dedication at the end of the film.

Dwayne Johnson makes almost what you would call a cameo appearance, appearing briefly at the beginning and again, strategically at the end - brining in the Calvary. Diesel and his crew of crime-fighting, car chasing buddies are the focal point of the film along with his squeeze whose memory has lost the details of their romantic past. See it on the big screen. Imax if possible. I did and it was - wow!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action-packed series returns with another intense and fantastic film and the only way to describe it is amazing - loaded with awesome looking cars, adventures and action scenes. You will not be bored once in its entire 137 minutes. Furious 7, like all the other Fast and Furious films, beats its predecessor.

There is much more to this movie than just action scenes. There is a story with morals and family, for the group is growing up. Nothing can stop that. They are having kids and starting a family. There is also (like the other Fast and the Furious films) some comedy but, not to the point where you don't take the action seriously. All together, it is an adventure.

The story begins when the crew is separated and starting their own lives with jobs, kids and other normal day-to-day things. However, they must stop their peaceful lives (and some are happy about that) when a man named Deckard Shaw seeks revenge for the death of his brother who was a mercenary. So the crew is forced to take him down. Full of cars, action and fantastic rock songs, it is truly a fast and furious experience.

This film is fantastic. Something I have to mention is Paul Walker's job. He played Brian O'Conner who dies in a tragic accident mid-filming. Amazingly, directors and producers were able to use the magic of editing, CGI and doubles. In some scenes, they use Paul's brothers as doubles, putting Paul's face onto the brothers via CGI. They do it so well I hardly even noticed the difference and it felt great to see him as part of the movie and being remembered. The cars are as awesome and as fast as ever with cars ranging from a minivan (yes, a minivan) to a 3.4 million dollar super car that drives through three skyscrapers. This is the longest Fast and the Furious film yet at over two hours. However, I think the length is perfect for this is a massive story to tell. The acting is phenomenal. Jason Statham (Dekard Shaw) plays a great bad guy. I also have to mention how they wrap everything together with transitions that are just amazing, camera shots that are breathtaking and directing that is spot on. It wraps up to be a perfect action packed and fast-paced movie. My favorite scene is when they are trying to get a program, which hacks into anything and tracks someone and can find anything or anyone on Earth in less than an hour. However the program is hidden inside the mechanics of a Lykan Hyper-sport, which is a Middle Eastern car - also considered a super car for its ridiculous speed. This specific model is located in the penthouse of a prince who lives in a tall building with two other towers right next to it. They get the car while a party is going on. However, it's not very sneaky. They have to flee but the only way is out of the building. They drive the car through two of the skyscrapers and jump out at the third one while the car plummets to its destruction. I love this scene because it's intense, action packed, and just plain awesome.

This film is definitely meant for adults. There are adult related jokes, intense action packed scenes, and situations not suitable for younger children. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for a job very well done. Something I liked was how, at the end, the filmmakers surprised us by showing about five minutes of scenes with Paul's character, Conner, as a memorial and also dedicated the entire film to him.

I would like to dedicate my review to Paul as well. Paul, you are missed and the Furious team is never going to be the same without you. Hope you found peace and are racing the coolest cars up there.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Furious 7 is the seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious movie series. This movie is also the last movie to feature leading actor Paul Walker who died last year in a car crash. The movie pays homage to Paul at the end of the movie by having a montage of different clips from the original Fast and the Furious movies with Paul Walker, ultimately leading up to a final message at the end of the movie simply saying, "For Paul."

Furious 7 is an action-packed fun movie with B+ actors all around. It is the perfect summer blockbuster that is released pre-summer. The movie revolves around Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) as he and his crew are hunted down by an angry Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Shaw is the brother of Owen Shaw from Fast and Furious 6, who was defeated by Dominic and his crew.

There is an enormous amount of talent in this movie from Dwayne Johnson playing Luke Hobbs, to Paul Walker playing Brian O'Connor, to Michelle Rodriguez playing Letty Ortiz. Another great thing about this movie is that there is no one location for the movie, as the movie takes place in Los Angeles, London and even in the Middle East.

The action is fantastic, as director James Wan and editor Christian Wagner have created something spectacular for the eyes. Also, the music is superb throughout the entire movie. Musical director Brian Tyler selects great music applicable to every scene and every action, which gives everything a great and awesome flow. I loved seeing Dwayne Johnson perform the Rock Bottom in one of his scenes against Jason Statham. Also, Ronda Rousey's appearance is a personal highlight. However, there are some big lowlights in Furious 7. The dialogue could use some improvement. The story gets stuck due to the dialogue and the actors seem to just throw out one-liners over and over again to fill up time. Also, the fights are too unrealistic. After every brutal fight, the characters have only small bumps and a little bit of blood on their faces, which is completely unrealistic.

Overall, this movie is intended for dudes. I recommend it for guys age 13 to 18 because of how it portrays women, includes lots of cars and lots of fighting.

Reviewed by Brandon Cela, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


LONGEST RIDE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONGEST RIDE, THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City's art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new romantic drama is a fantastic mix of adventure and romance. Although it is a romantic film at heart, there are many other aspects that will make everyone find something they like about it. It has a little sparkle of comedy, which makes it entertaining and great story line. There is a true feeling of thrill with a core of adventure and heart-warming discoveries.

The film is about a famous bull rider named Luke Collins who, after one year of recovering from an accident, is back on the bull again trying to make a comeback. At his first match, he has to climb the fence to escape a bull and accidentally throws his hat to a girl named Sofia. They end bumping into each other later and start dating. On the way home from the first date, they rescue a elderly man named Ira from a car on fire. And that's what starts the beautiful double plot story that comes to an unbelievable culmination at the end of the movie.

This film is breathtaking. Produced by the same people that gave the world The Fault In Our Stars, they created something unique by running the two stories in parallel. The director also makes it so each story has vivid colors so you concentrate on specific points and makes you feel like it is a certain time or age which I think is a wonderful idea. The acting is phenomenal and in both stories they fill in each other's gaps making it very entertaining. Speaking of entertaining, even though it is called a romantic drama, I think it is just a heart-warming story that has potential to become a classic.

My favorite scene is when Sofia and Luke meet. You think it is very coincidental which kind of makes it funny. However it's well done and shows how they were meant to be together. I also like it because Sofia, an urban girl who always puts school first, hooks up with Luke, a cowboy (yes, a true cowboy) who lives on a farm and rides bulls. It is completely unexpected. However, when they meet, you see how it can become true.

This film is very mature and has quite a bit of sexuality displayed so, I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This heartfelt film takes two love stories and combines them into one. Luke (Scott Eastwood) and Sophia (Britt Robertson) are two people with different goals that stay connected after saving an old man, Ira (Alan Alda), from a car accident. Sophia visits Ira in the hospital and reads letters that reveal the history of love and challenge between him and his wife Ruth (Oona Chaplin).

The most investing and romantic tale is Ruth and Ira's which starts in the 1940s. Their story is the highlight of the film. However, the film's greatest aspect is it's downfall. As I listen to Ruth and Ira's tale, I'm captivated by their story and feel wrenched away from the lovers as I am brought back to Luke and Sophia touching story line. I understand the concept is used to connect the two similar love stories, that eventually intertwine. But, the film's main focus is towards Luke and Sophia and I feel the real story is about Ruth and Ira.

Both stories have huge potential for being their own film. At times, it feels as if the film makers force these two stories together to make them work as a whole. I know this script is based on a popular book, by the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks. I also know that a book and a movie are two different things and are perceived in two different ways.

Every actor in this film puts on believable performances. The heart and tender romance between each couple is honest and loving. I love a good romantic film and the couples in this movie are a lovely addition to the world of cinema.

My favorite scene is when Ira is given a simple portrait of his wife's face. Ira and Ruth spent their life together collecting irreplaceable works of art, but this painting reminds him that the true work of art is the life they made together. This is one of the rare times that a film made me cry.

My favorite character is Ira (Alan Alda and Jack Huston). Both Jack and Alan's performances are outstanding. Jack, who plays the young version of Ira, shows the supportive loving husband. Alan, who plays the older Ira, starts out as a bitter old man but, as he shares his story with Sophia, he becomes more open. Both performances make for one great character.

There are many morals in this movie. The one that stands out to me is, "Focus on the things you have, rather than the things you don't." Ruth and Ira try everything to have children, but can't. They're distraught, but remember they have each other and that's enough.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 14 through 18-year-olds. There are sensual scenes and partial nudity in the film that are inappropriate for younger kids, but it's a memorable film for couples ages teen through adult. There's plenty of love and passion to makes this a another great romance film. This can be seen in theaters April 10th.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


INSURGENT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INSURGENT
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. Directed by Robert Schwentke, Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Theo James.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The highly anticipated film Insurgent opens this weekend and, from our KIDS FIRST! Critics comments, you won't be disappointed. This second film from the Divergent series shows how Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brianna B. comments, "Insurgent has a strong message about choices. The choices you make affects what will happen later in your life, so you should always try to make the right choice." See her full review below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This second installment of the Divergent series is an action packed film with a great display of emotions from the entire cast. It's intense and, at times, a little touching. I truly enjoyed viewing it.

War is now full-fledged between the Factions. Tris (Shailene Woodley), as a Divergent, has to continue to battle the guilt of her past shame and her enemies while trying to figure out who her true allies are. Many secrets are uncovered and trust is indeed tested between everyone.

Insurgent is filled with great scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat and your eyes glued to the big screen. The little sparks of pure creativity in presenting this adaptation is refreshing and satisfying with the CGI, stunts and different camera angles. My favorite character is Tobias (Theo James), aka Four. I can clearly see how much he loves and wants to protect Tris. His eyes tell the whole story of how much he cares and truly adores her. Even though some of the decisions aren't the best, he still stands by her. There are a ton of great scenes in Insurgent. However, my favorite scene is when Tris finds herself connected to one of Jeanine Matthew's (Kate Winslet) simulators. The cinematography and the special effects are outstanding and Shailene Woodley's acting in this scene is phenomenal. I loved seeing it in IMAX. The picture is definitely bigger, has higher quality and the sound is all around me, feeling so real.

Insurgent also stars Jai Courtney (Eric), Ansel Elgort (Caleb) and Octavia Spencer (Johanna). They embody their characters fully and their acting performances are truly incredible. They really feed off of one another and look so natural.

Insurgent has a strong message about choices. The choices you make affects what will happen later in your life, so you should always try to make the right choice. You can make the wrong choice or the right one, but either one has a consequence.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. It's rated PG -13 for some intense violence and heavy action throughout the film. I give Insurgent 5 out of 5 stars. It's action packed, easy to follow along and a joy to watch with all the special effects.

Make the right choice and see Insurgent in theaters on March 20th, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - In 1930s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the widower, Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain is often away and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father hires and have managed to run each of them off. When Maria arrives, she is met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become history in this multiple award-winning film celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (2015).

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker. Directed by Robert Wise. From the stage musical with music and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I remember the year this film came out (1965). It was all the rage and everyone ran around singing the wonderful songs. Julie Andrews became a household name that held her fast in our hearts. This film today, still enchants. Based on the real live story of the Von Trapp family and their escape from Nazi Germany, it is a classic in many ways.

The bonus features on this 50th anniversary meditation will be a plus for filmophiles who will enjoy the audio commentary by Ms. Andrews, Mr.. Plummer and director Mr. Wise. The restoration of the real-life Von Trapp family, the screen tests, sing along track - all well thought out and presented. Thank you Fox for your thoughtfulness in presenting this special edition.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The 50th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a must-have for every family. This 5-disc DVD set includes the movie in HD and standard definition, a new 60 minute documentary called The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg and lots of other special features.

The Sound of Music is the best family film of all time because it brings everyone together with its great, true-life story of the Von Trapp family. The songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein are all wonderful and unforgettable. Each song is a masterpiece. Some might think Frozen is an amazing movie musical, but Rodger and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a million times better! The quality of the song writing just cannot be compared with anything else.

The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a young Austrian woman who is training to be a nun at a monastery. Christopher Plummer stars as Captain Von Trapp, a wealthy Austrian naval captain who hires Maria as governess to his seven children. It was directed by Robert Wise. It won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg, which is included in this 50th anniversary DVD edition, is informative and revealing. We go behind-the-scenes to visit the original locations in the film: the monastery, the Cathedral, the Von Trapp estate (which is really a classical music school) and a 100-year-old marionette theater which was the inspiration for the puppet scene in the film. It is wonderful to see Julie Andrews so excited about coming back and visiting the film's locations after 50 years.

For those who love the songs, the 50th Anniversary DVD Edition also includes the original soundtrack from the film. And there are lots of other bonus material, such as Music Machine Sing-Along; Audio Commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Director Robert Wise; A City of Song--Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria; Vintage Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Sound of Music programs; and more.

The Sound of Music is appropriate for all ages. The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg is appropriate for those ages 10 to 18. I rate this new DVD set 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 15
Runtime: 174 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.98
Media: Video and DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is available for purchase from TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

CINDERELLA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CINDERELLA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger. Starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Richard Madden. Directed by Kenneth Branagh
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This much anticipated live action feature from Disney does not disappoint. The sets, locations and costumes are absolutely stunning. Cate Blanchett shines as the evil stepmother who can turn on the charm when she wants to. Lily James as the innocent Cinderella truly exemplifies kindness, a theme of the film. Richard Madden as The Prince also holds up. He is good-looking, kind-hearted and drawn to Ella because of her extreme honesty and her ability to live by what she believes in. The step sisters, played by Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger are truly a hoot. Their antics are more humorous than evil but they get the point across. As their mother says, they are just plain stupid.

Branagh's direction is as delightful as when he directed Much Ado About Nothing. He takes a well-known take and puts an entirely new spin on it. Well done Mr. Branagh. Filmed at various locations in Buckinghamshire, England, it wreaks of Old English architecture and detail.

And, one more thing - even my husband liked this! And he is usually only a fan of fast-paced action films. Much to my surprise, he raved about it afterwards.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cinderella is a beautiful classic fairytale. This modern rendition is powerful with a great cast that will keep you entertained. It's simply stunning!

After her father's death, Cinderella (Lily James) lives under the guardianship and authority of her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett). She becomes the servant of the house and is the subject of the family's ridicule and unkindness. When she meets a stranger in the woods Cinderella is unaware that she is talking to The Prince (Richard Madden) and this classic fairytale continues.

Cinderella's cinematography is flawless. It has elaborate costumes and the glass slippers are outstanding. You are in awe of how spectacular they look when you first see them. The set has such a majestic feel to it and it draws you in entirely as the plot develops. I especially like the special effects when the Fairy Godmother is preparing Cinderella for ball. It has a lot of excitement and anticipation. The chemistry and romance between the two main characters is incredible. It feels as though they are made for each other. Even though I know the plotline to this classic fairy tale it is nice to see it with slightly a different take.

My favorite scene is when Cinderella meets her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) for the very first time. The Godmother transitions from an ugly, dreadful old woman to a beautiful goddess. This scene has some humor and a well-know, message to never judge a book by its cover. My favorite character has to be the Fairy Godmother. She is surprisingly funny and has a very big part in the story.

Director, Kenneth Branagh, directs this classic fairy tale with great artistry and dramatic characteristics. The cast, design and the creative aspects of this film is wonderfully place together.

Always be kind. A message that's very evident in this film. Being kind can change someone's day for the better. The younger you learn this message the better.

I recommend Cinderella for ages 8 to 18. Also, I'm sure a lot of adults will enjoy this film as well. Anyone who loves fairy tales, this is your film and you will love it. I give this beautiful film 5 out of 5 stars. It's wonderful and beautifully made. Cinderella is in now so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BIG BLOCK SINGSONG,  VOLUME ONE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIG BLOCK SINGSONG, VOLUME ONE
GODDARD/BROWN Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 0-2
Description - The DVD features animated Big Block Singsong music videos. This is a fun and entertaining animated musical short format series which currently airs on the CBC in Canada, Disney Junior in the US and Nick Jr. in the UK, among other international networks. Season 2 music videos debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior TV in May, and they already air on CBC TV in Canada. For more info, go to www.bigblocksingsong.com. "Season 2" episodes will debut on Disney Junior in May. www.bigblocksingsong.com
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Who knew that being so square could be so cool! Big Block Singsong is a terrific musical, visual DVD romp. Creators Warren Brown and Adam Goddard have hit the creative mother load here - what seems so simple is so deceiving in its well-designed construction - the 'simple' individual block characters sing a two-minute nicely produced song that covers subjects from noses and hair to emotions of sadness and happiness, so you see the sky's the limit, or not. Two of my favorite pieces are 'Octopus' who is so proud of his eight legs and 'Moose' who touts the joys of visiting the park. If I was a betting man I'd bet you couldn't watch just one, could you, I bet not.

This might be the best invention since the Wheel! Simplicity and cleverness of design mixed with catchy songs and melodies. Great to look at and fun to hear. I'm 65 and mesmerized ... the colors and movement will entrance toddlers while adults will get the in-jokes.

Each two-minute animated song is a complete story and true to its mission of making what might be a mundane single word into a revelation that being so square could be so cool. I love that some of the lyrics are above the head of the little ones. It doesn't matter because the visual and audio support each other so well.

The songs are positive and supportive and applaud individualism and uniqueness. I bet this DVD will get worn out from repeat viewings!

The DVD cover shows the diversity of each character, an animated block that is colorful, very fun-looking and inviting. The technical features are all sound but the joy is letting each of the 24 segments play through. Cool!

The entertainment value is topnotch - colorful and unique animation coupled with a creative two minute song on a theme such as monkey, spider, robot, ears, moose and similar.

Bet you can't watch just one! The characters and songs are all so engaging that the children will learn while being highly entertained.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids really liked this program. They watched it with interest and they were excited for each next song to begin. They laughed and jumped around during the song about hair. We watched it in two sessions because it was a little long for them to watch in one session. They lost interest halfway through but came back excited about it again later. They loved the different colors of the blocks and were interacting and discussing the songs with each other.

"It's big music!" "My favorite part was the hair person that had hair all over her eyebrows." "We liked everything." "We liked that it said, oh yeah!"

They really liked the format of short, fun songs, laughed hysterically at the hair song. The baby had his eyes open really big. They also liked the space song. Thought it was really cool.

"We learned about colors, fruit and flamingos. The owl looked so mean." They were loud and enthusiastic about each new song. The baby cooed at the fruit song. Very enjoyable for all, ages 4 months to 5 years.
Runtime: 48 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 1-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


DUFF, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DUFF, THE
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier more popular friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The comedic movie, The Duff, is hilarious, relatable and worth watching. The film is about high-school senior Bianca, played by Mae Whitman, who finds out that she is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of her attractive group of friends. Determined to change her DUFF image and impress her crush Toby, she turns to her popular neighbor Wesley Rush, played by Robbie Amell, to give her a complete makeover. Through her journey of transformation, she gains self confidence and shows the school that everybody is a DUFF. Not only do I enjoy that the movie starts off fast, but I really like that it starts with a cool, graphic newspaper clip that explains high school and the different types of people in high school. Being a high school student myself, I was really surprised at how relatable the movie is, especially to today's generation of teenagers. It doesn't just portray the generic, stereotypical high school student that is so outdated. The movie has a lot of familiar celebrity stars that I enjoyed seeing. The performances by Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Allison Janney and Ken Jeong are especially hilarious and very entertaining.

The movie is hilarious, yet deep. Most comedy movies are really funny, yet pointless or lack an overall message. I laughed so often and even shed a tear in a heartfelt scene. The facial expressions are priceless and memorable. I respect this film for being extremely funny while also having a deep, motivational moral lesson and theme. I enjoyed the plot and moral of the story as much the comedy. The movie has a lot of references that are very comical. One example is an episode of the Simpsons that the movie shows. The movie also has really entertaining graphics that make the movie even more unique, some of this include labels and an interactive screen effect.

This film is one I will watch multiple times and tell my friends to watch, yet I do not recommend it as a family movie. The film may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 due to inappropriate language and actions. I definitely recommend the movie for teenagers in high school, especially girls. I recommend the movie to ages between 13 and 18. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out coming to theatres on February 20th! Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


GIRL LIKE HER, A
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIRL LIKE HER, A
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-18
Description - 16-year-old Jessica Burns has a secret that she's afraid to share with anyone - except her best friend, Brian Slater. For the past year she's been victimized by another girl - her former friend, Avery Keller, one of South Brookdale High School's most popular and beautiful students. What can you do when the world sees the image of a person but not the reality? With Brian's help and a hidden digital camera, the evidence of Avery's relentless harassment is captured and finally exposed-bringing both girls and their families face to face with the truth. Starring Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett, Lexi Ainsworth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a film that looks like a real, although its not, bullying story. It concentrates on everybody who is affected by it. It shows who does what about it and why. A Girl Like Her can truly show that something may seem so small, can mess up so many people. This movie isn't a romance or comedy or an action packed adventure, quite the contrary. It shows a journey, a drama-filled one. It will not make you laugh. However, it may make you cry. It is about bullying which should not be referred to as a joke.

The story is about a girl named Jessica who goes to one of the best public high schools in the nation. However, after refusing to let her 'friend' cheat on her test, she starts getting bullied. She makes her best friend tell no one of this. But the friend decides something else. He gives her a hidden camera to wear and this documents all the bullying. Soon, she tries to commit suicide and the movie shows the struggle of not only the victim and her family, but everybody - the bystander, the bully, the administration, everybody.

This movie is truly emotional. It is made to look like it is documenting a real story. I didn't even know it was fake till the end! That's how good of a job it is! The acting is truly wonderful. This is the only time I have ever truly hated a character then, felt pity for the character. This is the bully. The director does a wonderful job showing the emotions of characters and proving that bullying isn't just a normal part of life to deal with. It is a serious matter that has killed hundreds of children.

I cannot choose a favorite scene because I would rather that this movie doesn't need to tell people about bullying. My least favorite scene is when the school administration denies the need to institute anti-bullying policies and tries to brush it away as nothing. The school acts like it's nothing and it shows you how quickly a school will put bullying as nothing to be worried for their own benefit.

This film should be seen by everyone over the age of 9. This film shows you that the world isn't always a happy place with sunshine and smiles. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is a wonderful movie and something we all know is taking place. The only thing I would have liked to have seen in this film is a message at the end or beginning saying that this is WRONG and this is no laughing matter. And, they should recommend resources that kids and parents can go to. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12, producer the anti-bullying film, Equation of Life (available on amazon)

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


RUSSELL MADNESS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RUSSELL MADNESS
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - This tail-wagging comedy-adventure from the Creators of "Air Bud" and "Air Buddies" stars John Ratzenberger, Will Sasso and Fred Willard. Russell is an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet store, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather's pro wrestling arena. That's when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills. With help from his coach, Hunk, a savvy and hilarious monkey, Russell rockets to the top of the pro wrestling world and becomes a famous sports superstar. But when a dishonest promoter double-crosses the Ferraros, Russell will face his biggest challenge and discover that the strongest tag team is family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is hilarious, adventurous and much more! It will appeal to kids as well as adults and has a very unique idea. Russell Madness is a perfect family story that will be enjoyed by many. Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense.

The story starts when a family moves back to Oregon to take over an old wrestling ring which belonged to the family for a long time. It is a bit run down, but a new generation opens it back up. Then, during a first match, something very interesting happens. A dog named Russell (completely by coincidence) comes into the ring where a big tough and strong wrestler is. What happens next is absolutely unexpected and surprising.

This film is stupendous! Something I really like about it is that Russell's coach is a monkey named Hunk. And yes, it is a talking monkey, played by a very smart and adorable monkey named Crystal, except for the talking parts of course, which I think is a great and smart idea. The acting is wonderful and the whole film has that perfect amount of cheesiness, cuteness and positivity to make it a wonderful family film. Also, the jokes are original and hilarious.

My favorite scene is about the family's first encounter with Hunk. Hunk tells them to take in Russell as a family dog and offers to train Russell to be a wrestler. But, his price is many things doing with bananas. It is funny and an important scene in the movie.

I recommend for kids ages 5 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic acting, production, directing, and unbelievable animal training. Don't miss it when it comes out March 10, 2015. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Watching a movie with talking animals that do athletic activities makes me feel nostalgic, especially that movie is made by the same people that made the movie that gives me nostalgia: Air Bud. When I was younger, I remember watching Air Bud and wanting a dog like that. But after watching Russell Madness, I experienced that same feeling all over again.

Russell Madness is about a Russell terrier named Russell (very punny) that meets a family, the Ferraros, that just so happen to have recently gained the ownership of a vintage wrestling arena from their grandfather. At this arena he meets a monkey named Hunk. Russell seems to be a timid dog, but once Hunk begins to train him he becomes a world class wrestler. On the way to stardom, he gains the love of his new family and this is something that he has longed for. However, as his popularity grows, he runs into bigger opponents.

It was great to be able to watch a different storyline that involves animals. I think that so many movies have the same plot, one way or another. However, Russell Madness brings a completely different story and uses it to its advantage. It is also perfectly executed with good actors and great dialogue. I enjoyed the small jokes here and there. While some jokes are aimed at the younger kids, they do include some jokes for the older kids and adults. I really enjoyed seeing the wrestling dog but I think that actors that played the wrestlers could have been much better. Some of the extras looked slightly out of place and that was little distracting. The cinematography is good. I enjoyed the different angles that the movie is filmed from. In some cases, the camera is low to show that the animals are talking and their point of view is different than that of people.

This movie brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. Russell Madness looks like its going to leave a mark in a new generation of children just like Air Bud did for me. This can also rekindle the flame that was lit by Air Bud for older kids and even for adults. I recommend this movie to kids from the age of 5 to 16, because it is a heart-warming story that kids of any age can enjoy. I give this movie a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Reviewed by Jorge Lopez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is available for purchase from TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Return to Pixie Hollow for a heartwarming adventure, Disney's TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST. An ancient myth of a massive creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who's not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature is not welcome in Pixie Hollow -- and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn must convince her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast. This thrilling action-adventure roars to life with never-before-seen bonus extras on Disney Blu-ray and DVD.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is an adventurous movie about Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, (Ginnifer Goodwin) an animal fairy with a big heart and an adventurous mind. As Fawn is flying through the forest, she notices a mysterious cave and hears a weird sound coming from inside. Fawn immediately flies inside the cave to see what is happening. Fawn discovers a mysterious creature that no one knows anything about. She begins to observe the creature and notices he does a lot of strange things. Fawn names him Gruff. Nyx and the other fairies try to capture the big green-eyed beast because they fear he will bring harm and danger to Pixie Hollow. Fawn tries her best to convince Tink, Nyx and their scout friends and fairies not to harm Gruff.

My favorite character is Nyx (Rosario Dawson). Nyx is apart of the Scout fairies. She protects the fairies in Pixie Hollow and tries to get rid of anything that would harm them. Nyx is very cool, confident and strong. She likes to get her job done.

My favorite scene is when Fawn tries to help Gruff hide from Nyx and the other fairies. As Fawn tries to hide Gruff in a secret place, he lets out a very loud and big sneeze and he sneezes on all the other fairies. It is really funny.

The message of this movie is not to judge people. Gruff is a creature that only wakes up every 1000 years for a special task. Everyone in Pixie Hallow thinks he is a bad beast. He is actually a nice creature.

The DVD/Blue-Ray combo has bonus features which include never before seen bonus extras, access to cool computer games, five ingredients to getting Gruff, The True Story of the NeverBeast and so much more!

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is a fabulous movie. It will be available on DVD/Blue-Ray/Digital on March 3, 2015. I recommend it for boys and girls ages 3 to 10. I give this move 5 out of 5 shinning stars. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl Powell, age 13
Runtime: 76 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 36.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SHIP SHAPE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SHIP SHAPE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - When the Chief of Police calls the Charles family to report that a brand new boat and trailer are missing from the boat show, Upton is immediately recruited to apply his detective skills to the disappearance. Our super sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog, who wastes no time in sniffing out clues that lead to a surprising discovery. During the course of the investigation, Upton is joined by a new assistant. Come along with Upton as he unravels another mystery in Ship Shape.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

This story is one of many from the Upton Charles - Dog Detective series, a series about a mystery-solving dog, a white fluffy Bichon Frize, who is a cute as can be, judging from the illustrations. Besides solving mysteries, Upton Charles can tell time (sort of), hates dry dog food and, of course, talk to us which allows him to tell about all his adventures.

The black and white illustrations are lovingly drawn and give us insight into what Upton's family is like. This adventure has Upton Charles and his family trying to solve the case of the missing boat, a 27 foot Wyman motor cruiser, from the boat show. As Upton shares his thought processes with us, we follow his logic in solving the crime. We learn about cool stuff such as how tire prints are like finger prints. Upton exerts his way upon the humans by his adept non-verbal communication and winds his way into your heart. He discovered a cat in the midst of the investigation who appears to have joined the motley group. Just when you think the mystery is solved, it takes a bit of an unexpected twist leaving us with newfound appreciation for the fine art of detecting.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a mystery novel with a little twist. It is from the prospective of an intelligent dog named Upton Charles. This book will make you laugh and wonder who is the culprit in the mystery. Upton Charles, Dog Detective: Ship Shape is a wonderful book that will be admired by both mystery and animal lovers.

This is a mystery story at heart, of course, with that little bit of suspense of who did it! There is also the family feel from Upton's owners which serves as a wonderful addition to the comedy.

I loved this book! It is not hundreds of pages so you feel satisfied when you get to the end. It is the perfect length at around 140 pages. It is a little predictable at times which will make kids love it, but anyone could fall in love with Upton and his family. The book does a wonderful job of showing the prospective of a dog's point of view and we see Upton's special talent. He can solve crimes, but still has dog in him.

This is definitely meant for teens and younger so I give it a age rating of 8 to15. The vocabulary is very basic so it is an easy read. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for wonderful writing that made me imagine the text coming to life but enjoying it too.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, Age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: Book


MCFARLAND USA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MCFARLAND USA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A cross country coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders. Directed by Niki Caro. Starring Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is definitely a "feel-good" kind of movie. Against all odds, broken down coach White (Kevin Costner) takes a job in McFarland, CA in the central valley. It's the only job he can get since he's been fired one too many times for his bad temper. His wife (Maria Bello) and kids are not thrilled when they arrive but, the town grows on them, and on him. He quickly gets in trouble with the lead football coach for acting against his will and is left on his own, teaching PE. The aha moment is when he realizes that his students, sons of migrant farm workers, are amazing runners and he starts a cross country track team with them.

There's nothing too surprising here since, it's based on a true story of how this track team ends up taking multiple state championships and traveling to foreign countries to compete as well. What is heart-warming is seeing how all this plays out with Costner taking the lead. The cast is comprised of local kids from McFarland along with professional actors and, they train for the film by running 5 miles a day. Pretty impressive.

The side stories - the mom and two daughters falling in love with their community, the 15-year-old having the community gather around her to produce her quinceanara, and how the local parents and business owners warm up to "White" are all good stuff. I particularly enjoyed the ending where they show what happened to the actual kids who are portrayed in this film. Every one of them went on to college, mostly on scholarships and all but one returned to McFarland to teach, coach, and run local businesses. As I said, it's a feel-good kind of movie and a great one to share with your family.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is truly an inspirational story for anyone who watches. McFarland USA will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

McFarland USA will make you cry, laugh and more. It is a compelling film based on a true story that is full of drama and a solid feeling of inspiration. However, there is a hint of comedy to brighten things up and a spice of thrill that will keep you engaged throughout the movie.

The story starts when a family moves to a very poor town in central California called McFarland. Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominately Latino high school in California's Central Valley. He quickly notices that the kids there are faster than he has ever seen and turns the fastest boys into a cross country track team. The movie covers the relationship between the coach and the boys, his relationship with his family and the adventure the boys and the coach go through as they try to win the state cross country championship.

This movie is truly compelling and inspiring. After seeing it I had an urge to do more. It has a fantastic mix between concentrating on the coach's story but also looks at each person on the team, which I think was a fantastic decision. The acting is impressive especially since some of the actors had never even acted before and some of them actually grew up in McFarland.

My favorite scene is when they have a one on one race with another school. Once the two teams start running, the opposing coach starts teasing Coach White. However, after the team's fastest player, Thomas (Carlos Pratts) finishes first, he brings back all that teasing but in a very classy way. I love this scene because it shows that the team was looked down on but they rose above the torment and tease and truly believed in themselves and a better future for themselves.

This film has a lot of mature moments that may be a bit too much for younger kids, so I give it an age rating of 10 to18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for a truly inspiring and fantastic film. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy is based on the best-selling book and is about young Alexander and his horrible day. Alexander only thinks these bad days happen to him but, he learns he is not so alone. This is an entertaining family movie and had my whole family laughing out loud. It actually makes you smile and there are quite a few meaningful lessons in this fun movie. It shows that when things go wrong, you should have courage and should try your best to turn them around. Maybe you won't fix it perfectly but, with courage, you can be proud of who you are. It also shows that there will be some bad days and you don't always have to be positive. The two most meaningful lessons are that family is important especially at the worst of times and as young Alexander states in the movie "You have to have the bad days so you love the good days even more."

The DVD/Blu-ray includes some great extras. My family found them interesting and enjoyable to watch. There are quotes from the actors and the author of the book in "Alexander in Real Life." Both kids and adults will enjoy the "Delightful, Magnificent Bloopers" because they are really funny! There is also a short video called Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos which is about how Alexander is into the Australian outback. I enjoyed the "Walk About Diary" where you learn that the actor who plays Alexander is actually really from Australia. Last of all, there is a music video of the Vamps performing the song from the movie "Hurricane." A Must-See! I give this one 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a hilarious adventure! Something I like about this film is that although it's a comedy, at the same time, the directors have created a story so it doesn't feel as if it's just one big joke. In my estimation, it is just perfect. This film has a bubble of unique comedy that sends the audience laughing out loud. And, it has a sprinkle of romance packaged with it which makes it a unique story.

The story starts out showing an eleven-(soon to be twelve)-year-old kid who always has bad days while everyone else in his entire family always has perfect days. On the very early morning of his 12th birthday he wishes that his family members would have a bad day. Well they do! And, phew, is it bad!

This film has comedy that isn't just little jokes or things that are commonly seen in lots of normal comedies but, unique and creative comedy that is really funny. The actors are all well suited to their roles and, something I love about this film is that the ending is not easily predictable. Also, the story is created in such a way that the comedy is just a part of the story. The creators managed to get a very important message through to the audience.

My favorite scene is when the sister is under the weather with a common cold but has a play that day. She decides to drink a whole bunch of cough medicine and gets drunk during the play. This part is absolutely hilarious. The entire audience, including me, could not stop laughing during this scene.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a young kid film but not too young. I would recommend for ages 9 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for a great story, fantastic acting and unbelievable comedy!

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is an amazingly funny comedy for the whole family to enjoy. This movie is full of very humorous moments.

This film is about a boy named Alexander who always has awful days but other members of his family have great days; some of those days are even perfect, according to Alexander. On his 12th birthday, he decides to make a birthday sundae and he makes a wish that his family would know and understand the horrible conditions that he has to endure. Unfortunately, the next morning another horrible day begins. Everyone wakes up late, Anthony (Alexander's older brother) wakes up to a pimple and his girlfriend breaks up with him the morning before prom. Emily (Alexander's older sister) gets sick before her play and Trevor (Alexander's baby brother) runs out of diapers. It continues to get worse from there.

The message of this film is everyone will experience bad days; though the bad days will not last long. It is important to really enjoy the good days when they come.

My favorite character is Trevor, Alexander's baby brother. He is simply adorable. He has the cutest and funniest facial expressions at the right moment.

My favorite part is when Trevor starts to eat the ink from the marker. It is funny because no one notices him. Once the adults realize Trevor is eating the marker it is funny watching them try to wash it off and unfortunately, they learn it's a bit of a challenge to get the marker off.

The actors Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbaould are all simply phenomenal in bringing humor to the film.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is a fantastic movie for the whole family. I highly recommend it for boys and girls ages 9-18 and I give it 5 out of 5 shinning stars. You can watch Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day in a movie theater near you, October 10, 2014.

Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 36.99
Media: FeatureFilm
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


HUMPBACK WHALES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HUMPBACK WHALES
MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - Narrated by two-time Golden Globe� nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX� 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you enjoy seeing a documentary movie that will educate, inspire and amaze you than you will love MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales. I learned more about the humpback whale than if I had studied this unit in school for a month!

This forty minute, large format documentary on humpback whales tags along with leading whale researchers using new methods to see what the humpback whales do when no one's watching them.

The documentary follows the whales to the tropical kingdom of Tonga, to summertime in Alaska and then to the warm waters of Hawaii. The audience has a chance to follow the humpback whales migration, while experiencing their incredible songs and underwater acrobatics.

One unique thing among humpback males is the singing that they engage in. In fact, the recordings of whale songs are what helped save the humpback whales from extinction as people became interested in the animals who could make these beautiful and unique sounds.

The humpback whales do cooperative food gathering. It is known as "bubble net fishing" in which they work together to release bubbles and loud "feeding calls" to herd and trap herring. This makes it easier for them to gulp the herring or krill in large quantities because they can eat up to two tons of food a day.

My favorite part of the movie was seeing and learning about the different researchers who have spent their lives studying the humpback whales. One scene showing the males circling a female whale in an effort to mate is usually seen once every ten years. Nobody has ever seen the humpback whale actually mate so there are many unanswered questions surrounding this aspect of the humpback whales.

Ewan McGregor narrates with a sense of wonder that inspires us to want to know as much as possible about the humpback whales. The upbeat music throughout the movie peaks our interest and curiosity about these extraordinary creatures.

The film teaches us to admire and appreciate the complexities and sheer beauty of the humpback whales. We also see how a whale is rescued when it becomes entangled in life-threatening fishing gear. This rescue requires a lot of skill and understanding of how to free the whale while the rescuers stay safe. We learn the important things we must ensure so that they do not become extinct. We must never again have a whaling industry, have safer fishing gear, less trash in the ocean and take precautions not to have collisions between ships and whales.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adam Chernick, 9, KIDS FIRST! Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


1001 NIGHTS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
1001 NIGHTS
BIG BAD BOO STUDIO Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - 1001 Nights is an animated show that brings the famed 1001 Arabian Nights to the screen. You've heard of Sinbad, Aladdin, and Ali Baba? You've got 998 more stories to go! Join the heroine, Shahrzad, as she weaves tales of adventure, intrigue, and excitement!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - 1001 Nights really wasn't exactly what I had expected from the theme song but this series is entertaining, engaging and appropriate for ages 7 to 12. There are beneficial social lessons children will learn from watching this series such as all actions have consequences or that rules need to be reinforced. The characters are fun to watch and the story lines are easy to follow because they flow well. The most important thing is that these shows will motivate children to think before they act. Maybe they will think before they make fun of someone. Maybe they will realize there are consequences to their actions. The series makes it a fun way to learn these important social lessons.

The shows have appealing characters, there is humor and each show has a lesson to be learned. The animation is also fun to watch and eye catching. The series is also available in a variety of different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Persian and Urdu. The one thing that may be a slight drawback is that it is slightly difficult to find out all the names of the characters and remember their names. The theme song expresses that there will be adventures and many thrills. Two of the shows didn't seem to go along with the song.

The shows flow well and are easy to follow. They make sense and each starts with a problem of some type and then a story is told and a lesson is learned. All actions have consequences, rules are rules and should be followed. For example, in the first episode, The Joke's on You, the young prankster needs to learn that there are consequences for his joking/pranking behavior. He learns that if you play a practical joke on someone that you need to be prepared that someone will play one back on you. The consequences definitely do not go undetected.

It is visually appealing. The characters and the animation are eye-catching and entertaining. There are bright colors and it is simply fun to watch. The theme song is delightful but I'm not sure it's a perfect fit for the show. There seems to be lots of adventures in the stories but there are more lessons than adventures and thrills. It is action packed at times.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated comedy series, 1001 Nights, is playfully exciting and keeps it fun for young viewers. Based on the classic stories from Arabic literature, 1001 Nights, is humorous and educational. The series was nominated for 13 Leo awards and won 4. It won Best Screenwriting in an Animation program or series in 2012 and 2013 and won Best Animation Program or Series in 2012.

In Episode 3:Sinbad and the Valley of Serpents, a porter, Sinbad, comes to the palace and accidentally drops all the fruit in front of the Queen. The Queen asks if he's ok and he tells her he hates his job as a porter. She asks him why he doesn't get a new job and he tells her he's too poor and untrained. The Queen tells him the story of another Sinbad who started out as a poor fellow but became a rich merchant due to perseverance and intelligence. The rest of the episode is an adventure about how ancient Sinbad became rich through tenacity and keen wits. It is told in a funny, light, exciting way. There's a serpent, treasure, huge rooks and a whale!

1001 Nights was produced by Big Bad Boo Productions, from Vancouver, Canada. They are the production company that did Mixed Nuts which airs on PBS. Chad Van De Keere and Mike Myhre are the two main animation executives on the series. Mr. Van De Keere also worked on Being Ian (TV Series), Ren and Stimpy and Madeline: My Fair Madeline (TV movie). Mr. Myhre work on Monster High (TV Series) and George of the Jungle (2007 TV series).

1001 Nights grabs you in with its wonderful short stories based on tales from the classic book. In each episode it is the Queen, Shahrzad, who tells an ancient tale, just like in the book. So each episode has a story within a story. Each episode also has a gently imparted moral. The members of the Queen's family are always included in the ancient tale in some way. And, there's always a bumbling character, who thinks he's smart and wonderful, but humorously messes everything up. The only thing I didn't like was the animation style. It is flat and uninspiring, like most of Saturday morning animated TV.

Despite its mediocre animation style, 1001 Nights is a good series for kids aged 5-10. The fast-paced storytelling style and the educational elements make it a worthwhile series. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 15.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $ 0.99
Media: TV


SPONGEBOB MOVIE, THE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPONGEBOB MOVIE, THE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - When a diabolical pirate above the sea steals the secret Krabby Patty formula, SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton must team up in order to get it back. Starring Tom Kenny, Antonio Banderas, Bill Fagerbakke.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you enjoy seeing a documentary movie that will educate, inspire and amaze you than you will love MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales. I learned more about the humpback whale than if I had studied this unit in school for a month!

This forty minute, large format documentary on humpback whales tags along with leading whale researchers using new methods to see what the humpback whales do when no one's watching them.

The documentary follows the whales to the tropical kingdom of Tonga, to summertime in Alaska and then to the warm waters of Hawaii. The audience has a chance to follow the humpback whales migration, while experiencing their incredible songs and underwater acrobatics.

One unique thing among humpback males is the singing that they engage in. In fact, the recordings of whale songs are what helped save the humpback whales from extinction as people became interested in the animals who could make these beautiful and unique sounds.

The humpback whales do cooperative food gathering. It is known as "bubble net fishing" in which they work together to release bubbles and loud "feeding calls" to herd and trap herring. This makes it easier for them to gulp the herring or krill in large quantities because they can eat up to two tons of food a day.

My favorite part of the movie was seeing and learning about the different researchers who have spent their lives studying the humpback whales. One scene showing the males circling a female whale in an effort to mate is usually seen once every ten years. Nobody has ever seen the humpback whale actually mate so there are many unanswered questions surrounding this aspect of the humpback whales.

Ewan McGregor narrates with a sense of wonder that inspires us to want to know as much as possible about the humpback whales. The upbeat music throughout the movie peaks our interest and curiosity about these extraordinary creatures.

The film teaches us to admire and appreciate the complexities and sheer beauty of the humpback whales. We also see how a whale is rescued when it becomes entangled in life-threatening fishing gear. This rescue requires a lot of skill and understanding of how to free the whale while the rescuers stay safe. We learn the important things we must ensure so that they do not become extinct. We must never again have a whaling industry, have safer fishing gear, less trash in the ocean and take precautions not to have collisions between ships and whales.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adam Chernick, 9, KIDS FIRST! Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DOWNTON ABBEY, SEASON 5
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOWNTON ABBEY, SEASON 5
PBS KIDS
Series: SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - "Downton Abbey" returns for an epic fifth season of intimately interlaced stories centered on an English country estate - a deliciously entertaining formula that has made it the highest-rated drama in PBS history. Season 5 features returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Robert James-Collier, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Lily James, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Samantha Bond, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift, and Andrew Scarborough.

This acclaimed ensemble is joined by guest stars Harriet Walter ("Atonement"), reprising her role as Lady Shackleton, and Peter Egan ("Death at a Funeral"), who returns as Lord Flintshire, together with completely new characters played by Richard E. Grant ("Girls"), Anna Chancellor ("The Hour"), and Rade Sherbedgia ("24").
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Season Five takes off in the year 1924. This series continues with stories centered around the English country estate of the Crawley family. Their lives are intertwined with the lives of their servants in this carefully crafted drams ty Julian Fellowes and this is what makes Downton Abbey so entertaining! Although most of us were not alive in the 1920s, it seems so authentic and makes one feel that you are actually there.

The costumes and settings are so perfectly in tune with the time period. It is filled with secrets and, at times, mini-scandals which is exactly what makes it so compelling to watch. One can hardly wait to find out what would happen in the next episode.

The servants and the wealthy family members live separate lives but they are connected in so many ways and that really makes for great drama and humor.

Although, honesty is not rampant in the series, it does occasionally prove to be the best thing. There are also important lessons such as dealing with change and, for the younger generation, standing up for their principles. It shows how the younger generation has to stand up and express their opinions. Also, there are some social lessons that make this series beneficial.

On the whole, it provides drama-packed entertainment in a unique way due to the influence of the period in which it takes place and also, the connections between the different classes. It has been criticized for presenting the two classes cooperating so well when, in actuality, that was rarely the case.

It shows that people are people no matter what class they come from. We recommend this for older teens and adults, ages 13 to 18 plus adults. And, we give it 5 out of 5 stars for its excellence in production, writing and authenticity. The DVD set includes over 40 minutes of bonus video to see what happens behind the scenes in Season 5.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 522 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 49.99
Media: DVD


SELMA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SELMA
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Selma is a powerful new film that tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. as he fights for equal voting rights by assembling the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

I absolutely love this film. It details one of the most pivotal and epic protests during the civil rights movement in such an emotional, educational and inspiring way. The cinematography, musical score and stylistic editing techniques really assist the emotion of the film and convey just how intense the conflict and racial tension in the south was at that time.

David Oyelowo takes on the iconic role of Martin Luther King Jr. in this film and I am completely blown away by his performance. Not only does he embody Dr. King's public persona and extraordinary speech delivery, but he also portrays him in a way that sheds a light on his personal and home life as well as his relationships with his peers.

The violence that occurred during this movement and the march from Selma, in particular was extreme, hateful and very prevalent. It was disturbing to witness such hateful and unnecessary acts on screen, but I think it is very important that we remember the wrongs that have been overcome and that we continue to educate the public on what our country has been through and where it's going. Even though it was uncomfortable to see, it is important that we know and understand the history so we can better our future.

Because of the violence and heavy subject matter of the film, I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Considering the fact that this film is very educational, enlightening and inspiring, I think it is a must see. I give Selma 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you check out this incredible true story, in theaters near you now! Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STRANGE MAGIC
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRANGE MAGIC
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - "Strange Magic," a new animated film, is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Story by George Lucas, screenplay by David Berenbaum. Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Kristin Chenoweth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an original, visionary, animated musical, inspired by a classic tale by William Shakespeare. An assortment of characters, from fairies to goblins to elves, who live in two different worlds clash over a magical love potion. Their encounter teaches them all that everyone deserves to be loved.

While the story is inspired by Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream, George Lucas has adapted this story in a manner that is enjoyable for younger audiences. That's not an easy task to do, especially when taking Shakespeare's work.

The film's music spans several decades from nostalgic rock to pop and includes various love songs. The song choices are perfect for this film. Every song sets the tone for each scene whether it's fast-paced action or slower-paced romance. While the songs appear spontaneously, they are where most of the comedy comes from, and the characters poke fun at them from time to time.

It also helps when there are magnificent voice actors portraying the character. This film has a talented cast. I have a huge respect for voice actors because all the character's emotions comes solely from their voice. In this film, every actor successfully does that.

The animation and design are exquisite. The character designs look exactly like something George Lucas would create. The forest is literally flourishing with life. We see beautiful fairies to the impressive goblins we see incredibly rich details showing their scales, teeth and wings. And, their movements are fluid and believable. You are successfully transported into their world.

My favorite character is the Bog King (Alan Cumming). Not only do I admire the mosquito look of his character, but also the voice actor who plays him, Alan Cumming. Alan is a wonderful performer whether it's stage or film. He is a capable singer and actor which he proves again in his portrayal of this character.

My favorite scene is the duel duet between the Bog King and Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood). This is where the animators really show off their skills. The fight is swift and the witty comments between the two characters share make the scene even more entertaining.

The message this film stresses is that everyone deserves love. The love potion supposedly makes the person you love feel the same way towards you. However, through a misunderstanding, the Bog doesn't think any can love him, even with a love potion.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it to 5 through 18-year-olds. Adults will enjoy this too. Kids might be amazed by the imaginative animation and parents can enjoy the blast-from-the-past music.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Strange Magic is an animated film about two worlds. One where there is happiness, singing and love in the air. In the second world, everything is evil, with mystery around every corner and its leader - a dark, heartless king called "the bog king" (voice by Alex Cumming) that bans all love in his dark world. These two worlds have always been separated until one fairy princess named Marianne, (voice by Evan Rachel Wood) crosses the barrier and changes everything.

I have to admit, this movie is different from anything I have ever seen before, but I'm not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. It is a musical and most of the songs are songs that have been on the radio by popular artists. For example, Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You Stronger" and that is something I liked. But, something I am not a fan of are things that happen in the movie and how the movie is directed at children, but has some very mature things in it.

This movie is unpredictable which isn't a good thing all the time. This movie takes a turn that I had no idea how it even happened, to be honest. I don't even know how it got to where it ended. It all went so fast that I didn't get time to understand what was happening at the moment. Other times, it is kind of cool seeing what is happening next. But overall, I didn't exactly like how things move so fast and I never really got the concept of what was going on.

One thing that I love about the movie is that the characters are different. There are fairies, goblins and imps. I really liked that mythical feel of the movie.

This movie may look like it's for kids but trust me, it's not. There are things that I didn't even understand so I doubt that kids and younger than me will understand what is happening at all. There are also some mature scenes in the movie that made me unsure if it is kid-friendly or not. For example, the husband cheats on his wife on their wedding day. That happened within the first 20 minutes of the movie.

I am recommending this movie for ages 10 to 13 because it still has a kid-friendly touch that would draw little kids in. But, like I said, it does have some mature scenes. I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 stars because it isn't something I liked but I know that some kids would. Gary Rydstrom, the director and George Lucas, the writer do a good job on this film but it is just not something I personally enjoyed.

Reviewed by Samantha A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HOBBIT, THE: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOBBIT, THE: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After the Dragon leaves the Lonely Mountain, the people of Lake-town see a threat coming. Orcs, dwarves, elves and people prepare for war. Bilbo sees Thorin going mad and tries to help. Meanwhile, Gandalf is rescued from the Necromancer's prison and his rescuers realize who the Necromancer is.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is a breathtaking movie that is visually stimulating and very interactive. There are lots of scenes in the movie that invoke a variety of emotions and realizations of life lessons. This is a fantastic adaptation of the book and does it justice. I agree with the rating of PG-13, although the movie shows violence it is not overwhelmingly graphic. Children will most definitely appreciate the fantasy aspect of the movie and, if they haven't already read the book, I can assure you that after seeing the Hobbit trilogy they will be interested in reading the book.

Friendship and loyalty are so amazingly present in this story that you can't help but take away life lessons from it. There are many reasons to watch this movie and to share it with children, but the most important of all is for the art. It's incredible and worthwhile. It is a filmed version of the story that will last forever. Reviewed by Rachel V. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. Bilbo and his company of Dwarves have just unleashed the Dragon Smaug upon a small lakeside village and chaos breaks loose. Once word is out that the dragon has been driven from the mountain, armies from Actionm all over the land come to battle for the treasures that lie inside. It is a fight unlike any before and Bilbo must find a way to make peace before it is too late.

I really enjoyed this film. From the very beginning it is full of action, epic battles and suspense. The graphics in this entire series are stunning. The Hobbit never fails to impress me with its immaculate visuals and special effects. The soundtrack to this film is beautiful, as expected, since the rest of the series is filled with wonderful music. I think that this film is the perfect closure to the series that so many have fallen in love with and been loyal fans of over the years.

I'm also very impressed with the fact that this trilogy of films is adapted from one, relatively short novel and every film is so packed full of action and adventure, there is never a dull moment.

The cast is marvelous as usual. Martin Freeman is the perfect actor to play Bilbo Baggins because he embodies his personality so well. It's been wonderful to watch Bilbo's character develop over the course of these films. He starts off very timid and unsure of himself, but by the end of the final film he has so much new found confidence from all he's been through and is a completely different hobbit than he was at the beginning of the journey.

I'm very sad that the series has come to an end and that the journey is over, but I'm glad for the closure and amazed at how well this film turned out. Lord of the Rings fans will clearly love this film, but I think anyone who enjoys action, adventure and fantasy will love this film as well. There is a considerable amount of violence since the majority of the movie is an epic battle, so I suggest this film be viewed by ages 13 to 18-year-olds. If you have seen any of the previous films from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings series, then this film should be suitable for you.

I give The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 5 out of 5 stars.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


COOPERATIVE NEW GAMES LEADERSHIP
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COOPERATIVE NEW GAMES LEADERSHIP
NEW GAMES LTD
Series: SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - For the first time, Dale N. Le Fevre presents a visual leadership guide to accompany the New Games he offers. While he has always offered written guides of the qualities needed to lead the games in his DVDs and books, this time these are not only discussed but demonstrated graphically to maximize the most effective way to lead. Naturally, many of these leadership techniques can be applied to other situations.

Why play New Games?

New Games are fun cooperative group games for people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Beyond that, playing them is a great way to learn a wide range of physical and social skills by doing these in the context of play - without even realizing it since they are just part of the games. Basic learning skills such as listening, following directions, cooperation, self control, and concentration are part of every game. (A detailed listing of skills for each game is with each game and on a pdf file.)

New Games get people moving and playing because they're fun. This make them a good way to help keep fit and are a perfect antidote for combating obesity.

Including 15 new New Games

There are 15 New Games that have not been presented on film by Dale previously. Some are quite unusual and all are fun. The games depicted are intended for all ages, ability levels and sizes. The leadership section is for a minimum age of 10 up to adult. Mainly the games are for fun and meant to include everyone wanting to play. Text files included in pdf format provide written games descriptions, leadership qualities, and skills information for each game besides being included with information for each game.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cooperative New Games Leadership is for both adults and children. Although, the leadership section is slightly more adult friendly. The games are shown visually and makes learning how to play them easy. It's not only a way to become more active but a way to learn leadership skills, and other important social skills. It has educational, social and entertainment value and would be great for ages six to adult. It is positive and motivating and may encourage children to get out and play outside more while learning valuable lessons such as following directions and cooperating with others.

It gives complete directions to the games and visually shows how they are played. The only thing that may be unappealing is that it does show mostly adults. I think children would enjoy this because the games are silly, fun and interactive. Also, they really make you think. This would be great for a classroom or a big group setting.

It flows well and the games' menu is divided into "lower" and "higher" activity games. Or, you can view all the games at once. You know the number of players that are needed, its social purpose and the skills developed for each game. You should be aware that this is really a teaching DVD and should be used as such. This is not a glamourous or exciting DVD. The scenery is pretty basic and is outside where there is lots of space and room to play the games. The participants, both adults and kids, are dressed in regular casual clothing and the filming is very natural. I really like the layout of the menu. It is set up in such a way that you can watch all the games or select different ones. The leadership section is separate and not part of the section showing the games. There is also a resource folder that you can view from a computer rather than the DVD player. This is excellent because you can print it out or view it on a tablet.

The DVD is educational with social and entertainment elements. The education and social would be most meaningful for most. I think it makes a great school resource or for use by youth service organizations. The games can easily be adapted for a variety of different ages and group types. The visuals are engaging because you watch people having fun! I would hope it would motivate kids to play outside more and engage in these games with family and friends. We lead such a techy/computer filled life that anything to get kids and families outside is a plus! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! juror Denise B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This VD provides visual instruction on how to lead a group of people to enjoy one another's company and to have fun. It is quite enjoyable seeing a large group of both old and young people play games together, something that is not seen quite often.

This DVD is divided into categories called "Leadership Section" and "Games Menu." The games menu shows various group games that people can play in different size groups. There are more intense activity games, some requiring a lot of people, some needing only a few. It is just like being out there watching the games as they take place right in front of you.

One of the most exciting looking games is called Knights, Mounts, Cavaliers. It seemed to bring generate lots of laughter and high energy in the players. All the players seemed to be genuinely engrossed in the games, whether they were 7-years-old or 50! The leader of the games is also very inviting and his friendly nature makes the DVD very pleasant to watch.

The leadership section of the DVD, in particular, made me think about some skills and tools that I can use to be a better team leader in my community, school and wherever I go. This section focuses on characteristics that a person needs to be a kind, caring and effective leader.

The setting of this film is outdoors in a nice green grassy area where it would be very realistic to picture oneself playing these games. It gives a very casual, fun vibe. This film by Dale N Le Fevre definitely meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria due to its very inviting tone. It would be perfect for people of all ages to watch, to learn some exciting games to play, and to learn how to be a better leader for others to follow and receives a four out of five star rating. Reviewed by Carissa Payongayong, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.
Runtime: 52 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After the Dragon leaves the castle, the people of lake town see a threat coming, the orcs, dwarves, elves and people prepare for war. Bilbo sees Thorin going mad and tries helping everyone. Meanwhile, Gandalf still needs to break out of the orc prison.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. Bilbo and his company of Dwarves have just unleashed the Dragon Smaug upon a small lakeside village and chaos breaks loose. Once word is out that the dragon has been driven from the mountain, armies from all over the land come to battle for the treasures that lie inside. It is a fight unlike any before and Bilbo must find a way to make peace before it is too late.

I really enjoyed this film. From the very beginning it is full of action, epic battles and suspense. The graphics in this entire series are stunning. The Hobbit never fails to impress me with its immaculate visuals and special effects. The soundtrack to this film is beautiful, as expected, since the rest of the series is filled with wonderful music. I think that this film is the perfect closure to the series that so many have fallen in love with and been loyal fans of over the years.

I'm also very impressed with the fact that this trilogy of films is adapted from one, relatively short novel and every film is so packed full of action and adventure, there is never a dull moment.

The cast is marvelous as usual. Martin Freeman is the perfect actor to play Bilbo Baggins because he embodies his personality so well. It's been wonderful to watch Bilbo's character develop over the course of these films. He starts off very timid and unsure of himself, but by the end of the final film he has so much new found confidence from all he's been through and is a completely different hobbit than he was at the beginning of the journey.

I'm very sad that the series has come to an end and that the journey is over, but I'm glad for the closure and amazed at how well this film turned out. Lord of the Rings fans will clearly love this film, but I think anyone who enjoys action, adventure and fantasy will love this film as well. There is a considerable amount of violence since the majority of the movie is an epic battle, so I suggest this film be viewed by ages 13 to 18-year-olds. If you have seen any of the previous films from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings series, then this film should be suitable for you.

I give The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you finish the journey in theaters now! Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


UNBROKEN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UNBROKEN
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis biography, drama, sport spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. Starring Jack O'Connell, Finn Wittrock, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson. Directed by Angelina Jolie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Unbroken tells the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who joined the armed forces in World War II and endured tortured until the end of the war.

Although Unbroken is the third film Angelina Jolie has directed, Jolie skillfully recounts Zamperini's life. The first half weaves in and out of Zamperini's childhood and life in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

Some of the cinematography is gripping, such as the scene in which Zamperini and his friends encounter sharks while they're lost in the middle of an ocean. The opening shots of Zamperini's crew struggling to stay alive in their airplane immediately engage the audience.

Despite the occasional frantic scenes, the movie succeeds best by focusing on its plot, which is intellectually fulfilling. There aren't any extraneous scenes and the story is straightforward. However, I didn't feel emotionally connected. I was looking forward to watching Zamperini develop relationships with his friends during the war. But, there isn't much of that. The ending, which is when the war finally ends, feels a bit rushed and didn't feel gratifying. Most of the film centers on Zamperini withstanding suffering. Although Unbroken is rated PG-13, there are several violent scenes in which the protagonist is beaten. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18.

Jolie's storytelling conveys the themes clearly. Zamperini was known as a troublemaker during his childhood. Yet, he worked hard to become a great runner and eventually was good enough to enter the Olympics. After his crew's plane crashes, he manages to stay alive, even despite a brutal 47 days stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. When he's captured by the Japanese navy and is sent to a prisoner-of-war camp, he endures severe beatings. When he's presented the opportunity to live luxuriously in exchange for aiding the Japanese, he refuses. When the war ends, he forgives his World War II enemies and fulfills his dream by participating in a marathon in Japan. The themes of loyalty, determination, perseverance and forgiveness make the movie very relevant to today's society. As Lauren Hillenbrand writes in her book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, "A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain."

This inspiring movie is fitting for the holiday season. Watch Unbroken when it's released in theaters Christmas Day!

Reviewed by Gabriella Chu, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 18.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm



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