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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE

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MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of 1974.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The opening of the film lead me to believe deep secrets would unfold. Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) encounters his former colleague Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore) and they exchange words recapping what appears to be a professional rivalry for the viewer's benefit. This film is an historical drama about men (FBI employees) whose job is to analyze every detail and research and report discrepancies. There are times when things do not add up. Mark often comments, "The President has no power over the FBI."

Given this film is created from Felt's 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as "Deep Throat" to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film. At times, the details are unappealing, as the characters are hard to follow. The film flows well, although it took me a few minutes to determine which characters were members of the FBI and who else was in the room. As the film moves on, the characters develop into an amazing working team. I empathized with Mark Felt throughout the film. I felt the Director could have given us more insight into the walls of the institution where Felt worked for 31 years, and whose integrity he sought to protect from the interference of the Nixon White House officials.

When J. Edgar Hoover dies and Felt is passed over for his position, L. Patrick Gray III (Marton Csokas), a close Nixon ally, replaces Hoover as head of the FBI. Mark's integrity and hard work for more than 30 years are overlooked by the good-old-boy White House network. Leadership knows Mark is dangerous, given what he knows. When the Watergate break-in occurs, the FBI demands a 48-hour wrap and Mark knows this is the beginning of the end of the position he has served loyally and with integrity, even if he decides that spilling secrets is the best way to protect the FBI and manage his way out of an unmanageable situation.

While the office scenes are bland and the meetings with Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) in the parking garage seem contrived, there is substantial interest during sessions with Time Magazine's reporter Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), who realizes Mark Felt is breaking his tight-lipped manner as Felt finally gives way. He tells Mark, "The FBI must be terrified of you." The characters are hard-hitting FBI employees. Their job is to serve and protect, even if it means keeping secrets to protect their peers, boss or the White House administration. For the most part, the characters are seen as positive stand-up men. It is only when Mark Felt makes a decision that we see his character stray, yet it is portrayed with shocking beauty. This film, based on true-facts, is brilliant. Many times, I found myself wanting to research more about this era, and the real men portrayed in the film.

The movie works hard to humanize Mark Felt, his family and fellow G-men. The subplot family story is warm, while most of Mark Felt's career interactions are harsh and direct. The film challenges the viewer's memory of historical facts. Is he a hero or a villain? Whatever you see, there is no doubt Mark Felt is the most impactful whistle-blower in American history so far. Many times, the film appears black and white and a bit grainy. In order to capture the times, I believe this is purposeful. As with any sleuth-type film, the graininess adds to the mystery. Another sign of the times, excessive smoking. While a total turn-off to this reviewer, it was prevalent in the 70s. The historical retrospective of this dark time in American history is invaluable. As the story unfolds, I was glued to the screen. The burden and power of the American landscape is presented in contrast with dark figures who believe secrets are best kept.

This film, with very adult themes, showcases a moment in history which is almost anti-climatic. The story focuses on the Watergate break-ins of the 70s and the ways and means the White House and other organizations lived and worked with secrets. Dare we say it parallels politics today? Because of the subject matter and fine details of "who's who" in the puzzle of facts, I recommend this only for mature teens. Many adults will find this tale riveting, especially those old enough to be aware of Nixon's presidency in the 70s. I recommend this film for ages 16 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film may prompt teens to research more about Mark Felt and his place in history. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations' government, this film is also entertaining. The writer/director, Peter Landesman shows authenticity while keeping us engaged. It is based on the true story about the anonymous whistle blower in the Watergate scandal from the 1970s, who we later learned was Mark Felt.

I really enjoy time-era pieces. This is a historical drama based in the 1970s, so between the costuming and set props, it is fun to learn more about life during that time in history.

Not surprising, one of my favorite characters is Mark Felt (Liam Neeson). He always plays more stoic roles, where he is demanding, but deserving of respect. It is funny to see him look older with white hair, and I did miss that he did not have any action scenes in this film. But, I also like that we catch a glimpse into his personal life too - one that is relatable, and sometimes full of conflict and pain.

There is not one particular scene that is my favorite. What I enjoyed the most is when Mark Felt had secret meetings with his colleagues Ed Miller (Tony Goldwyn) and Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas). It was nice to see their loyalty to each other and to their work. When learning about Watergate, this is often an unknown part of the process.

This quote from Peter Landesman speaks of why this film took so long to hit the screens. "In my worldview, events are not about history--events are about human beings. I'm fascinated by people under pressure and in crisis, and what happens to them and what they do." I find it interesting that this film was started in 2005 and did not come to completion until now. This speaks to how much investigating they did for the production.

This film is rated PG-13 for language, although I didn't find it overly profane. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, provided the viewer has some understanding the Watergate scandal. Otherwise I think they will get bored. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens October 13, 2017 in select theaters so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY - 0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the sequel - Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world. Over the course of one single day, we track the sun from the highest mountains to the remotest islands to exotic jungles. Breakthroughs in filmmaking technology bring you up close with a cast of unforgettable characters. Told with humour, intimacy and a jaw-dropping sense of cinematic splendour, Earth: One Amazing Day highlights how every day is filled with more wonders than you can possibly imagine- until now.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Earth: One Amazing Day is a beautiful, informational film that makes you really appreciate Earth and know more about it. This film captures nature in all its beauty and is simply breathtaking. This film is very touching, suspenseful and pleasurable. There is comedy, action, adventure, romance and non-fiction all in one film. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

This film explores all the aspects of one day on Earth. It follows the lives of different animals including iguanas, baby lizards, zebras, giraffes, lions and many more. The film shows all the struggles in nature, but also the wonderful and amazing parts. It makes you see the beauty of nature and makes you curious about what's out there.

The people who responsible for filming this, Robin Cox, Kevin Flay and Flying Glass used their cameras to capture the beauty of Earth. Doing this is a real challenge, but they managed to capture so much detail and were able to get incredible close ups. They recorded at different angles, which makes the whole film visually pleasing and close to what it's like if you were actually there. I also loved the narration of Jackie Chan and Robert Redford. Their voices are very mellow, blends in with the music and overall just fits perfectly for this film.

The events that capture are very cool. I especially like how the camera work shoots at different angles so you get a different perspective on the world. The film's visuals are very colorful and intriguing. My favorite part is when the giraffes fight over the land and the ladies. I like this scene because I learned something new. I had no idea that giraffes could bend their necks so much or that they would just swing their heads around to fight. It was really amusing to see their heads swinging around everywhere, but a little sad to see that they were bleeding.

The message of this film is to acknowledge the Earth and realize how lucky we are to be here. There are so many wonderful things happening around us that we don't notice. The film reminds us to stop and smell the roses and to make sure to protect the earth's beauty so future generations can enjoy it as well.

I loved watching this film so much. It really touched my heart and made me realize how beautiful the Earth is, on just one amazing day. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. I'm sure that everyone will enjoy this film, even adults. Definitely make sure to check it out. It opens nationwide in theaters October 6, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth: One Amazing Day is an incredible feature length documentary that is a sequel to Earth, an acclaimed movie based on Planet Earth, the famous series of BBC wildlife documentaries shown on networks and in schools worldwide. The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theatre vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time creating a very realistic vibe.

Earth: One Amazing Day follows a huge variety of animals and the challenges they must face during a single day. It shows how animals are impacted by the rhythms of the sun and how it provides life to all creatures. It starts off early in the morning following marine iguanas. It then brings you to midday where we get an amazing view of a giant panda and her cub eating bamboo. Next, we get a view of a zebra and her foal attempting to cross a rushing river to get to where the grass will grow next. It continues telling different stories for every animal it shows.

My favorite scene is when it shows a group of bears scratching on trees to music. The scene is hilarious and is very well edited so that the bear's movements appear to go to the music.

The documentary is narrated by Academy award-winner, Robert Redford. The pauses he leaves between his words are timed brilliantly creating a dramatic atmosphere for each tale. Earth: One Amazing Day was directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber, and Fan Lixin. This is currently one of the biggest collaborations on a film between China and the United Kingdom. The Chinese version is voiced by Jackie Chan who is known across the world for his martial arts movies.

The music matches the scenes seamlessly. I love how they tell a short story with each animal and how it makes the viewer invested in each and every one of them. They use clips taken over the course of several days and make them appear as one scene.

The moral of this film is that there is beauty all around us that can be seen every day. We must only look around us to see it. I feel that this is an important and inspirational message to appreciate our world, this isn't being said enough.

I give Earth: One Amazing Day 5 out of 5 stars for its unbelievable graphics and storytelling. I recommend it to children ages 6 to 18 and think that adults will also
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REBEL IN THE RYE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The life of celebrated but reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, who gained worldwide fame with the publication of his novel, "The Catcher in the Rye".
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the dramatic biography Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small which examines the life of J.D. Salinger, best known for his novel, Catcher in the Rye. I have not read this book, although I know that it was very controversial when it first came out.

The film has elements of determination, a bit of arrogance, some humor and an underlying bit of inspiration. J.D. Salinger not only has inner conflicts, but he also has a conflict with his dad Sol Salinger (Victor Garber). The film stirred my curiosity and I decided to down load Catcher in the Rye and listen to it in my audible library. The film inspired me to seriously begin writing a book. We see a young, smart-mouth J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he experiences the horrors of World War II. The combat scenes are not graphically displayed. Salinger sees many people killed, including a good friend. He also sees a concentration camp and he is a victim of a mugging. You should know that there are scenes of drinking, partying and smoking, (common during this era), mild profanity and mild sensuality.

Strong characters include Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), as Jerry's tough mentor. You can see that he really believes in Salinger and pushes him to "find his voice." Another character who stands out is Hope Davis as Salinger's mother. The scene when she receives a copy of his novel is very moving. One of the funniest moments in the film comes when Salinger asked Little, Brown and Company to not send him any reviews of his book. In classic comedic fashion, the very next scene shows Salinger seen reading the reviews at home. I enjoyed seeing the secluded place where Salinger pursues his writing. It is very lovely and peaceful.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. I give it an enthusiastic 5 out 5 Stars. I plan to see it again. This film comes out on September 15, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small, is entertaining and educational. This film is a docu-drama that reviews the life of J.D. Salinger, author of the classic book, "Catcher in the Rye." I found this film both insightful and inspiring. His perseverance as a writer is vividly displayed throughout the film.

The film allows the audience to jump deeper into Salinger's life and what makes him tick. We experience first hand his arrogance, quirky humor and determination. I like how they show the various relationships throughout Salinger's life. Because his father (Victor Garber) was condescending, it made Salinger fight that much harder to succeed. It was the encouragement and love of his mother (Hope Davis) to whom he dedicates his highly successful novel. We see how the betrayal of his love, Oona O'Neill (Zoey Deutch) hardened him and how he felt the relationship he had with his wife (Lucy Boynton) was too overpowering and intrusive for him to grasp. These aspects definitely made me feel more connected to him as a person and understand a bit more about his strange life.

My favorite character is Salinger's college professor, Whit Burnett, played by the award winning actor, Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey always manages to bring the audience into the heart and soul of every character he plays. I enjoyed how, at the beginning, Whit Burnett feels like any other professor - just there to teach an educational lesson. Life lessons are what he ends up actually teaching Salinger. Throughout the film we see him develop a true friendship and bond with Salinger. It actually hurts to watch their relationship tear apart and made me want to cheer when they are able to finally mend their relationship and move forward.

Even though the war scenes are very graphic and difficult to swallow, they truly help us see what formed Salinger as an adult and why he spiraled into a recluse.

Rebel in the Rye is rated PG-13 for smoking, brief violence and sexual references. The war scenes, while minimal, are very graphic. There are people smoking throughout the film, which was appropriate for that era, but I did not feel the language or sexual references were strong enough to make it inappropriate for younger teens. I do not feel that younger kids would appreciate the life of this author, or really gain too much enjoyment for this film. So, I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is playing now in select theaters so go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
BATTLE OF THE SEXES - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The themes presented in this film are still relevant and have merit. With that said, I want to add that ever since Ibsen wrote "A Doll's House," it's very rare to get a film (or play for that matter) that is charged with the theme of gender equality and presents it in a way that truly resonates. What do I mean? In films that aim to give a message or present an issues, such as when the writer wants to say something about the relevant society, more often than not, the writer portrays those characters in simple categorizations of good and bad. That may work in a superhero film, but in a piece of realism, where character development and relationships are key elements to the storytelling, simple good and bad just won't do. That's my issue with this film. The screenplay simplifies a few integral characters too much, in favor of hoisting up its protagonist.

To get this out of the way, the performances are fantastic. Emma Stone and Steve Carell lead the cast well, and the cast doesn't have a weak link in it. In particular, a lot of credit has to be given to Steve Carell. He took a character that was underwritten and perhaps even misrepresented and makes him sympathetic and someone to root for. Andrea Riseborough also delivers a very affecting performance and really gives us some great scene work with Emma Stone.

The directing is swift, well paced and well filmed. Kudos to the cinematographer who really has a wonderful grasp on stillness to promote an essential moment and exerts great uses of soft and hard focus to portray dramatic moments and internalize character feelings. The editing also deserves a shout out for some wonderful pacing and really effectively switching between the grainy, 70s like cinematography and more clear cinematography.

Now, back to the screenplay. What made and still makes "A Doll's House" the ultimate gender-equality script is that every character can be sympathized with. We learn more about the human condition and evils of society, rather than placing blame and anger on individual groups. There are only two men that can be rooted for without hesitation and that's our protagonist's husband and father. Every other guy is completely unlikable and has no arc, and Steve Carell's character can be questioned. Carell's character, who is a vital part of this story, isn't written very well or thoroughly. It's always hard to have two protagonists in a film, especially at a reasonable and well paced time. Carell's character is both an antagonist and protagonist or, at least attempts to be so. Carell's character opposes Emma Stone's. It's a man versus women ordeal and their tennis match is the crisis and climax of the film. But, here's the issue. Carell's character is NOT the antagonist. It's society! So why is Carell's character's standing within the realm of the film so questionable? Why doesn't he get his own arc? Every major character in "A Doll's House" takes a journey. That's what makes us empathize with them and come away disliking their society, and not the products of that society. The same would work with this film. But instead, there is a co-protagonist / antagonist that is not written for people to care about or even empathize with. He gets no arc, no change. He's unaffected. He may as well have been a smaller part.

Why is this an issue? Because Emma Stone's character is a catalyst. She's the driving force and vehicle used within the film to represent the affects of an unjust era and to showcase the positive effects that a change in this society would have. Unfortunately, because Carell's character and the real antagonists (the sexists who sit atop the societal ladder) don't change, because we only see them as unlikable, this story turns into something simple and ultimately unfulfilling. Stone's character merely wins the battle within the film and we come away knowing that and are momentarily happy. However, that soon goes away, which makes this entertaining dramedy perhaps a little forgettable. Had the writing been more substantial and caring to all its characters, and forgiving to all its characters and condemned society instead, we'd come away with a more profound understanding of where issues lie and are issued from. That's a memorable film. I suppose the cinematic world is still chasing Ibsen.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value and performances and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It is playing in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


PROSPERITY

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PROSPERITY - WELL GO USA INC.
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Dr. Pedram Shojai is an author, filmmaker, founder of Well.Org, Urban Monk, husband and father. PROSPERITY is a feature documentary about his journey across the Americas to discover a more sustainable way for us all to do business and thrive on our Planet. 'The Urban Monk' tracks the organic roots of Rodale Publishing; the food revolution of Whole Foods Market; Guayaki's waged war for rainforest redemption; Terra Cycle's scheme to drain the oceans of plastic; architect CookFox's carbon-reducing skyscraper design, alongside many others. Through these companies and more, the documentary explores an exploding conscious business movement, one fueled by social responsibility, transparency, millennials, and the realization that business-as-usual can't go on. The film unveils effective ways for everyone to be a part of this movement and really drive the positive change needed in the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Urban Monk" author Pedram Shojai takes viewers on a wide-ranging exploration of how decisions made in relation to every day spending habits and company's bottom lines affect the world around us. Shojai visits a variety of companies both large and small that are succeeding at combining ethical business decisions that promote sustainability with profit, guided by a desire to improve the world. Examples range from struggling cacao farmers in Panama to Whole Foods, which began as a small organic market. Throughout, the idea that business decisions based on ethical considerations can make for a better world and still yield profit by, among other things, reducing waste, ensuring future customer growth and creating more productive and fulfilling work environments, is vividly portrayed.

The production quality is excellent and the editing brisk, while maintaining a serious tone. Shojai makes for a genial host and the 80 minute program is a stimulating and inspiring journey into the consideration of human behavior, collective and individual, based upon money and ways in which we can redefine true "prosperity." Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017)

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VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017) - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the British-American biographical drama, Victoria and Abdul. I learned facts about Queen Victoria, the British ruler of India and the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria (Judy Dench) and her Indian servant, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall, it is based on a book written by Shrabani Basu. The film has regal pomp and circumstances, life lessons and humorous elements.

We see Abdul (Ali Fazal), a clerk in India, happily going about his duty recording the names of prisoners in a big log book. He is selected to travel to the UK to present a gold mohar, a coin, as part of the Queen's jubilee celebration. Abdul is selected because of his height. He is tall and very handsome.

Abdul is instructed on how to present the mohar to the Queen. He is told not look at the Queen and Abdul, because of his reverence for the Queen, decides to kiss her feet. This is the beginning of a unique relationship.

Abdul begins to share with Queen Victoria facts about India. He tells her about the Taj Mahal, Indian customs and teaches her Urdu. The Queen's viewpoint about how she rules begins to change as she learns more about the country and its customs.

My favorite scene is when the staff of Queen Victoria opposes her decision to give Abdul knighthood. Her son attempts to have her declared insane. She insists on facing the staff in person and she says, "I am cantankerous, greedy and fat. I am perhaps, disagreeably, attached to power. But I am anything but insane."

Victoria and Abdul shows the beautiful countryside of the UK, Scotland and India as well as some of the famous sites such as Windsor Castle. The costumes designed by Consolata Boyle, pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen's monogrammed shoes.

This film is a story about a different kind of friendship and how it influenced the lives of everyone in their circle and beyond. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and some adults will enjoy it as well. You can experience the royal pomp and circumstances of Victoria and Abdul at your local theater when it opens September 22, 2017

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This incredible, historical film opened my eyes and made me better understand the world I live in. Given that racism is still a prevalent issue in today's society, it was mind-boggling to see it in Britain, at the turn of the 20th century. I admire how this film brings the past to the present, and made me question how racism can dissipate in the future.

This film carefully documents the relationship between Queen Victoria and her beloved servant, Abdul Karim. Queen Victoria reigned in the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was the longest serving monarch in world history. In addition to being a queen, she was also the Empress of India. Because of this, Abdul Karim and his friend Mohammed are sent from India to Britain to deliver a sacred coin: the Mohur. Abdul and Mohammed believe they are only going to remain in Britain for a short period of time, but they end up going on the adventure of a lifetime.

Judi Dench, who plays Queen Victoria, exceptionally portrays a queen who is tired of her constriction. All she wants to do is have Abdul be her full-time servant, but because of his origins, Queen Victoria's staff does not approve. Ali Fazal, who plays Abdul Karim, considers the queen a very special person and his kindness towards her is impeccable. He teaches her the Quran and shares his culture with her. As time goes on, both develop a strong friendship, which is truly heartwarming.

The setting is remarkable. I've never seen the Taj Mahal, Scotland or the queen's palace. This film takes the audience to all these places. After seeing the beauty in other countries, it makes me want to travel the world. My favorite part of this film is when Queen Victoria eats with her staff. She eats very quickly and, once she finishes her food, regardless if the others are done or not, the servants take all of the food away. It's hilarious to see people still eating their meals and have their food taken away in the blink of an eye.

The message of this film is that no race, culture or religion is subordinate to another, even though individuals are from many different backgrounds. Britain is usually portrayed as one of the most powerful countries, but not in this film. We have to learn to not categorize others as inferior because of their lifestyle. Differences make society beautiful. If we were all the same, everything would be boring.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 15 to 18 as well as adults. There are undertones of adult subject matter throughout the film. Queen Victoria is infatuated with much a younger, married man, which is why an older audience is more suitable for it. Check it out when it opens in select theaters on September 22, 2017. I guarantee you've never seen anything like this before.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

How could the Empress of the British Empire and a poor Indian clerk possibly have anything at all in common? The fact that there is much that they share is a major theme in Victoria and Abdul. One example is that they are both in "prison." You first see scenes with Abdul and Queen Victoria in their native habitats: waking up, doing their jobs and, we see that they both exist in confined situations. Abdul works in an actual Indian prison, doing a very boring job and Victoria later says she is "in prison" because she cannot do what she wants to do, which is to explore the world. In one surprising scene, Victoria actually falls asleep at the table at her Golden Jubilee dinner! Abdul catches her eye and he becomes a window to the wonderfully exotic world of Indian culture.

Every British character in this story, except Victoria, is a terrible racist. The Royal staff of Queen Victoria disapproves of her friendship with Abdul and are constantly conspiring to sabotage their relationship. In contrast, Queen Victoria is fascinated by India, the languages, architecture and just about everything. She wants to explore India, but she cannot because if she does, she likely will be assassinated by the oppressed Indian people. Her son and heir Bertie (later King Edward VII) is the most hateful of all. One of the first things he does as king is to burn all evidence of his mother's 14-year friendship with Abdul that exists among his mother's papers and photographs.

One of the things that really stood out for me in this movie was the dialogue. Many wonderful actors are very lucky to bring life to this well-crafted screenplay. Judi Dench, as Queen Victoria, is really funny and dramatic at the same time. Ali Fazal, as Abdul, is amazing because he shows the care, love and respect the character has for the Queen. Of course, Michael Gambon is appropriately arrogant as the Prime Minister (although his distinctive voice keeps bringing Dumbledore to mind!) Eddie Izzard, as Queen Victoria's son Bertie, is also phenomenal as the worst villain in a movie full of them - very realistic and believable. The director Stephen Frears and the writer Lee Hall are amazing because they capture an important piece of history in an entertaining way. (When I found out Lee Hall wrote Billy Elliot, I knew this movie was going to be great.)

I give Victoria and Abdul 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the remarkable story about how two people from very different worlds come together as friends. I recommend this movie ages 13 to 18 because there are no intense moments and the plot is slightly complex. There are only funny, sweet, beautiful and some sad moments. You can see Victoria and Abdul in theaters when it opens on September 22, 2017.

By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
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LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE - WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

The voiceovers are magnificent. It's as if you can feel the characters' emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn't know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Pena) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn't have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don't have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because I am not a fan of Ninjago, yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father Garmadon, an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas take a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation made using LEGOs. And aside from a few live action parts, everything is made out of LEGOs. And, it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can't imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid's life being in influenced by his dad's bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman. They've made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd just talk about their relationship and their broken family, and it's really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12 What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

The voiceovers are magnificent. It's as if you can feel the characters' emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn't know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Pena) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn't have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don't have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because I am not a fan of Ninjago, yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father Garmadon, an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas take a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation made using LEGOs. And aside from a few live action parts, everything is made out of LEGOs. And, it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can't imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid's life being in influenced by his dad's bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman. They've made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd just talk about their relationship and their broken family, and it's really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEAP!

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LEAP!
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LEAP! - WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. F�licie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, F�licie takes a big risk: she 'borrows' a spoiled brats identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette , F�licie learns that talent is not enough - it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. That and friendship. Felicie's inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: becoming a famous inventor. Together, they both encourage each other to reach for the stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all - honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. F�licie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn't stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when F�licie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that F�licie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As F�licie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie's dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on F�licie protects her from Regine. McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when F�licie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina's dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie's passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. F�licie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. Definitely check this awesome movie out when it opens nationwide in theaters August 30, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Leap!, directed by Eric Summer is a fun filled, adventurous experience! A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters' outfits are unique and exquisite.

The story follows two best friends, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who have tremendous dreams. F�licie yearns to be a ballerina and Victor, an inventor. Together they escape their home at an orphanage and arrive in Paris to pursue their ambitions.

Elle Fanning as Felicie's voice communicate sadness when she sniffles, happiness as she squeals with joy and courage with a firm voice. Through Felicie's voice, I connected to her. Dane Dehaan as Victor's voice adds great joy and lightness to the film. The humor in his voice made me laugh out loud along with the audience.

The animation is the highlight of this film. The settings and surroundings are intricately detailed. When F�licie and Victor walk through the streets of Paris, the walls of the different buildings are covered with posters that have been ripped or worn down, the individual bricks or stones that make up the walls and street floors are covered with moss and miniscule cracks which adds to their realistic look. The architecture is angelic. The images of the Grand Opera house does true justice to the actual opera house. The ballet choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, wonderfully creates dance masterpieces. Although animated, I felt as if I was watching F�licie dance in real life. In one scene, two girls dance side by side and gracefully migrate from the stage to the chairs in the audience, to outside the stage. They use multiple areas as their stage and still look skillful and elegant.

My favorite part are the costumes. Designed to be sophisticated, from the ballerina's tutus to the vest of the Director of Opera, they have beautiful flower prints with bright colors and are very visually appealing.

The messages of this film is "never give up on your dreams" and "persevere towards your goals." I give 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters August 25, 2017 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Leap! has fantastic animation and shows some of the real struggles of being a ballerina. This film shows how hard work pays off and really motivates you to work as hard as the characters in the film. I love how it has clich�s, but still kept me glued and wanting to know more.

The storyline is about an orphan girl, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who escape an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Felicie's dream is to dance and she gets her own chance to pursue that. Along the way, she faces challenges and setbacks that help her learn about her longing to dance.

Something really amazing about this film is that during the group dance scenes, they only show the dancers feet, while they dance on pointe. I love it because of how in sync all the feet are and how realistic the animated ballet shoes are. The one thing I didn't like about the movie is how old some the characters sound compared to their age. For example, F�licie is 11 years old and is voiced by Elle Fanning whose voice sounds much older. In some scenes, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who is much older than F�licie sounds younger than her. But, the animation is so beautifully unique and unlike anything I've seen in any other movie. My favorite scene is when Victor (Dane DeHaan) and Rudy (Tamir Kapelian) fight over F�licie and it turns into a very funny slap fight. My favorite character is Odette because she is the one who teaches F�licie how to dance and always believes in her no matter what happens.

I think there are two messages in this film. The first is to follow your dreams because, if you can dream it, you can do it (shout out to Walt on this one). The second message is that practice makes perfect. This is what F�licie has to do in order to achieve her dream. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is such a marvelous movie that I loved watching. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 because even my 17-year-old brother enjoyed it! You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 25.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER

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PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER - AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Description - The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the 'Pup Star' TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she's replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is 'better together.'
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I liked this so much more than I thought I would. The dogs are absolutely adorable and they storyline, while a bit trite, is quite suitable for its intended audience. The humans are all pretty stereotyped and goofy but in a good way. This is one of those films that I definitely recommend for kids, especially dog lovers. My hat is off to the animators for making the dogs appear to be speaking. They way their mouths move is pretty credible. I would definitely take my granddaughter to this! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the "cantankerous" Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny's place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo's disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry's cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he's really like a dodo bird. It's so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody's business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can't they?

I don't want to give away the ending, but you'll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it's about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don't love dogs as much as I do, that's okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she's forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy's low-pitched raps and Tiny's intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren't able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny's owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she's actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it's Tiny's birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake - what more could you ask for?

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America's Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there's even a real audience. It feels as if you're a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on "Jimmy Kibble Live" and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called "Who Knows Tiny Best?" Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you're together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You're never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can't wait to see Pup Star 3.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film's editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny's family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn't Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, "Is This For Real?" is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie's soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don't depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart. The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes. The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny's sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy's rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs break-dancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of "don't judge a book by its cover." I don't want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what's right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what's right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn't give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what's right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn't love puppies? Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE

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NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE - OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Surly the squirrel and his animal friends find out that the corrupt mayor of Oakton plans to bulldoze their beloved Liberty Park to make way for an amusement park. Hoping to save the place they call home, Surly, Andie, Buddy and the rest of the gang join forces with Mr. Feng, a seemingly cute and innocent mouse who happens to be a fierce master of kung fu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nut Job 2 is wonderful! With some movies, the sequel is never as good as the original, but with this movie, they are both awesome films. There is never a boring part or unnecessary scene. It keeps you wanting more and gets you really attached about the characters' lives. The background music really helps keep the story going and makes the chase scenes more suspenseful since there are no silent moments.

In the film, an accident happens and all the animals who are eating at the nut shop are forced to move back to the park. Unfortunately, Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) has some nefarious plans to destroy the park. So, Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends have to find a way to work together to save the park.

One of the things I care for in both of The Nut Job films is the animation. I love how you can see every single hair on all the animals and how each one is different. Another thing that I love about this film is the music. That, you can thank Heitor Pereira for. The music goes with the lines and scenes so well, that it truly enhances the story. My favorite character is Buddy because, even though he never talks, he is always there for Surly and it's funny to see Buddy's expressions that make it seem as if he's talking. I also really like the backstory showing Surly and Buddy's friendship. Another thing I really like is Mr. Feng's (Jackie Chan) tail because it makes him more intimidating, which adds to his character. My favorite scene is when Andie (Katherine Heigl) starts singing about how the park is their home and they make a joke about how "no one can break into a spontaneous song." Go watch it and you'll see!

The two messages in this film are to work together, which this movie is all about, and that nothing comes easy. This message comes into place when the animals have to move back to the park and scrounge for food. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the extraordinary animation, plot and music. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 14 and parents and older siblings will enjoy it too. You can find this film theaters nationwide on August 11, 2017.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

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TRIP TO SPAIN, THE
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TRIP TO SPAIN, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed The Trip to Spain for its humor, beautiful countryside scenery, exquisite food and wine and meals shared by two male friends. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon shine as themselves on a romp through Spain for an adventurous week together.

They are asked to go on a newspaper photo shoot to portray Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and we travel with them through Spain in both fun times and some serious professional and family moments.

I love the road trip scenes across different parts of Spain and laughed heartily as the two men tried to outdo each other with comedic imitations of famous actors such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. My favorite scene is Steve Coogan's inimitable portrayal of Mick Jagger singing. He had his voice and hand motions down to a tee. I also loved their singing duet while driving along the road of an old song of Noel Harrison's "Windows of Your Mind." Baby boomers will appreciate the joke about who Noel's father is and what song his father sang.

In opposition to the hilarity of most of the film, we see Steve Coogan dealing with some serious concerns regarding a script he has written and wondering why it has not been green-lit yet. He also learns that his agent has left the agency and he's been handed over to his agent's assistant and is unhappy about that. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Steve, his ex-agent has contacted Rob, telling him that he is the next James Cordon, and should be hosting an awards show and would like to represent him.

While on the road, Steve has some somber phone conversations with his son and Rob enjoys fun Skyped conversations with his wife and kids. The ending of the amigos' trip and Steve's time alone, provide viewers with an interesting speculative ending. This film is the third in a trilogy directed by Michael Winterbottom. Seeing this one has enticed me to seek out the first two films, The Trip and The Trip to Italy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It is playing at select theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

By Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I surprised myself by actually enjoying this film. It is entertaining and light-hearted. The writer/director, Michael Winterbottom leaves the audience with an ending that encourages some interesting discussion as well as making me want to go grab a late night snack!

The Trip to Spain is a deadpan comedy about two friends, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing themselves, traveling across Spain, writing about food while they take in culture and talk about life. This is the third in a series of "trip" films and aired at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. What I find interesting is Michael Winterbottom never actually wrote a script. It is more of an outline explaining where each scene takes place, who is in it and what subjects will be discussed. Most of the lines are improvised by the actors.

The Trip to Spain is shot on location which allows for some magnificent cinematography. There are numerous breathtaking views from the many restaurants they visit. One thing I found annoying was the abrupt cuts the camera takes to show locals eating or sitting around. I found it unnecessary and actually distracting from the plot.

I enjoy dry, deadpan humor. I also think the many impressions Steve and Rob do throughout the film are fun to watch. Obviously I cannot relate when they make references to their 50-year-old selves, but I often laughed at the situational humor.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Because of the content and dry humor, I think older teens and adults will appreciate it most. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

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MENASHE
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MENASHE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Deep in the heart of New York's notoriously secretive Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery store clerk, struggles against tradition to keep custody of his only son after his wife passes away.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Menashe is an authentic, emotional masterpiece telling the story of a kind, hapless, Hasidic grocery store clerk who battles to keep his family together after his wife dies. Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein and starring Menashe Lustig, the film was shot clandestinely because of the beliefs of the Orthodox Jewish sect. I love this film because it took willpower to make. You can't say that about many films nowadays.

Menashe is about a kindhearted, but miserable grocery store employee that must remarry in order to care for his only son. It is against the Hasidic beliefs that a child be taken care of without a mother in the home. While Menashe ponders his situation, his well-off brother-in-law is given custody of Rieven by their Rabbi. Menashe is frustrated by this and is only able to get back custody of his son for a week, while he looks for a new wife. It doesn't seem that he really wants to get remarried, because when he goes on one date he isn't particularly friendly.

Unlike the rest of his family and friends, Menashe is more at ease with the secular society surrounding them in Brooklyn. He dresses more casually, without the requisite black hat and coat. While he takes his religion seriously, he wants to embrace life and freedom, more than the sect allows. My favorite part of this film is when Menashe drinks malt liquor with the Hispanic employees after his late night shift. They talk about life and try to get Menashe back on track.

One of the attributes of this film is the way it educates you about the culture of ultra Orthodox Judaism. The other very impressive fact is that it is the first film in 70 years to be filmed in Yiddish. Most of the film is subtitled for those who don't speak Yiddish. Both Menashe Lustig and young Ruben Niborski convey the closeness they have between father and son. One downside of the film is that it is low budget, which is reflected in its grainy resolution. Some of that could also be due to the fact that it was shot in secret.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for its authenticity and emotional punch. I recommend it for ages 13 through 18. The film is in limited release throughout the country at art house cinemas.

By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RESILIENT HEART, THE

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RESILIENT HEART, THE - WWW
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - The Resilient Heart explores the keys to preventing heart disease on a worldwide scale. At the film's core is the story of Dr. Valent�n Fuster, a world-renowned cardiovascular scientist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his exploration of the heart at the molecular level, Dr. Fuster discovers that the real answer to defeating chronic disease lies in a much larger place: early education. By highlighting scientific contributions ranging from basic science to translational research, the film addresses the improvement of clinical and surgical care efforts to promote lifestyles that prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Ultimately, it shows how the intersection of science, medicine, research, education and compassion bring about changes that are not only important but also replicable by physicians and patients throughout the world . The film follows Dr. Fuster and his team as they travel to Eldoret (Kenya), Bogota and more. If you or someone you know has ever been touched by a heart disease, you really must see this film. Directed by Susan Froemke. Cast: Dr. Valentin Fuster
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This inspirational film kept me glued to the edge of my seat. I didn't know that heart disease is the number one killer in society today. It fascinates me that there are incredible individuals in this world such as Dr. Valentin Fuster who want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially with a disease that is so common.

In this documentary promoting worldwide heart health, we see cardiologist Valentin Fuster working with doctors around the globe to help individuals realize that behavior is the key to combating heart disease. Traveling to countries like Kenya, Colombia and Grenada, Fuster works with both children and adults to help facilitate healthy behavior, through group therapy sessions, classroom instruction and community volunteering.

Valentin Fuster has the biggest heart. He flies to other countries once a week to help people. He gets up at 4:30 every morning, works 7 days a week and works with kids for 15 years to help them understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could meet him, because I would love to thank him for all of the incredible work he has done for kids and adults around the world.

I really admire that the film is not based in a single geographical location. It is fascinating to see different cultures and compare them, and see how heart disease affects poor countries, which most people are not aware of. The fact that I was able to see how different areas of the world need so much help from future generations motivates me to follow in Fuster's footsteps - first starting in my own community, then making my impact even bigger.

My favorite part of this film is when Dr. Fuster talks about his motivation and says that if he died tomorrow, he would be okay with it, because he has helped so many people. This is rewarding to him.

The message of this film is that we have the power to keep our hearts healthy. You can start focusing on heart health at any age and, although we can't necessarily cure heart disease, we can prevent it by exercising, eating right and avoiding incredible amounts of stress. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 12 to 18. Adults would love it too. No age is too young to begin taking care of your heart. You can watch this film on Amazon now! This is the documentary of a lifetime.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCKY (2017)
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LUCKY (2017)
LUCKY (2017) - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A 90-year-old atheist has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment. Directed by John Carroll Lynch; Starring Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This paradoxical film definitely altered my perspective on daily life. Life is meant to be a beautiful thing, but not in this case. Elaborating on loneliness and the mundane events in everyday life, you will surely rethink what it means to be alive.

Lucky is a 90-year-old atheist, who ironically, isn't so lucky. Every day, Lucky drinks his glass of milk, does yoga stretches, has a cup of coffee, goes to the local diner and ends his day walking back home from the store with a package of cigarettes. His health is impeccable, but he does not seem to be happy. In reality, he is afraid of living and consistently talks about death. Join Lucky on his journey of trying to attain enlightenment and see if he can live the life he truly desires.

Harry Dean Stanton plays the role of Lucky and successfully portrays an angry, independent old man. Stanton manages to hold a depressed facial expression for the majority of the film. All the town residents try to help him. Yvonne Huff plays Loretta, the waitress at the local diner who empathizes with Lucky the most and drives to his house to check up on him once day. Originally, Lucky is reluctant, but Loretta goes into his house and they watch TV together. Lucky tells her that he's scared of life and they both share a hug before she heads over to the diner for her shift.

The set is incredible. The film is set in a deserted town, so the characters' relationships are very strong. David Lynch, who plays Howard, has a tortoise named President Roosevelt and he is tremendous. I didn't know that tortoises could live for 200 years. It's great to see an animal become so prominent to the residents of the town. My favorite part is when Howard says his tortoise has escaped. Tortoises travel very slowly, so his friends make fun of him by asking if Howard went to Europe in the time being. Seeing this scene made me want to have my own pet tortoise.

The message of this film is to live life however you desire. Life is short, so make sure to make the most of it, even if it means doing the same thing over and over again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18, since there is drinking, drugs and foul language. Catch this film in theaters September 29, 2017 to find out what it means to be "Lucky."

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUNKIRK

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DUNKIRK - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Samantha M. comments, "This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today." Michelle C. adds, "Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized. The battle of Dunkirk was a short one, May 26 to June 4, 1940. Despite its minimal timeframe, it was deadly. WWII Allied soldiers were hiding, surrounded on all sides by the German Army and had to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, by way of an operation famously known as Operation Dynamo.

On the ground, British Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) are two of the men desperately fighting and struggling to remain alive and safely evacuate the beach, by whatever means available. Across the ocean, local sailors Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Toms Carney) had been recruited by the Navy to help with the evacuation. From yet another perspective, members of the Royal Air Force including Farrier (Tom Hardy) attempt to shoot down the German bombers, in order to help the stranded troops evacuate the beach and ocean safely. Let's talk about the production of the film. The cinematography, as expected from talented director and writer Christopher Nolan, is groundbreaking.

Congratulations to Hoyt van Hoyterman for creating a visual masterpiece. Everything looks incredibly realistic and breathtaking, keeping you on your toes throughout the film. The scene that is the most memorable to me, is when one of the Air Force pilots soar through the sunset sky as the troops cheer in victory. I assure you that it will give you goosebumps and make you teary-eyed. The sound effects and the music by Hans Zimmer make the movie that much more tangible. The bombing begins from the very start of the film, preparing you for an emotional rollercoaster. They are so loud that it sounds as if they're coming from the back of the theater. If you listen closely, there's a ticking clock throughout the entire film, (minus the ending, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover) hidden within each song, creating increased tension and suspense. By the end of the film, I was already down to the nub of my fingertips, so prepare to be antsy! Harry Styles' performance is quite impressive, particularly since he is a known as a singer, not an actor. It is refreshing to see his excellent performance her, as he is the one with the most lines and delivers them eloquently, equal to an experienced actor. Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy also delivered remarkable performances. Dunkirk relies heavily on emotions since it barely has any dialogue, so it is important to have the story delivered by the visuals and the acting, which they achieved flawlessly. Dunkirk opens in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017. It's 107 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language. Because of the stunning cinematography and storyline, I rate Dunkirk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Go check it out, whether you are a history buff or not, this film will remind you how history affects us.

By Michelle C. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today. Based on the historical account of World War II, Dunkirk highlights the tension within the British Empire, France and Belgium, as the German army begins to make brutal attacks. In hopes of keeping Dunkirk intact, the allied soldiers are evacuated by boats and must fight for their lives at sea.

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead British soldier, Tommy, and his acting is incredible! He doesn't have many lines, which makes his acting stand out. You can empathize with Tommy just by looking into his eyes and see the pain he's experiencing as he is fighting for his life. Harry Styles plays Alex, another one of the British soldiers. Styles doesn't have many lines either, since Dunkirk heavily emphasizes war battle scenes rather than dialogue. When Alex does speak, his words are powerful. In one of the scenes, he tries to convince the other soldiers that Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) is a German spy.

Alex's anger is discernible. You can see how long he has been hiding his emotions and how much the war is taking a toll on him. Dunkirk is set on the beaches of Northern France. The views are breathtaking, but it is depressing to see such a beautiful place being bombed. However, it does motivate the soldiers to protect their country, which is why the director, Christopher Nolan, emphasizes the soldiers' surroundings. My favorite part of the film is when the soldiers are being fed bread with raspberry jam. They look incredibly happy to be eating after days of stress. This scene makes me appreciate how much I have. All I want to do is help these soldiers, get them to safety and thank them for all their hard work. The message is to never give up and to recognize the impact World War II made on our country. Hard work pays off. We should never forget our fallen soldiers and appreciate how they changed our lives and countries for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Since there is little dialogue, it can be confusing at times, but it is unique. I recommend it to ages 16 to18, and adults will enjoy it too. There are many fatalities, gunshots and dead bodies, so it is not particularly for little kids. It depends on your tolerance level. Check out this film in theaters nationwide when it opens on July 21, 2017. You won't want to miss it.

By Samantha M. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride. Director Christopher Nolan reaches back to one of England's greatest points of pride before the U.S.A.'s entry into the war, namely, the against-the-odds evacuation from the town of Dunkirk, France to preserve 400,000 British troops. This movie is Nolan's love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her. Back in England, one representative patriot is a duty-bound father, played by Mark Rylance, whose boat, like many other boats in England, is requisitioned by the Royal Navy evacuate the stranded in Dunkirk. His story connects with that of two RAF pilots sent on a mission to protect the skies while the naval operation is undertaken. The only drawback of the film is that none of the characters is fleshed out enough to make the audience connect with them on a more emotional level. But this is, after all, war. Nolan's realistic account is both a visual and auditory masterpiece. The scenery is magnificent. I have never seen a movie in which there are so many scenes without dialogue. One of the most remarkable sequences is the aerial flight sequence. I actually felt as if I was flying! IMAX adds to the already impressive immersive quality of the movie. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18 because it gets a bit intense. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the incredible true story about how all of England came together to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers. By the way, teenage girls will agree with me that Harry Styles isn't too shabby. This is s his first movie and his realistic acting is truly amazing. This film opens in theaters nationwide Friday, July 21, 2017 so, go check it out. By Lucia F. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE EMOJI MOVIE

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THE EMOJI MOVIE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - The Emoji Movie - Exhilarating Storyline, Wonderful Cast, Colorful Animation and More
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Emoji Movie is a kid-friendly fun and exciting film for people of all ages to enjoy and connect with. I love how the world of emojis in smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to identify with the characters and the plot. Families will definitely enjoy this amusing motion film and may even learn from it.

Alex's (Jake T Austin) smartphone is home to all of the emojis. Each has its own facial expression except for Gene (TJ Miller). Gene struggles with being an emoji with multiple expressions and is determined to become normal like all of the other emojis. Gene asks for help from his new best friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), a popular code breaker. During their epic adventure, the three face great danger and conflict with other characters. Join them on their experience.

I enjoyed every aspect of this film, but my favorite scene is when Gene realizes his uniqueness from the other emojis. Alex is having phone troubles and is on the verge of getting it fixed, which means the end for all things emojis. Gene steps in to make sure that doesn't happen, which is a perk since he recognizes his worth. This scene sends a powerful message for kids to learn about liking themselves and recognizing their importance in the world.The overall message of the film is to learn to accept who you are, no matter what others think of you. In the beginning, Gene has trouble figuring out who he is and why he isn't like the rest. That leads him to wanting to be normal. Fortunately, Gene later realizes who he is, with a little help from his friends, and finally accepts himself. Kids and even adults can learn a lesson from this and apply it to their lives by building up their own self confidence.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. There are scenes that tweens and teens can enjoy, but it also contains some scenes are suitable for 5 to 13 year olds. Adults will most likely enjoy this as well. It really is a film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

I rate The Emoji Movie 4 out of 5 because of its exhilarating storyline, wonderful cast, colorful animation and overall message. The Emoji Movie opens on July 28th, 2017 so, be sure to check it out so you can laugh along with the characters and enjoy it as much as I did.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-13 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

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VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of its excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction adds flair to the story.

The movie is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

The film's message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

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WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It's impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible. It's insane how today, everything looks so realistic. I also like this film because of its sincere, from-the-heart message.

War for the Planet of the Apes is about Caesar and his apes who are forced into deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a cruel Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

My favorite scene from this film is when all the apes are attacked by the military and lots of them are killed. Their leader Caesar, of course, becomes furious and wants to do something about it. He decides to go off to fight the soldiers that attacked his family while defending themselves. I love this scene because it shows how the leader of the apes really cares for his family. Also, the apes that look up to him see him as a role model and can follow in his footsteps and morals.

The important message of this film is that no family is perfect. Unpleasant things can happen that make their relationships worse. Family members can go through tough times, but in the end, family is family and love will always be there. So if there's fighting and family members are struggling through something, they will figure things out and help each other sort things out. In this film, the apes are all there for each other all the time. If someone needs help, they all help. If someone is fighting or arguing, they all help figure it out. They support each other. I think it's an amazing idea that this message is taught by the apes because lots of people can learn from this and apply it to their own lives.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

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SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

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TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This latest installment is part of the action packed Transformers series that I love because of the captivating work of the transformers' team. Seeing it in IMAX is even more mind-blowing. As well as the great cinematography, this film has hyper-realistic imagery that makes it ten times better.

This film has many great things in it, but a big problem I have with it is that it has too many things happening. By that, I mean there are new characters, lots of transformers, lots of different storylines and multiple things happening at the same time. These are all great, but there is a limit to how many things can be in a movie. This film isn't quite over the top, but close.

Some of the new characters include Izabella (Isabela Moner), a young girl who is interested in transformers and quite skilled with machinery, Vivian (Laura Haddock) an teacher from England who has a large role in saving the world. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is also in this film as a returning character. He was in the fourth movie, Age of Extinction.

This film has an interesting storyline and is fun and cool. An interesting name twist occurs when a main character, Optimus Prime becomes Nemisis Prime when he is evil. Nemesis Prime is the leader of the auto-bots, a good group of transformers. The strategy of turning a good guy bad is a great strategy to attract viewers of the film.

This movie does a cool, sneak-peek into history. It talks about medieval times and the knights of the round table. That is a primary plot which explains why this movie is called The Last Knight. It is cool to incorporate history into the film as it adds a little extra something to it. For example, in the first film, there is a cool kind of conspiracy part which I won't describe because it would be a spoiler. It is well acted and well executed with beautiful special effects and nearly non-stop action. You don't really have a chance to reflect on what or why this crazy and confusing story bounces around from one country to another, landing deep in the ocean and then suddenly reappearing at Stonehenge, England. Even though it's hard to know who is shooting at whom or for what reason, somehow it's still enjoyable to watch and even gripping at times.

Overall, this is a great film. It is cool, fun and has a lot to it, even if it may be a little too much. I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18. There are some adult jokes and violence, but they are not too bad. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

What an action packed and thrilling movie Transformers: The Last Knight is! It includes many sentimental, comedic and energetic scenes that had me at the edge of my seat. The animation and computer technology are amazing and so satisfying to watch. Teenagers and adults will definitely want to buy this DVD to re-watch it over and over again.

The Autobots, Decepticons and humans are all at war once again. Optimus Prime is still gone - off on a venture to meet his creator. The essentials for saving the future is engulfed within the secrets of the past and the history of the original Transformers and their descendants on Earth. It is up to the alliance of the inventor and Transformers protector, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), an Oxford professor, Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) and the Autobots to save the world. Join them on their epic and intriguing fight!

I have always enjoyed watching the Transformer movies ever since I was a adolescent and I was not disappointed in this movie. My favorite factor of the movie is the special effects. The computer technology and editing are tremendous and make the movie come to life. Another part that I really enjoyed is how the history of the Transformers and the historical events are introduced. Being a Transformers fan, I have always wondered about the history of these fun and fast fighting bots and it finally is revealed in this movie. One thing that upset me a little bit is that some scenes are all over the place. I found myself confused about who is who, and how some scenes relate to the overall story. Other than that, I really enjoyed this film.

The overall message of the film is to be united as one. Regardless of how many hardships there are in the world, you should look past the differences and join together to get past them. In the beginning, the humans try to destroy the remaining Autobots because they believe they are dangerous, but that is not the case! They are trying to protect the world and the human race. Eventually, the humans and the bots unite to defeat the evil creator that is trying to destroy Earth.

I encourage teenagers and adults to watch this entertaining and thrilling movie, along with all the Transformer fans. No age below thirteen should see this movie, since there is a fair amount of profanity. However, families with teens will definitely have an awesome time watching it.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its exhilarating action-packed scenes, awesome special effects, amazing cast, great voice-overs and enthusiasm. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray so to check it out. I think you might enjoy this movie as much as I did!

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DESPICABLE ME 3

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DESPICABLE ME 3 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin's despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have reviewed quite a few films for KIDS FIRST! and many of them have been memorable, fantastic additions to my media life. Despicable Me 3 has officially taken the spot as my favorite KIDS FIRST! film to review and is one of my favorite five animated movies of all time. I really liked the first two Despicable Me films, which led me to believe I would enjoy this one as well. This movie is fantastic. It is lovely to see a story with a bit of a serious side to it and one that I can relate to so thoroughly. In this film, you get your standard goofy storyline with the Minions and villains, but you also get a more in depth look at Gru's family life and how it has evolved. In the last film, Gru married Lucy and, in this film, you get to see Lucy and the girls figure out the mother/daughter dynamics. It's wonderful and very touching. Being a step-mother myself, watching this film for the first time with my step-children was a great experience. The family feeling is great and the step-parent or adopted-parent bonds seem would really help freshly blended families or give a lovely reminder to not so freshly blended families. The animation s great as always, the music is fun and engaging and the story is beyond wonderful. This film is perfect for children ages 5 to 14. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. If you haven't seen it, you really should. It opens June 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie! It is a funny, fast-paced film about Gru and his family discovering his charming, long-lost twin brother Dru. After Gru and Lucy lose their jobs and the Minions quit, the brothers team up against Balthezar Bratt, the new villain, while Lucy and the girls have some of their own adventures.

My favorite scene is when Gru and Dru attempt to break into Bratts' headquarters. Dru, who isn't used to the idea of a heist, continuously messes up the plan. Its laugh-out-loud funny! The long lost twin brothers are two of my favorite characters, brilliantly voiced and acted by Steve Carrell. I also love Gru's wife Lucy voiced by Kristen Wiig.

Now of course we can't forget Balthazr Bratt (Trey Parker), an old school villain determined to get revenge on Hollywood for canceling his hit TV show in the 80s. Gubble gum that blows up on impact is his choice of weapon. His purple pantsuit inspires him to break into an 80s song. You can imagine that he is a fun character and, I think he is very good addition to this movie. You want him defeated, but you enjoy thinking what he might do next. Although the good guy/bad guy element of the movie is slightly predictable, I would definitely go see it again.

The music in this film is all around great. The villain Bratt is stuck in the 80s and constantly breaks out in dance whenever there is 80s music. I know adults will remember those songs. In addition there are Pharrell Williams' awesome new songs. Illumination Studios nails it again with so much creativity, great animation and new characters to join the familiar ones. The Minions are adorable as always!

I give this film 5 out of 5 shining stars and I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 because of its laugh-out-loud, but not crude humor, creative plot twists, fabulous acting and great music. Though it's the 3rd sequel, it doesn't matter if you didn't see the previous films. It is great on its own!! Check it out when it opens June 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love this movie. It is an action-packed film that is entertaining from beginning to end! It is an excellent sequel to the two other Despicable Me films and the Minions. But to love this film, seeing the others is not required. It is great all on its own!

Despicable Me 3 picks up where Despicable Me 2 left off and takes us on an exciting new adventure. After Gru and Lucy get fired by the new boss of AVL (Anti-Villain League), the Minions want Gru to return to a life of crime. Instead, they are taken on an adventure to find Gru's long-lost twin brother Dru! Gru, Lucy and their three kids fly to his brother's house in Freedonia. As soon as they walk in, they notice Dru has an extravagant lifestyle, very different to the one they're used to, with lots of awesome vehicles.

My favorite scene is when the Minions are running from the police and end up on a television show called Sing. There are three judges waiting for them to start and, at first the Minions don't want to sing. When one Minion gets pushed to the front, he starts singing and all the others join in. Shortly after, the crowd and the judges love them. It is hilarious!

Although, I love the Minions, my favorite character is Lucy, performed brilliantly by Kristen Wiig. She is such a fun, high-spirited person and she is always the one to come in and save the day. I also think Balthazar Bratt, the new villain, is a great addition to the film. He starts out as a child actor in Hollywood until he is kicked off the show as a teen. He then thinks and acts as if he is the evil character he played on TV and starts destroying and stealing things. Gru and Dru decide to take down Balthazar Bratt and carry on their family tradition as special agents.

The animation in this film is fantastic. It allows for creativity that live action films just can't achieve. Balthazar Bratt's bubble gum guns are a great example of that, especially when they blow up Hollywood. I love how the hundreds of Minions change their expressions, their color or their clothes, especially when they change from their jail jumpsuits to their overalls.

The music is awesome. It's a fun mix of Pharrell Williams' new songs and 80s music that adults are sure to remember! this movie is very family friendly. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Many teens and adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's a super fun summer film that opens nationwide in theaters June 30, 2017. Go check it out. I hope you enjoy the movie.

By Madeline R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CARS 3

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CARS 3 - WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Description - Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cars 3 is a great new chapter in the Cars series. While it doesn't soar to the heights of other Pixar films, it still is the best Cars film yet.

Cars 3 sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) undergo a series of losses and then a near fatal crash. His fellow racers are dropping out and being replaced by new, high tech cars like his rival Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). McQueen realizes during his recovery that the game has changed and he's not the sharp rookie he used to be. He knows he needs to train harder than he ever has to keep doing what he loves. With the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), McQueen plans to beat Storm at an upcoming race in Florida to start off the season. This is his last chance to prove his worth to his fans and his new corporate sponsor (Nathan Fillion) and McQueen is not going down without a fight.

My favorite character in Cars 3 is Cruz Ramirez. The reveal of a new car being added to Lightning's crew is exciting. This character's glowing positivity is a nice contrast to McQueen's snarky pessimism. Cristela Alonzo brings a lot of enthusiasm, but also plays the deeper sides of this character very well too and engages you in the evolution of Cruz Ramirez throughout the movie.

The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters' emotions and makes me care more about them in the process. The backgrounds in this film are gorgeous. They're detailed, picturesque and really reflect the quality of Pixar's animation. The total effect makes me envy the characters and wish I could visit them in their rich, colorful world.

Preceding Cars 3 is the short film Lou about a creature made out of objects from a school lost-and-found bin. It's an interesting concept and carries an important message. It's one of my favorite Pixar shorts to date. I recommend Cars 3 for ages 5 to 12. The scene where Lightning McQueen crashes is quite intense and could scare younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Cars 3 opens in theaters June 16 so be sure to go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed. I especially love the facial expressions of the cars which show a lot of emotions.

Cars 3 is about the famous racer, Lightning Macqueen. He is usually the winner of every race until a rookie racer comes along. The rookie, Jackson Storm, is younger, sleeker and faster than Lightning Macqueen and his "old-school" friends. Eventually, his friends retire, leaving room for more rookies to join the races. And Lightning McQueen goes on an adventure to figure out if his racing days must come to an end.

Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, perfectly performs Lightning McQueen's rage scenes. He makes McQueen sound desperate, frustrated and on the edge of breaking at times, but can make him also sound determined and hopeful. Armie Hammer, the voice of Jackson Storm, voices Jackson as an arrogant character. The voice fits very well because Storm always makes fun of Lightning McQueen.

The animation of this film is very pleasing to look at, is 3D, and even though they are cars, you can see their facial expressions. Their voices and facial expressions indirectly show their emotions which was really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Lightning McQueen goes back to visit the hometown of his late crew chief and former racer Doc Hudson. McQueen sees all of the letters that Hudson sent back home about him. McQueen starts feeling emotional and begins to really miss Hudson. I really like this scene because it warmed my heart to see McQueen realize that he made Hudson happy till his last days. Lightning McQueen was like a son to Doc Hudson.

The message of this film is about persevering and empowering women. Cruz Ramirez, a female car with the dream of being a racer, is told by everyone that she can't be a racer, even though she works extremely hard every day to become one. Lightning McQueen gives her a chance to become a racer and she takes it no matter what anyone says.

Cars 3 is a great movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 6 to 14. This film is very positive and has a different storyline. It's awesome for car lovers. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 16, 2017.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end. Although this movie is clearly an action movie, it is also hilarious! I am a huge Larry the Cable Guy fan and, as Mater the Tow Truck, he provides plenty of comic relief. I also love how loyal and heartwarming Mater is as a friend to the protagonist, Lightning McQueen. Of course, his is not the only remarkable performance. Owen Wilson, as Lightning McQueen, is a very effective leading man. His performance is pure genius.

The movie is intense. A new race car character, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is introduced as competition to our hero, Lightning McQueen. Unfortunately, Storm steals Lightning's thunder (sorry, I couldn't resist). Viewers will find the many racing sequences extremely exciting. I actually jumped during the nighttime race through the forest with no headlights. Parents should know that there is another scene that might be disturbing to younger viewers which occurs during the Crazy 8's demolition derby race at Thunder Hollow. Since all the characters are cars, the destruction could be considered quite violent.

There are three messages in this film. The first is a message of girl power when a plot twist involving Lightning's female trainer provides a completely unexpected result. Another message is to value and honor the old-timers who succeeded before you and paved the way for your success. We see this when an older lady racer talks about the days when she was not allowed to have a number, so she stole one. The third message, which provides yet another surprise, is that those who support actual heroes are indeed, heroes themselves.

What really stands out for me throughout this film is the music and the animation. I love how the music, usually heavy-metal guitars, suits each race so perfectly. The images are of two types - absolutely breathtaking scenery, such as the trip to the Rusteeze Racing Center, and the appealing, animated car characters. It is also very interesting that Lightning McQueen keeps changing his look throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It very effectively tells a story about doing what you love to do regardless of public opinion. I recommend this film for girls and boys ages 7 to 18. Cars 3 races into theaters on Friday, June 16, 2017 so go check it out. You will absolutely enjoy the ride.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 4-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOLDEN ON

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HOLDEN ON - GRANGER PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - No longer your average boy-next-door, Holden Layfield weaves audiences through his harrowing tale in this film set in the early 1990s. After succumbing to a secret battle with mental illness, Holden evolves from a beloved, small town Georgia football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This exceptional film brought out all of my emotions, which is why it is one of my new favorites. I don't remember the last time I laughed and cried within minutes of each other. I'm glad I was able to express my emotions, because that is what makes me relate to a film. This film helped y heart grow bigger and make me more empathetic towards others.

Based on a true story, Holden On is about a 17-year-old boy named Holden Layfield, who lives in a small town in Georgia and is a star athlete. Playing football like a professional, Layfield receives multiple college scholarships and is ready to begin a new chapter in his life. But, he has a big secret: he is battling a mental illness. Over a two year period, Layfield tries to keep his illness to himself and transforms from a fantastic football player to a prophet who believes he can save the world.

Matthew Fahey portrays Holden in a remarkable fashion. He acts very humble, which illustrates how kind-hearted Holden truly is. However, because of his humility, it is difficult for Holden's family to decipher his thoughts. Fahey makes you believe that Holden is completely fine and, because he isn't, it makes the plot even more intriguing. Steve Ellis' portrayal of Zinte, Holden's best friend, is humorous. Zinte truly cares about Holden and it is evident through their five year friendship. Ellis characterizes Zinte as comical, joking around with him to cheer him up. But, he is unaware of Holden's issue. These lead actors left me on the edge of my seat for the entire film.

I love the music in this film because which is from the 80s, opening with "It's the End of the World" by R.E.M. The film is set in the 90s, but the music is from an older era and includes bands such as Suzie Rose and Tommy McCarthy. My favorite parts of the film are when Holden is in a situation and the camera shifts towards his point of view. For example, Holden tackles another team player on the football field before the game begins. The camera cuts to Holden's thoughts, displaying a visual of what is going on in his brain. I enjoyed how Holden narrates his thoughts when this occurs, because I could empathize more with him.

The message of this film is that you are not alone, even if you're battling mental illness. Talk to your friends, family or a professional about your feelings, because there is someone who is always willing to help. Mental illness is common and not many people are aware of the help available to those who are suffering. That a movie has been created to address the issue touches my heart.

Be forewarned that Holden resorts to drugs to cope with his illness yet, this film has such an impactful message that I wish every kid could see it. We can all help those who are dealing with mental illness. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18 as well as adults. Go to Iamholdenon.org to read about the nationwide movement supporting treating mental illness through artistic expression. Also, catch this film when it comes out June 7, 2017. It is one that you don't want to miss.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUMMY, THE

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MUMMY, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching this updated version of the classic 1932 film, wearing 3D glasses and starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cruise. The film combines adventure and action with a sprinkling of fantasy and horror.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner Chris Vale (Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune who steal timeless artifacts from ancient sites and sell them to the highest bidders. While in the Middle East, the duo accidently uncover Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after thousands of years. She uses her powers which evolve throughout the film to bring her revenge and furious rampage to the streets of London.

The story is not a new - disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet is held captive by chains, ropes and other devices to keep her from escaping. It shows her strength and power and, is the first time we've seen The Mummy as a woman.

You can expect strong, very loud fantasy action and violence with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references as well, including partly naked and somewhat obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple in bed together and other sensuality.

I recommend it for ages 13 to18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 9, 2017 so, be sure to go see it and enjoy the action!

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction.

The storyline follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who finds the crypt of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and flies her crypt via airplane when things go amuck. She is awakened and then controls Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to crashes the plane. He crashes the plane to curse Nick who wakes up despite the plane crash. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) then hunts down Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) who is also looking for Princess Ahmanet and is the only who can cure Nick. However, when Ahmanet is fully formed, Nick needs to stop her from destroying London and goes to extreme levels to defeat Ahmanet and save Jenny (Annabelle Wallis).

Tom Cruise is versatile in his presentation of Nick Morton who cheats people because of his own selfishness. In the battle scenes, Cruise excels in his stunt work. Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet is creepy, especially as The Mummy. She really suits the character of a princess relentless seeking power. Jake Johnson as Chris Vail provides comedic relief. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey clearly presents determination in tracking down Princess Ahmanet. However, she still falls to the trope of damsel in distress. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll is my favorite character because he impressively presents the transition of his character.

The direction by Alex Kurtzman is splendid. The pace from scene to scene is superb and kept me at the edge of my seat. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet attacks London. The special effects are outrageously impactful. My only problem is that the movie's finale is quite anti-climactic. Despite this flaw, Tom Cruise fans will rejoice at this movie.

The movie's message is, even if you cheat others, you can always change to be selfless. Nick, though a thief, finds himself in the ultimate selfless sacrifice to save mankind. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of its intense horror. The movie releases in theaters on June 9, so check it out for one fast-paced thriller.

Reviewed by Arjun N. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WONDER WOMAN

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WONDER WOMAN - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When this movie was announced, I was super excited, but at the same time, skeptical. Because all the recent DC Movies didn't live up to all the hype. However, once I sat down in the theatre, all comfortable with my popcorn and icee and watched the film, I can say that it is absolutely amazing! It definitely lives up to its potential. Once the movie was over, I started clapping and, after I left the theatre, I realized my hands were red because I had clapped so hard.

The story of this film starts on Themyscira, an island cloaked from society and home to the Amazons. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, finds an allied spy who washed on shore named Steve Trevor. He tells her about the horrors of World War l and she decides to join him to stop The War to End All Wars.

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman and, oh my gosh, she is awesome! She is courageous and fierce, but also intelligent and empathetic. She is the perfect role model for every little girl. She is the iconic Wonder Woman! But in all seriousness, all the actors are awesome and really likeable. One particular character that didn't get enough screen time was Steve's secretary, Eta Candy, played by Lucy Davis. She is really funny and has some great one liners. She really deserved more time to shine.

The special effects and fight scenes are also extraordinary. During most of the action scenes, I found myself leaning forward, wide-eyed and gripping my seat. Unlike Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad, I could actually SEE what was happening! To me, the best scene in the movie is when Diana, Steve and his crew lead an invasion of a German controlled town and liberate it. The action is so exciting and, when the Wonder Woman theme starts playing, I literally started smiling until the scene was over.

Surprisingly, this film is also extremely hilarious. I was laughing for a good chunk of time. The humor mainly comes from Diana's lack of knowledge of our civilization. There's a really funny scene where Eta tries to give Diana a normal outfit and she kicks and rips the skirt.

I definitely give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This movie opens in theatres on June 2, 2017. I could say I recommend this movie for comic book fans, but honestly everyone should see this movie. Wonder Woman is an iconic role model and Gal Gadot definitely lives up to the part. Director Patty Jenkins lassoed this hit film and I love that a woman directed it - Girl Power! That's the truth.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Wonder Woman is a defining example of a great superhero movie. While the movie struggles in its final act, it still delivers compelling action, great directing and good performances.

Gal Gadot plays Diana, the princess of an island called Themiscyra, inhabited by Amazon warriors. As a child, she is taught to be a fierce warrior. One day, a plane crashes just offshore. The pilot is a spy named Steve Trevor, who is trying to escape the German army after stealing their secrets. Diana saves him from the wreckage. Soon, German troops besiege the island in search of Steve. After a clash between the Amazons and the troops, Steve warns Diana and her people of a war in the outside world. Her strong urge to help others leads her to follow Steve to the frontlines to end the conflict. As her journey continues, she must embrace her destiny and become the hero she was born to be.

Gal Gadot is very good as Diana a.k.a. Wonder Woman. There is something very generous and kind about her character. Gadot is convincing as a strong female heroine who cares deeply about the lives of others and is willing to risk her own to save them. This character make a great role model, someone ready to spring into action to fight for things such as justice and freedom, but also some who cares about other people. Gadot studied a lot of martial arts and other training to prepare for this film and it certainly pays off in the thrilling action scenes. She carries the movie very well and I hope to see her in more DC films.

Diana's fish-out-of-water dynamic is explored to great effect for some good laughs. She has little knowledge of life beyond the island. Her reactions and conversations in the outside world are very funny. She also has enjoyable banter with Steve Trevor.

Director Patty Jenkins had a very clear vision of what she wanted the film to look like and it translates to the screen very well. She shot it on a very epic scale and used techniques like shooting on film instead of digital to get the grainy feel of the World War I era. This makes for a more real cinematic experience.

One of my main criticisms of the film is its third act. The first two thirds are near perfect. The final act almost descends into a dumb, explosion-filled mess, but redeems itself in a way that doesn't ruin the first two acts for me. I recommend Wonder Woman for ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language and give it . It opens in theaters June 2 so, go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Wonder Woman caught me off guard. I thought it would be a girly movie about her trying to go against gender issues. But that is not the case. It fits right in with the other superhero movies. This movie starts off with the characteristic young kid that has a burning fire within them. She grows up and becomes strong. Then she goes out into the real world. It, along with the other origin story films, is a great example of a really good movie.

Wonder Woman instantly became one of my favorite superhero movies because, when there is action, you can actually follow it. Let me explain. Some movies (James Bond) are really difficult to follow when there is action. Because of constant quick editing and constant changes in shots and angles, it becomes really hard to understand the action or see what you are looking at. That is not the case with this film. However complicated the fight scenes are, you can understand what she does and follow her movements. In order to do this, the movie utilized slow motion. It's not annoying. I kind of liked it, but it happens a lot.

Not only does action dominate the movie, but every second of the movie has a well placed shot. What I'm saying is that the camera angles are amazing throughout and the whole movie looks fantastic. In this way, thankfully, the movie does not follow the usual way of things. There is, let's just say it, a totally boss battle where they could have easily taken a wide angle shot. And they do, but only for a second. And, the rest is fabulous to watch.

Wonder Woman is played by Gal Gadot. Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Steve (Chris Pine) and basically all the other actors are amazing. Every character is necessary and the movie would be poorer without any one of them. Not that I didn't hate any of the characters. Of course there are ones that the movie wants me to hate. But they are all well built and quite lively. They seem to fit like gloves to the time and place of when the film takes place. This brings me to the sets. Every set looks like they just barged into real and existing buildings and started filming. This realism is especially challenging since it's set during WW I. The locations and sets make sense and the way the filming is done made me want to visit them. The green screen work is especially amazing because they did not scream "look at me!" Instead, they are just backgrounds and are very believable. So much so that, if I hadn't known these settings exist I would not think anything was fishy about the backgrounds.

My favorite part of the film is the scene when Wonder Woman jumps out of the trenches and single handedly fights the opposing side. My second favorite is when she completely demolishes an entire building. Yeah, she does not kid around.

This movie also explores working with the obvious feminist issues. After all, this is a female superhero! They depict a very strong character, just like all other superheroes, and they are able to add some humor as well. Throughout the movie everyone underestimates and doubts her because she is a girl. Ha! She creams everyone else. Unfortunately, at the very end, the movie pops the great feministic bubble they created by getting sappy and making Wonder Woman say that love is the answer. *POP*

I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. I say age 7 because, what kid above 5 doesn't see action movies these days? But if you are one of those parents who doesn't let their kids see these types of superhero movies, this one has is rated PG-13. I caught no cursing. There is one sexual statement that will go unnoticed by kids who aren't already knowledgeable about that. I this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, because the ending is girlish. Everything is great besides that though. It opens nationwide in theaters June 2, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

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CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
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CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is hilarious! I really enjoyed this film. It is an animated comedy with plenty of action based on a series of books by author Dav Pilkey. It gives us a chance to experience the genius of two fourth grade smart pranksters, George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) as they bring to life their comic book character Captain Underpants, a silly, dimwitted superhero wearing his underwear and a cape. Captain Underpants and his side-kicks George and Harold are fighting against the evil Professor Poopy-Pants (Nick Kroll) who wants to rid the world of happiness.

The animation and visual images of the film are exciting and colorful. Since the book series is known for its action sequences and gross, potty humor, expect plenty of rude language and cartoonish violence. The music makes you sing along and tap your feet. There is a message about friendship. For kids, it's a reminder that friendship does not mean you must be in the same class to remain friends.

My favorite scene is when George and Harold discover that they can hypnotize the mean-hearted school principal Mr. Krugg (Ed Helms) and turn him into their comic book super hero, Captain Underpants. They realize a snap of the finger gives them Captain Underpants and water changes him back to Principal Krugg. To hide his identity, the duo is challenged with keeping him as Principal Krugg when needed and bringing out Captain Underpants to fight bad guys.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 2, 2017 so, be sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is sure to kick off many kids' summer breaks with lots of laughs (especially if potty jokes are funny to you). I was never a fan of the Captain Underpants books, so I have to say I am not a big fan of this film. I feel it lacks plot and humor.

What I do appreciate about this film is the ongoing theme of friendship and the fun of using your imagination. Best friends, Harold and George grow a strong friendship through making comic books and pulling pranks at their "boring" elementary school. Through some odd force, their comic book hero, Captain Underpants, comes to life. He soon helps the boys rid the school of an even greater threat than their school principal, Professor Poopypants.

This feature animation from DreamWorks has a great voice-over cast. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the film. Kevin Hart plays one of the main characters, George Beard. But, my favorite character is his partner in prank-playing crime, Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch). This character is very relatable, funny and true. And, since I like drawing and illustrating, I found an instant connection with him.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is written by Nicholas Stoller, although it is based on the Epic Novels by Dav Pilkey. You might remember Nicholas Stoller from previous screenplays he has written, including Storks, The Muppets and Gulliver's Travels - to name a few. The movie is right in line with the books and gives you insight into the concept origin.

My favorite part is Harold and George's tree-house. This is where the friends spend so much time developing their comic books. It is such a cool tree house with so many moving parts. It made me want to go home and add to my own.

This film is rated PG for mild rude humor. If you are a fan of the Captain Underpants books, you will enjoy this film. I recommend it for ages 4 to 11 and I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Catch it in theaters everywhere, June 2.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



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