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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD

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DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Narrated by Academy Award� winner Jeff Bridges, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is a first film of its kind for IMAX� and giant screen theaters that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals for the world's largest screens, DREAM BIG reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. DREAM BIG is a MacGillivray Freeman film produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is really informational and the camera shots are amazing. The only drawback is that it gets a bit boring after a while. There is so much information that isn't all that interesting. This documentary would really appeal to those interested in architecture and engineering.

The film reveals stories about different engineers who all want to make the world a better place. They create buildings that won't collapse in earthquakes and build bridges across rivers so people can get to school. It shows that engineering is an occupation that can really impact the world and make it a safer place.

Jeff Bridges, as narrator of the film, has the sort of deep voice that suits the documentary. Some of the information seems a bit random and doesn't enhance the story. The best parts for me are when they tell the back stories of peoples' lives and how difficult they are. After the engineers help them, I love seeing them so happy and having easier lives. Those are things that inspire people to want to become engineers.

I have to say, the camera shots and angles are truly amazing. They capture massive cities and buildings beautifully. There is obviously lots of effort that went into editing this film and adding suitable background music. These all really help the viewer picture engineering as an art, that is very helpful. They show majestic buildings that glow at night, roller coasters that give so much happiness and thrills, and bridges that help you access high areas and look down at the scenery or up at the beautiful stars.

My favorite scene is definitely the story about the engineers building a bridge across a river so kids could get to their school. Before the bridge, they literally risked their lives getting to school. Many people have drowned in the river, but they crossed it everyday in order to get an education. After the bridge is built everyone, including the children, is extremely excited and relieved. They are dancing, playing music and getting to school without risking their lives or getting wet. The bridge changed their lives.

The moral of this film is that engineering is a profession that helps people. This film shows that engineering is interesting and rewarding. However, I did find parts of it a bit boring, with the exhaustive information. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 11 to 18, as well as adults. If you are interested in engineering, you will definitely enjoy this documentary. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SKYSCRAPER

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SKYSCRAPER
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SKYSCRAPER - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building...above the fire line.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Skyscraper is an entertaining, yet derivative homage to the 80s action era. A towering pace and consistent acting provide for a memorable summer detour. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any action movie fans.

The movie follows former hostage negotiator Will (Dwayne Johnson), who now accesses building security after a tragic misfire left him as an amputee. While analyzing the world's tallest and safest building, terrorists led by Kores (Roland M�ller) mysteriously access building schematics to take control. However, things reach an all time low for Will once Kores takes Will's family hostage and frames him for the infiltration. With everything left to lose, Will must push past his setbacks in order to sort out this mess and save his family.

Dwayne Johnson, as Will, is my favorite character due to his ever-present charisma and even relate-ability with his physical struggles. His love and determination for his family also make the movie all the more intense. Neve Campbell, as Sarah, is just as believable with her determination to the family and has more nuances than just resorting to a damsel in distress. Chin Han, as Zhao, brings a mysterious layer to his involvement with the skyscraper as his business is not what it seems. Roland M�ller, as Kores, gives Dwayne Johnson a run for his money in terms of strength and is a formidable yet clich�d threat for him. However, his vibrant expressions are enough to lighten his clich�d dialogue. Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts, as Henry and Georgia, complete the pack as the cute twins of Will and Sarah, whose combined braveness helps forward the family dynamic. However, Henry's asthma seems a little too situational at times.

Rawson Marshall Thurber's direction brings out a brisk pace with fresh new takes at fisticuffs and shootouts alike many 80s action movies. However, a few of the scenes lack in originality, feeling like a borderline copy of other action films. My favorite scene is the opening hostage negotiation, as it sets a thrilling and unexpected array of events, even if it is not set in the main skyscraper centerpiece. The other flaw is that it could have used more nuances in the scenarios as opposed to having such a predictable plot with unsurprising twists. At times, it feels more like a parody than a movie, with unintentionally funny scenes. However, the fact that it never takes itself too seriously adds to its quality and creates pure escapism.

The movie's message is to never judge a man by his impediments, as pure willpower can defy many obstacles. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters July 13, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION

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HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac's Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka. Now it's Mavis' turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his "too good to be true" love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is an entertaining animated film filled with unique creativity. Wonderful voice acting and a distinctive animation style separate this from the majority of animated films. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for all families.

The movie follows Dracula (Adam Sandler) as his boring hotel business and lack of love continue to bring him down. Wanting to bring back his joy, daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises Dracula and the rest of his best friend-monster pack with an adventurous monster cruise. Initially angered by this, Dracula slowly begins enjoying himself and even finds a new crush in the mysterious yet charming cruise captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However, things take a left turn when former nemesis Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) hunts the cruise, threatening the lives of all monsters aboard.

Adam Sandler, as Dracula, is my favorite character as his transformation to being his old adventurous self is well-presented. His love for his daughter and kind acceptance of humans also provide for a nice central message. Selena Gomez, as Mavis, continues to shine by providing an equally strong father-daughter bond with Dracula. Kevin James, as Frankenstein, greatly presents a dumbfound friend to Dracula whose deteriorating body assures for some inventive comedy. Steve Buscemi, as Wayne/Wolfman, regales with his signature voice highlighting the character's parenting struggles with his many cubs. David Spade, as Griffin/Invisible Man, equally entertains despite not having a corporeal form. Last but not least, Keegan Michael-Kay, as Murray/ Mummy, completes the pack with his unique, child-like nature. Kathryn Hahn, as Ericka, adeptly portrays her mysterious past and interesting attraction for Dracula. Jim Gaffigan, as Abraham Van Helsing, exhibits a new take on the legend monster hunter.

Genddy Tartakovsky brings out his zany and fast-paced direction in new ways. In spite of that, this is nowhere as memorable and groundbreaking as his other works, such as Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. My favorite scene is the opening one which quickly introduces us to the Dracula-Van Helsing rivalry and sets the stage for a grand adventure. The biggest flaw in the movie is that some of the humor comes across as farcical and this could dissuade adults from watching. Also, the plot is rather one-note and forgettable, especially when compared to the standard of Tartakovsky's other work.

The movie's message is to never discriminate against a person based on their looks and instead, appreciate them for who they are. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on July 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAN WHO UNLOCKED THE UNIVERSE

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MAN WHO UNLOCKED THE UNIVERSE - AMAZON.COM
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13 - 18
Description - Ruler. Warrior. Astronomer. Ulugh Beg was one of the world's greatest astronomical minds, an enlightened leader who turned medieval Samarkand into a great center of science 150 years before Galileo invented the telescope. Blast off on a stunning, cinematic journey from his birth as a prince through right up to his untimely death...foretold in the stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This fantastic, captivating film had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. I enjoyed how much I learned in a 38 minute documentary, and I can't wait to share it with my friends and family. I have taken years of science classes, but I never learned about the man who helped advance the scientific world beyond comprehension, Ulugh Beg. There is so much to learn about in this world and, if you're curious about how science has functioned as a revolutionary force in our society, then this is definitely the film for you.

Ulugh Beg, the man who truly unlocked the universe, was an intelligent astronomer, warrior and impactful ruler of the Timurid Empire. Born in Persia in 1394, Ulugh Beg transfigured concepts of spherical geometry and trigonometry, in addition to transmogrifying Samarkand into one of the most enlightened centers for science and education. Ulugh Beg's newfound astronomical instruments helped him correctly determine Earth's axial tilt, and his scientific advancements are widely used today, without many people knowing it.

Ulugh Beg, portrayed by Francisco Ovalle, undoubtedly possessed a tenacious passion for mathematics and science. Ovalle demonstrates this passion immensely, with his intriguing facial expressions and willingness to constantly succeed, no matter the circumstance. The narrator, Vincent Cassel keeps the audience entertained with his profound knowledge about Ulugh Beg's legacy. Cassel's voice is very strong and his personality is quite poised, allowing the audience to easily determine the defining moments of Ulugh Beg's life.

The film's setting is impeccable. I have never been to Uzbekistan, but this film makes you feel as if you're there with Ulugh Beg and his family. With a plethora of extensive mountains, luscious green grass and immense rainfall, you cannot help but feel relaxed and on vacation. In addition, I am appalled at how Ulugh Beg's lifestyle is drastically different from mine. Not only does he have a luxurious throne and robe, but he also has a large amount of people looking up to him as a divine ruler. Seeing this makes me want to be a queen!

My favorite part is when Ulugh Beg is shown as a little prince, running through the falling leaves of beautiful trees. He has the biggest smile on his face and doesn't know of the great future in store for him. It reminds me of my childhood, when I used to run to my mom and hug her. It made me so happy. I can relate to Ulugh Beg, enjoying nature and smiling beyond comprehension.

The message of this film is to appreciate and understand how science shapes our modern world today. If it wasn't for Ulugh Beg, science would not be the same. Dream big, be curious and know that learning is beautiful. The more you learn, the more you can become like Ulugh Beg and change the world.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, because there are some scenes with sword fighting and blood. This documentary is available exclusively on Amazon now. Check it out and discover how you can unlock the universe.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

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JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Four years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there. Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Life has found a way, again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I've never really been a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise. I felt it went on for way too long and it needed to end. But, I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. It is genuinely entertaining and, I think it's a good way to conclude the franchise, even though I know it probably won't be the end.

The story takes place three years after the events of Jurassic World. When the island the dinosaurs inhabit is about to be destroyed by a volcano, Claire and Owen go to rescue the remaining dinosaurs.

So first I want to talk about visuals. It's not really a surprise that the visuals are really good. The dinosaurs look great. Combine that with great sound and the fact that, you can essentially feel the scale and weight of the dinosaurs. It feels as if they are actually there. Along with some really cool shots of the island and the Lockwood Mansion, the presentation of this movie is fantastic. The shot that was used in the trailers of Owen running from the volcano with the dinosaurs and being encompassed by ash, looked really compelling to me. It is one of my favorite shots in the movie and the presentation helps a lot. But, there is one particular scene that they hold on a brontosaurus that really tugs at your heartstrings. It probably wouldn't have been as good if it wasn't for the way the shot was directed. (J. A. Bayona)

The actors in this movie are also really good. Chris Pratt as Owen stands out to me, but that's mostly because I really like Chris Pratt. But, Chris Pratt is still very good. He has great comedic timing and he is really funny in general. However, he's the second best actor. Hands down, the best actor in the whole movie is Isabella Sermon as Maisie, the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood. This girl is absolutely amazing in this film. Talented child actors are hard to come by and wow, this girl is really fantastic. Her scenes are very compelling and she clearly is very invested in her role. I really felt for her, especially during the emotionally terrifying scenes. This is Isabella Sermon's first role and she is great. I genuinely look forward to what she has next in store. She has a bright future ahead.

Now, I mentioned earlier that I felt this movie would be a good conclusion to the franchise. The Jurassic Park franchise has been around since the 90s and the series is still going. I feel like it's been going for too long and I hope it doesn't continue for much longer. I know the series is very popular, but a lot of franchises have worsened from going on for a long time just because of their popularity.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It comes out June 22, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a serviceably entertaining addition to the series, even if genuinely compelling thrills are a bit in short supply. Regardless, the enthralling direction and special effects provide for an outstanding visual experience. This is sure to be an essential watch for any sci-fi fan.

The movie follows the chaotic closing of the unethical, yet technologically advanced Jurassic World as park-created dinosaurs are forced to seclude themselves at Isla Nubar. When a dormant volcano threatens to extinguish the lives of those dinosaurs, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) join a rescue operation in the midst of a controversial debate over leaving the animals to die. However, the rescue team has alternate intentions to enslave and auction the animals, resulting in Owen and Claire urgently trying to free the dinosaurs before the rest of the rescue team gets to them.

Chris Pratt, as Owen, is my favorite character, with his never-ending charm that allows for well-timed banter with Claire. He is also great with his dramatic range, especially in his estranged relationship with raptor Blue. Bryce Dallas Howard, as Claire, equally entertains in her scenes with Owen, as well with leading her dinosaur protection group that eventually joins the rescue operation. Justice Smith, as Franklin, regales with his intelligently fast-talking nature and his phobia for all things nature related never get old. Daniella Pineda, as Zia, excellently presents her caring and rebellious stance to the dino-debate as she risks her life for the goodness in humanity. Isabella Sermon, as Maisie, breaks the norm of predictable child actors with a charismatic and emotional performance that gives even older actors a run for their money. Rafe Spall, as Eli, serviceably depicts his history with Claire while holding a mysterious motive. Last but not least, Jeff Goldblum's short but sweet cameo, as Dr. Ian Malcolm, adds further nuance to the dino-debate.

Director J. A. Bayona captures each sequence with spectacle whether it is from his masterful use of shadows to his wonderful color contrasts. My favorite scene is the whole island escape, as it is one of the most thrilling scenes of any Jurassic Park movie. The sound design and wondrous special effects truly depict an apocalyptic level event. The flaws with the movie are mainly in its second half, which undercuts any of the well-thought out thrills of the first half by presenting one predictably illogical situation to the next, with an unnecessarily mediocre plot-twist. Even so, the consistent talent of acting and direction are enough to lighten the blow.

The message of this movie is to always be careful when playing with nature as it comes with consequences. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of intense action, horror and some gore. The movie releases in theaters on June 22, 2018, so check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COMING TO MY SENSES

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COMING TO MY SENSES
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COMING TO MY SENSES - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In 1999 Aaron Baker broke his neck in a motocross accident, leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Despite doctor's grim prognosis over the next 16 years Aaron decided not to listen to those who said 'he had a million-to-one odds of ever feeding himself again' and instead, through painstaking effort, endeavored to regain as much mobility as possible. This journey through the unknown took him from the depths of depression to the joys of cross country road tripping via tandem bicycle with his mother and friends, and finally, culminated in his opening a socially conscious low cost gym focused on increasing mobility for the disabled. Now in Coming To My Senses we watch as Aaron takes one final journey which symbolizes his recovery: to cross a 20 mile tract of Death Valley unsupported on foot. But will he make it?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Coming to My Senses is an inspiring film about love, determination and overcoming the odds. This film will touch the hearts of everyone who watches it. The documentary not only puts life into perspective, but it teaches everyone that life's not about the destination but the journey and the steps we have to take to get there.

This is a documentary about Aaron Baker, a motorcyclist who breaks his neck and is left completely paralyzed. Doctors tell him he has a million-to-one chance of ever being able to feed himself again. Even after he receives this news, he chooses to ignore the people who doubt him and, over the course of 16 years, fights to gain as much mobility as possible. The documentary follows his final journey, which is to walk 20 miles across Death Valley.

This documentary is one of the most inspiring films I have ever watched. I cannot comprehend how brave and strong Aaron Baker is. The film gives the audience the perspective of his entire family throughout his journey of recovery. I immediately felt a strong connection to his family and truly felt their struggle. My favorite relationship in this film is between Aaron's mother and himself. They both go through depression and overcome it together. Aaron's mother sticks by his side through his hardships, which allows their relationship to grow strong. One of the most powerful lines in this film is when Aaron's mother is released gets out of jail for drunk driving and gets onto a bus where Aaron is waiting for her. Aaron gives his mother the choice to pack her bags and leave so she can do what she needs to. She is in a very bad place at the time and responds to him by saying, "You might not need me, but I need you." This line is absolutely beautiful. I can feel the love that Aaron's mother has for her son.

The one rather extraordinary aspect of this film is how humorous it is. It covers such a serious subject (spinal cord injury) so I expected it to be austere. This assumption was completely wrong. Aaron Baker is a very silly and playful guy. He chooses to make light of his situation and occasionally makes fun of his injury. This surprised me, because I have never watched a documentary about a serious topic that joked about the topic. That silliness and pure happiness that surrounds Aaron allowed me to stay interested in him and his journey.

My favorite scene is when Aaron is in the hospital right after his motorcycle accident. His sister decides to paint his nails, which makes him frustrated at first. After she is finished, he looks at his toes and visualizes which color toe he wants to move. He then discovers he is able to move the toe he wants to. The doctors don't believe he is able to do this, but he decides to ignore them. This is the first step on his long journey to recovery. This scene is funny and heartwarming at the same time. Aaron paints his toenails throughout the film which symbolizes his recovery. This quirky and sweet action gives the documentary great character.

This documentary is one I will never forget. The story is very influential. It blows my mind how he was able to go from paralyzed and dependent on people for his most basic needs, to walking on his own and even cycling. The film helps bring attention to people who struggle with mobility. A topic such as this is important to share with the world since it gets people talking and more educated about spinal injuries.

I recommend this film for people ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. The film deals with some harsh topics such as depression, which is why it skews towards teens. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR

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WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children's TV show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I've ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head. I usually don't like documentaries because they are very slow paced. But this one has jokes throughout that makes it so much more interesting to watch. I not only learned a lot about Fred Rogers' life and career, but also about how television shows were made and produced back in the 1960s.

This documentary is about Mr. Rogers and his television show for young children "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, we learn about Mr. Rogers' ideas on how important it is to talk to children about every aspect of life and how television can be used as a positive influence. During his show, Mr. Rogers sings songs about specific topics so that kids, as young as pre-school age, can understand the topic of the day.

The film shows scenes from the actual show as well as behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the interviews with the crew from the show. Those parts made me belly laugh. The film brings back the original lessons of the show and re-promotes them. For adults, this film might make them remember watching the show as a child and they might find some episodes to share with their own kids. For children, this film might spark an interest in the show and make them want to watch it, just like I did. The film gives everybody something. One thing I love about the film is that it really goes in depth about Mr. Rogers' sunny disposition and how he truly was like that in real life, even through all his struggles. It shows us that there are still kind people in the world. My favorite scene is when Mr. Rogers goes to Congress to try to get the funding to save PBS. That scene shows who Mr. Rogers really is, his personality and love for children. By the time he finishes his speech, I was tearing up and could hear the audience sniffing.

The message of this film is to love yourself as you are, just like Mr. Rogers says in his song. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because it talks about topics such as divorce and war, in a serious way, which is not appropriate for very young children. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its amazing message and all the cool inside facts about Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This film opens nationwide
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INCREDIBLES 2

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INCREDIBLES 2
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INCREDIBLES 2 - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Incredibles 2 is here! It has been 14 years since Incredibles and, I believe that the long -awaited sequel is quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed this Pixar super hero sequel.

The storyline is about the Parr family - Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) returning to save the world. The Incredibles continues their battle in balancing family life with saving the world with their super powers.

I like the addition of the new cast of super heroes including Lucius Best/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Voyd (Sophia Bush). This film continues with action similar to the original film and the animation is truly amazing as it shows the various adventures of the family members.

The storyline features Elastigirl taking the lead in a campaign to bring Supers back, while Mr. Incredible is given the responsibility of caring for the kids. Their mission is derailed, as a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don't shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone by their side. This is what makes this family so incredible.

My favorite scene is when Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible discovers baby Jack Jack has super powers. He goes through walls, becomes a ferocious beast and duplicates himself, just to name a few of his powers.

This film contains action, adventure, comedy and It could be too intense for very young or sensitive kids. I think it will surely be a fun summer movie for many families.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

By Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fourteen years after the first film was released, we finally have the continuation of the Pixar animated hit and I would dare say, every year of waiting was worth it because this film is truly incredible.

The story follows the Parr Family, as it looks like being super heroes (Supers) is against the law, but then an opportunity for Elastigirl to change people's view of Supers occurs, while Mr. Incredible stays at home with the kids.

I always talk about the animation first, so let's do that. The animation in the first movie was pretty good by 2004 standards. What I find interesting is that this movie looks really similar to the first. It feels as if it's the same animation, just updated. That isn't a bad thing. In fact, I actually like it. I love how you can actually see such small details such as the fabric textures on the clothes. You can see the sleep deprivation on the characters' faces and not just in bags under the eyes. I really like seeing all these details.

Since the main characters are all super heroes, there's lots of action. I feel like this movie is really creative with all the different powers, particularly those for Violet and Elastigirl. There's lots of cool stuff they do with Violet's force fields and Elastigirl's stretching. They also introduce a group of new Supers who are very creative. From the design, to the powers, I think the group is a cool addition to the story.

Of course the elephant in the room is Jack-Jack. In the first movie, they show that Jack-Jack has powers. They never specify what powers he has. An important plot point in the movie is about Jack-Jack's powers. However, now I'm even more confused. Off the top of my head, he has 11 powers and I may have forgotten some. The movie also has slight implications that this isn't normal and now I'm incredibly curious. Hopefully it won't take 14 years for an answer. Yes, I am ready for Incredibles 3!

This movie also excels in character development. Since the typical parent roles are switched, with the mom working and the dad staying at home watching the kids, it very subtly shows off both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl's character and motivations. It genuinely feels like a continuation, as it does address Mr. Incredible's desire to be a super hero again. It also shows how raising a family is team work.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as the movie is kind of dark at times. The movie opens in theaters June 15m 2018 so check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Incredibles 2, directed by the legendary Brad Bird is a timeless classic that has been reborn fourteen years after The Incredibles! Although bound to be compared to the original, Incredibles 2 creates a legacy and masterpiece in itself with a myriad of creativity and uniqueness. The story takes me back to my childhood and into the future with the retro, but futuristic feel created by integrating new superhero technology and vintage technology.

The story picks off from where the Incredibles ends, when the Underminer threatens the city and superheroes are still illegal. To try and bring the superheroes back into business, a rich entrepreneur by the name of Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) enlists the help of Helen Parr, also known as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) to win the people's hearts once again. Bob Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays at home to take care of his three super children.

The same voice actors play the same characters in The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 except Dash Parr, played by Huck Milner. It made me feel as though no time has passed since I was a young child watching The Incredibles. When I was watching this film, I didn't realize the actor was different for Dash. He has the same childish innocence and humor in his voice, as well as Dash's famous sarcasm. Due to the fact that the same cast plays the same characters fourteen years later, Craig T. Nelson's voice is more raspy, but it adds an element that elevates Bob Parr's character. Bob is a lot more exhausted throughout the film and the raspy addition makes the character feel realistic and relatable.

The animation uses many of the features from the first film, while adding new perspectives and elements of modern filmmaking. The animated camera angles are a special component. During a variety of fight scenes and other relaxed scenes, the perspective switches from third person to first person quite often. This engaged me as a viewer and adds to the intensity and excitement of a superhero chase and being in a world with superheroes. The fight scenes are memorable with each one becoming better and more innovative than the last. The director, Brad Bird makes sure each of the superhero's powers are used to the best of their ability. For example, Elastigirl acquires a new motorbike that can split apart while she provides the bridge keeping it intact, allowing for easy mobility in difficult situations.

The message of this film is that parents are heroes, whether or not they wear super suits. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Be sure to check out this long-awaited sequel in theatres nationwide June 15, 2018. Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Incredibles 2 is a great sequel to an amazing movie. The animation is brilliant, plus, the two main plots balance out well to create a well-rounded film.

The Incredibles 2 continues the story of the Parrs, a super hero family that had to go into hiding because of a law banning supers. This film focuses on Elastigirl as she tries to end the anti-super laws that stop her from being a superhero. Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible struggles to keep the kids in check.

My favorite part is when Jack-Jack uses his powers to fight a raccoon because he thinks it's a criminal. This scene is hilarious. I really enjoyed how Mr. Incredible is sleeping in the foreground, while all the action happens in the back. I also like the scene when Elastigirl chases after the new hover train. This scene is fast paced and funny.

The animation in this film is great. I specifically like the glass breaking, the water features of the house and Frozone's ice. The glass and the water are both super realistic and I really like how they kept the same style as the original film for Frozone's ice. I felt they underused Dash in this film though. His only part in this film is needing help with math. I feel this wastes Dash, because I really enjoy him as a character. The Incredibles 2 has some very topical morals in it. It asks the question of whether a law should be followed if it is unlawful. It also focuses on the concept of "when enough people have the same idea and they fight for it, that things will change".

The voice acting is quite good. You can hear the emotion in the actors' voices, so you can really connect to their characters. The music in this film is truly brilliant. They wrote theme songs for Frozone, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl that are written like 60s super hero themes. These are scattered around the movie and really make a major comedic effect.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because, while it's not as good as the original, it is still an incredible film. I recommend it for ages 7 through 18 because it's really a film a huge variety of different people will enjoy. I believe adults will really enjoy watching this film as well. It opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCEAN'S 8

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OCEAN'S 8
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OCEAN'S 8 - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I happen to be a fan of heist movies, don't ask why. Maybe it's their Robin Hood aspect in many cases. This one differs from most with it's all female cast of thieves spearheaded by the charismatic Sandra Bullock and filled out with a veritable who's who of women - Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway who steals the show. The plot is a romp, the costumes are absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and the jokes work. If you are looking for a lightweight summer movie, this is it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ocean's 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I like it because of the fantastic animation and storyline. I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it's a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace. The comedy is the icing on a cake. It makes the movie sweet and enticing to watch.

The movie's main character is Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). In the beginning, we see her being released from jail after five years. During that time, she has planned the greatest heist with hidden intentions. Debbie Ocean's team includes one of her old friends, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Lou and other highly intelligent cheaters are all part of the team, Ocean's Eight. As the heist unfolds, it exposes the twists and turns behind the storyline to the audience. Sandra Bullock's charisma in this role draws you to love her even more. The beautiful Rihanna is also in the film as "9-Ball", the Jamaican hacker. The amazing actress from 12 Years a Slave, Sarah Paulson plays a caring mother who loves to shop for home goods. In the mix of the film celebrities pop up everywhere. You just have to pay attention to notice them.

What I love about the film is the all women cast planning on doing something not good. Most heist movies are about men robbing banks, planning their moves and then executing them. Ocean's 8 has the same idea, but without the men. The costumes at the Met Gala for each of them are simply amazing and match each character's personality and abilities.

My favorite part is the ending when everything is pulled together, from Debbie Ocean's release to the creation of Ocean's Eight. My favorite character is Constance who is played by Awkwafina, because of her funny attitude throughout the film. Also, her pick-pocketing skills blew my mind.

Ocean's 8 is a movie to enjoy just because it's an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Some jokes are questionable and there is some mild profanity, but nothing is extreme. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 because of some language, alcohol and drug usage. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny. There are some flaws. It does feel like a lot of other heist films. For example, it has a recruiting phase where one character is the hacker and another is talented at stealing things. Also Debbie Ocean has been in prison for five years plotting her plan, but her plan doesn't take into account that technology changes.

Ocean's 8 follows Debbie Ocean and her plan to steal a 150 million dollar necklace at the Met Gala. She has spent five years in prison and goes to her friend Lou, who helped her in past crimes and asks her to recruit people for the job. Her plan is to get Daphne Kluger, a world famous model, to wear the Cartier necklace and then they will create a fake one to replace it. After that, she would place one of the gems on the person that framed her with the intent of framing him and making it seem as if he stole it.

My favorite part is Rose's character. She is entertaining and realistic when she tries to comfort Anne Hathaway's character when her dress isn't turning out the way she wanted. In another scene, she acts as if she isn't interested in her and that makes her want Rose to be her designer.

There are a lot of big names in this film such as Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings, Cinderella), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Colossal). The director is also a really big name too, Gary Ross who wrote Seabiscuit and the Hunger Games.

There is some mild profanity but nothing too extreme. It is a heist movie, so there are lots of risky actions such as hanging from rafters and escaping prison. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous Ocean films or other heist movies. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

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SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was excited to see the origin story of Han Solo, as he has been a character favorite of mine for years. The young man was boosting scams from age 10 and lived a life of adventure, for sure! Learning how his last name came to be was interesting - think passport control questioning. But, I digress.

While the film strives to tell the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, everyone's favorite Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) became BFFs after a contentious beginning, it had some stalls and at times, I wondered if Han was attempting to be our hero or villain. I felt the origin story of Han Solo did not go deep enough to show us who he is, and what lead him to be, Solo.

The most interesting character is Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. He is a true team player, but what team does he play for? His chameleon-like persona is wonderful to see and a testament to this talented and beloved actor.

The film begins centered on a bunch of bad dudes who all fear the reptilian and then, our hero Han, who eventually joins the Imperial armed forces to reconnect with his love, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke). Being the rebel he is, Han is kicked out of pilot training and ends up in one of the many Empire wars. His quest to find Qi'ra lands him in the clutches of the dreadful mob boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and a gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

Long ago, in a vision far-away, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were off-loaded from the payload and rescued by super Director Ron Howard. Howard's optimistic effort on this prequel doesn't save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.

I give this film of 4 out of 5 stars for the performances, which are spectacular, especially Glover, Harrelson and Ehrenreich, along with special effects, creepy wardrobes, action scenes and Star Wars references that any true fan will 'get' (like the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon and of course, the necklace hanging on the rearview mirror). I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to adult themes and fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization. This is definitely an essential watch for any Star Wars fan.

The movie follows young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) on his journey to become the famed hero pilot. As a talented maverick, Solo joins forces with the thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew to escape poverty and become part of something bigger. However, one of their heists goes wrong resulting in a life or death deal with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) which will determine the fate of their lives. To rectify this, Solo and newfound friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) enlist the help of old flame Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and the charming Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to take part in the second heist.

Alden Ehrenreich, as Han Solo, wonderfully portrays his hero's journey from a poor, oppressed dreamer to heroic pilot. His mannerisms and line delivery excellently match up to the standard set by Harrison Ford. Joonas Suotamo, as Chewbacca, encompasses an extraordinary counterpart Peter Mayhew's mantle as he perfectly portrays his growing friendship with Han. Donald Glover, as Lando Calrissian, is my favorite character due to his exact interpretations of Billy Dee Williams's zany parlance. His banter with Solo only forwards the character's legacy. Woody Harrelson, as Beckett, provides for a flawed yet effective mentor to Solo by guiding him about motivations and how to deal. Emilia Clarke, as Qi'ra, is great with what she is given, but her character falls into the stereotypical "will they or won't they" love interest loop. Paul Bettany, as Dryden Vos, is menacing with his passive aggressiveness building to volatile outburst when his orders are disobeyed.

Ron Howard efficiently grasps all the characters' tales by providing great interactions with known Star Wars lore. My favorite scene is the initial train heist as it showcases how unprepared Beckett's gang was and is intense as regards the fates of all characters involved. Also, there are great displays of special effects with the train's movement patterns. The one flaw is that it really doesn't Solo any character transformation as he always remains heroic with the only change being how he goes from rags to riches. The love triangle between Solo, Qi'ra and Dryden also feels uninspired.

The message of the movie is to always abide by morals rather than selfish instinct. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters May 25, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RBG

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RBG
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RBG - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have been a fan of Justice Ginsburg since she first came into focus in the 70s, as an advocate of women's rights. This documentary about her life offers insight into her personal history and the people around her who supported her for so many years. She is an inspiration in so many ways. Shy and somewhat introverted, she never let that keep her from pursuing a career path that was unique for woman at the time. She entered Harvard Law School in 1956, one of 9 women in a class of 500 men. I resonated with her story about the Dean reportedly asking the female law students, "How do you justify taking a spot from a qualified man?"

Justice Ginsburg proudly speaks about being born and bred in Brooklyn. In the 70s she co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. We listen to Gloria Steinem and Nina Totenberg reveal tales of her past that make you realize how pivotal her involvement in the women's movement was. Filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West dig into the substance of this woman with a judicious zeal usually reserved for our deceased heroes. As a staunch feminist, her nomination to the Supreme Court could have been way-laid had not President Clinton been wowed by her in the first 15 minutes of her interview with him. Then, he knew that he had to put her on the Court.

The love story between Ruth and Martin Ginsburg is nothing less than awe-inspiring. I love how she tells about her undergraduate years at Cornell where there was a four to one ratio of boys to girls. "Every mother wanted to send their daughter there because, if you couldn't find a husband there, you were hopeless." She reveals that during her freshman year, she never dated the same boy twice. That is, until she met Marty, who was the first guy that recognized she had a brain. When President Carter brought her to the federal bench, Marty gave up his success career as a tax attorney in New York to move to DC to support her. He recognized Ruth for the super star that she is and later, when she was nominated to the Supreme Court, rallied on her behalf with endless enthusiasm. Also noted is that he was the cook in the family. Her children tell how they had to keep her out of the kitchen.

One thing I really like about this film is that it focuses on Justice Ginsburg's life long fight against gender discrimination. She experienced it first hand as a fresh law school graduate that could not get a job in any law office in New York City because "they didn't hire women." She has never given up the fight, and there have been many - for women in the military who were discriminated against for pay and benefits, for widowed men who couldn't get survivor benefits. She chose her plaintiffs carefully, picking a male to show that gender discrimination worked against both men and women.

Although this film may lack verve in terms of groundbreaking filmmaking, it is stunning beautiful in telling the story of a contemporary hero. 84-year-old Justice Ginsburg is an icon of our times. A woman who has weathered extremely difficult conditions and sits on the highest court in the country as someone dedicated to equality - for women, for people of different races and cultures - for all of us. She is a modern heroine and, as shy and quiet as she is - carries a big stick! I have been touting this film to all the young women and men in my universe and sending them to it. Most walk away stunned. My 20-year-old friends never even knew who she was before going to see the film. Many weep as they watch it. Now, that's something. That's important. If this film manages to get one young person's attention and give them the courage to stand up for what they believe, then these filmmakers have something to be outrageously proud of. I believe they have.

Reviewed by Ranny L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - In one of the most divided political times in the recent history, it is good to look back to the previous decades and see the changes and inspiration that occurred in America. This documentary, RBG, tells you about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and not only inspires you, but motivates you to change the world just as she did.

At its core, this documentary will inspire people. It doesn't hide the many aspects of life's challenges. Throughout Ruth's life, there are moments of romance as well as drama. On the opposite side of the coin, there are many comedic moments, ranging from fun antidotes about Ruth's workaholism to Saturday Night Live skits.

Starting from her childhood to the present day, RGB reveals the essence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the female attorney who, not only fought for women's rights in the United States, but also spent years on as a Supreme Court Justice fighting for women's rights. This film truly gives real insight into the fight for women's education, equal payment in the workplace and equal treatment in every situation. Despite gender discrimination (which still occurs worldwide), few know the efforts women have gone through, in order to receive the same rights and treatment that men have. The film also shows many aspects of her personal family life as well as struggles she has survived, such as surviving cancer.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when it shows how political differences don't mean that two people cannot get along. Antonin Scalia, also a Supreme Court Justice, and Ruth were best friends for many years. Scalia was a staunch conservative and Ruth was always quite liberal. Often, in court, they differed in opinion. Yet, as the film shows, they were friends in real life, with no hard feelings despite their political differences. Their friendship delivers an important message for our nation today - that politics should not be something that breaks and blocks relationships.

RBG doesn't rely on a single narrator to explain the life of Justice Ginsberg, there are many people who talk about her. Throughout the documentary, the person we hear from the most is Justice Ginsberg herself telling her stories. Skilled research and editing incorporate real-life speeches at the Supreme Court, as well as many hearings when Ruth was a lawyer. This gives a unique realistic feel to the film. Instead of being lectured about the subject, you feel as if you are part of her story. This also has its downsides. The documentary flows chronologically, but it also focuses on many aspects of Ruth's life. In some ways, the film deals with so much information that it can become overwhelming.

While Ruth's story is something we all should hear, it is complex with many mature details and important subjects. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It truly is a film that teenagers should see, as it demonstrates how anyone is capable of change. I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR

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AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR
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AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - s the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See it! When I reviewed Black Panther, I wholeheartedly admitted I am not the target audience for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This week, as I took my seat, I STILL thought I was not the target audience for Avengers: Infinity Wars and yet I would not have traded my seat for the universe. I felt as if my old friends had invited me to visit and I loved every minute of our time together.

This film rolls out like a reunion story, with old wounds and new challenges. The superhero liaisons are interesting and all the characters work together when every star system is on the line. My favorite character is Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Throughout the trials and travails, he is led by a moral compass. I also like seeing Thanos' (Josh Brolin) conflict and emotion. Yes, emotion. Thanos' quest to collect all six super powerful Infinity Stones is tough to watch - especially when revealed his plans to wipe out 50% of the population. When our superheroes realize he is on a genocide quest, the action truly ignites.

I love this film! It has all the feels. I cheered for the heroes and loathed the villains - and Thanos' crew are a creepy bunch. When I think about the behemoth task of directors Anthony and Joe Russo, I want to evoke the "mind-blown" emoji! More than 76 characters with multiple, simultaneous plotlines! The cast is immense, yet everyone has their featured and focused action. Speaking of which, the action is intense at times and the CGI creatures are wicked. The superheroes' costumes are like old friends or your favorite shoes that you can't wait to see again. It is rare for a summer blockbuster to truly deliver on its "epic" promise. This one delivers.

I give this 4.6 out of 5 stars for the cast, special effects, life lessons, awesome comedic pop culture references throughout, make-up (men and women) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing to them. Stay for the end crawl! This opens April 26, 2018 in theaters nationwide. Look for it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! Just, wow!! Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to this movie for ten years. This movie is glorious. All I can say is, you will not be expecting what happens. It left me screaming inside. I still cannot believe it.

The storyline is about the Avengers and their allies needing to team up to stop the titan Thanos from collecting The Infinity Stones and destroying half the universe.

Now, because all the Marvel characters are finally coming together, Marvel fans will obviously be excited. And when basically every single character appears on-screen, the theater erupts into claps and screams of joy. I always love it when a studio or company can make people feel such excitement for their characters. It's just really cool.

This movie features lots of different locations that the characters travel to. I must admit, some of these locations are absolutely gorgeous and others, totally desolate, but still incredible. I love the shots in space and on different planets, especially the snowy planet that Thanos goes to at one point. In fact, the whole movie looks fantastic. Everything - from the costumes, the camera angles, the scale, the special effects - everything! I was so invested in the visuals the entire time.

Also, let's be honest, this is Marvel, we all expect this movie to be absolutely hilarious. And it is. No surprises there. I laughed so hard at Iron Man and Doctor Strange arguing, Star Lord being jealous of Thor and basically all of Spider Man and Drax's dialogue. Comedy always seems to be Marvel's greatest strength. The writing, in general, is fantastic. I love the interactions these characters have, even the dramatic moments. That's coming from someone who usually hates dramatic moments, because I hate being sad in movies.

This is a superhero movie, so obviously there are some pretty cool action scenes. And yeah, this movie has some awesome action scenes. Probably my favorite is the huge fight in Wakanda that is shown in the trailer. The fight is absolutely massive and straight up amazing. The shots and the way the characters work together are just glorious. I felt so immersed in all the action.

Since this movie is connected to the other Marvel movies in their Cinematic Universe, there is the possible question about whether you need to have seen all the other movies in order to understand this one. I would say, not all of them, but at least a few certain ones. I recommend that you brush up on your Marvel characters before you go, just to be ready.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as it gets pretty dark. It opens in theaters nationwide April 27, 2018 so, check your local listings.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

As everyone knows, the hype for this movie was extreme. Even with expectations so high, I can honestly say that it is one of the most exciting and enjoyable movies I have ever seen. I was dazzled by this enormous spectacle of a movie. There are so many surprises, laughs and even sad moments. The production values, acting, special effects and writing are top-notch, of course.

The plot of the story involves Thanos, motion-captured and voiced by Josh Brolin, who is arguably the most evil bad guy yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This character is intent upon collecting all six Infinity Stones, crystals that control each aspect of existence (time, space, reality, power, mind and soul). The plot involves the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and others because each of them has an infinity stone that Thanos wants. If someone gets all six stones they can control reality and Thanos, concerned about overpopulation, wants to destroy half the population of the world. The whole team has to figure out how they can stop Thanos from getting all six stones, so they can save the world.

Besides the impressive production values, what people will most enjoy about this film is that it is a really funny movie. The jokes keep coming and simply don't stop, which definitely makes for a kid-friendly film. As in every Marvel movie, the music is terrific. Alan Silvestri of Polar Express fame wrote the rousing score. Last, the realistic makeup fooled me into believing that many of the characters were bleeding. Although, it's not really gory.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for being a gorgeous and colorful blockbuster film. Of course I love everyone's acting, especially (let's be real) Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the best Doctor Strange. Am I right? The masterful special effects, the humor and even the many surprising emotional moments combine to tell an entertaining story of how everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together to save the world. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters April 27, 2018, so go check it out.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 19
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE

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BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Truth or Dare is a new thriller that has the audience questioning their real abilities and intentions behind the fun-filled game. I am a huge fan of horror and thriller films and was so excited to see the amazing acting and suspense behind this work. This film offers jump-scares, second guessing and is loads of fun to watch with friends.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) and a couple of her college friends take a trip to Mexico for a final getaway before graduation. Little did they know it would turn into something more. While there, they meet a stranger who convinces Olivia to play a harmless, fun game of "truth or dare" with the others. The game starts and so does chaos which follows the group back to their hometown, releasing all their deepest and darkest secrets. The rules are quite simple, but fearful: tell the truth or die; do the dare, or die. No one gets out alive if you don't play by the rules. Or do they?

Growing up, my friends and I always played the game "truth or dare" at sleepovers. This movie made me question what secrets are we all hide in this game? If the consequences were real, such as they are in this film, how would we react? My favorite part of this film is how I was able to somewhat relate to the characters. They are all teens, as am I. So, it really had me feeling as if I was in their shoes and made me question what I have done in order to survive. I adore the cast, because each one has something to offer to the character they play.

The message in this film is about being honest with your friends and family and to trust one another in any circumstance. Olivia and her friends are torn apart towards the beginning of the film, due to their belief about whether or not the game was real. Once their eyes are opened, they work together in hopes of beating the game and surviving.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. It has a great storyline, cast and cinematography. I it for ages 13 to 18. I recommend seeing it with a group of friends to really get the full effect. Also, it would be more fun! It opens nationwide in theaters on April 13, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Think about this film the next time you play "truth or dare" with your friends!

Reviewed by Imani B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Blumhouse's Truth or Dare is a somewhat disappointing thriller with lots of initial potential. However, the acting and direction allow for some fun thrills. Fans of thrillers and horror movies may want to check it out but proceed with caution.

The story follows teenage friends Olivia (Lucy Hale), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Markie (Violett Beane), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ronnie (Sam Lernie) and Brad (Hayden Szeto) on a trip to Mexico. Along the way, they encounter Carter (Landon Liboiron), an amicable person with a dark secret, playing a game of "truth or dare". This quickly takes a turn for the worst, once the game summons a curse among the friends. Upon returning home, the curse sequesters the friends, forcing them to play a deadly game of "truth or dare" - one which will result in death if lost. Realizing they are all being forced to play the same game, the friends try to find a way to remove the curse.

Lucy Hale, as Olivia, delivers a commanding performance as the main lead, willing to go to any lengths to stop the curse. She excels in presenting her unstable relationship with her best friend Markie. Tyler Posey, as Lucas, is extremely determined to save his friends using logic to outthink the curse. Violett Beane, as Markie, is excellent with what she is given, but her character could have been more aptly written. She denigrates a repetitive plot point used to propel her inconclusive relationship with Olivia. Sophia Ali, as Penelope, wonderfully presents her character's nonchalant attitude to circumstances, until it's her turn to play the game. Nolan Gerard Funk, as Tyson, prominently portrays a smart yet misguided teen. Sam Lernie, as Ronnie, is the most careless of the group. Hayden Szeto, as Brad, is my favorite character due to his clever comic relief. Landon Liboiron, as Carter, mysteriously presents his character's involvement in the story.

Jeff Wadlow directs the movie with some fun thrills, but also many that are predictable. My favorite scene is Olivia's first dare for Markie to break her hand. It is well-acted with a visceral intensity. The flaws in the movie are in its inconsistent writing, which completely steal all the potential we see initially. Most of the characters end up in situations that are unintentionally funny. The characters are written to be hate-able and bipolar for the sake of the movie's plot. The conclusion ends up feeling rushed and used as bait for a sequel.

The message of this film is to always be careful of strangers and unknown places. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of the horror, sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on April 13, 2018, so check it out.

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



This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOXCARE CHILDREN, THE: SURPRISE ISLAND

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BOXCARE CHILDREN, THE: SURPRISE ISLAND
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BOXCARE CHILDREN, THE: SURPRISE ISLAND - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-14
Description - One of the most-read children's book series of all time comes alive on the big screen in the Boxcar Children - Surprise Island based on the second book from the series by Gertrude Chandler, featuring the voice talents of Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons, Griffin Cluck, Joey King, Dane DeHaan and more! The Alden children have a home with their grandfather now - but their adventures are just beginning! The first surprise comes when they learn they'll be spending the summer on their private island. A kind stranger who lives there is always happy to help the children out, but does this new friend have a secret?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The film, The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island is based on the second book in the series by Gertrude Chandler. In this series and film, the children now have a home with their grandfather (Martin Sheen).

The first surprise comes when the children learn that they'll be spending the summer on a private island belonging to their grandfather. Once on the island they meet Joe, an overseer of the island. During their visit, they turn an old barn into their home base and explore throughout the island. The children encounter many surprises as they cope with living on their own (as they always have), survive a perilous event and have many other adventures. Near the end of the film, a final secret "surprise" involving Joe is revealed.

The success of the book series is a definite draw and the "Surprise" feature will definitely entice young people towards the film. In many ways, the film comes across as very sophisticated and smart. It does not "dumb down" to the viewer. It is equally enticing for adults for those reasons. It is also very scenic and takes the viewer away as they envision themselves on the island with these characters. One drawback is that the plot is slow in developing, which could be a problem for some viewers. The CGI visuals are amazing and the sound quality is exceptional, especially the song that plays during the closing credits.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 14 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Fathom Events will be offering a special after school screening in 700+ theaters nationwide on May 8, 2018 so, be sure to look for one near you.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Summer is just around the corner, and there's no better way to start it than by watching this alluring animated film. I could not stop smiling the entire time, because I felt as if I was at the beach, enjoying my summer vacation. With humorous jokes, unexpected challenges and adorable animals, you will become captivated for the full hour and a half. If you are trying to figure out your fun plans for summer vacation, all you need to do is watch this film.

The Alden children have just begun their summer vacation and are truly ecstatic. After running home joyfully to see their grandfather, the kids are presented with exciting news - they are going to spend summer break on their grandfather's secret island. Little do they know, their summer will be filled with marvelous adventures, since they have to do everything on their own. But, the kids end up meeting a boy living on the island named Joe, who has a hidden secret. Join Benny, Henry, Jessie and Violet (four orphaned brothers and sisters) as they have the vacation of a lifetime.

Benny, played by Carter Sand, is such an optimistic, inquisitive young boy. He always wants to help his family, such as asking to drive his grandfather's boat. Jessie, played by Joey King, is a responsible girl with a big heart. She looks out for Benny and gives him his teddy bear when he needs it. I admire her compassion, because she exemplifies the perfect sister. John Alden, played by Dane DeHaan, is humble and thoughtful. He plants an entire garden for the kids to admire. I cannot wait to have my own garden when I am older.

The animation is impeccable. For a few moments during the film, I felt as if I had time traveled from the movie theater to the beach. I could not help but envision myself next to waves, listening to the beautiful sounds of nature. My favorite part is when all of the kids make their own first dinner. Once they sit down at the table, they begin feeding their dog some bread. This is hilarious, because it reminds me of how I always feed my dogs extra food. Dogs are adorable, and, no matter how much food you give them, they will always beg for more.

The message of this film is that when you work as a team, anything is possible. No matter what challenges there are in this world, you can transcend them. Life is short, so we need to make the best of it. Next time you feel that the world is not on your side, just remember that everything happens for a reason. These kids teach us to enjoy summer vacation and to never give up. If they can do this, so can we.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 12. It is the perfect family-friendly film, because you will see how important family truly is to the Alden children. This film will be offered as an after school by Fathom Events for one day only, on May 8th, 2018. So, go check it out. If you are ever stuck on an island, don't worry. This film will show you how to make an island your next home.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Surprises, mysteries and new things to explore sounds like a lot of fun for the Boxcar Children so I suggest joining them on this new adventure to a mysterious island. I really enjoyed the funny characters, amazing animation and unique story line - all of which bring this film and its story to life.

One thing that is mind blowing about this film is the animation. While I watched it, I noticed all the tiny details and how lifelike the characters look. I believed multiple times that I was actually exploring the island with them and felt like I was part of the action. The animation is that good. There is lots of eye candy to look at with great depth so it almost seems to be in 3D even though it isn't. This makes the film very enjoyable and it widens the age rage so older kids would enjoy it as well as younger ones.

Carter Sand as Benny is just adorable. He is very quirky and reminds me of my younger friends. I also like him because he is good hearted and loves his siblings as much as the whole wide world. That is a trait that I think we all should share. J. K. Simmons as Dr. Moore is superb. I did a Farmers commercial once with Mr. Simmons and found him as charming off screen as on. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.

Joey King as Jessie is a smart, lovely young lady. I have interviewed her many times and she is just adorable and personable. The only difference is that last time I saw her she was wearing reindeer ears and in this film she is the older sibling who knows how to cook. I like seeing her cook delicious foods from scratch such as clam chowder, cooked peas and carrots, apple pie and other foods. It made me hungry for dinner.

Martin Sheen as James Alden plays a gracious and kind character. Everyone would love a grandfather like him because he is so kind to others, especially his grandchildren. He is willing to do anything to make them happy and even takes them to a special island for the summer. That is what I call great grand parenting.

One thing that I don't like about this film is that the story is sometimes way too slow. Also, they have a mystery that they discover that goes unsolved. It is weird that the story didn't pursue that. It showed up and then they just dropped it. Other than that, the film is adorable and has a lot heart for families.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This will play in more than 700 theaters as an after school screening on May 8, thanks to Fathom Event. So, go check it out!

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 6-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

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MIRACLE SEASON, THE
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MIRACLE SEASON, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - After the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line" Found, a team of dispirited high school girls must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is an inspiring account of a true story. The acting and narration respectfully accommodate the actual people involved. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any sports movie fan.

The story follows talented volleyball team, The Women of Troy, as they seek to win the championship. However, a tragic accident results in the death of team leader Caroline Found (Danika Yarosh). As a result, the team disbands in mourning, with coach Kathy (Helen Hunt) trying to lighten and reunite its hopeless members. Caroline's best friend Kelly (Erin Moriarty) chooses to become team leader and respect Caroline by espousing the championship. This results in a grueling training season where all team members must put aside their grief and work together to compete. With extreme stakes at hand, the team must win in order to fully respect Caroline's legacy and rectify their losses.

Helen Hunt, as Kathy, incredibly presents her tough-love attitude towards her team and their determination to win the championship. She performs wonderfully in depicting Kathy's attempt to imbue the team with a purpose in the most hopeless of circumstances. Erin Moriarty, as Kelly, excellently portrays her growth from novice volleyball player to motivating leader. Danika Yarosh, as Caroline, exceptionally characterizes her teenage friendship with Kelly, including some recklessness at times. This allows her accident to have an emotional weight to it. William Hurt, as Ernie, is my favorite character due to his character arc through his grief of his daughter's death, as he slowly pushes people closest to him away. His friendship with Kathy allows for a humanizing and emotionally charged redemption from his self-pity.

Sean McNamara directs the movie with a scenic chronological representation of the events that happened in real life. My favorite scene is one where Kelly and Ernie talk about their regrets, resulting in Ernie asking Kelly to stop being so harsh on herself. I love how it portrays a relatable aspect of life. The flaw with the movie comes in the first act, when it feels like another clich� teen drama. Fortunately, it improves once the more humanizing aspects of the story come into play. However, there is an overuse of mainstream music during much of the movie, which results in a few of the most emotional scenes being completely nullified.

The message of this movie is to always remain as a source of hope for others. Despite the extreme pressure the team faces, Kelly always finds a way to assure her teammates. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on April 6, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
READY PLAYER ONE

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READY PLAYER ONE
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READY PLAYER ONE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-aka the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film remarkably resembles its subject. Like virtual reality, it takes you into a world which you would never see without the gear. Like VR, it shows the future of technology. Like VR, it has its ups and downs that can be improved upon. Finally, like VR, Ready Player One has the potential to either change everything or to simply bring us back to the past. Ready Player One entertains the audience with its adventure-packed explosions that run the plot of the film and add a surprising amount of comedy, which the actors deliver perfectly.

Ready Player One's adventure follows the quest to find an Easter Egg. This hidden object requires a lot of effort as it is hidden in the massive virtual world called The Oasis, which has a land size greater than Earth and access to multiple planets. The value of it makes it worth the search, as the finder gets half a trillion dollars as well as complete control of this massive online world. While many of the independent gamers fight for this egg, there is also a large corporation fighting to make it a money-making opportunity instead of a skill-based experience. To them, the richest should win. The race is on to get the egg and to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

My favorite scene is what should solidify this film's nomination for an Academy Award in visual effects. This scene contains a challenge that unlocks another step in finding the Easter egg. The challenge takes place in the classic horror thriller, The Shining. Not only did I immediately love this scene, due to its dedication to the great mind and creator of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick., but I love it because it visually breaks all the boundaries. Despite The Shining being a much older film, with the sets that probably no longer exist, Ready Player One completely recreates the setting from the film and perfectly places the characters' avatars in that world too. Just like the films Star Wars and Avatar, which took your breath away because of ahead-of-their-time visuals, this film and specifically this scene does as well.

Ready Player One excels at bringing the visual world that Ernest Cline describes in the book to the big screen. The surroundings and the story are packed with references to different movies, comic books, games and TV shows. It would take months of constant replay to catch every little detail, which defiantly will delight the fans that are craving nostalgia. The CGI really is what makes this movie stand out. Despite it being branded as live action, it has more runtime in the completely animated environment than it does in live action. However, these visual scenes do not look like the standard animation of Pixar. They look and feel, unmistakably like real life. In a way, Ready Player One fails to portray a virtual world, because it looks so real. The acting has its ups and downs. Inside the Oasis, where acting relies primarily on voiceover and basic body movement, it excels. Outside, where the actors are left to the task completely on their own, they feel rather flat and somewhat monotone. The romance that runs throughout the story feels somewhat forced, partly due to the acting and partly due to the story. Interestingly enough, the romance feels more natural in the virtual world, than it does in the real life. The score of the film is one of the many pleasant surprises. Without the video, the score would still leave audiences satisfied. It does not quite reach the masterful skill of John Williams, but Alan Silvestri, known for his soundtrack for the Back to the Future series, creates beautiful harmonies that sound incredible.

The book and film differ quite a lot in a positive way. While the book (one of my favorites) is a joy to read, in many ways it would not translate well into a film. For that reason, while the main story barely changes, the actual events are structured much better for the movie and make it much more interesting. Instead of watching a person playing a game, the viewer is offered an opportunity to watch someone jump over zombies in a ballroom. The book has mainly 80s references, but the film mixes it up much more to include references from the games and movies that became popular in the last few years, which really allows the nostalgic adults, as well as the kids, enjoy the film.

Even though the messages and possible future is shown in Ready Player One should be shown to kids, there are some things that are a bit mature. For that reason, I recommend this to ages 10 to 18. Despite some issues with acting, it makes for a great adaptation of the book while keeping important messages in place. The biggest accomplishment would be the mass scale of the lifelike CGI that truly makes you believe you're in the virtual world of the Oasis. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ready Player One is a delightfully nostalgic, modern-day sci-fi classic filled with Spielbergian magic.

Based on Ernest Cline's bestselling book, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts, a teen living in dystopian Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045. Like much of the population, Wade plays the OASIS, a multiplayer game in an expansive virtual world created by the eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday died, he told players he left a hidden Easter egg that will win control of the OASIS and his shares in his company Gregarious Games. A malicious corporation called IOI wishes to turn the OASIS from an imaginative escape to an ad-filled wasteland. Wade's avatar Parzival teams up with his friend Aech, his crush Artemis and a pair of best friends named Shoto and Daito, to take down IOI by finding the egg before the company does and foil its evil agenda.

Ready Player One, true to the book, is full of 80s pop culture references from Halliday's early life and his icon status. At the same time, much of the film takes place in the video game and is visually vibrant and futuristic. Steven Spielberg brings the OASIS to life very well. He sneaks in visual gags from Robocop to Street Fighter. The OASIS has an insane color pallet that totally matches the idea of what that virtual world is. There is a lot of CGI used, but it is necessary to tell the story and the characters' avatars look very realistic.

As a huge fan of the book, this film adaptation still holds up for me. Quite a bit of what happens in the book is different on the big screen, but fans should not despair because the film remains true to the book's main themes. This film is also very funny. The entire ensemble gets great one-liners. This is refreshingly different from typical sci-fi and it makes the ride through Ready Player One even more fun.

I give Ready Player One an age rating of 11 to 18 for some language and heavily implied violence. Older kids and adults will enjoy the film's crazy visuals.

I rate Ready Player One 4.5 out of 5 stars. This film is excellent and I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of anything pop culture. Whether it is music, film, video games or anime, Ready Player One has something for you. This film opens in theaters March 29, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Ready Player One is an epic, nostalgic film filled to the brim with pop culture references. It has characters you can really connect to and a digital world we all dream about. It has all sorts of exiting scenes such as races, puzzles, battles and so many others. Based on the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, this adaptation runs very smoothly into a film version.

The story takes place in the year 2045. James Halliday creates the OASIS, a completely virtual world that everyone uses to escape reality. After his death, a competition begins to find the Easter egg in the OASIS. Whoever finds the egg will have complete control over the OASIS. Wade and his friends try to win this competition and stop IOI from beating them for total control of the OASIS. It is filled with twists that make it hard to predict what will happen next even, after if you have read the book.

I love all the references to other films including The Iron Giant, King Kong, Batman, The DeLorean and Martin the Martian. The special effects are also incredible. I really enjoyed the effect whenever someone changes their skin in the OASIS. I also enjoyed the mix between animated and live action characters. This is impressive because it's hard to make these two styles be near each other without one being out of place. I really like how the world seems like a fantasy that people have today, yet is also a dystopia at the same time.

My favorite part is the introduction to the OASIS. This scene is really impressive and has so much squeezed into it. I also like the scene where the common people attack IOI. These scenes both show a huge variety of different characters from different parts of pop culture.

Mark Rylance's acting is incredible. He fills the role of James Halliday brilliantly. He is very erratic, yet sincere and makes the character relatable, even in extreme circumstances. The song choices are also great. I particularly like the use of the original King Kong theme.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and strongly recommend it to anyone ages 7 through 18 as well as adults. It is playing in theaters now so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult. The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



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PANDAS
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PANDAS - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - An American biologist embarks on a life-changing journey to China to help scientists breed giant pandas and introduce the cubs into the wild.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The fun family IMAX film, Pandas is wonderfully entertaining and educational. It is a documentary about the journey following one particular panda living in captivity, to its release into the wild. The movie begins when Chen Chen is just a pup, living with other baby pandas in captivity. Based on the black bear research of Ben Kilham, this lucky panda is released and followed in the wild. The American researcher, Jacob Owens and the Chinese researcher, Bi Wen Li work together to help bring Chen Chen into her natural environment. Along the journey, she has some awkward moments and challenging times. I won't tell you what they are because it would give away a big part of the movie.

My favorite scene is the beginning when we see Chen Chen and the other pandas playing together. In many ways, they seem just like little kids happily playing. My other favorite scene is when Ben Kilham is playing a peek-a-boo game with a black bear behind a tree (say that 10 times fast). The music, by Mark Mothersbaugh, is really child-like, which adds to the fun playfulness that we see with the pandas. The narration by Kristen Bell is spot on with her happy tone and soothing voice throughout the film. The sweetness in her voice adds to the enjoyment of the movie.

My favorite character has to be the adorable Chen Chen and also the researchers. Chen Chen is always entertaining because she is so cute, loving, has a great personality and is very curious. I especially love the part when the researchers say they will always be there for her whether it is in ten or 20 years.

The message of this film is that, through research, working with others and a lot of patience, pandas and other endangered animals raised in captivity can be successfully released into the wild. The message also is that it is important to save species from extinction because "once they're gone, they're gone"

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TO THE BEAT

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TO THE BEAT
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TO THE BEAT - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - To The Beat follows 14 year old twins Mia and Mackie Castillo - dancers since they were toddlers. Beginning at just three years old, that's been their one true passion. They support each other through competitions and rehearsals, even though they dance different styles. Mia loves tap and Mackie loves jazz. When their favorite pop star launches an online contest to find the most unique dance group for his next music video, the twins each form their own team to compete for the chance to dance in the video - enlisting their friends and family to help gain online votes. Meanwhile, their arch rival and neighbor, Avery, the best dancer of all (who knows it too) uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This magnificent film kept me dancing on my feet the entire time. I used to take hip-hop classes, so I couldn't help but dance along. It amazes me how talented the dancers are, and their dedication truly inspires me. I cannot believe some of the girls have been dancing since they were 3 years old. Even if you are not a dancer, you will certainly want to become one after watching this film.

Twin sisters Mia (Brisa Lalich) and Mackie Castillo (Laura Krystine) are passionate, 14-year-old dancers who constantly support each other in every rehearsal and competition. Although they have danced for their entire lives, both have distinctive dance styles. Mackie loves jazz and Mia is exceptional with tap. Their honed dance skills are put to the test when their favorite popstar arranges a contest for the best five dancers to appear in his upcoming music video. The girls must create their own routine in order to advance to the next stage. Mackie and Mia form separate teams and get help from their friends and family to receive the most online votes. When one of the best dancers, Avery(Jayden Bartels), decides to join the competition, tension arises among the girls, because Avery tries her best to get the upper hand in the competition.

Mackie is such a strong, independent girl. She constantly encourages her sister Mia to never doubt herself, even when Avery thinks she is the best dancer of them all. My favorite character, hands down, has to be Avery's mom (Martha Madison), because she wants to be in her daughter's music video. She loves Paula Abdul and embarrasses her daughters, but she is Avery's number one fan. Each character is vastly different, but they juxtapose each other quite well.

The dancers' outfits are impeccable. A few girls wear leotards; some wear leggings. But Mackie's team has the best outfits. During the final competition, Mackie's team wears silver jackets, which are very stylish. In addition, this film is set in Simi Valley, which is not far from where I live. I go to the Simi Valley Town Center sometimes, and I enjoyed seeing the girls walk around where I shop.

My favorite part is when Mackie and Mia execute their handshake. You can see how they have an unbreakable bond. I love how both sisters appreciate each other and never fight. I have a younger sister and, seeing how they truly respect one another, reminds me of my relationship with my sister. I love my sister more than words can say and you will love your sibling even more after watching this film.

The message of this film is that hard work certainly pays off. Treat your family with love and care, because they are always there for you, through thick and thin. Never let competition keep you from achieving your dreams and always remember to believe in yourself.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Actually, it is perfect to watch with your family. After watching this film, you and your family will be closer together. This film is available now on DVD and Digital. Gather up your family and friends, get on your feet, and get ready to dance to the beat.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The dances in To The Beat! are great. I love the choreography because it is so precise and very fun to watch. The competitors all have a different style of dance. I found myself dancing just like Mia and Mackie because their moves are contagious. Each dance shows a person's personality and they all have their own unique style. I love the pirouettes and the tap dancing. Avery knows what to do when it comes to ballet and Mia is my top pick for tap dancers.

The characters in To The Beat! are all very distinct. Ambitious dancers and a contest of a lifetime can lead to one big competition. There are dancers everywhere and every one of them wants a part in the next big music video. So you have to watch your back and make sure that you are ready to move and grove to the beat.

Mia (Brisa Lalich) is my favorite character. I love her tap dancing. She adds a lot of fun and beauty to her passion. She reminds me of my grandfather Kenneth because he was an expert tap dancer. Jumping and clicking his heels in the air was his trade mark. Mackie (Laura Krystine) is the kind and noble sister who wants what is best for her better half. Avery (Jayden Bartels) is the average teenager who likes to dress up and be a dancer, yet her intensions are not what they seem. Mandy (Veronica St. Clair) is the amazing older sister who always saves the day. She helps everyone and has dreams and passions of her own. Alyson Stoner plays one of the celebrity judges. In real life, she is adorable. She was my dance teacher at a studio called The Millennium Dance Complex. She has moves.

I had a wonderful time at press day talking to Brisa Lalich, Laura Krystine and Bryce Xavier. These terrific dancers and YouTubers know all about competitions and humor. I loved meeting them and having a few good laughs and getting an inside scoop on the sequel to this, To The Beat 2! I can't wait to see it. Be sure to check out my one on one interviews with them to learn more about their personalities.

The best scene in this film is the fantastic dance competition because the choreography is magnificent and all the dancers are perfectly in sync with one other. I also that the dance competition is on stage and everyone's friends and family are there to support them.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 13 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. To The Beat! Comes out on DVD and digital March 13, 2018 so look for it!

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

To the Beat is a wonderful dance movie for girls, with real stakes at hand. The acting and cohesive plot provide a urgent, yet vibrant feel to the film. This is sure to please all dance movie fans.

The story follows 14-year-old twins and talented dancers Mackie (Laura Krystine) and Mia Castillo (Brisa Lalich). Despite being from different dance backgrounds, the two always have each other's backs and have an extremely loving bond. When a famous pop star launches an online contest to find the best dance group for his next music video, the twins must form their own teams to compete for the video. The duo impresses the crowd with their ardent love of dancing. However, their egotistical arch rival, Avery (Jayden Bartels), the self-proclaimed "best dancer of all" also uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.

Laura Krystine, as Mackie, excellently presents her talented dance moves and her love for her sister. Brisa Lalich, as Mia, like her sister portrays a dancer who loves it, rather than using it as a popularity stunt. The character really shines emotionally, when a huge plot twist regarding her involvement on the team takes place. Jayden, as Avery, is a fun villain to watch, especially as her power- hungry schemes unveil themselves. Veronica St. Clair is my favorite character due to how grounded her character is. She provides a moral support for the team, while also trying to pass her medical exams.

Jillian Clare directs the movie with a high-stakes feel, as you feel the pressure being put upon Mackie and Mia. My favorite scene is the final dance, because it is the culmination of what the movie has been building up to. My only problem with this film is that, while Avery feels like a threat to be reckoned with, I feel as if in the long run she doesn't do too much to turn the tide around once the final dance is about to happen.

The message of the movie is that, if you are going to do anything, do it for the love of it, rather than for popularity. Despite being underestimated at times, Mackie and Mia never give up their love of dance. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. The movie is out on DVD and digital now, so check it out.

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



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PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING
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PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father's legacy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action-packed film is pretty decent. I like that the plot continues from the last movie. The characters are as interesting as their story. The one problem is the sequencing. Some scenes are pointless and are ordered in such a way that they don't make sense. However, if you like fighting robots, you'll love it.

Pacific Rim: Uprising is the sequel to Pacific Rim. It takes place ten years after the war, which took place in the first film, was won. Jake Pentecost (John Boyegas), a carefree, retired pilot, is living life in a messed-up world. Through unwanted circumstances, he meets a 15-year old hacker named Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny). With common personalities and different pasts, they create a bond that no one can break. With this new bond, old friends of Jake's and new friends of Amara's collaborate to fight the Kaiju for what is left of humanity.

This film is directed and written by Steven S. DeKnight, known for producing the Netflix series Daredevil. DeKnight pulls the story together without losing your attention on the main crisis with the Kaiju. My hats off to the special effects team. The robot close-ups are so realistic, it seems like you can reach out and touch them. The robot fights are also extremely real. The intense music by Lorne Balfe makes the movie extremely engaging. It is also surprisingly comical. Jake Pentecost's sarcastic tone makes you question whether the group is really living in a life or death situation or not.

My favorite character is Amara. She has a spark from beginning to end in the movie. Her ability to create her very own robot or Jaeger is amazing. Her curiosity and her attitude about doing the right thing is pleasant to see in an action movie. Seeing the connection between Jake and Amara develop throughout the film is a favorite part. The message of this film is that "despite who your family is, who you think you are or what you've done in the past, you can still be a hero."

I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters Friday, March 23, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BACKYARD WILDERNESS

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BACKYARD WILDERNESS
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BACKYARD WILDERNESS - IMAX FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - Backyard Wilderness will surprise and entertain viewers with the unexpected wonders of nature that are right under our noses - in our own backyards. Spanning a seasonal year around a suburban home, the film displays a stunning array of unique wildlife images and behavior - all captured by cameras mounted inside dens and nests, and moving along the forest floor and pond bottom, to reveal its inhabitants in rare and breathtaking intimacy. We follow Katie, a young girl, and her modern family living next to the woods who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them, absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. Katie gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door and we experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world. The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that sometimes in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that can transform you forever - you just need to step outside.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Backyard Wilderness is a spellbinding documentary capturing magical moments in nature that we rarely get to see on camera or in our day-to-day lives and puts them on a large and intense scale.

This 3D IMAX film follows Katie, a young girl who lives in a house surrounded by a bustling woodland of animals and plants. Katie and her family are oblivious to the fascinating occurrences in the world around them because they are consumed by the technology at their fingertips. At school, she is assigned a report on animals. She chooses the spotted salamander whose whole life cycle happens right outside her house and her adventure begins.

The cinematography in Backyard Wilderness brilliantly highlights the beauty and vastness of the forests which are the main setting and leaves you wondering how they were able to get such unique moments on film. The film brings exciting moments to the screen such as when a pack of coyotes chase some deer or when you witness the dangerous journey of spotted salamanders to their breeding ground.

My favorite scene is when a group of newly hatched baby wood ducklings exit their nest for the first time and try to fly. You will laugh and cheer at the same time and the filmmakers use a perfect song to score this fun and adorable scene.

The lesson of the film is that there is an active and energetic world around us that is always worth exploring. As a society, we have become so concerned with social media that we forget to notice what is happening right in our backyards. Katie's life changes when she lets go of her electronics and begins to explore the landscape beside her home.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. You will learn a lot from this film about how certain species interact with one another and thrive. It is very educational and has a valuable message. Adults and older kids will still enjoy the breathtaking visuals. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you like nature documentaries and the larger-than-life world of IMAX with some cool 3D effects, I highly recommend it. Backyard Wilderness is playing around the country in select IMAX theaters now.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ISLE OF DOGS

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ISLE OF DOGS
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ISLE OF DOGS - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs is a movie to be reckoned with. This incredibly unique piece of stop motion animation is totally different from the norm of today's films. Written and directed by Wes Anderson, it stars the voices of Bryan Cranston as Chief, Edward Norton as Rex, Bill Murray as Boss, Liev Schreiber as Spots, Bob Balaban as King, Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg and Jeff Goldblum as Duke. It also stars Koyu Rankin as the young boy, Atari. It is the second animated film from Wes Anderson, after the wonderful Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In future Japan, where dogs are viewed as savage and disease ridden creatures, a young boy, Atari, searches for his dog, Spots. This dystopian world, created by his guardian, Mayor Kobayashi, disparages dogs but worships cats. Atari defies his guardian and along the way befriends some loyal, passionate pooches who help him on his fateful journey of finding his lost dog.

One thing I particularly adore about Wes Anderson's filmmaking is his irreverent humour and creativity. It's almost as if Anderson has a patent on an new genre of filmmaking, that's entirely his own. During the making of this film, Anderson was influenced by his love for Japanese cinema and two of the most monumental Japanese directors - Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki. In an interview about his many influences for the film, he states "with Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the American animation tradition...". Later on, Anderson explains that during the scoring of the film he and his composer, Alexandre Desplat, had to rethink their approach to the soundtrack because the movie longed to be quiet. He later specifies that this aspect of the film also comes from Miyazaki.

The stop motion animation style pairs perfectly with the pure grittiness of its creativity. In most animated films you don't hear the roughness or coarseness of the actors' voices, but in Anderson's film you do and it is the most lifelike. Also, despite the humor, Anderson doesn't sugar coat the seriousness of the story. His films are always truthful and cut to the heart of the matter.

I recommend Isle of Dogs for ages 12 to 18, due to its violence and sophisticated humour. Younger kids might not understand the ironic tone. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for bringing an incredibly unique vision to the mostly mundane animation of today.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Isle of Dogs is a genius concept that only Wes Anderson could conjure up and makes for an enjoyable animated film with a quirky aesthetic.

Isle of Dogs takes place 20 years from now in a futuristic Japan. A disease spreading among dogs ravages Megasaki City and the mayor issues a decree that banishes all dogs to a vast, sickening wasteland called Trash Island. The film focuses the story on a pack of dogs who spend their days roaming, trying to stay alive among fierce competition. A young boy named Atari crashes onto the island one day in search of his dog and the pack decides to help him.

Wes Anderson's direction is excellent. He thrives in stop-motion animation because he can meticulously craft each shot. His sometimes bizarre, yet charming style remains resonant, despite it being a change of pace from the stories he usually tells. Isle of Dogs is an homage to Japanese filmmaking, especially the films of Akira Kurosawa, and relies on Japanese language and culture to tell its story.

The film's voice cast includes a range of famous actors, including longtime Wes Anderson partners Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, as a pug oracle, as well as Yoko Ono as Assistant Scientist Yoko-ono and Jeff Goldblum as Duke, one of the dogs in the film's showcase pack.

My favorite character is Chief (Bryan Cranston). He is a stray dog who goes through a moving transformation as he starts off dreading the idea of having a master. But through his adventure with Atari, Chief starts to learn what it is to care about people and open himself up to them. Cranston gives Chief a weariness that lets you know his character has been through a lot.

I recommend this film for ages 11 to 18, due to some violence involving dogs, some suggestive content and minor offensive language. Note that, despite animation and dogs as main characters, this is not a kids' film. It's really geared pre-teens to adults.

I give Isle of Dogs 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for Wes Anderson fans and those who like a good adventure featuring man's best friend. Although this film misses the chance to develop really interesting ideas and characters, it is still fun and hilarious in all the right ways. Isle of Dogs opens in theaters March 23, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Isle of Dogs is an essential Wes Anderson movie. The fluid voice acting and stop motion encompass a twee yet poignant story. This is sure to be a must watch for any dog lovers out there.

The story follows a future dystopian Japan where dogs are outlawed due to a disease outbreak. A young boy Atari (Koyu Rankin) crash lands to Trash Island in search of his dog. This initiates dogs Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), and Duke (Jeff Goldblum) to help Atari on his quest. As a result, Mayor Kobiyashi (Kunichi Nomura) places a hunt to find Atari and suppress the dogs helping him. Meanwhile in Japan, a bevy of riots begin to circulate as people claim on the unfairness on the bans that Mayor Kobiyashi has placed as a possible cure is in the works for dogs.

Koyu Rankin, as Atari, debuts with an incredible performance, despite most of his dialogue not being translated. He effectively characterizes his love for his dog through tone and actions. Bryan Cranston, as Chief, excellently portrays his character development from a violent outcast to careful protector of Atari. Edward Norton, as Rex, is my favorite character due to the way he portrays his character's pragmatic approaches and smart wit. Bob Balaban, as King, effectively presents a wise yet outspoken companion. Bill Murray, as Boss, depicts a clever member of the pack. Jeff Goldblum, as Duke, characterizes his dog through the use of his hilarious gossip talks. Kunichi Nomura, as Mayor Kobiyashi, evokes a malicious yet sympathetic character.

Wes Anderson directs the movie full of his unconventional yet astonishing quality which only he himself can deliver. My favorite scene is a scene where Atari and Chief bond at a park of sorts. It is a touching scene which really forwards the care and friendship from a man's best friend. My only nitpick for the movie is that there could have been more characterization for the backstories of Rex, King, Boss, and Duke.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful in the care of young kids. Despite all the odds the pack is faced with, they always provide hope for Atari to reunite with his dog. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its infrequent bloody images and mature themes. The movie releases in theaters on April 13th, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMB RAIDER (2018)

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TOMB RAIDER (2018)
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TOMB RAIDER (2018) - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination -- a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn't be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action movie had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved it! I like that it is filled with lots of suspense and tense moments that make you feel as if you are inside the scenes. I love when a movie draws me in like that, because there are unexpected surprises. What also attracted me is the actors' work and the impressive way they portray the characters that make you feel as if you are with them and feeling what they are going through. The storyline and the actors combined make you forget what is going on around you and focus on the interesting film that is unfolding right in front of you.

The storyline is about Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), the independent daughter of an adventurer who mysteriously disappears for years. Croft embarks on a journey to find her missing father, in hopes to solve the mystery of his disappearance. She goes off to a weird destination she reads about in one of her father's journals and leaves without hesitation. Even though the destination is a tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan, she leaves with the drive to find out what happened to him. Lara must trust herself, mind, and spirit, to make it out alive of this adventure.

My favorite scene is when Lara is stuck on the airplane and about to fall into a waterfall. This scene marks the moment when I most felt as if I was living this tough moment with her and the one that completely drew me. It is a complex scene where she finds herself at the top of a waterfall almost falling and then, finds an old helicopter that she can hold unto. She gets on top of the helicopter, but later realizes that the old helicopter is breaking down and she has to get out of there as soon as possible. Watching her go through all that without falling made me feel super anxious and nervous, as if I was in the scene with her.

The important messages of this film are to never give up and to always fight for what you believe is the right thing to do. In the movie, Lara always has this drive to accomplish any goals she sets herself to complete. I think that is the secret for all challenges in general and all the objectives Lara reaches in the film. You need to believe in your abilities to achieve the goals you want and need to have the motivation that helps get you there. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people from 13 years old to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters March 16, 2018 so look for it.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)

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WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)
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WRINKLE IN TIME (2018) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this, but had some disappointment as well. I wanted to like it more. Maybe it was all the hype. It seems a bit like a comic version of the story, especially the primordial celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who). Maybe it was the sequined eyebrows on Oprah. At any rate, it didn't quite hit it out of the park. Don't get me wrong, I would take my grandson to see it. I am not sure if I would take another adult. Great special effects! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Wrinkle in Time is an enjoyable, yet somewhat flawed interpretation of the classic novel of the same name. The direction and special effects provide a world unlike any other. This is sure to be a watch for sci-fi fans.

The story follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a genial teen who is the daughter of famed scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine). After her father disappears, she goes through a period of insecurity and despair. Four years later, a group of primordial celestial beings - Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) visit Earth to help Meg find her father. Meg's brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend Calvin (Levi Miller) also join the quest to find Alex. However, Meg is also brought in to help fight the "It", an entity of darkness that threatens to destroy people's happiness.

Storm Reid, as Meg, excellently presents her inner struggle to be happy and accept herself and this adds a unique element to the story. As the movie progresses, she slowly rises beyond her doubts to become better. Chris Pine, as Alex, delivers an ardent love for science in his character and, while much of his character is witnessed before he disappears, the rest of his scenes add a performance filled with remorse. Deric McCabe, as Charles Wallace, is my favorite character due to his charismatic performance - full of comic relief. Levi Miller, as Calvin, encompasses a respectful companion who seems to be rather enamored by Meg. Oprah Winfrey, as Mrs. Which, is a wise mentor for Meg who guides her throughout her journey. Reese Witherspoon, as Mrs. Whatsit, is the least wise of the three celestial beings, but she provides a kind companion. Mindy Kaling, as Mrs. Who, represents an encyclopedia of character teeming with knowledge.

Ava DuVernay incredibly directs the movie, as you feel as if you are a part of the world through her use of word building to convey a story. My favorite scene is the resolution to the main conflict, as it feels like an appropriate conclusion. My problem with the movie is that is unevenly paced, with the first half of the movie following generic clich�s, despite a great first 10 minutes. But the movie gets running as soon as the second half begins, going into uncharted territory unlike any other movie. I also feel that the scenes for Alex and some other plot points are limited, resulting in a few disjointed, convoluted narrative at times and that could throw off some audience members.

The message of the movie is about believing in yourself and accepting who you are. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on March 9, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I liked, but did not love this latest Disney film and here's why. This film is an adaptation of the book, "A Wrinkle in Time" written by Madeleine L'Engle. It is visually stunning, but unfortunately falls short in the storytelling. The protagonists are Meg Murry (Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Their scientist father, Mr. Murry has been missing for four years. Meg has had a rough time at school ever since her father's disappearance. Her younger brother, Charles Wallace introduces Meg to three mysterious astral travelers. Meg is very skeptical of them at first, until she and Charles Wallace are informed by them that their father is not dead, but was taken by a dark force. Meg, Charles Wallace and her classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) go on an adventure with the three astral travelers, called the Misses. Will Meg and Charles Wallace find their dad? Well you must see the movie to find out the answer.

I like the visuals, the cast and the message of this film. The visuals are very stunning. The scene where Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) becomes a leaf and gives the kids a ride looks very spectacular. It almost looks like this could be possible in real life. I also like the transitions of the worlds changing as a result of the characters' actions. The visual effects bring this world to life. Another thing I like is the cast. Oprah's, Reese Witherspoon's and Mindy Kaling's performances as the Misses are exceptional. They show different personalities which make them unique. Mrs. Whatsit is more negative, unlike Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who is wise and uses quotes from famous people to relay her messages. Mrs. Whatsit is more direct and rude, unlike Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) who guides Meg when she is scared or unsure. Lastly, the messages in this movie are very important. They are about embracing your uniqueness, recognizing the importance of love and being brave enough to discover your inner warrior.

One thing I do not like is the pace. In the first act, the pace is slow and that is fine, since it builds up the exposition. However, the final act of the movie feels very rushed and is unsatisfying. I feel the script has some holes in it which made me feel like the movie is missing some important details. This is why I did not really love the film.

Even though this film is not "Pixar great" it still is a good movie to watch with your family. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 7 to 15. Adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who have read the book or like book adaptations and fantasy movies. A Wrinkle In Time comes out March 9, 2018 in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:



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