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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla(her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy's new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have nothing but positive things to say about this affectionate and sensational picture. The film incorporates the use of strong chemistry with its talented actors to tell a story about understanding, acceptance, life and love. Everything, Everything is a dramatic, romantic film that the teenage and young adult audience will definitely enjoy.

Maddy (Amadla Stenberg) is an imaginative and creative 18-year-old girl who has an illness which prohibits her from going outside. A new boy, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves to town and the two instantly share feelings for one another. He won't let anything keep them from being together. Maddy and Olly develop an online relationship which progresses throughout the film, leading to them risking everything to be together, even if that means losing everything. We join the two lovebirds on a romantic unforgettable adventure.

My favorite scene is when Maddy and Olly first meet. I can safely say that the audience and I were all screaming (silently of course) with joy and excitement when the two exchange smiles and when Olly constantly flirts with Maddy. The chemistry between the two actors is extremely well executed and seems so realistic. I also love the diverse cast because we need that in our society today. The director really respected and developed the interracial relationship very powerfully and wonderfully. I applaud the crew and cast for making the movie so enjoyable to watch and understand.

The theme is about acceptance and growing from the obstacles that you face. Maddy has stayed inside for the majority of her life, but when she meets Olly, she is finally able to take risks and enjoy what life has to offer step by step. Teens will definitely relate to the storyline in terms of growing and experiencing what life has to offer. Both Maddy and Olly send a message to not let people drag you down or stop doing what makes you happy and helps you become a better person.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because of its teenage love scenes. I also encourage parents to see this with their adolescents because they will definitely find themselves smiling and feeling happy throughout the whole film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 due to its impeccable cast and crew, intriguing storyline, vibrant colors, soothing music and much more. Everything, Everything is in theaters now so, please go and enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-14
Description - A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don't know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

This film follows the Heffley's taking a road trip to attend Meemaw's (their grandmother's) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg's newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don't get in a normal family vacation.

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother's house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg's delirious mind operates.

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don't let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn't like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that's not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets "shot," when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don't feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone's teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you're looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley's in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley's take on.

As the Heffley's embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother's 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone's surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg's mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it's charged to his parents' credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg's sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick.

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 7-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TASHI NON-STOP
TASHI NON-STOP - NATASHA HANINA
Series: WEB SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - This sketch comedy web series features a vast collection of colorful and original characters, and serves up an array of educational and entertaining themes aimed at appealing to kids ages three to seven.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Although this web series could use better production values including steady camera work, louder and clearer audio and better sound mixing, I still enjoyed it. The woman shows genuine care and understanding of children and how they learn life lessons. She has a great way of making these lessons fun and easy to understand. I believe Tashi (Natasha) is going places and has great potential. I'm looking forward to seeing her progress in the future. I recommend this for ages 3 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars for being a fun and educational series. Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tashi Non-Stop is a sweet and silly YouTube comedy series for kids 3 to 7/ This comedic web series is about problem solving in silly situations or sometimes, there really isn't a plot and it's just a silly situation. Sometimes Tashi plays a character like the Queen of England and sometimes inanimate objects speak to her.. It stars the very likable Tashi (Natasha Hanina). Each very short (around one minute) episode is fun, however some of them have an educational message, so young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. I recommend this to parents of little kids because it's fun and educational. The single word that describes my reaction to this show is engaging. Each episode is very silly or cute and Tashi is very likable. What's great about that is that some of the episodes are just fun, whereas some of them have an educational message. Young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. For example, "Putting on Mommy's Makeup" shows Tashi putting it on in the closet and coming out looking like a very messy clown and it is just funny. On the other hand "The Garbage Can", in which the can's feelings are hurt because Tashi forgot to change the bag, has a message about cleanliness. Although the situations are entertaining, some of them seemingly unintentionally don't make a lot of sense, even for a toddler. These videos are YouTube videos that are apparently made on a laptop or desktop. The lack of production values doesn't really detract from the entertainment value of the series though. Also, in "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" she has some very cute sound effects when she dials her grandma. Since this series is for younger children, I have to imagine the educational value of the series. I think "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" teaches the value of expressing love to one of your family members and the value of taking your time in doing so! One thing that stands out is that Tashi speaks with a British accent and all the other characters have American accents. That is a neat twist because it seems to provide emphasis and sort of makes her dialogue more important. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 7. Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18.
Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Set to "Awesome Mixtape #2", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2 is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe. Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit - Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song "Brandi" by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter's conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing, they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture. He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn't grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter's childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don't get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 exceeded my expectations by a landslide. This film is one of my favorites I have seen all year. The CGI is magical, characters are hilarious and I did not dislike one second of the movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 follows up with our beloved team of intergalactic space heroes. The team consists of a humorous guy named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), sarcastic raccoon thief named Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), muscular brute who goes by Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) lastly, a baby talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel). Though they are a bunch of rebels who have broken the law numerous times, they might just be what the galaxy needs.

I came into the movie theater knowing that, when I walked out I would have absolutely loved it and that went according to plan. I still can't believe it has been three years since Guardians of the Galaxy came out. I thought nothing could top that film, but this one certainly does. I must say that there is definitely a new feel to this film. It seems to be a bit naughtier than the last one. There is much more swearing in this film. However it is appropriate within the context of jokes. This is one of the funniest Marvel films I have ever seen. I actually burst into tears laughing. The funniest character is Groot. He adds silliness when scenes get serious. He truly steals the show when he says his award winning line, "I am Groot."

In Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 we were introduced to these peculiar characters, but in Volume 2 it's almost as if they are our best friends. You laugh, cry and feel their frustrations. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) delivers another stellar performance. You can really see how he is connected to his character. Chris Pratt was born to play this role. This film goes into Peter Quill's past and we learn more about Peter's hardships, which are gloomy. This is a much different feel than the first film. Hopefully he will keep on developing this character in future movies.

No words explain how absolutely beautiful the CGI is. I got transported straight into the world where the characters live. Something they incorporated, that we saw in Star Wars: Force Awakens, is transforming an older actor to make them appear younger. In this film, they completely transform Kurt Russell, who plays Ego the Living Planet, into a rockin' 80s version of himself. At first I thought he was a young actor which they made appear older, but it is the complete opposite!

The main theme in this film is family dynamics. We get a zoomed in view of how the team is trying to fix some unresolved family wounds while trying to save the galaxy. We were left off after the first film with Gamora and her sister Nebula wanting to kill each other. In this film, we see how they have evolved as sisters and the layers of their relationship which make this film very relatable for anyone with siblings. The biggest question answered in this film (who is Peter's dad?) is resolved in a huge way.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a must-see blockbuster of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. There is mild cursing and lots of action scenes that might frighten younger children. Adult Marvel fans will adore this film as well. I give this 5 out of 5 intergalactic planets. I am excited for what will come next in this amazing franchise! This film is in theaters now so go check it out!

By Talia Jacnuk, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BORN IN CHINA
BORN IN CHINA - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Description - Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Born in China is a beautifully shot documentary with fun narration, excellent cinematography and an inspiring story. I love the visual splendor of this film and I am still in awe from some of the shots of the vast Chinese landscape.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC's The Office, Amazon's Jack Ryan), Born in China chronicles the lives of three animals: Ya Ya, a giant panda who lives surrounded by bamboo and peace with her growing cub, the mischievous monkey Tao Tao who yearns for attention after the birth of his baby sister and later joins a group of outcasts, and the snow leopard Dawa struggling to protect her cubs from predators in harsh conditions. The film also follows the journey of a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their young.

Born in China is one of the rare films that perfectly captures the magic and excitement of nature on screen. Not only does it have footage of some of the cutest animals on earth, but you really get to know some of the animals and their personalities. Also it has great shots of the stunning landscape of China that you're not going to find in any other movie.

John Krasinski is very versatile in his role as narrator. He knows his young audience well and adds some fun dialogue to make it more appealing to them. His narration also goes very well with what is going on onscreen and is key in helping you understand the animals. One flaw is that the subplot with the chiru feels unneeded. Unlike other storylines, there is no main character to gravitate toward or follow. It feels like extra baggage that overcrowds the movie.

One of the best parts is that it demonstrates the animals showcasing basic values we see in society today. The lesson I took away is that the importance of family outweighs everything else, no matter what situation you're in. Tao Tao goes to roam with The Lost Boys because he can't find attention at home but later he learns that those who care for you will be there when you need them.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It's pretty much suited for all ages, but some animal violence makes it a unsuitable for very young children. It also will be very much enjoyed by adults. I give Born in China 3.5 out of 5 stars. It arrives in theaters just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Don't forget to stay for the credits for a series of bloopers and outtakes.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11.
Juror Recommended Age: 4-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROMISE, THE
PROMISE, THE - OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am definitely going to watch this film again. It is so exotic because it is based on the Ottoman Empire, which not every kid is entirely aware of. The school subject I dislike most is history, but after seeing this film, my mind is forever changed because I am fascinated about how much goes on in the world.

The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.

Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.

My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.

Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.

The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.

My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.

My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POWER RANGERS (2017)
POWER RANGERS (2017) - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Description - High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There have been many movies, shows and stories related to the Power Rangers series, but by far, Power Rangers (2017) beats all other installments in the series. This doesn't mean Power Rangers (2017) is perfect. The film has a fair share of flaws that could have been fixed, but for the most part, it leaves a pleasant and positive impression.

This film has plenty of action, with lots of comedic scenes to illicit frequent giggles from the viewers. Some romance blossoms between the characters and it is filled with a dramatic feel throughout the entire film. The story begins when five kids, despite having no previous connection with each other, all end up at a gold mine, where a strange rock with even stranger coins is revealed. Each of them take one coin and attempt to escape from the mine's security. Sadly, while escaping, they get hit by a train in what would be a lethal crash. Yet, all five wake up the next day completely alive. More important, now they all share super hero strength, can jump really high and more. Soon the five learn that they are the Power Rangers and need to defend a crystal in Earth's crust that allows life to exist on the planet, from an evil woman named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

Power Rangers (2017) has entertainment value and fans of the brand will especially enjoy it. There are many aspects that come out perfectly. My favorite aspect, by far, is the cinematography. Every single shot in the 120 minute run time is wonderful, from twisting shots that give the viewer a first-person perspective, to shots flying through the air to give a sense of scale. Another aspect that the crew achieved successfully are the costumes. The Power Rangers look epic and the reveal of their costumes were cheered by viewers in the theater because of how iconic the designs are. The plot also has many good aspects. They don't give the characters' super powers and super suits at the beginning. For most of the film, you have five teenagers who are clearly mortal. This gives the viewer time to bond and connect with the characters and allows a sense of realism.

The plot does have its downsides. Even to people who have no idea who Power Rangers are, the story is quite predictable. From the first time they give information about the conflict in the story, I knew exactly how the adventure would turn out. One aspect that surprised me was the special effects. The designs of the monsters and robots all look very real and impressive, but their placements in the real world look forced and somewhat fake, and there are many times where it's especially obvious to the viewer. Despite all these flaws, the acting is quite phenomenal. I love the way every character comes to life, and how the actors are able to transform. One character that I thought could be improved is the villain, Rita. The back story in Power Rangers (2017) is very vague, and turns her into another "good guy turned evil and now she is insane" example. This has been overused in movies, especially when it comes to stories about super-heroes. I do appreciate how diverse the background stories of these characters are and how in tune with today's world they are as well.

My favorite scene has to be the compilation of clips where the five realize their powers. Of course, they wake up thinking that the previous night's deadly train crash was simply a bad dream, but they soon start realizing something is very wrong. Not only are the stones from the previous night still in their pockets, but throughout the day, it becomes very clear that their strength has exponentially grown, and they are now stronger and more fit then the strongest people on Earth. I chose this scene because the acting and cinematography work together very well in these clips to show the true confusion on the characters' faces. You really feel like you are part of the scene, instead of simply watching it.

This film has one major change from the older films. It is no longer appropriate for younger kids. They portray Rita in an almost horror-like way (which comes out stunningly) and, there are some scenes with adult language and slightly adult references. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many flaws, like the special effects, storyline and some of the characters. However, Power Rangers (2017) is still enjoyable to watch and really does justice to the series. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Saban's Power Rangers is a great romp of Power Rangers' fan service. I found the acting and special effects to be incredible throughout this movie. This will appeal to all Power Rangers' fans. This film is about five teenagers, Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zach (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who are all misfits. The five come across stones of the Power Rangers, an order of people who protect Earth, and they take these stones. The next day they wake up with superpowers. They go back to find an underground lair with a robot Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a former Power Ranger in the form of a talking wall, Zordon (Bryan Cranston). Zordon warns them of an imposing threat, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who has the power to destroy Earth. This group of misfits must learn to overcome their problems to become the Power Rangers and defeat Rita Repulsa.

Dacre Montgomery presents leadership yet also being a troublemaker in his role as Jason (Red Ranger), and instead of falling to the stereotypes of being the bland leader who gives rules, he presents a charisma in his character. Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) is fantastic in presenting a fierce yet caring Power Ranger. RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger) is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief. Ludi Lin as Zach (Black Ranger) presents a careless, yet quick Power Ranger. Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger) completes the team of Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks can be a little bit too over-the-top with her villainous Rita Repulsa, who is horrifying most of the time but funny in the most unintentional parts.

The direction of the movie by Dean Israelite is fast paced with every character and especially during the action scenes. The special effects by Zoilo Abad are exceptional with the details on the costumes taking the highlight. My favorite scene is the final battle with Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers' mech suits due to the breathtaking special effects. The movie's message is about teamwork being the solution to the problem because the team is only able to defeat Rita Repulsa by working together as a team and using tactics they learn together. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to the intense action and language. This film opens is in theaters now, so go and check it out, if you want a mighty morphing time.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage... and to bring home the man who made them a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a fan of the Fast & Furious series, I really enjoyed the excitement of the fast cars, beautiful scenery and spectacular action sequences in this film.

The opening scene gives a glimpse of the streets of Cuba, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) races an old, raggedy car that belongs to his cousin who is behind in his payments to the loan shark Raldo (Celestino Cornielle) and gets us ready for all the extravagant stunts to come. The stakes are high. The winner takes the opponent's car! Dom shows his expertise and experience as he races the burning car in reverse to victory. He does not take Raldo's car and gives his cousin his car. This is the beginning of the underlying theme of "family" and "loyalty".

All the characters are now older and family and loyalty resonates with them now. The villain, Ciper (Charlize Theron) is a threat to the team's family. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force crisscross the globe to stop Cipher from unleashing chaos on the world's stage.

There are several scenes that demonstrate ingenuity. For example, the street lights are all green. Cars start without a driver and they chase of a submarine in icy cold water. My favorite part is when the team hooks up Dom's car with the determination to save Dom from his rogue actions.

I recommend the film for ages 14 to 18 because of the violence and how scantily clad women are objectified, looked up and down by the camera and there are scenes of a married couple in bed together kissing and being close to each other. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in your local theater on Friday, April 14, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Buckle your seatbelt for the new movie The Fate Of The Furious, an action-packed, block-buster sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I have never watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies and I really enjoyed this. This film seems like it is the beginning of a story and it brings you up to speed on what happened in the past very quickly. So even if you have never seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies, you will know what's happening and be very interested. The tone of this movie is very intense because the action keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.

This movie is about a guy named Dom (Vin Diesel) who betrays his team and goes and fights for another team that does evil things. Dom's old team, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock), has to go fight not only for themselves but also for the world. You have to watch this movie to the end to find out how Dom feels about betraying his team.

The special effects absolutely blew my mind and, I must say, I have never seen better special effects than what's in this film. The cars drive themselves and the action scenes could never happen in real life. They are pure genius. I would have loved see it in 3D because all of the cars and action scenes would have made been that much more intense. If you like funny movies with a lot of action you will definitely love this movie.

The message of this film is to not betray your friends. When Dom goes rogue, his friends start to change and hate him. In real life, this same thing would happen. One thing that bothered me about this movie is that, even though Dom is one of the main characters, he doesn't talk a lot and looks sad most of the time. I didn't really like that and I think the audience would have understood his character better if he had more lines. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 gold stars and recommend this movie for ages 10 to 18 because of some profanity, humor and violence. Adults will also love this movie. It opens in theaters April 14, 2017 so go check it out.

by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Fate of the Furious is an enjoyable entry into the Fast and Furious franchise that brings exactly what fans want to see: ridiculous action sequences, fun characters and slick new cars.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Cuba when his team is called to assist Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) with a mission in Berlin. Dom ruins the mission by going rogue and leaving Hobbs injured on the side of the road. The team soon figures out that Dom is working with a cyber terrorist by the name of Cipher (Charlize Theron). To take down Dom and figure out why he has changed sides, they must enlist the help of old friends as well as new ones.

My favorite part of this film is the jailbreak scene where Hobbs has to stop an old enemy named Deckard (Jason Statham) from escaping prison and wreaking havoc. Seeing two action heroes fighting their way out of prison and preparing to duke it out is exhilarating and had me pumping my fists in the air with excitement. This scene is over-the-top and outrageous but I was having too much fun to care.

I am an outsider to this franchise, having never before seen a Fast and Furious film. I really enjoyed this movie. As this franchise has evolved, it has learned what the fans want to see. By not taking itself too seriously, the cheesy dialogue and slow-mo feel a little more fitting with its lighter tone. The way this film works is that it knows it's absurd and has fun with it.

I don't love the story because it tries to do too much, a common thing in blockbuster movies today. The opening sequence in Cuba is unnecessary. It barely has anything to do with the plot but it does establish the mood and tone. By upping the ante with ridiculous action from the very start, it prepares the audience for what's to come. There are also a lot of characters to follow and sometimes the plot gets a little too ridiculous for comfort. But if you're going to see this film, it's not for a strong story.

Some performances in this film are very funny. Tyrese Gibson is hilarious as Roman. He has a lot of fun with this role and is very energetic. Dwayne Johnson is another standout who delivers an amusing performance. He maintains his action hero persona while also exercising his comedic chops.

The lesson of this film is that you should never turn your back on family. Even when Dom goes rogue, his team never gives up on him. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 for its mild language and violence.

I give The Fate of the Furious 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a film that should be appealing for outsiders to this franchise as well as those who have been on this ride since the very beginning. This film opens in theaters on April 14th, so be sure to check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2
SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Join Sonic (voiced by Family Matters' Jaleel White), and his siblings, Sonia and Manic, as they fight to be reunited with their long-lost mother, Queen Aleena. In this second and final set of episodes, we return to Robotnik having his sights set upon Queen Aleena's crown jewel, which glows as it moves closer to her. Sonic, Manic, and Sonia plan to recover the jewel before Robotnik, not only to find their mother but also to protect her. Will they succeed? When they aren't battling Dr. Robotnik and his henchmen, Sonic and his siblings make time for their rock band, Sonic Underground. With over seven hours of content, this final set is sure to showcase all the best Sonic episodes from the tunes to the great battles. Based on the popular SEGA videogame character, this Sonic the Hedgehog collection is a must-have for all Sonic fans!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this title is that it's an animated series based on a video game. A child would enjoy this series because it's visually appealing with vibrant colors and animation. However, I can also see how a child could dislike this series based on the appearance of the characters. For example, the appearance of the villains may frighten some younger children. Each episode flows well, the sound is clear and each one has a beginning, middle and end. The episodes make sense and are quite watchable. The show uses vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for the target age group. Furthermore, this collector's edition includes 20 bonus music videos, which I'm sure children ages 5 to 10 will enjoy as Sonic and his siblings play instruments, dance, and sing catchy songs that kids can dance and sing along with. I'd recommend this series because it's adventurous, entertaining, and action packed. Recommended for ages 5 to 10 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

This show is very cheesy, but that's exactly what makes it charming. The animation is pretty good, especially compared to the older Sonic TV series. The story is really great and consists of Sonic and his siblings fighting Dr. Robotnik to find their mother. Due to the subject matter, starting with Vol. 2 takes away from some of the story so, I wanted to watch a copy of Sonic Underground Vol. 1 to watch. I do believe that you will get this best if you watch Vol. 1 before Vol. 2. Once you do that, it is really cute and full of examples of family members looking out for one another and never giving up. Something that I think is really neat is the fact that the set comes with music videos and they are pretty cool. This is a great program for anyone who has been a fan of the Sonic video games. I believe it is best suited for ages 6 to 14 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is entertaining. It has its fair share of problems and it is a little cheesy at times, but since I am a Sonic the Hedgehog fan, I may have high standards.

The plot is about Sonic (Jaleel White) and his siblings, Sonia (Jaleel White) and Manic (Jaleel White) who team up, to search for their missing mother, Queen Aleena and to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik. I wouldn't say the animation is amazing, as it is a bit choppy and sluggish at times. However, it isn't the worst animated show to come out in the 90s, as it does have a style and it does feel like it belongs in the Sonic The Hedgehog universe. Also, I find it interesting that Sonic, Sonia and Manic's weapons are magic musical instruments. I really like that decision, as it shows that the series is a more creative and original adaptation.

Speaking of which, the main difference between this show and the games are the two completely original characters who are Sonic's siblings, Sonia and Manic. I found them interesting, but it feels as if they often get pushed aside to let Sonic be the star. I understand he's the main character, but Sonia and Manic don't really get much of a chance to show their personalities. Most of the time, it seems that they are just there to be there. Also, Sonia's voice is kind of irritating. It's super high pitched and nasal, and is somewhat distracting.

This show is an adaptation of the Sonic The Hedgehog series. As an adaptation, it's pretty good. However, it bares more resemblance to the Sonic comic books than the games. It has a similar setting to the comics and some of the characters seem similar. Sonic even looks like the comic adaptation of him, shorter and chubbier.

Sonic The Hedgehog has never really been known for fantastic, well written stories. Sometimes, the games have an engaging story, but writing has never been the focus of the series. So how is the story in Sonic Underground? Actually, not too shabby. The show has a set goal and some actual character development. However, there is only one season, with only forty episodes and that is probably a good thing. If it went on for multiple seasons, the show would probably turn into a wild goose chase looking for Queen Aleena.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Runtime: 420 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMMY'S HONOUR
TOMMY'S HONOUR - ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Set against the early days of the sport and stunning landscape of Scotland, TOMMY'S HONOUR is based on the intimate and powerfully moving true story of the challenging relationship between "Old" Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and "Young" Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden), the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew exponentially, Tom and Tommy, Scotland's Golf Royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father's success, Tommy's talent and fame grew to outshine his father's accomplishments as founder of the Open Championship in 1860, his stellar playing record, and his reputation as the local caddie master, greenskeeper and club & ball maker. In contrast to his public persona, Tommy's inner turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against the aristocracy who gave him opportunity, led by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Alexander Boothby (Sam Neill), and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. It reminds me that golf isn't as easy as it looks. In fact, the sport is rigorous and difficult and, at times, unpleasant and uncomfortable. In the film, players are forced to play through all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and harsh snow. Going into this movie, I wasn't a great fan of golf. However, you don't need to be in order to enjoy the film. The movie combines elements of romance and allure along with a superb storyline which kept my mind stimulated and thinking as I watched the film.

Tommy's Honour tells a story about a father and son who both love the game of golf. Tommy Morris Sr. is considered the game's founding father and Tommy Jr. was the best golfer in the nineteenth century.

One thing that surprised me is how interesting Tommy Jr.'s character is. He is loyal, chivalrous, intelligent and determined. He always perseveres, no matter what obstacles stand in his way. I especially like the scene in which young Tommy chops down the tree. Although heartbreaking to watch, it really showcases his vulnerability.

Also jaw-dropping are the scenery and the locations. Tommy's Honour was filmed in Scotland where the actual story took place. The wide, open oceans and the vast greenery along with the architecture and culture absolutely blew me away. I've always wanted to travel to Scotland, but now, I am driven to go and experience the culture for myself. Scotland seems like an incredible country, with both natural and manmade artifacts and geography that are gorgeous.

The background music also keeps it stimulating and interesting. The music suits the tone of each scene and also puts a very Scottish spin on the movie. Another thing I like is the subtle humor. Although this film is not a comedy, the writers manage to sneak in a few laughs.

I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible storyline and enchanting cinematography and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You should know there are some intense scenes. This film comes out in theaters on April 14 so, go check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-12
Description - In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Smurfs: The Lost Village is a fun family film full of creativity and good animation. The movie takes kids into a vibrant new world with a new crew of Smurfs. Unfortunately, some bland characters and stale laughs don't live up to the visual achievement of this movie.

Based on the works of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, this film follows Smurfette as she struggles to discover her identity. Smurfette was a lump of clay created by the evil wizard, Gargamel, who is the Smurfs' sworn foe. Whenever she tries to forget the terrible notion that she is not a true Smurf, something happens that reaffirms her of it. One day, while playing with a group of Smurfs, she sees something that may lead to the uncovering of a new faction of Smurfs. Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy set out on a journey together. With Gargamel on their heels, what they find could change the world around them forever.

The animation in this film is vibrant. The creatures in the forest surrounding the Lost Village are colorful and creative. The look and feel of the film overall pays homage to the original comics but also exploits the nuance and richness of modern computer animation techniques.

I don't care for the story in this film. Other than the addition of the Lost Village and its inhabitants, it feels pretty formulaic. The story has a lot of the tropes of the original cartoon and that isn't a bad thing, but the plot is predictable and the antics between Gargamel and the Smurfs in a full-length feature film grow old very fast. I would have liked to see this film take a different path than the adaptations before it, but it plays it safe.

The voice cast of this film includes a broad range of actors from Julia Roberts to Jack McBrayer. The film never really uses these actors to their full potential, sidelining many to bit cameos rather than real roles. Mandy Patinkin is a standout in this film as Papa Smurf, a wise guy who helps the Smurfs when they seek guidance. Patinkin is the perfect choice to play this role. His voice is both soothing and authoritative. Patinkin also has the right amount of charisma to voice this character.

The lesson of this film is that you will not be remembered for what you were good at, but the kindness in your heart. Smurfette has trouble finding a skill that will define her personality unlike her other Smurf pals. But that is not what is important in life. The way people will remember your legacy is by how you treated others. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 and you should be aware there is some crude humor. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the film Smurfs: The Lost Village because it teaches girls to be strong and confident within themselves. This movie also teaches kids that working together is better than working alone. I don't like that the movie implies there is a relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfwillow or that it pushes a relationship between Smurfette and Hefty Smurf. This is not needed. I found this movie to not be as funny as the live action ones, which is weird since most children's animated films have a lot of funny moments.

The story is about Smurfette feeling lost and alone because she is the only girl in the village. She also feels like she isn't a real Smurf because she was made by Gargamel, who wants to take all the Smurfs to steal their magic. To save another Smurf Village from evil, Gargamel, Hefty, Clumsy, Nerdy and Smurfette work together to find the lost village and warn them about Gargamel. On this journey they discover the biggest secret in Smurf history and help Smurfette realize the power inside of her, that she is strong and fits in.

The animation in this movie is very detailed. It reminds me of a lot of the claymation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much better than The Smurfs 2 (2013). It seems more animated and not as realistic which adds to the fantasy of being in the Smurf world. The backgrounds are quite pretty and mystical, especially when The Smurfs go to the Forbidden Forest.

The star-studded cast includes Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and many, many more. Their voice acting is one of the best parts of the film, especially Demi Lovato's voice as Smurfetts. She acts in such a docile manner but still projects the strength of girl power.

My favorite character is Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) who is the funniest characters. I can relate to Clumsy in that I too am very clumsy. I always manage to trip over some object. I also really enjoyed the character Brainy (Danny Pudi) who is another funny character. I admire how he relies on his books for most of the movie, but gets over listening to how things should be and just cherishes living in the moment.

The message of this movie is all about team work and how girls are powerful. I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 7 and give this a 3 out of 5 stars. This film comes out April 7, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFTED
GIFTED - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn't like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary's uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl's life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary's grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn't contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank's shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn't add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted's weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary's exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show. Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing too worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY, THE
BOSS BABY, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Where do babies come from?" is a question that children ask adults, parents and anyone willing to take a stab at an explanation. The Boss Baby, a Dreamworks Animation film gives us an unexpected answer to this question. We find ourselves looking through the eyes of a very imaginative seven-year-old boy, Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi). Tim is happy and has a very vivid imagination which we see him use to overcome obstacles. The film is very colorful, funny and includes elements of nostalgia with the music.

The Boss Baby is a family comedy that addresses issues of sibling rivalry. Tim, as the big brother, fears that he will have less love from his parents because of the new baby. The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim's home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. This film shows a view of the culture of the corporate world in a most humorous way. For example, the Boss Baby holds a meeting with a group of the neighborhood babies and talks about plans to carry out his mission. The parents (Lisa Kudrow and Steve Buscemi) have no clue about what is happening with the children.

My favorite scene is when Tim discovers that his baby brother can talk and sets about to prove it to his parents. We see chases, just-in-time escapes and some scary scenes from the imagination of 7-year-old Tim such as creepy hallways. Once Tim learns about his baby brother's mission, the two work together to defeat the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

The Boss Baby addresses issues around sibling rivalry as well as the importance of team work and the fact that there is enough love for everyone in a family. Because of some scenes with rude humor, some mild violence and the display of baby body parts, I recommend it for ages 6 to 18. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 31, 2017! Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dreamworks' The Boss Baby, is an extraordinary, fun and lighthearted animated film based on an award-winning picture book by Marla Frazee.

7-year-old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) had the perfect life and the full attention of his parents until one day, a new arrival took it all away and became the Boss of his family. Tim and Boss Baby face sibling rivalry, trying to both win the affection of their parents. Much to Tim's surprise, the two bond when they join forces to uncover the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. And in the midst of it all, Tim and his new brother Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) learn the true meaning of the love of family.

The Boss Baby is fabulously directed by Tom McGrath, who you might recognize from his work on all three Madagascar movies and Megamind. He says that the movie is partially an apology letter to his own brother for all the grief he put him in when they were young.

My favorite character is Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin voices this character with great panache. His witty personality mixed with a take-charge attitude bursts through the screen. I feel that Baldwin's voice talent in this is one of the key reasons this movie shines.

My favorite scene is when Tim and Boss Baby work together to sneak into Puppy Co. and attempt to steal the secret file. Watching a working large scale replica of one of my favorite games when I was young (Mouse Trap) was particularly fun. Also, there are many toys from the 70s and 80s included which I enjoyed. Several times I found myself times trying to find them in the scene. There are so many magical moments throughout. As an only child, it's funny that there are times the movie made me want to have a brother and, other times, I'm happy to be an only child.

The Boss Baby is an enjoyable film safe to keep you and your family thoroughly entertained. Director Tom McGrath states "I want this movie to draw you in and make you move to the edge of your seat, not pull away from the screen" and I believe he achieved that goal. It is rated PG for mild humor and I recommend it for ages 6 to 14, although the whole family will enjoy it. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide on March 31, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Boss Baby is a hilarious movie about a boy named Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) who has a pretty great life with his parents, until one day he gets a baby brother (Alec Baldwin) who wears a suit and tie. Tim is very skeptical about this new baby brother, but eventually he works with his baby brother to help stop the antagonist, the CEO of Puppy Co.

This film is very funny because Tim and the baby are always fighting. Sometimes they put scenes in slow motion which makes them extra funny. In one scene, the babies are going against Tim and everything is over exaggerated. I went with a 6-year-old and she and the rest of the audience laughed a lot.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and brightly colored. The creative use of so many colors help give each scene a happy feeling. There is a lot of detail in this movie such as the characters' hair. You can see little strands of hair and each individual eyelash. Having so much detail on each character helps make it more realistic.

The moral to this film is "don't judge a book by its cover." Although Tim is right to be skeptical about the new baby, he doesn't get to know the baby before judging him and jumps to the conclusion that he is bad. My favorite scene is when Tim tries to show the parents that the baby can talk. This is a very funny scene because everything is so over-the-top and the slow motion parts are hysterical. The music is primarily one song, Black Bird. This song is sung throughout and is Tim's favorite song. Black Bird brings a sweet mood to the film whenever it is sung.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 14 because. It is a pretty funny movie parents can take their kids to, but you should know that there is a reference to killing people which might be scary to little kids. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars, because the plot is really developed and it is very funny. Go see The Boss Baby in theatres when it opens March 31, 2017. I think you will love it!

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
UNITED KINGDOM, A
UNITED KINGDOM, A - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
KONG: SKULL ISLAND - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw this last week and have to say that it is definitely an amazing work visually. The special effects teams have truly outdone themselves with their extravagantly detailed Kong and other gigantic creatures. In terms of storyline, meh! Performances are also so so with the exception being John C Reilly's performance. He walks away with the show in my humble opinion. Samuel L. Jackson's character is probably the second most interesting although he transitions from a slightly crazy war hero to a maniac without a logistical means of doing so. It was good to see John Goodman in his older and fitter self and Tom Hiddleson's persona is somewhat believable. Brie Larson's role as a war photographer didn't really deliver much except for one scene that I predicted but won't comment on as that would be a spoiler. I enjoyed the soundtrack, especially Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit - took me back to the 70s and the Vietnam War era. Note to vans: sit through all the credits for a message at the end. I still enjoyed it and would take anyone who is into monster movies. It does deliver that! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kong: Skull Island is a fun sci-fi movie which is a breathtaking visual treat. I really found the direction and special effects to be fantastic in this movie. This will appeal to all those sci-fi fans.

This movie is about a diverse group of travelers which includes former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman), a seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), and an army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who head to Skull Island. Upon arriving, they are attacked by Kong, a huge gorilla, who destroys their helicopters and splits the team up. Packard wants revenge for the men he lost in the helicopter crashes, and he wants to kill Kong. Conrad and Weaver realize a bigger threat known as the Skullcrawlers lurk beneath them. The only one who can protect them is Kong, and only he can ensure the team's safety in escaping the island.

Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad heroically represents a soldier. Brie Larson as Mason Weaver is very impressive as a bold photographer. John C Reilly as Hank Marlow, a war veteran, is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief and interesting backstory. Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard brilliantly expresses his revenge with his angry facial expressions.

The direction of the movie by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is unique and really captures the vibe of the 1970s. His filmmaking emphasizes on the smaller things more than the big things, and this is an interesting new concept. This is primarily used whenever we see Kong especially in the first Kong encounter. The focus is more on Kong's face than just his whole body, and this adds tension. Also, the special effects done by Chris Brenczewski really added detail to the monsters, and it made them look real. The scene that I liked the most in the movie is the final fight scene between Kong and a big Skullcrawler, and it was absolutely a blast due to it being a hand to hand combat scene which was fun to watch. My only problem with the movie is the characterization. While everyone does a fine job with the part they are given, their characters just feel like bland stereotypes. I didn't find myself caring for anyone other than John C. Reily's character who has some interesting story beats.

The movie's message is to not mess with nature because if these travelers didn't attack Kong's territory, then he wouldn't have attacked them in the first place. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 years old as it may be scary for younger audiences due to the intense action and language. This film opens in theaters on March 10th, so go and check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DANA'S BEST JUMP & JAM TUNES
DANA'S BEST JUMP & JAM TUNES - XXX
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Dana Cohenour, a pioneering independent singer, songwriter and educator whose music has earned 17 national awards and acclaim from critics and families alike, leaps back into the scene with a brand-new collection of action songs for kids. Dana's sixth highly interactive album includes 12 mostly original songs designed to get kids ages one to seven up and moving, grooving and laughing. Wordplay, catchy melodies and top-notch musicianship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dana is a seasoned, veteran performer and her work shows it. Her vocals are crystal clear and engaging, the production values are terrific featuring some smoking good musicians. The songs are high-energy and demand participation unless you are Velcroed or hot-melt glued to your seat. Great for classrooms, home schools and for kids you just need to tire out with good positive, down-home, funky fun music! Pick up this CD and you might not be able to put it down. Love the energy, the participation and production quality. Songs are terrific for activity and downright fun! The album flows nicely. The artist knows her audience well and her songs follow suit. Listeners will probably seek out more Dana music! It's just that good. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed listening to Dana's Best Jump & Jam Tunes CD! I found myself tapping to the beat of many songs. One of the things I like about this CD is that so many of the songs are nursery rhymes. They have simple melodies, fun rhythms and positive, upbeat messages. Many of them are about animals and the importance of doing the right thing in life. The "I Love Mommy" song is very simple yet it is a reminder of the most important people in our lives - our family.

There are twelve songs on the CD. It's too difficult to pick a favorite, I love "Barnyard Hoedown," "Jumping Beans," "Five Green and Speckled Frogs and "I Love Mommy. The reason why I like "Barnyard Hoedown" so much is because it is a country song with animal voices, a kid's choir and ends with a cow mooing. The "Jumping Beans" is really cool because of its Spanish flavor and the inclusion of a xylophone. I also think "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" is funny because of the frogs croaking in it. Finally, the "I Love Mommy" is particularly touching lullaby with having a heartfelt simple message about loving your family.

Dana Cohenour sings all the songs on the CD is really great. Her voice is very pretty and she can make funny sounds with her voice like singing with different accents. She also does the fun musical arrangements.

The message of this CD is about the importance of respecting animals, doing the right thing and loving your family. What sticks out in mind the most is the kids' choir singing, the animal voices and Dana singing in different styles. I also like all the nursery rhymes.

While I think kids of various ages will enjoy this, I recommend it to ages 3 to 7 because the songs are nursery rhymes with animal sounds. I give this 4 out of 5 musical stars for its positive upbeat songs and inclusion of animal and kid voices.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 38 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 1-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-15
Description - The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else's! But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he's got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they're dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki crew wish they could switch places now: with anyone!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kikoriki is about a character named Wally trying to cure his cowardly ways by using a local scientist's invention which allows you to swap personalities with someone else. Wally accidentally switches personalities with a caterpillar and things really take off from there. It's lovely seeing Wally wanting to be himself again and working so hard to get there. I personally thought this was funny. This is one of those kids movies that attempts to keep adults engaged as well as their children. Between having a random celibacy joke and polite kid curse words, it really draws all ages in. I feel that this is most suitable for ages 5 to 12. I have a 13-month-old who was glued to the screen and I have a 15-year-old who giggled at the jokes as well. I give this program a 4 out of 5 stars just because I feel the light adult humor and the visuals do not always match up. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a family-friendly animated film based on the television series GoGoRiki. Directed by Dennis Chernov and originally voiced by Russian actors, this film is one of two DVDs that are being brought to American audiences by Shout! Kids Factory.

The story begins with the local scientist creating a machine called the "Improverizer" which swaps people's personalities. But something goes terribly wrong when a young coward, Wally, gets hold of the device. Wally's friends and other Kikoriki residents take a journey to help him return to his original body. It is a tale about finding yourself, learning to trust your own instincts and not rely on silly mechanisms like an "Improverizer" in order to change and grow and develop friendships.

The animation is done with CGI (Computer Generation) and is colorful and esthetically pleasing. Each of the characters are based on different animals and their personalities are very fitting. Their bodies are egg-shaped and the DVD actually includes an egg decorating kit so you can make your own Kikoriki villagers at home. The animation looks very cartoony and fun, but some times I did feel the storyline was a bit slow. As an illustrator myself, I found the landscaping and various imaginative backdrops were my favorite part.

My favorite character is Wally. Wally starts off as a coward and tries to use the "Improverizer" to change his personality. In the end he learns that bravery comes from within. I found myself laughing several times during the film.

I feel Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is appropriately rated PG due to some rude humor and mild peril. It also includes a few adult references and jokes, but nothing so noticeable I feel a younger child would pick up on. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It came out on DVD, March 7, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KikoRiki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a funny animated film featuring lots of bright and hilarious characters. I like how it has lots of jokes referencing other films. It is a very interesting film with a cool animation style. I like how it includes lots of zany contraptions that make me laugh. It has an entertaining story filled with prophesies, volcanoes, treasure and jokes.

In the story, a young sheep named Wally gets tired of being a scaredy cat so he uses one of the town's scientist's inventions to get courage. He trips and accidently misuses the device and ends up in a caterpillar's body. Meanwhile, the other residents of KikoRiki Island are taking a plane trip when their plane crashes and are lost. They find the native chameleon's village and discover that Wally's caterpillar-controlled body is worshiped as the golden dragon spoken of in a prophesy. Wally gets the same information from some hilarious treasure hunters and both groups try to get his body back.

This film is very funny and has very colorful characters. The story has many twists and turns that keeps it exciting entire time. I especially enjoyed how they have a slow buildup of action throughout the film, not all in one place. This film's moral is to think highly of yourself. They also emphasize how you can do anything if you believe, friendship is important and good always comes out on top. I feel these are important morals because they teach a lot about self-respect.

My favorite part of the DVD is when the what the characters are playing happens in real life. This is hilarious and shows that the writers have great imaginations. I also strongly enjoyed the part where Wally becomes a caterpillar because it s like a Rube Goldberg machine which I find very entertaining.

I really enjoyed this film. It is very entertaining and funny. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. I also think parents will enjoy this. It is available now on DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GREAT WALL, THE
GREAT WALL, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Great Wall is a fun monster movie and a good visual treat. I really like the special effects, cinematography and costume design in this movie. This is one movie that monster movie fans will appreciate.

This movie is about William (Matt Damon), a traveler who comes to China with his friend Pero (Pedro Pascal) to find black powder. When they try to enter the Great Wall, the Chinese soldiers of the secret military group, Nameless Order, capture them and escort them to General Lin (Jing Tian) who holds them captive. A wave of alien monsters, known as Taoties, attacks the Great Wall. William and Pero heroically fight and save the order and earn the respect of the General, but they plan to betray the Nameless Order with the help of Sir Ballard (Willem Dafoe), another foreigner in search of black powder. Torn between joining his friends by betraying the Chinese and taking on the responsibility of saving them from this monster attack, William must make a choice.

Matt Damon portrays a believable noble warrior who needs to make a correct choice to redeem himself. Pedro Pascal, as Pero, is my favorite character as he delivers a show-stealing performance with a mixture of comedy and villainy. Jing Tian excellently presents her patriotism and the trust she has towards her people. Willem Dafoe nicely presents a greedy man who will do anything for the black powder.

The special effects for the creatures by Andrew Baker are well executed with many impressive details. During the battle scenes, the creatures look real with excellent slow motion shots. The cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh and Xiaoding Zhao is colorful with outstanding shots of the desert and the Great Wall. My favorite scene is the first battle scene because of the organized battle tactics of the Nameless Order. My only issue with the movie is that some of the line deliveries are a little off.

The Great Wall has a good message about redemption. William is, by no means, a true role model, but he is able to redeem his wrongs by helping the Chinese. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 as some battle scenes may be too frightening for younger audiences. This film opens in theaters on February 17rd, so go and check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I like the movie The Great Wall because of its beautiful cinematography, great acting and its message. However, I don't like that the writers lean toward a romantic relationship between two of the main characters that never happens. The romantic relationship in The Great Wall movie is unneeded.

The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau, is an epic, historical, fictional, action-adventure film, telling the story of how two adventurers, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are searching for black powder. After being attacked by some weird monsters, they end up at a Chinese military base. The leader, Commander Lin (Jing Tian), running the military group named "The Nameless Order" is trying to keep China safe from beasts that attack every 60 years.

The cinematography is spectacular. The scenes and landscapes are stunning. There is a beautiful scene when William and Tovar ride their horses through the mountains. I saw this movie in 3D and it felt as if I was actually there. In one of the scenes, William falls off the Great Wall and I got scared since it felt so real. The CGI of the monsters looks very realistic. When the monsters attacked, I felt as if they were over me.

This film has a star-studded cast. Matt Damon, who playing the lead role of William, shows his fighting and darts skills. I like the scenes of him battling the enemy with his combat skills. I also like how the actor for Commander Lin acted as a fierce fighter with amazing expert skills. Tovar is very entertaining with his funny comments and saying words in Spanish in the middle of some situations.

My favorite characters are Commander Lin and Tovar. Commander Lin is very independent and fierce in a time when women are expected to stay home and take care of their children without any power. Tovar is a very humorous, even in serious situations.

There are multiple messages in this film. One message is to be strong and not to have fears. This film also teaches girls to be confident, fierce and to fight for your people.

I recommend this movie to ages 12 to 17 since it does contain some mild profanity and moderate portrayals of violence. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. You can find this movie in theaters now so, go check it out!

By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE - WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. Maybe his superhero sidekick Robin (Michael Cera) and loyal butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) can show him a thing or two.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is not the type of film I usually enjoy but, after seeing the trailers I really wanted to see it and I was not disappointed. The animation is very clever and looks almost as if the characters are truly made out of LEGOs. Kudos to the animation team for that. Then, the jokes and references to Batman and DC characters just never stops. Thankfully, my screening partner was even more of a DC comic fan than me and, when I got lost, he filled me in. I love that the storyline has such a strong message about needing other people, needing a family and not having to tackle the world all on your own. At first, I thought this was unique in this film but yet, if you think about it, it is a recurring theme in almost all the Batman movies. Definitely strong here though. I found myself laughing through most of the film but when I walked out of the theater and discussed it with my partner, it was the theme that stuck with us most. It is definitely worth taking in and, in the midst of all the heavy stuff going on today, provides great comic relief. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The LEGO Batman Movie is a superb superhero movie which serves as a great homage to many aspects of Batman history. I really liked the animation, voice acting and humor in this movie. This exactly what a Batman fan would want.

This movie is about Batman/Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) who is the crime fighting vigilante of Gotham. Despite all his glory, he feels lonely. He wants to be part of a family, despite his selfish behavior. His butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) soon brings him an adopted kid, Richard Grayson (Michael Cera). Richard grows fond of Batman, and the two go to fight crime, with Richard's superhero name being Robin. Once the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) attacks Gotham with a various variety of villains, Batman must team with Robin, Alfred and the new commissioner of the GCPD, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to stop the attack. During this, Batman must also learn to accept his new family.

Will Arnett delivers a show-stealing performance as Batman, my favorite character in the movie, and he is great in switching between the dark vigilante of Batman and the charismatic billionaire of Bruce Wayne. Also, he greatly presents the aspect of wanting a family. Ralph Fiennes as Alfred is impressive as a caring guardian for Bruce. Michael Cera portrays another excellent performance as Robin, and his nerdy characteristics are put into play. Zach Galifianakis is good in presenting the Joker with his humor and villainy. Rosario Dawson also manages to deliver with her heroic motives.

The animation by Stewart Alves is incredible. It improves on the what The LEGO Movie did right, and the color pallet used for Gotham really fits how Gotham looks like. The movie's humor impressed me. The movie has a ton of fourth wall breaks. The characters in the movie even act like they know they are movie characters which adds to the fun. The movie even makes jokes about other movie franchises. My favorite scene in the movie is when Batman just happens to chill for a moment and watches a bit of Jerry Maguire. It really gave a good laugh.

The movie has a good message in working as a team. When Gotham is invaded by large number of criminals, the only way to fix the problem is to work as a team. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 years old. This is a movie which will appeal to all ages. This film opens in theaters on February 10rd, so go and check it out for a unique superhero experience.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The LEGO Batman Movie is fantastic! I was laughing throughout the entire film! I really enjoy all of the jokes and comedy that was put into it. But I wish they would have added some more jokes into the movie that younger kids would appreciate because after all Batman is a superhero and little kids love superheroes.

This movie is about Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Will Arnett). Batman has been fighting crime for a very long time, but he is starting to do and say some very bad things to the people around him because he is very lonely without a family. Because of his loneliness Batman adopts a son, Robin (Michael Cera), which forces him to be more responsible and take care of his son. Usually, Batman doesn't want to work with others but he is forced to during the film.

This movie is made by the same production company as The Lego Movie so if you liked that movie then you will definitely love this movie. But, if you haven't seen The Lego Movie you will probably still enjoy this movie.

My favorite part of the movie is the use CGI, which made each scene in the movie really entertaining. The action in this movie is so incredible that when I watched the movie in IMAX I was blown away. I recommend that you do not sit in the front unless you want your eyes to actually fall out.

This movie teaches kids how to work together with others, be responsible, and be kind to others. Even though this is a superhero movie, it was not directed towards little kids because of the humor and violence. I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend this movie for kid's ages 6 to 18 and also adults would really enjoy it. Go check this movie out in theaters February 10, 2017.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT SPACE, THE
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT SPACE, THE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - The Cat in the Hat joins Nick and Sally who are exploring the backyard when something extraordinary finds them--a flying robotic dog! The robot lands and does some exploring of his own, gulping up rock samples and photographing the Cat, Nick, Sally, and Fish before blasting off back into space! What was that thing? Where did it come from? Where is it going? The Cat in the Hat fires up his Space-ama-racer and whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on a cosmic adventure in search of the robot. Together, they survive a dust storm on the surface of Mars, rocket through an asteroid belt, and then narrowly escape being sucked into Jupiter by its huge gravitational pull! Ultimately, they hitch a ride on a comet that leads them all safely back to the Space Station, along with plenty of space samples, and stories and even a small souvenir that follows The Cat in the Hat and our crew back to Earth!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat has always been a favorite storybook character of mine and I have fond memories of reading the books with my son from an early age. I am impressed how this story is brought to life in this film. It can be viewed in either English or Spanish and features Martin Short as The Cat In The Hat. It is fun to watch and has the usual likable characters - Nick & Sally, Thing 1 and Thing 2, The Fish and, introduces a flying Robotic Dog named Space Rover. The film follows the book with its catchy rhyming style that the Cat In The Hat is known for and adds catchy musical songs which are quite entertaining. It has a lot of adventure and entertainment value and also teaches a lot about space with an emphasis on the different planets. What a fun way for children ages 3 to 9 to learn about space including gravity, the asteroid belt and so much more! I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise A. Bloomfield

I have always been a huge Dr. Seuss fan. I have all of the original books and such. I was super excited when I watched my first The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That show! Here I am in my 20s and still just as excited as I was when I was little reading The Cat in the Hat. I love the way this show gets information across while managing to have the fun and goofy rhymes and great visuals. This creates a promising way for younger kids to learn while having fun. I highly recommend this show for anyone with small children. I recommend this for ages 3 through 8, although my one-year-old was pretty enthralled with the visuals and voices. I give this 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space is a delightful animated film that incorporates learning with fun. Young imaginations soar as Cat in the Hat leads Nick and Sally through space on this easy to follow, yet engaging film.

It is just another day playing in the backyard for Nick and Sally, until they are once again joined by the always lovable Cat in the Hat and his trusty pal, Fish. They soon have a visitor from outer-space - a flying robotic dog. The Cat in the Hat prepares his Space-ama-racer and takes Nick and Sally on an adventure to follow this space dog on a cosmic mission. The team encounters many obstacles along the way and must work together to help their new space dog friend and find their way back to planet Earth.

My favorite character is Space Rover because he has fun while learning and exploring his environment. Much like a real dog, Rover uses his senses to guide him and sometimes this gets him into some sticky situations. Thankfully the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally and Fish are there to help him out. This teaches the value of teamwork and problem-solving skills.

While Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space is not considered a musical, the characters do break into an occasional song. I find these songs enjoyable and they actually add another level of fun to the experience. The Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) has a goofy voice that kids feel comfortable with and he uses words and phrases that are age appropriate, making the story easy for young audiences to follow. In line with other Dr. Seuss videos, this also speaks in rhyme throughout, but never to the point where I felt it was annoying. The animation is simple and plain, but still visually appealing. It is consistent with other Cat in the Hat videos.

I recommend this film for ages 2 to 8. Young children will appreciate the rhyming lyrics and easy to follow story line. Parents can be assured their children are learning within a fun environment. The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space does not disappoint, as it is right in-line with the other Dr. Seuss stories. I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD.

Reviewed by Tristan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I really enjoyed this DVD. The animation is colorful, the storyline is engaging and the characters are fun to watch. I like how the Cat rhymes and sings. I also like learning about space and the solar system. My favorite character is Rover the Dog who explores different planets and takes pictures of them. His tail squirts out fire when he flies, which I think is hysterical.

The story is about the adventures of Cat in the Hat with Sally, Nick and Fish as they follow a robot dog into space. They meet up with Rover's owner, Astronaut Audrey who guides them to different planets, through Asteroid fields and space junk. We learn that when Rover is on different planets he brings back rock samples to the space station so Astronaut Audrey can study them. The cool thing is that not only do the characters learn facts about space but so do we!

My favorite part of the DVD is when Rover the Dog goes to Nick and Sally's house and spends time digging in the yard, taking photos of flowers and everyone. I laughed my head off when Rover takes a picture of Fish which causes him to freak out! Fish freaks out because he thinks he's going to be eaten. Oh do I love Martin Short as the voice of The Cat in the Hat. He's super animated and super funny. I can't think of a better voice.

The message of this collection is that space is fun and, as The Cat in The Hat says, "Space is planet Earth's biggest backyard." This means that space has a lot for us to explore and learn about such as: Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Mars is half the size of earth and has no gravity. Dust storms can cover the entire planet of Mars and last for days. Jupiter is the biggest planet, has no surface to land on and has a red spot that is a storm which has lasted for years. Also, the sun is so large that you can fit all the planets in the solar system into it. Wow! My head is spinning with all this exciting new information!

There are a lot of great songs and rhymes by the Cat in the Hat. Fish is really funny, has lots of personality and attitude, but at the same time is always worried. This DVD is extremely enjoyable. Not only does it teach kids about space but it has a dog. Who doesn't like a cute robot dog? I recommend it for ages 4 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars (or should I say) cat hats for its humor, colorful animation and educational lessons. The DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, be sure to check it out for your budding scientists!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RED TURTLE, THE
RED TURTLE, THE - SONY CLASSICAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A massive sea turtle destroys a stranded man's raft every time he tries to sail away from a tropical island.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The latest Studio Ghibli release, The Red Turtle is a quiet, visually stunning film that represents a new direction for the Japanese film studio. Directed by Dudok de Wit, the animated film is the first time the studio has commissioned a director from outside Japan.

The Red Turtle is a desert island, castaway story that morphs into a charming fairytale. A man is stranded on a desert island. He tries to leave by building a raft, but each time he gets shipwrecked by a red turtle. The rest of the story is magical, so I don't want to be a spoiler. The story is completely told through imagery. There is no real dialogue in the film.

The animation is quite beautiful. It appears to be hand-painted with water colors. It does not have a saturated, south seas palette as one would expect, but rather a more subtle use of color. Some of it monochromatic. The music helps tell the story as well. All the music goes well with the scenes, rising in intensity when needed.

This is a very contemplative film. At first, I thought it didn't fit into the Studio Ghibli oeuvre. But after thinking about the last few films from the studio, I see why they commissioned it. I'm thinking of the later Ghibli films from 2011 and onward - From Up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There. They are all of a much softer palette and slower pace than earlier Ghibli films.

The other aspect that this film has in common with other Studio Ghibli films is its inventiveness. There are cute, charming creatures in The Red Turtle, which help move the story along and provide comic relief. Another is the Ghibli respect for nature and for dealing with important subjects, such as life and death, survival and ecology.

The Red Turtle is the complete opposite of today's fast-paced entertainment and, for that reason I think the film is appropriate for more mature kids, ages 13 to 18. Seen in context with other Ghibli films, it's a satisfying entertainment experience. I give the film 4 out of 5 stars.

Review by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed the film The Red Turtle, even though I didn't understand some parts of it. This movie is mostly without words except words like "Hey!" and "Ugg!". It starts with a person being flung around by waves who then swims over to a boat that has tipped over. I'm guessing that might have been the boat he was in. Then we see him being washed up onto an island. He starts to explore and he thinks he sees another person but it's only seaweed. He hears a voice but it is only a seal. Then he goes out to explore the island and you get to see what it looks like. There is a mountain, a bamboo forest, a beach and a cluster of boulders. Next, he is on top of a mountain and yells out to see if anyone else is on the island. No one replies and he accepts that no one else on the island. He climbs back down and begins to search the jungle, finds a tree with fruit and begins to eat it. He also finds a little pond.

He is going along pretty well when he decides to build a raft to get of this island he is stranded on. He gathers bamboo to build the raft and, once he gets it done, he sets of to sea. A bit into the journey, his raft starts shaking and breaks apart. He does not find the source of his raft breaking and swims back to the island where he faces troubles and has to problem solve many times.

This film has a way of drawing you in and getting you emotionally connected to the characters, so you get worried when they are hurt or something bad happens. I believe that is a good thing to see in a movie because it means the people who made this film made it seem real. That is a good trait that films should have.

There is one thing that is not realistic, and that is the animation. Even though it does not look real, it is beautiful because of its amazing colors and the movement of the trees, water and animals. I also enjoyed the music which is lovely and shows the emotions that the characters are feeling which is definitely a good thing since there is no dialogue.

The Red Turtle is a wonderful movie that I would recommend for ages 7 to 18 and 4 � out of 5 stars because of its beauty.

KIDS FIRST! Reporter, Nathaniel B., age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPLIT
SPLIT - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 different personalities they have work out which of those personalities will help them escape and which of those personalities will try to stop them. James McAvoy produces a master class performance playing the psychotic kidnapper and 24 roles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Most importantly, I want to say that this movie is amazing! It is very well made! What I like most about it is the acting. The actors' performances truly deliver a great story. In particular, James McAvoy and Ana Taylor-Joy really stand out. They make you feel they truly are the characters they portray in the film. James McAvoy plays Kevin, the insane man that kidnaps three girls. His performance of this complex character is really incredible. Ana Taylor-Joy plays Casey Cook, one of the girls that is kidnapped. Additionally, the plot takes your breath away. M. Night Shyamalan's direction stands out. He is a master of this genre and this is excellent. The scenes are so well set up and all the questions get answered at the end of the movie. The movie is full of suspense, which I love! But, if you get scared easily, this might not be the film for you.

Kevin has a dissociative identity disorder, something that has always fascinated science. It is believed that some can also show unique physical qualities for each personality, which is Kevin's case. Though he has revealed 23 different personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, there remains one still hidden which is set to dominate all the others. By kidnapping three teenage girls, Kevin plays a war for survival among his different personalities and everyone around him, as everything around him collapses.

My favorite part of this film is when Casey starts winning one of Kevin's personalities. She is determined to do whatever it takes to run away, because she knows she could lose her life at any moment. And, one of those ways is to win his little boy personality to find a way out. She is super sneaky and super careful in how she does it, because she has to remember he is a psycho. I love this film because it shows how smart Casey is, how she knew what she was dong and how she had to do it. She almost achieves her goal in escaping, but Kevin turns back into another personality and reverts back to his original self. When he turns back, he does not let her do anything.

There aren't any lessons per se in this film other than not to befriend a psychopath. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Split is in theater now so, if you like horror films, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - On the edge of my seat for the entire movie, my terror briefly subsided only because of the comedic acting of villain, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), playing 24 distinct personalities in M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, Split. I really enjoyed the film because it did more than terrify me. Although McAvoy's characters are deeply disturbing, I couldn't help but feel bad for them at different points. The acting of Mr. McAvoy in playing such diverse characters is superb and Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), trying to outsmart him in their cat and mouse game is very entertaining.

Two popular girls and Cooke are kidnapped while inside the car and locked away in a remote location. They are preyed upon by McAvoy's 24 distinct personalities which include a little boy and a stern woman. This movie transcends the typical horror movie where people try to run away from the madman. From the beginning of the film, it's apparent that Casey is different from the mainstream characters. She has been taught how to survive by her dad and battles McAvoy's character on a psychological level as she tries to figure her way out of a hopeless situation.

The lighting and dilapidated surroundings where the girls are imprisoned sets the mood for the upcoming terror. The premise behind the movie is that each of the split personalities takes on its own characteristics. For example, one of the diabetic characters needs insulin in order to survive. McAvoy is brilliant at playing so many different personalities and seamlessly changing from one to another.

My favorite part of the movie is when Cooke is brought up to the killer's bedroom and forced to watch him jam out to loud, crazy dance music as one McAvoy's characters, Hedwig, a boy years younger than her. Between his lisp and repeated use of the word etcetera, he had me smiling in the midst of the terror.

The message of the film is that people with mental disorders have cognitive thinking and unique personalities just as people without mental derangements. Mental disorders don't necessarily affect people in the way we think they do. This film gives surreal images about mental complexities.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because the thrill of the movie scared me so much that I think James McAvoy might actually come after me. I felt as if I was one of the two girls he was chasing while watching the movie.

Even though the movie is PG-13, I only recommend it to ages 17 to 18. Adults will enjoy it more than kids because there is so much suspense and terror with McAvoy's kidnapping of the two girls that younger kids might have nightmares after watching the movie.

This movie is playing in theaters not so, go check it out. If you enjoy thrillers, it's one you don't want to miss.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FOUNDER, THE
FOUNDER, THE - WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was provoking and made me look at McDonald's in a different way. I am a huge McDonald's fan and I have to say, I still am, but after watching the origin story, my view is slightly tainted.

The story is about a man named Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who is always looking for the next big thing. He comes across a small burger stand called McDonald's, where he promises to help the brothers who created McDonald's turn their burger stand into a franchise. After they agree, Ray slowly becomes more and more obsessed with money and corporate greed.

I will say that one thing that is really good about this movie is how amazing it is paced. Ray's transformation isn't rushed and that's how it becomes believable. You see him becoming more of an antagonist over the course of the film. And, it's actually sad to watch a decent man turn evil so easily. Michael Keaton is excellent in his portrayal of Ray Kroc. The story begins and ends with a monologue that Keaton nails. He gets very invested in his role and it creates a believable character that is very human.

I certainly didn't expect it to be so dark. This is the company that brings Americans Happy Meals. My favorite scene is when the brothers tell Ray about how they set up the first McDonald's. This scene is the first scene that really sets them up as characters and it is really well done. I genuinely liked the brothers and their relationship. They definitely are each other's best friend.

The sets and costumes are also pretty genuine. This movie takes place in the 1950s and the set directors and costume designers have outdone themselves at making the film look authentic to that period. The recreation of the original Golden Arches, right down to the hamburger wrappings is spot on.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will most likely enjoy it as well and it certainly is not suitable for really young kids. Whether you like eating at McDonald's or not, I recommend going and checking out The Founder when it comes out in theaters on January 20th, 2017.

Review by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The Founder is an entertaining, fascinating and interesting film that gives you a glimpse of the formation of one of the greatest and powerful food restaurant chain in America and worldwide - McDonald's. Throughout the film you experience the historical formation of this corporation and discover how a 50-year-old became the owner of a dominant corporation. As a viewer, I personally love the concept of the film and the rich iconic history of this massive food chain.

Ray Kroc, a salesman, finds himself struggling selling milkshake machines for a couple bucks to support himself and his wife, Ethel Croc. As a salesman living in Illinois in the 1950s, Kroc has to face numerous rejections and several doors slamming in his face before he rises to become CEO of a grand corporation. On a drive across Route 66, Kroc comes across a family-friendly restaurant whose philosophy is "30 seconds and not 30 minutes." Amazed by this unique concept, Kroc will do whatever it takes to franchise and popularize this exclusive restaurant.

American actor Michael Keaton delivers the perfect performance as Ray Kroc. Keaton's physical appearance and excellent acting skills bring us a perfectly believable ruthless, greedy, egotistical portrayal of Ray Kroc. Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation) plays the McDonald brother who invented the idea of the "speedy system" and the iconic "golden arches." The supportive brother Mac McDonald is played by John Caroll Lynch, known for several film such as Shutter Island, Gran Torino and Zodiac. This review would be amiss without giving kudos to the film's amazing director, John Lee Hancock and its writer Robert D. Siegel.

I really enjoyed watching this movie and watching the history of McDonald's unravel before my eyes. I like how the director and producers made this film so precisely accurate to the actual events that took place. The history of McDonald's is fascinating and intriguing. Minutes after the film, I was on my phone reading and learning more about its rich history. I learned that the director used exact locations, exact character names and exact details to produce this documentary exactly as he could.

A clear and straightforward message is depicted throughout the 115 minutes of the film. A message of persistence and ambition can be seen through the actions of Mr. Kroc. He was a 50-year-old struggling business man who faced rejection after rejection, yet he does not give up or stop from archiving his dream. It's his persistence, hunger to succeed and ambition that lead him to achieve his goal. There is something we can all learn form Kroc, since we all have personal dreams and goals.

As a history lover myself, I recommend this film to any history enthusiast who is interested in learning about the formation of McDonald's. I also recommend this film to ages 15 to 18 and believe adults will enjoy this too. I give this documentary four out of five stars. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 17
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST & FOUND
LOST & FOUND - MISS MELODEE STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Sent to spend the summer with their uncle on a remote island, young brothers Andy and Mark learn that their eccentric grandfather once owned the island, but vanished without a trace...taking with him the secret to a vast fortune. Delving into the mysterious past, the brothers discover that their grandfather designed a complex treasure hunt, a hunt that could lead to unimaginable wealth and heal their broken family - if they can find it in time. Sinister forces also search for the money and will stop at nothing to keep the boys from their quest. As the adventure unfolds, the boys learn that the bonds of family are the most valuable riches of all, and that some family secrets can't stay buried forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Lost & Found. It has elements of mystery, combined with compassion and underlying evil. It has Star Power. Lost & Found opens with Andy Walton (Justin Kelly) competing in a swim meet. Winning the meet can mean a scholarship for college. Andy, an excellent swimmer mentions that he can hold his breath for 90 seconds. Andy does not win and the disappointment sends his life in a different direction.

After breaking the law, he is sent to spend the summer with an unknown uncle. Uncle Trent (Jason Patrick) lives on the remote island, once owned by his grandfather. He and his younger brother Mark (Benjamin Stockham) learn that their eccentric grandfather once owned the island, but vanished without a trace, taking with him the secret to a huge fortune.

The boys discover a challenging treasure hunt and follow the clues with hope of finding the treasure in time to save and heal their broken family. Along the way, they face many obstacles. Andy is not happy about having his younger brother Mark tag along, but later realizes and comes to appreciate Mark's loyalty and knowledge. I liked one scene in which Mark is lying in bed with his life jacket on and Andy asks him why? He replies to Andy because "Mom" told me to keep it on" and besides it is cozy.

There is a small side story about young love between Andy and Claire Broman (Celeste Desjardins). Claire is the daughter of John Broman (Cary Elwes), who is seeking the Walton fortune and wants to change the island.

Since Lost & Found takes place on a remote costal island, it has a cloudy, mysterious feel. It is filmed partly along the coast of Washington state and Canada. It has good production values and would work well on the big screen. It is very watchable and I plan to watch it again. It has several lessons appropriate for the entire family. The main lesson is voiced in a statement "what we do in the dark will come out in the light." Keeping secrets from family members can lead to discord, anger and pain. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and adults will enjoy it also. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. This is an independent production with big production values so, look for it at your local Film Festival or on DVD. Discover the results of Andy and Mark's treasure hunt! Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With beautiful filming locations and promising filmmakers, this Indie film is wonderfully entertaining. The story is about teenage brothers (Benjamin Stockham & Justin Kelly) who embark on a treasure hunt to restore their family's lost fortune. The directors and producers noble attempt at making a fun family treasure hunt film are evident in the production aspect. Joseph Itaya, who has been a part of incredible short films in the past like Monsoon, sits in the directing chair of his first feature and manages to make the look of the film riveting. Delightful use of lighting and outdoor sites invite people right into the adventure. However, looks can only go so far and where this film falls a bit short is in the screenplay. Some lines are droll and there is an unnecessary plot twist. Even with its minor bumps, if you're looking for a campy mystery, Lost and Found will provide enough entertainment for movie night with the family. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Keefer B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER TRUCKS
MONSTER TRUCKS - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the fun, adventurous comedy that is perfect for the whole family. In this stupendous movie, there is a fun story line, quirky characters and terrific graphics. The way they incorporate each and every person's unique talents and personality traits is incredible. On top of that, there is an adorable comedic monster that is not scary but cute, silly and goodhearted.

This movie is about a teenager named Tripp (Lucas Till) and his tutor Meredith (Jane Levy). One day, Tripp finds a remarkable creature that has never been heard of before. He decides to keep the creature and names him Creech. Tripp makes a huge truck where he can keep Creech inside and use Creech as the engine. He then has to get Creech back home with the help of Meredith. The oil people, which only loves money, want him dead. If people find out about him they will want to study him and protect him. This would cause the company to shut down.

My favorite scene is when Creech Meredith and Tripp are hiding and doing a speed chase with the evil people who want to take Creech away from them to experiment on him. I love this because Creech is climbing walls, jumping on top of buildings and driving on top of the roofs. The graphics in this scene are spectacular and had me staring in awe at how well are executed. The characters have some hilarious jokes that had me laughing until my stomach hurt.

My favorite characters are Creech and Meredith. I love him because he is funny, adorable, sweet and silly. I usually do not like creepy squids but this one is adorable. He provides comic relief that will have you smiling and laughing all the way. Meredith is the smart, quirky kind one who just wants to do what's right and help everyone that she can. Tripp is also very humorous and goodhearted and I love that about him. He brings the film to life and has you cheering for him throughout the movie.

I recommend this to kids ages 7 to 18. Kids will love the characters that they can relate to, the adorable monster Creech and the story. Adults will love the graphics and the well written jokes. It is perfect for the whole family as a silly, feel good movie. I give this 5 out of 5 Monster Truck Stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really enjoyed watching the film Monster Trucks. It is a very action packed, science filled and exciting. It's a film that will have younger views hooked from the very beginning. The animation, cast and storyline all help tie this movie together in a way that is so amazing.

The story is about Tripp (Lucas Till) who lives in a small town that he isn't all that fond of. He builds a Monster Truck from pieces of scrapped cars. After an unexpected accident at a oil-drilling site called Trevaax, a strange creature is let loose who meets Tripp and Meredith (Jane Levy). The three set out on a joyride to protect their new subterranean creature friend.

My favorite part about the film is when all three creatures reunite with each other-thanks to Tripp and the gang and are set off to return to their homes. I really like this part because it is almost a happy ending, even though it isn't the end yet. Throughout the film, there are many pleasant scenes and I love the positive way that we see how Tripp and Creech's relationship grows. Friendship is a huge theme which is great because that is something that everyone benefits from.

Without giving away the ending, the message of this film is that family and friends are very important no matter what they look like. Another message is to always fight for what you believe is right in the end. Tripp is skeptical about Creech at the beginning of the film, but as it progressed, so do his feelings for the friendly creature. They form a bond with each other to keep one another safe no matter what the circumstances. Another example is with one of the scientists who works for the "evil" oil-drilling company. He realizes towards the end that what his company is doing could be harming others and has a change of heart for the creatures. I recommend Monster Trucks for ages 5 through 13 due to the lively colors, action packed theme and fun filled excitement. I rate this film a 5 out of 5 stars for its kid-friendly, thrilling storyline and talented cast. This film opens nationwide in theaters on January 13, 2017.

By Imani B. G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 7-112 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PASSENGERS
PASSENGERS - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The spaceship, Starship Avalon, in its 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet known as the "Homestead Colony" and transporting 5,258 people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result one hibernation pod opens prematurely and the one person that awakes, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from his destination.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What happens when you blend fantastic acting, beautiful visual effects, intense story and a surprising ending? You get a unique and exciting film called Passengers. Surprisingly, the main genre is not action or adventure, but a romance. With that, of course, comes drama as well.

Passengers begins when a deep space colony ship called Starship Avalon encounters some technical issues. It has only been 30 years into its 120 year voyage and one passenger, a mechanic named Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), awakens from his hibernation pod. After a year of loneliness, he is joined by another person, who also wakes up named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). The two live on the ship completely alone and soon realize that the starship they call home needs some fixing. If they don't do something, they and the 5,000 others aboard may die.

The concept of a romantic sci-fi is very unexpected and unique. Most viewers will be surprised because it is advertised as an action-packed adventure. It does contain some action elements, but most of the film is very romantic and dives deep into humans' nature under unique circumstances. The romance itself is smooth and realistic. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are enjoyable as separate characters and together they are simply perfect. They talk to each other very lightly and make the story entertaining despite that we only watch the two of them for most of the film. That is another fantastic aspect of Passengers. Everything is simple from the sets to the characters and even the story. That doesn't make it a boring film. With dramatic acting and beautiful visual effects, it is very much an entertaining story, which is hard to achieve with so few elements.

There is a small issue in one specific scene which slightly ruins the entire story. The scene contains a medical bed that gives you several options, including stem cell regeneration. Although this seems normal in a sci-fi film, the main problem is that it ruins the entire story. Brain stem cells allow you to live much longer than normal, which kills the whole "90 years till everyone else wakes up, and we'll be dead" element. This is the main problem with the characters. Another big thing about the stem cell aspect, is that they never have a role in the story. It is just an option for a robotic medical bed in the background, but because the option exists, it makes a huge part of the plot questionable.

My favorite scene is when both Aurora and Jim are awake and already getting close. One day, the ship's A.I. tells all passengers to go to the observatory as it passes very close to a star. They run to the observatory to see the flames of a red giant, with the ship almost touching the surface. I loved this because it is a stunning visual scene mixed with intense music and spectacular acting which makes your adrenaline pump.

There are several mature moments, which make this unsuitable for younger children. I recommend it for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, despite it being a fantastic sci-fi romance, with beautiful special effects and fantastic acting, the fact that one scene jeopardizes the main conflict of the story is a big downside. It is still an enjoyable film which I would recommend for all to see and opens in theaters on December 21, 2016 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Passengers is a decent movie filled with romance and sci-fi vibes. The acting and stellar special effects impressed me. However, there are many logic errors and things, which don't make sense. It is still very watchable.

The story is about two passengers, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), who are stranded on a spaceship, Starship Avalon, which is on a course to the Homestead Colony. This journey Is supposed take 120 years. Unfortunately, Jim and Aurora wake up from their hibernation pods thirty years into the journey. With 90 years left in the journey, the two try to go back to hibernation, but it doesn't succeed. During the trip, the two fall in love and try to enjoy their time spent on the Avalon, but aboard the ship a series of malfunctions occur. Jim and Aurora must figure out how to save the ship and the lives of the others in the hibernation pods.

Chris Pratt delivers an excellent multi-faceted performance and steals the show as Jim, presenting both comedy and romance. There are also scenes where Jim emotes his sadness, frustration and loneliness before he meets Aurora. Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Aurora, a writer who wants to capture new adventures, has good chemistry with Chris Pratt's character. Michael Sheen as Arthur, an android bartender, delivers good comic relief and is an interesting character.

Morten Tyldum's direction keeps the movie flowing at a fast pace especially in scenes when the ship is in danger. The special effects are great, especially the space effects and the swimming pool scenes when there is a loss of gravity. My favorite scene is the scene where Jim and Aurora first explore space. Their acting is marvelous. The idea of vending machines that can make all sorts of coffee is a cool one. This movie does have numerous logic issues and the lack of realism makes some scenes really weird. There is a scene where Jim is faced against a big ball of fire. The only protection he has is a small shield. Also, the issues that happen, supposedly caused from something that happened two years back, are not believable because issues come immediately after such a big problem rather than in slow, short installments.

The movie has a great message. Jim and Aurora heroically save the spaceship and more than 5000 passengers in hibernation in spite of the fact they know that they won't be alive when they reach Homestead Colony. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 years old. I don't recommend this movie for younger kids because it has few romantic scenes, which are not appropriate for them. This film opens in theaters on December 21st, so go check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ASSASSIN'S CREED
ASSASSIN'S CREED - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Films like these are difficult to recommend for people to watch. Assassin's Creed is a film that isn't bad, but it certainly isn't good. Based on the video game series, it's very divisive and my recommendation depends on the person I am recommending it to. On one hand, the action sequences are engaging and well paced, but on the other hand, the movie takes itself much too seriously and is too thickly plotted. It falls to the conventions of a bad action film and yet it finely executes the entertainment aspects of a watchable action film. Therefore, Assassin's Creed proves to be a very mediocre movie.

One of the major questions is whether the film does the game justice or is it a good adaptation. To that I would say yes. The action sequences emulate the video games very well, but the story is something different. As a matter of fact, Ubisoft said that they'd consider using elements from the film in future games. However, I'm sure that playing a videogame with this plot would be much more exciting that watching it. This movie lacks excitement and, more importantly, it lacks fun. Director Justin Kurzel, director of 2015's Macbeth, takes this movie much too seriously. He attempts to add too much depth to these characters and spends much too much time on the back story, motivation and plot. As a matter of fact, I find the cast to be a waste. Four Oscar nominees? Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams portray supporting characters and they all look like they're having no fun. There's a difference between serious melodrama and fun melodrama that embraces the cheesiness of the piece. The performances in this film fall under the former and they really doesn't work. An audience watching this doesn't want to invest that much, they don't want that kind of heaviness.

The only redeeming quality are the action scenes, without the big names. There is some sensational fight choreography and impressive stunt work. During the moments of action, the film is engaging, exciting, and even edge-of-your-seat captivating. The stunt doubles must have had fun jumping from 125 foot buildings and jumping from roof to roof. It's these scenes and moments that nearly make it worth enduring the long scenes of dialogue and development. That's where the divisiveness comes in. Are the bad parts of overly dramatic plot and character development worth seeing the exhilarating, entertaining action sequences? Well that's a question that depends on the person. To action movie fans and fans of the game, I would say it is worth it. But to the casual action fan or those looking to be entertained that have no attachment to the game, I believe you'll find the film mediocre. Therefore, I give the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at your local theater.

By Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Assassin's Creed is an action packed film filled with an amazing choice of actors and actresses. Usually I don't enjoy films that have a lot of violence in them, but this film has a storyline that always has you on the edge of your seat ready to see what would happen next.

The cast is outstanding and their characters are so well written that, at points make you feel sad for them although they are considered bad people. This film is about Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who finds out that he is the descendent of Aguilar the last known Assassin to have possession of the Apple of Eden. At the beginning, he is in denial of being considered part of the secret society of Assassins because, as a small child he watched his father, a member of the Assassins, kill his mother. Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist trying to find a cure for violence with the help of her father (Jeremy Irons). This leads to the wonderful sci-fi part of the film with its revolutionary technology that allows Callum to unlock genetic memory of his ancestor Aguilar.

My favorite part is when Callum goes through his genetic memory and learns the same skills his ancestor, Aguilar, had in order to fight off the people that are taking advantage of him and the other assassins. Another part that stands out is when sometimes they speak Spanish. I really like that because it shows how well thought out the film is. Furthermore the CGI is the best I've seen so far and I personally would go watch this film a second time. This film has many amazing plot twist that just leave you speechless, but you have to watch this film to know what I'm talking about.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 due to the amount of violence shown. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because, although it is such a good film with its dialect, script and settings, there are very few parts that leave you confused as to what is going on. This film opens in theaters December 21, 2016 so go check it out.

By Lizeth Gallegos, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEVER AGAIN IS NOW
NEVER AGAIN IS NOW - XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Description - From the producers of The Blaze TV's For the Record comes a documentary investigating the troubling rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, a story told through the eyes of a woman who fled to America in 2004 to escape it. Evelyn Markus was raised in Holland by parents who witnessed the growing anti-Jewish violence of the 1940s. Her parents survived the Holocaust when Allied soldiers liberated them in 1945. When Markus saw signs of the same disturbing trends returning to the Netherlands, she left the land her family called home for centuries. Today she confronts the hatred that drove her out, and embraces her life's mission -- to prevent one of history's darkest chapters from repeating. The documentary is now available at The Blaze TV.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love this documentary. Never Again is Now not only tells inspirational stories of the Holocaust, but also brings to light problems that are taking place in the world today that many people know nothing about. In Europe, there is a rise in anti-Semitism, with no foreseeable end. This documentary informs you about this hidden threat in a compelling and passionate way.

Never Again is Now focuses on educating the world about what is happening in Europe. The stories they reveal are inspiring, but also dramatic, very sad and unbelievably real. Especially when the creator talks about how her door was marked with a pink Star of David, not just targeting her and her wife as Jews but indicating, in a Nazi fashion, that they are a gay couple.

The documentary starts with stories of families who lost someone in the Holocaust or who witnessed the horrible acts of Nazi Germany first-hand. A unique aspect of the film shows the American Veterans who liberated cities from Nazi Germany's hold and discovered the concentration camps. They never knew they existed, nor were they trained to ever deal with such things or to have empathy for the survivors. The movie then talks about the rise of Anti-Semitism in countries such as Netherlands, France and United Kingdom. It talks about events that took place from 2001 to 2015, the rise of hate speech and assaults on Jewish people and Israel. The entire documentary keeps referring to one strong message, the necessity to inform people and not let those who try to destroy Judaism and destroy its communities win.

What Never Again is Now does so well is it tell the history of the Holocaust and draw a parallel to today, while delicately connecting the two. Many documentaries do either one but rarely both and this truly allows you to listen to people who experienced concentration camps and the Nazi rule that happened 70 years ago, is happening again. The narration is done by Evelyn Markus, who is also the creator of Never Again is Now. Her vision not only makes the whole story flow brilliantly, but has other excelling aspects. One of its most unique things it brings out is how many Islamic people were raised to believe Jewish people are horrible. It shows how these people grew up hating Jews, without even knowing anything about the atrocities of the Holocaust.

My favorite scene is when the film shows the Veterans who liberated a train heading to a death camp. We hear stories of WWII Veterans who fought bravely to free Europe from Hitler's rule, but you never hear stories of how they handled liberating the concentration camps. A Veteran talks about how they had never heard the words concentration camp before and never were trained to be a humanitarian in any fashion. When they freed those who survived the train, they had to take them to a liberated city with artillery on its way. I love this scene because it just shows such a unique aspect I have never seen in a documentary before. The art direction is also beautiful. They make old black and white photographs look almost 3D and move just a slight bit to attempt to bring them to life.

Despite this being a film everyone should watch, it is very mature. I recommend it to ages 11 to 18. Parents should know that it does not hide the truth in any way. It talks openly and directly about issues and brutalities of the world. I give Never Again is Now 5 out of 5 stars for its fantastic narration, story, message, concept and special effects. This is one the most meaningful documentaries I have ever seen. I urge kids and adults to see it, not just because I'm Jewish, but because, when hate like this rises in the world, it eventually affects everyone, not just one ethnic group. This film is in limited release. For a list of screenings, go to http://www.neveragainisnowfilm.com

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JACKIE
JACKIE - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 15-18
Description - Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy. Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that she created and loved so well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jackie is a biopic about more than Jackie Kennedy. It is a display of grief and its effects on its inhibitor. The assassination of JFK is used as a backdrop to present a portrayal of grief as something raw and gritty. The grainy cinematography expresses that. Additionally, the film humanizes a famous figure, that is all too familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Natalie Portman plays the famous First Lady and what a transformation it is. Portman's last great performance was in 2010s Black Swan and she is in rare form in this film. From the walk, to the signature voice, Portman embodies the ticks of Jackie Kennedy that we've come to know. That alone is impressive. Then, Portman adds the emotional layers to the caricature we're accustomed to and Jackie Kennedy suddenly becomes human. Natalie Portman portrays the grief of a famous figure and makes it something down-to-earth and relatable. This performance is one to be remembered for its sensitivity, vulnerability and depth. Behind that voice is a tremble of sadness and beneath those eyes are memories of seeing a husband killed. Natalie Portman gives the performance of her career, not simply because she plays a real person who is a famous figure in history, but because she makes that figure unfeigned.

Supporting her are veterans John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup and Greta Gerwig. Sarsgaard plays JFK's brother, Bobby Kennedy. His characterization is spot on and his eyes tell a lot. There is a brooding guilt beneath his eyes and in his face that comes out very perfectly played in a scene near the climax of the film. Gerwig and Hurt play the confidants of Jackie Kennedy, each in his own way playing the wisdom and empathy proper to each spectrum of Jackie's grief. Billy Crudup challenges Jackie's notion and speaks from a perspective of his search for truth. He truly attempts to uncover and peel the celebrity off of Jackie and give us the raw confession of her lies and motivations.

To further the raw portrayal of grief is the cinematography of Stephane Fontaine and the direction of Pablo Lorrain. The documentarian behind-the-scenes style plays to the fervent nature of the film. The grain of the film, conceivably, could be a testament to the imperfections of Jackie Kennedy. Perhaps the cinematography and, at times, sporadic direction is a representation of how imperfect our idol Jackie Kennedy really was. Furthermore, the editing and cinematography are sometimes very eerie, meaning there are tracking shots that come off woozy and pieces of editing that scatter. They are brilliant pieces of filmmaking because they reflect Kennedy's mental state. It's actually quite brilliant how much of Jackie's emotional state is presented without a word of dialogue, but only with Portman's face and the direction of Pablo Lorrain.

Personally, my favorite aspect of the entire film is the score by Mica Levi. The score can be described as haunting. It is laced with a foreboding, calamitous tone that injects dread to the film. It drives the grief into our catharsis and, at times, actually weighs down on us. Then, in the midst of the heavy slightly off-pitch stringing, comes a higher pitched sound that injects a sort of longing for something happier. I can't fully express how beautiful and sad and astute the score is.

My only complaint with this film is very minimal. Sometimes the dialogue gets a little too cinematic for the tone of the film. Additionally, the plot occasionally gets slightly recurring and seems to be a bit lethargic.

With that said, I give this move 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. This film is in theaters December 2, 2016 so, be sure to go check it out.

By Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17.
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONG WAY NORTH (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO) - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - 1882, Saint Petersburg. Sasha, a young Russian aristocrat, has always been fascinated by her grandfather's life as an adventurer. A renowned explorer, he designed a magnificent arctic ship, but he hasn't returned from his last expedition to the North Pole. To save her family's honor, Sasha runs away. Headed towards the Great North, she follows her grandfather's trail in search of his famous ship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this animated film because it is very adventurous, heart-warming and exciting. Not your normal, everyday plot. It is different since it's based in Russia with unusual names for the characters. The story is about Princess Sacha who is determined to prove that her Grandfather had found what he set out to find. The title gives you food for thought about what the story is about. (North to where? North Pole, North Canada, North America?) The colors are soft and the animation is spectacular, unlike any I've ever seen! I felt that the cover doesn't do justice to the actual movie. It's better then the cover would lead you to believe. I believe that watching this movie stimulates kids to question, probe and problem-solve. The vocabulary is age-appropriate and the music definitely adds depth to the production. Any young child would love this movie! I know I did! It flows evenly from the beginning to end, has great characters, a fantastic storyline and it definitely kept my interest. The animation and colors are fantastic! The message of this story is that you should believe in yourself and follow through with your plans. I recommend this movie for ages 5-10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Tina B. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved this film. It surprised me a lot. I have to admit that, when it first started it was a bit boring, but as the movie progressed, it got better and better. I like the film because the events are so unexpected. I would predict that something would happen and then, something completely different happened and I would stare at the screen in shock. I love that feeling because it's exciting. For me, when that happens, when you don't know what's going to happen next or that anything could happen, it makes the film intriguing and interesting. You are curious about what will happen next.

The movie takes place in 19th Century Saint Petersburg when a young girl from the Russian aristocracy named Sacha suffers over the fate of her grandfather. He is a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from an expedition to the North Pole. Against the wishes of her parents, who have made marriage arrangements for her, Sacha flees home and launches her quest to search for her grandfather and his ship.

My favorite part is when Sacha saves the captain from falling off a cliff and dying. I like this scene because Sacha manages to win the captain's respect. Sacha was very judged and underestimated by the crew and captain, but she manages to prove all of them wrong. With her hard work and dedication, she shows them who she really is. Everyone finally starts respecting her and treats her respectfully. After she saves the captain's life, they stopped judging her.

The life lesson taught in this film is to never underestimate anyone, because you can be surprised. You can be surprised at who they really are or how they might change to attain a goal. Don't ever judge a book by its cover. Sacha changes throughout the movie in a huge way. She starts out as a spoiled girl that doesn't know how to work or make herself useful. But she is also very decided and dedicated in what she wants to accomplish and she will do anything to get that, even if it means preparing herself to work. During her journey, the sailors have very little faith in her and judge her heavily. They think she is a superficial girl that doesn't know what she is doing, but they are wrong. Sacha manages to prove the ship's crew that she is courageous, determined and a special young woman through her actions. So, this film teaches us an important lesson, to never judge a person by they way they look. You don't know what that person is capable of doing to achieve something that's important to them.

I recommend this movie to kids ages 6 to 14 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This film is really cute and I enjoyed most of it but, I'm not going to lie, the beginning wasn't as promising as I thought it would be. It's gets off to a bit of a slow pace so, it took me time to get into it but eventually I did and ended up enjoying it. I really like the clean animation. It is pretty simple and I really enjoyed the music which gives a lasting tone to the overall film.

The story line is about a young Russian girl named Sasha who is in desperate need to find her grandfather who she had a very close relationship with. Throughout the film, she gets closer to finding her grandfather as well as becoming a mature woman.

My favorite part, hands down, is when Sasha prepares herself to go find her grandfather, not only physically but mentally. She is very determined and she works hard to get what she wants which is different for her since she is a pretty spoiled girl who gets everything done for her. So, it was inspiring to see that change in her.

The two lessons I learned from the film are, don't judge a book by its cover and be determined. She is judged very negatively by the townspeople and, although she could have been wrong, she wasn't. Also, she is very determined and that was inspiring to watch. I recommend this film to ages 5 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film comes out on DVD January 17, 2017 so, look for it wherever DVDs are sold.

By Nathalie Avendano, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 81 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 21.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I just finished watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and, let me tell you, it is a must see and you don't have to go to a galaxy far away to see it! It's edgy, intense and delivers a lot of thrills. Fans will not be disappointed with this new action packed film.

Meet Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a defiant and eager character who takes on a desperate mission for the Rebellion to try to steal the plans of the Death Star so they can learn how to destroy it. The question is, will they find the plans and learn how to destroy it or will they fail? You have to see the movie to find out.

I relished watching this movie for its incredible CGI, story and characters. The CGI is amazing. For example, the details of the planets make them look so interesting, realistic and beautiful. Another example is K-2SO (my favorite character) who is completely created by CGI and yet, he looks like a real robot! I also love K-2SO because his sarcastic humor and delivery is hilarious. He acts too smart for his own good and he steals the show. The story has many twists and turns, and it left me with a lot of "what ifs" and I enjoyed that. The new characters are ordinary but strong people who band together to help Jyn and you'll end up liking and rooting for them. Each one is memorable in their own right. I feel like the Star Wars movies are getting better and better. There are some subtle references to previous Star Wars films and some familiar faces. You might be asking, "who?" The answer is, go see the movie to find out!

I did not enjoy how the movie ends because, I felt they could have gone in another direction. But that is just my opinion. Overall, this film is amazing and I think you will definitely enjoy it.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like spinoffs, family, Star Wars films and action / adventure movies. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Be aware there are a few intense scenes and some blood shown. It opens Friday, December 16, 2016 so make sure to check it out in a theater near you.

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Ryan R., Age 12

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is definitely a great addition to the Star Wars saga. It has so many amazing things about it and is truly astonishing.

As in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this film has a great female hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). She is the perfect person for this role. She is very silent in the beginning and doesn't have as many lines as I thought she would, but it serves as a way to show her character's personality. She seems angry inside and does not care about the Rebellion.

The music uses the Star Wars theme and, even though it is not the exact same music as in the other Star Wars movies, it plays a critical role in making the film come alive. The music is dramatic at times and soft at others and really sets the moods, making scenes more dramatic, even when they aren't that dramatic. The scenery also really makes you feel like you are on another world.

I love the special effects - the explosions, weapons, and spaceships are fantastic and are even better than the amazing special effects in the other Star Wars films. They look so real and are very interesting. The spaceships are the coolest of all the special effects. There are so many different kinds, it is hard to believe that someone put that much time, effort and creativity into designing imaginary aircrafts.

As great as Rogue One is, it is violent and has a lot of death. The death is not bloody or gross in any way but it is still death. Just a warning, some characters that people might get attached to die and some people may get upset because they like that person, so brace for impact. This film feels more like a movie for grown-ups than some of the others in the saga, but it is still great for kids.

This movie is a prequel to Star Wars 4, A New Hope (or number one if you are talking about the order of the films being made) and it comes after the Anakin, Qui Gon Jinn and younger Obi Wan Kenobi section of the saga. This film is called a Star Wars "story", but it is one of the best Star Wars films yet. It explains many things and shows how different things in A New Hope happened. There is one particular part that I needed to have pointed out to me. I will not spoil it, but if you think during the movie about the name, A New Hope, then you should get it.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it adds important details to the previous Star Wars stories, is a great story on its own and is beautifully made. This film is suitable for ages 8 to 18 because it is great for older people but kind of scary for younger kids. It opens in theaters on December 16, 2016 so, go check it out! You'll be glad you did.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE SNAKE
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE SNAKE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-11
Description - The universe is in danger. The evil Snake extinguishes the stars as he passes through the galaxy, causing chaos and plunging the planets into darkness. The Little Prince must leave his Asteroid home and beloved friend, Rose, in his quest to outsmart the Snake and save the universe from doom. Accompanied by his trusted companion, the Fox, the Little Prince travels from planet to planet, braving danger and discovering vast and enchanted worlds.� Will the extraordinary gifts of the Little Prince bring each of the planets back to life? And will he ever find his way home?

The Snake is tired of constantly losing against the Little Prince so he decides to risk it all! He goes back to B612, kidnaps Rose and brings her back to his planet. By doing so, he might lose everything because if the Little Prince comes to the Snake's home planet and frees Rose, the Little Prince will also rescue all the gloomy prisoners! Will the Snake regret kidnapping Rose and possibly losing all of his prisoners?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a modern day version of the Little Prince and is slightly darker because of the evil Snake. I like that it takes place in space, because I know my son and many other young kids really like other planets and things in space. The animation is done well, but is a bit old school and not as cool as some of today's animation. The storyline is very good. It is entertaining and has a good plot that is easy to follow. There are some issues with the voices as they are delayed at times. Younger children may not notice the, but the older children will notice it. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It is a bite scary so I would not recommend for younger than 5. The storyline is entertaining although it's not completely unique. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is a twisting, action-packed animated show for kids. It is based on characters from a famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry called The Little Prince. It comes as a set of three episodes that create one adventure-filled story. It is fun, fast-paced and very exciting. I enjoyed how it made me feel for The Prince while keeping me excited and interested.

The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is about The Little Prince's journey to rescue his Rose who has been kidnapped by an evil Snake. The prince uses his magic, the help of his friends and his courage to follow the clues to get to the Snake's planet. He faces many treacheries and traps set up by the Snake on his journey, but he perseveres to rescue his Rose. The series has some very detailed animation and the characters show some great expressions. The overall result very visually interesting. This DVD is a bit darker than other titles in The Little Prince series. I didn't like how it references other episodes of the series because, this makes it unable to stand alone, but it does make me want to see the others! Aidan Drummond and Brian Drummond do the voices of The Little Prince and his Fox. Their expressions, like sadness and joy, are done with great character in their voices.

My favorite part of the DVD are the fight scenes between The Little Prince and the Gloomies. These are monsters that are created out of sadness and the loss of hope. These scenes are always very exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I also felt that they are spread out enough that they don't get boring or repetitive but keep a consistent theme throughout the show.

The moral of the show is to never lose hope. I feel this is important because it teaches kids to never to give up on their dreams. It also teaches the importance and power of love and reassures us that good always conquers evil. The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is an interesting film and makes a great addition to the Little Prince series. I give it 5 out of five stars because it is dramatic and exciting. I recommend it for ages 5 to15. It is available on DVD January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Little Prince: The Planet of the Snake is one of the sequels of the series based on this book. This is a wonderful movie for children and I like it because of its message.

Some of you might know the very popular novel The Little Prince by French author Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry. The Little Prince has been adapted into numerous forms over the decades, books, theater, film, audio record, as well as movies. The Little Prince: The Planet of the Snake is about a young boy that should leave his home planet with his companion Fox to try to defeat the snake that is creating chaos, putting the universe in danger and has also kidnapped his flower friend, Rose. The Little Prince and Fox go on a quest to save Rose, but in their journey, they fight danger and go through many adventures. The Little Prince and Fox discover many interesting things in their journey to rescue Rose and protect the planets. The other challenge is to find their way back home.

I like how the producers adapted this iconic novel into a contemporary animated video for kids. Through this film, kids get to know another tale of adventures based on this classic children's literature. The voice actors are quite wonderful. I particularly like Paul Dobson's voice as the Snake as his sinister act was very believable. The animation is modern CGI which brings this classic into a contemporary format. However, the animation isn't like a Disney film; it is more like the show Miraculous Ladybug.

My favorite character is Fox. I love how comic he is and laughed a lot at his funny comments. I also like how the Fox helps The Prince not lose hope when they think they lost Rose. The message of this movie is to not lose hope. The Prince loses hope but the Fox helps him carry on in saving Rose. That is a good message for children. They can learn to help their friends when they feel sad or want to give up. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 7. You can find this movie at your local store or on Amazon on January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BAD KIDS, THE
BAD KIDS, THE - XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A group of teachers at a Mojave Desert high school take an unconventional approach to improve the lives of their struggling students.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is a very inspirational documentary that really tells kids that not everyone's life is easy as it profiles kids who struggle through many battles and differences, including battles with their family. I learned about all the various things that make life really difficult for them but how they have learned to deal with them and not give up. They also learn that if they do continue, their dreams can come true.

I had the pleasure of meeting the filmmakers, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe when I saw this film and I loved how dedicated they were to making this film. They told me that one of the pleasures of making this film was learning about all the kids, learning their inspirational stories and being able to help them through this journey. Vonda Viland is the principal at the school where these kids go and she said the same thing as well as how much she loves working with these students and helping them come out of their shells as they open up to her. I love her because she's so sweet and kind and I particularly love when we see her heart to heart conversations with her students.

Those are my favorite parts of this film because you can really tell that the students and Ms. Viland have a connection and she really wants to help these kids; help them in their journey to graduate from high school and see that they will be okay. I love how the students really open to her and, later on, you can see how they really develop a bond with her that they care about. It shows that you can talk to people at your school and they can help you get through your journey. I greatly recommend seeing this documentary, especially if you are having a hard time in life because it will help you through those hardships and show you how not to give up. You should keep on going. I love that about this documentary. It's one of my favorite parts because it is so inspirational.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because younger kids wouldn't understand some of the scenes. But teens will enjoy this film and it will help them deal with difficult times in their lives. I give this 4 � out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE LIFTOFF
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE LIFTOFF - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. When an old friend of Edison's visits the lab and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him with an urgent, top-secret project, they have to follow him through a wormhole to get to his own secret lab. Who could this mysterious friend be and what is this top secret project during the holiday season?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a fun ?DVD with a mystery to solve which makes it more interesting than the typical holiday type ?of ?show. I like that this is family friendly, engaging and fun to watch. I also like that this isn't just for the little kids but is appropriate for ages 5? to 12. The characters are my favorite part and they will appeal to kids ?in this age range. I give this 4 ?out of 5 ?stars for ?its entertainment value?. ?I am not sure if it will keep all 12-year-olds interest?ed? but they may ?enjoy ?watch?ing? it with their younger siblings. It's a fun holiday film? and available now on DVD. ?Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: 'Twas the Night Before Liftoff is a wonderful DVD that is educational and interesting and still very funny and entertaining. In it, some very colorful characters have a very important and exciting adventure. It also has an educational, original music video at the end of each episode.

This DVD contains six seasonal episodes of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab that create one special holiday story. It features four kid geniuses who help a virtual Thomas Edison to solve every day and unusual problems using science. In the first episode, Stranger in a Strange Lab, the kids learn about wormholes from Albert Einstein so they can help Thomas Edison's Friend, Bob, with an urgent, top-secret project. In the following episodes, which include Sturm und Drag, All the Heavy Lifting, Twas the Night Before Liftoff, Von Bolt Meets Santa, and And to all a Good Flight, they help him solve problems with his project using their scientific knowledge, scientific theories and the help of historic geniuses such as Isaac Newton, Pythagoras and George Cayley. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison's steampunk robot, Van Bolt, digs deeper into Bob's secrets to reveal his true identity and the real reason his project is so urgent.

This film is very funny and educational, teaching science, history and vocabulary in a very entertaining way. It also contains loads of cool fun facts. I really like how all the scientists that help the four kids are real scientists from history such as Albert Einstein. From watching this DVD, I learned that George Cayley created one of the first flying machine, how airplanes fly and the amount of time you can be in freezing temperatures before getting hypothermia or frostbit. I also learned that batteries die quicker in cold temperatures and how space suits work. My favorite part of the DVD is the original music videos at the end of every episode. They are funny, cool, and catchy and actually help to remember the facts!

I give this DVD five out of five stars because there was nothing I didn't like about it. I recommend it for children age 5 to 13 and I think it would make great holiday viewing for kids that are interested in science and engineering. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

By Rohan Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

My overall thought about this film is very positive. It is a very fun interactive movie that various kids will enjoy due to its learning experience. While watching, I felt as if I was being taught something new while celebrating the Christmas spirit. You will definitely not be bored throughout the film.

The story is about a secret lab developed by Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor) in a world that no one knows about. In that lab, a virtual version of Thomas was built along with a robot named Von Bolt. A long period of time passes and a young girl named Angie (Philipa Alexander) discovers the lab. An old friend of Edison comes to town and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him. The viewer is invited to join the cast of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab in solving the mystery of the secret project and the mysterious friend.

My favorite scenes would have to be the sudden sing along tunes. Each tune has a new lesson that is introduced at different times. Science is taught with touches of the Christmas spirit as well. I really admire how the writers create similarities between science and Christmas for kids to get them into the spirit of the holidays. For example, a song explains the scientific history of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, but the characters also talk about what they want to do for Christmas. Another example is when Von Bot teaches the kids about the magic of Christmas and what it is really about. I felt as if I was being taught new information and opinions about science by the characters in the film, which I found positive and enjoyable.

Without giving away the ending, the moral message is to focus on the task at hand and work together as a team to get things done. At first, the characters have trouble realizing that they were given a special mission that needed to be completed by a certain time because they were so focused on the fact that Christmas was coming soon. I really like how the writers tried to not to make the message so repetitive since many children's movies are. It really is a fun and calm, interactive movie to watch. I recommend this film for children ages 5 to 12 due to its childish, yet mature message and educational information. I also think parents would enjoy watching this along with their kids and they may even learn something new like I did. I rate this 5 out of 5 stars because of its merry Holiday spirit and interactive learning experiences. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 70 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BELIEVE (2016)
BELIEVE (2016) - SMITH GLOBAL MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A small-town business owner tries to save the local Christmas pageant against all odds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are many holiday films that attempt to show you a story of faith, or hope or maybe just positivity. Believe tries to tackle all those things in a fantastic and entertaining holiday adventure.

Believe begins showing Matthew Peyton (Ryan O'Quinn), a business owner in a small town, going through financial trouble. Despite owning a business, he also has had the responsibility of hosting the famous local Christmas Pageant every year. Sadly, this year, his company has not been doing well and is losing money. When he tries to plead to the townspeople he cannot do it, he is accused of being greedy. The entire town hates him and it is up to him to save his business and attempt to save the spirit of Christmas in a poverty-stricken town.

Believe perfectly achieves its message - never lose hope and always believe in a better tomorrow. The story clearly represents that. The cinematography is unique and beautiful in many scenes, from slow motion of falling snowflakes, to unique close ups and first person prospective. The actors, for the most part, play their emotions well and make the story feel dramatic. One character falls a bit short. Clarence (Isaac Ryan Brown) often feels out of place in some scenes, almost as if included for comedic effect or to help solidify the message. This is not because of bad acting. Isaac Ryan Brown plays Clarence as an excited and positive kid perfectly. The major problem is the interactions and his role in the story. Throughout the whole story, it feels like Clarence and Matthew have separate adventures and goals of being hopeful and faithful. This does not integrate well and makes for awkward scenes. Another major issue is that the film is too long at 2 hours. It would benefit from some judicious editing as there are many scenes that had no purpose and add to the length, making the story feel stretched.

My favorite scene is when Matthew gets mugged and his car is set on fire. The cinematography of this scene is great with close ups of Matthew as his car is on fire and snowflakes slowly falling in the background. The entire time, the camera is shaking and distorted as if the viewer is experiencing some sort of head injury along with Matthew. I loved this because it gives you both a third person view of Matthew and a first person feeling of what he is experiencing.

There are very few with some mild violence and some dramatic scenes so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I also give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because, despite it having an issue with one character and the story, it has a strong moral, beautiful cinematography and fantastic acting. It opens in theaters on December 2, 2016 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST
HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - What we know today about many famous musicians, politicians, and actresses is due to the famous work of photographer Harry Benson. He captured vibrant and intimate photos of the most famous band in history; The Beatles. His extensive portfolio grew to include iconic photos of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King. His wide-ranging work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Benson, now 86, is still taking photos and has no intentions of stopping
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you have ever looked through a magazine, then you have seen the photographic work of Harry Benson. I love this film because of its magnificent storyline and photographs. It is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year! I used to think of documentaries as boring, but documentaries now are fun and feel more like movies then just a boring lecture. Harry Benson's photographs take you on a journey of sixty years of history through the pictures he has taken. In every country imaginable he has taken photographs that are recognized around the globe.

It is incredible how he just happens to be at the right place at the right time and manages to capture historical events. The pictures are of everyone imaginable including the Beatles, Martin Luther King Jr., Mohammed Ali, Queen Elisabeth, the Watts riots in LA, Elizabeth Taylor, Hurricane Katrina, Princess Diana, Bobby Fischer, Michael Jackson, Robert Kennedy's assassination, President Barack Obama and many more.

I like the flow of the movie and the many different points of view that are expressed in the film. Harry Benson tells us about his photos, the stories behind them and about his life. There are many guest star appearance including Alec Baldwin, Dan Rather, Sharon Stone, Ralf Lauren and many more who have been photographed by this amazing man.

My favorite photograph in the film is of a lone boy returning from a fishing trip after losing all his friends. Even though it is a simple photo, the story behind it is shocking and heartbreaking. I loved learning about this photograph and was on the edge of my seat listing to its story. If "a picture is worth a thousand words," then Harry Benson is writing an encyclopedia of a billion words.

Directors Justin Bare and Mathew Miele pulled together a fantastic film, filled with interesting stories and a good vibe throughout. You can tell that everything is real and heartfelt. I was lucky enough to meet the director and enjoyed interviewing him. His favorite photo is the one of the Beetles are having a pillow fight. It is fun and shows the joyful energy they had. The music was composed by Ryan Beatty who I had also met. His songs bring the film to life and add just a bit more sincerity to it. I was nervous when I meet him. After all, he is an icon. It was more nerve wracking taking a pictures with him and I wonder what he will think of my photo. I admire him because he captures moments that tell a story and he hates typical pictures where people are posed and say cheese. He would rather photograph you eating cheese.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Kids will love learning about Harry Benson and the amazing people he met, the places he traveled to and all the iconic figures he has photographed. Adults will learn more about the man who took the iconic photos that we all recognize. I give this film 5 out of 5 photographic shooting stars.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RULES DON'T APPLY
RULES DON'T APPLY - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a film! Intriguing storyline, filled with romance and drama, which makes it so special and why I liked it! I enjoyed this film and learned some interesting facts about Howard Hughes and how he became such a well-known figure in history.

Howard Hughes, a brilliant billionaire wants to make movies, planes, tools and get involved in the field of medicine. Rules Don't Apply explains Howard Hughes as a rule breaker and a risk taker. For his movies he kept many actresses waiting around to star in one of his movies. Most of them never did. They received $400 a week, a house and a chauffeur. The film focuses on one of the actresses, her driver and their relationship with each other and Howard Hughes. The rule is "employees do not date" and they break the rules.

The acting in this film is superb and very believable. Warren Beatty, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Matthew Broderick, Lily Collins, Annette Benning and Candice Bergen are among the star studded cast.

Lily Collins (Marla Mabrey) is magnificent in bringing Marla Mabrey to life as an inspiring young actress full of hopes and dreams. Alden Ehrenreich (Frank Forbes) is stupendous as Marla's driver and love interest. His character oozes with emotions and he even made me cry in a couple scenes. He wants to be close to Howard Hughes because he wants him to invest in some land off of Mulholland Drive which he thinks has great promise. I felt as if I was living in 1958 Hollywood and was watching events as they happened. The sets and locations look so authentic for the period. I love seeing what Hollywood used to look like, even if its all shot on green screen.

I laughed at the scene when the actresses stood under a window while their pay checks were lowered to them on the end of a rope from a window above them. The actresses were not allowed to drive but when Frank Forbes let Marla Mabrey drive the car, I cheered for her. She finally got back just a little bit of her freedom and dignity and I could feel the happiness and joy she felt.

Warren Beatty as Howard Hughes is terrific. He acts just like I think the real Howard Hughes did. He is strangely odd and yet loveable. You want to root for him to succeed.

Warren Beatty directs, writes, produces and acts in this dramatic film, his first in 20 years. He is an award winning icon. The award winning Annette Benning, his wife, also stars in the movie. She is the concerned mother who reminds me of my own mother, always worrying about me.

At times it seemed a little slow but dramas always feel that way after watching cartons, YouTube and all the fast technology my generation watches every day. It was shot in real time so there are not a lot of scenes jumping around. The story is in the sets, words and acting.

Howard Hughes is shown with his a pain killer addiction and as a playboy so, I recommend this for ages 13 to 18. There are times when they have conversations, which I did not understand and my Mom said we will talk about it later. That said, I enjoyed learning more about Howard Hughes who is an interesting character and, in many cases, was ahead of his time. Without him, airplanes and movies would be totally different than they are today, along with many other inventions he was involved in personally or financially.

This film opens nationwide November 23rd so, be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALMOST CHRISTMAS
ALMOST CHRISTMAS - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Description - Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life one year earlier. Now that the holiday season is here, he invites daughters Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and sons Christian (Romany Malco) and Evan (Jessie T. Usher) to his house for a traditional celebration. Poor Walter soon realizes that if his bickering children and the rest of the family can spend five days together under the same roof, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed Almost Christmas because Christmas is my favorite holiday and it brought back memories of my family's gatherings. I could identify with Walter Myers (Danny Glover) in his attempt to bring his somewhat dysfunctional family together at Christmas time and his desire to honor his deceased wife and preserve some traditions. I feel traditions are special. What is not appealing is the suggestive material, drug use violence and profanity.

Almost Christmas opens with a journey of the Myers' lives and brings you to witness the five days before Christmas. It moves quickly and I did not understand some things in the beginning of the film until later. Walter Myers lost his wife the previous year and attempts to bring his family together for the upcoming holidays. Will they survive?

The behaviors modeled by the characters are a mixture. Walter Myers is a man who worked hard and provided for his family, wife, two daughters and two sons. He is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of his wife and is unaware of the struggles his children are having. Cheryl (Kimberly Elise), the oldest daughter, pretends that her life is perfect when, for real, her marriage to Lonnie (J.B. Smoove) is one affair away from being over.

The youngest daughter Rachel (Gabrielle Union) is trying to get through law school while dealing with a recent divorce and struggling to get by. Christian, the oldest son, is happily married with two great kids but is obsessed with his political campaign. Evan (Jessie T. Usher), the youngest son, is in college and is currently fighting an addiction to painkillers.

One of my favorite parts is the heartfelt conversation between Aunt May (Mo' Nique) and Walter (Danny Glover) over a piece of sweet potato pie Walter bakes. Aunt May lets him know not only does he love and care for her sister, his wife, but he also allows her to pursue her life and career.

Almost Christmas displays perseverance with Walter Myers' attempt to make a sweet potato pie as good as his beloved deceased wife. It has many comedic elements throughout. Director David E. Talbert use multiple themes of loss, financial struggles, parenting and divorce as vital roles in developing the story. Almost Christmas has colorful visuals, especially the costumes of Aunt May which are beautiful and look fabulous o her. The music is fun and memorable, the locations are quite realistic locations and the emotions the film evokes resonate with most of us.

I give this film 4 out 5 stars and recommend It for 14 to 18-year-olds as well as adults. You can see Almost Christmas at local theaters beginning Friday, November 11, 2016!

Reviewed by Juanita S. Leary, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Almost Christmas is a heartfelt story about a family at Christmas time. The comedy is well thought out and the storyline is terrific. This film is perfect for families who are enjoying the holiday season with each other.

The film is more about family than Christmas. There is no caroling, present wrapping or cookies. We just watch family members trying to find ways to put their differences aside and get along. The all-star cast is magnificent particularly Danny Glover as Walter, Gabrielle Union as Rachel, Mo'Nique as Aunt May) and many more. My favorite scene is when the uncle (J.B. Smoove) decides to fix the outdoor Christmas lights on the house and the kids watch him. After his wife warns him to get off the roof and let someone else fix the Santa Clause, he falls off the roof and lands on his face. This scene made me laugh so hard especially when the kids got out their phones to record it and post to their social media.

I adore Mo'Nique as Aunt May. She was adventurous and always willing to try new things even when the rest of the family is not. She doesn't put up with any jazz from the four adult children. She is brutally honest and very humorous. She is the one who makes sure the family sticks together like glue.

All Walter (Danny Glover) wants for Christmas is to have his four children get along for five days. Walter is not quite sure how to do this because his wife usually dealt with such things, but since she is no longer around he finds that he needs to step up and make Christmas fantastic for his family. The only problem is that the children don't get along with each other all that well.

The message is about families getting along. This family wants to spend their first Christmas together since their mother passed away, but families can be difficult. The message, beautifully demonstrated throughout the film, is that families should spend more time together and enjoy this time together.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because there is some drinking and some profanity. You should also know that this film discusses loss and how it hurts so it might not be appropriate for everyone. Other than, that this film is family friendly with great humor and storyline. I give this film 5 out of 5 Christmas Carol stars. This film opens in theaters on November 11, 2016 so go check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOCTOR STRANGE
DOCTOR STRANGE - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This superhero movie will disorient you, confuse you, make you ponder time itself and is easily the greatest superhero film ever made. Doctor Strange combines humor, action and science fiction to make a legendary film unlike any other.

There are dozens of elements that make Doctor Strange so great. One of the main parts of this film is the action. The action is highly supported by the dramatic interactions between characters. There is also a large amount of perfectly timed humor. It's so light and enjoyable that it makes you laugh every time. On top of that, there is even a small element of romance in Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange begins when a very talented neurosurgeon, Steven Strange, (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets in a bad car accident and gets injured. His injuries make it impossible for him to continue practice medicine and he desperately looks for a cure. His search takes him to India where he meets a group of people that do magical things. He joins their group to be healed, but as he trains in their art, he learns there is much more then what meets the eye in the reality he lives in.

Perfect. That is the only word that can describe Doctor Strange. Easily the most breathtaking part is the special effects. There are scenes where they warp and distort the world around them in such elegant and spectacular ways that it makes you feel slightly disoriented. That is not where the special effects end though. The powers they have look magical and so realistic, you won't think it is done by CGI. The acting is another perk for the film. Benedict Cumberbatch excels as Doctor Strange, not only in the intense action scenes but also in the comedy scenes. He truly makes the character come to life and the entire cast portrays the story perfectly. On top of that, the costume design and makeup is another huge achievement in the movie. There are parts where even slight details on a character's face or costume add huge additional meaning to the story. The costumes in general are beautiful and amazingly well constructed.

My favorite scene is when Doctor Strange discovers how to warp and twist time. He tries it on an apple he is eating and you watch the apple turn from half eaten to ripe and new, to fully eaten and slowly decaying. I love this scene for so many reasons, primarily the extraordinary special effects. This is an example of how well they integrate set design, the live footage and the CGI. This is not the only scene where they integrate these so well. On top of that, just looking at how Doctor Strange discovers this power is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

Although Doctor Strange is a great movie, it is clearly not meant for young kids. There are lots of scenes containing gore and violence and scenes that are dark in general. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I also absolutely give it 5 out of 5 stars for its phenomenal special effects, beautiful costumes and sets, breathtaking acting and exciting story.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Doctor Strange is an excellent introduction to magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with mind-bending visuals and a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly embodies the character of Dr. Stephen Strange.

This film centers on an egotistical neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange. After a terrible car accident ruins his hands, he searches for treatment that can help him heal and return to the operating room. He ends up in Nepal and meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who saves him from being robbed and shows him to Kamar-Taj, a place where healing is done through spirit.

At first, Stephen thinks it is all a hoax, but The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a teacher of the mystic arts shows him what he's capable of. When the world's sanctums are under threat from Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of The Ancient One, Stephen must step up and become the sorcerer supreme.

My favorite part of this film is when the New York sanctum is under attack. This scene is rewarding as a comic book fan, as you finally get to see Doctor Strange don the Cloak of Levitation, a trademark for the character.

My favorite character in this film is The Ancient One. This character is very wise and helps Stephen become Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch excellently captures the arrogant personality of Stephen Strange at the beginning of the film as well as the changes the character undergoes throughout the movie.

The special effects in this film are crazy, at times psychedelic. This makes the action scenes all the more captivating. I recommend you see this in IMAX 3D. It's worth the extra money for the visuals. In fact, there is more than an hour of IMAX footage in this film. Michael Giacchino's almost gothic score captures the trippy nature of this film.

I like that this film doesn't take itself too seriously and has a sense of humor. My only problem with this film is I feel there is a little too much going on plot-wise. I give Doctor Strange an age rating of 12 to 18 because of its fantasy violence and language and a scene involving a car crash.

I give Doctor Strange 4 out of 5 stars. Make sure to stay after the credits for not one, but two post-credit scenes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 11

This movie is filled with the type of CGI everybody wants in every movie. I was trying to turn my head around it the whole movie since it is so detailed. 160 million dollars went into this film making the Marvel Universe much wider a possibility. Doctor Strange makes the mind confused and entertained at the same time. Along with the fact that it is in IMax 3D, which makes it that much better, the settings are something you would imagine in a Harry Potter property.

In this movie, Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is hurt in a car accident and wants to get healed but his hands are too damaged. He asks the one and only recovered person who had the same medical condition how he relieved it and goes to the place he refers him to and discovers a place of magic and wisdom.

This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because it might have the best animation in the world. Yes, this movie takes place around the world. I really cannot explain the amazingness of this animation. It is so detailed that it looks totally real. However, the music does not compare with Guardians of the Galaxy. If it did, this movie would be my favorite movie. The acting is impeccable. The animation is stunning. And the plot is enjoyably complicated. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams deliver incredible performances as they show struggle, heartbreak and wisdom. One of the biggest holes in this movie is the characters. Doctor Strange is deep and well defined, but all the other characters come out of nowhere. It would have been better had they made the characters deeper and more profound.

The moral of this story is that no matter what anybody else does, you can always do what you want to do. That's my take away. You might have a different message that you get from the film.

I recommend this movie for kids ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. If you are one of those parents who don't let their kids see Marvel movies, you should know that I caught no cursing. I give this movie 4 � out of stars because the characters aren't so deep and the music could be better. But, everything else is spot on! Even the post-credit scenes have really interesting things that set new things up for more future movies.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SNOWTIME!
SNOWTIME! - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - To amuse themselves during the winter school break, the kids in a small village decide to have a massive snowball fight. Luke and Sophie, both 11 years old, become the leaders of the opposing sides. Sophie and her cohort defend an elaborate snow fort against the assault of Luke's horde. Whichever side occupies the fort at the end of the winter break, wins. The voice cast includes Ross Lynch (of the pop band R5, and Disney Channel's "Austin & Ally") and Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy"). The soundtrack includes songs by C�line Dion and Simple Plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Snowtime is an animated feature based on a live-action classic called "The Dog Who Stopped the War." It takes place in a small town during the kids' winter break. They build forts and have a war. The fighting escalates, and what starts out as fun, in the end causes a serious tragedy. I really enjoyed this show. The animation, voices, and music were all high-quality, and the story was well-written and meaningful. I wanted my little boys ages 4 and 6 to watch it, so I warned them about the sad ending, and, once they knew what to expect, they thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the movie. There are many good lessons taught such as friendship, loyalty, kindness, and avoiding conflict. I would recommend this movie for ages 5 to 18. Reviewed by Karyn A., KIDS FIRST! Juror

This animated film seemed a bit slow at times and honestly, at first...I was thinking..."Wait! This whole film is simply about a bunch of kids trying to entertain themselves on Winter school break by having a major snowball fight." I was wondering how a film could be based around this whole concept. But, this film is packed with some very powerful life lessons and messages. The characters are entertaining and two of the main characters, Luke and Sophie were my favorites. They are the leaders of the opposing teams of the snowball fight. The beginning of the film starts out as a way to have fun during Winter break but this fun turns into a more serious not so fun war and there are sadly some consequences. But, this is when the characters learn about friendship and even more important...that when there is war....no one wins. This message came thru loud and clear and really left me saying "Wow! This film is so much more than kids having a major snowball fight to entertain themselves." I was actually speechless and impressed with how this meaningful message was portrayed through this film. I give this one 4 stars and highly recommend for ages 8 to18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love watching the new film Snowtime. This film is one to watch. In this film, it is winter break and Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo) and his friends prepare for an epic snowball fight. They divide themselves into two teams. One team builds an amazing snow fort and the other team wants to win the snowball fight to claim ownership of the fort. Watch these two teams go head to head in this snowball fight to see who gets to win and claim the snow fort. Who will win? Who will lose?

I appreciate this film because I love how it shows a beautiful, snowy village and the kids in this village having fun in the snow. I also like the fort the kids make in this movie. I love the characters. They are silly, quirky and sometimes bashful. I also liked their appearance and how they are drawn. The jokes are also funny; this is another great film for kids. I really enjoyed the scenery too.

The moral theme in this film is an important one. Basically, there are no winners when it comes to war. The kids end up learning this lesson. Their friendly snowball fight soon takes an ugly turn which leads to some serious conflicts and a surprise. I think there are other life lessons in this film but that is the main one that stands out for me.

My favorite character is Nicky (voiced by Liz MacRae). When Nicky shares his ideas with his friends, they underestimate him and knock his ideas down. I love that he doesn't allow what they say to discourage him and he continues on his own and accomplishes his idea. I respect his persistence and how he collaborates so well with his friends. I enjoyed how he makes things and they turn out well. I appreciate his imagination. I can relate to him because people sometimes knock down some of my ideas too. But I continue to go forward with my ideas and prove them wrong.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because the animation is great and it has an important message. I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, comedy, adventure and action movies. Snowtime! is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

It is 90 degrees in Los Angeles California and 48 degrees in Colorado and it is winter for another month, with snow falling in other states. What is a group of kids to do over winter break? Have a snowball fight, of course. The group splits into two teams and away we go. The story line is great. We got a glimpse of the backstory of characters and learn what motivates them and makes them who they are.

I have two favorite characters. The first is Sophie voiced by Luchina Paris. She is the older sister and is always coming up with a plan to defeat the other team. My second is four eyes because of his crazy glasses. Many of the best parts of the movie are due to his ingenious inventions he makes to keep the fort in his team's control. They are creative and awesome. I would have picked his team just to see the inventions he made - slides, escape hatches, automated snowball throws and traps to keep the other team on their toes. The story line has a bit of a love story angle but seems to fizzle out and is not completed. If they make a part two I hope they continue this story line and leave it with a better conclusion.

The hardest part of having two teams is the fact that they are all really good friends. There are many moments when you see them struggle because they are fighting their friends. It is all in fun but still there is a goal, which is to take the fort from the other team

I loved the graphics and animation. It is believable and easy to watch. You forget the characters are animated and look at them as if they are real people. The fort, well let's say it is the most awesome snow castle ever and I would love to play in it.

Most children's movies are fun, cute and quirky and leave you feeling upbeat. This movie left me feeling sad. I loved the movie but I did not like the ending. No spoilers, but I wish they had added more to the ending of the movie. But, there is a message and everyone will get it. It is one, which we should all know.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 and up. Younger kids might not totally grasp the story line but they will love the graphics and a good snowball fight.

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 shooting snowballs. This movie is brought to you by Shout! Factory and is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MECH-X4
MECH-X4 - DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Description - Mech-X4 is an American comedy television series created by Steve Marmel. The series stars Nathaniel James Potvin, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joza and Raymond Cham. The series is scheduled to premiere on November 12, 2016, on Disney XD.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Amazing! I got a sneak peek of the first episode of Mech-X4 and was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. This fun-filled adventure show airs on Disney and Disney XD Saturday, November 12 so be sure to check it out. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome storyline - all of which are quite believable.

This show stars Ryan Walker (Nathaniel James Potvin). With his dreamy eyes, he is a typical teenage boy who finds out that he is a technopath. While chit chatting with Nathaniel, I discovered that he loves his super power which is being the master of all technology. His personality matches his character perfectly as he is fun and easy to talk to. His new-found superpower awakens a 150 foot robot called Mech-X4 and its job is to protect the city from crazy monsters.

Ryan Walker then recruits his friends to help. Harris (Kamran Lucas) is the brains of the group. In real life, he has been doing Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he does most of his own stunts. Harris is cautious and protective of his friends and the new-found robot. Harris is a geek who wants to make sure that everyone has their facts straight before they jump into things. He is amazing at martial arts and play his character quite believingly.

Spyder (Pearce Joza) is adventurous and ready for anything. I also met him and found his easy going nature quite enjoyable. In real life, he loves snowboarding. He provides the comedic relief for the group and is extremely funny. He loves all the gadgets for the robot and, since this is all new for them, sometimes things don't work out as planned.

Ryan also recruits his brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to help. He is not a mechanic in real life, like his character and the two of them are exact opposites. Mark's main job is to be the mechanic and fix everything. Mark is usually the leader in his family so he has to get used to the fact that he needs to let his brother shine and he has to stand back a bit. Raymond loves the idea of mixing two animals together to get cool and creative monsters for the show. He wishes he had the super power to see free movies at the box office. Skateboarding is his thing.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet all these fantastic actors and visit with them about their roles in this show. They are all so grateful to be a part of this magnificent show. The one thing that is missing is girl power. Disney already gave the green on Season 2 before Season 1 even airs. WOW ! And, the guys told me to keep a look out for girl power coming soon.

The graphics of this show are spectacular. I love the way the robot and monsters all seem so realistic. It feels like you really are there and as if you are going on this adventure with Ryan and his friends while protecting the world. I love all the amazing places they shot in Canada, the wonderful acting and the insight into each character.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Ryan, Spyder, Mark and Harris are fighting a gigantic snake/octopus monster with the robot. It is filled with action, adventure and a little comedy. Plus the graphics are incredible and realistic.

I recommend this series for ages 8 to 18 because the action and comedy. I also think adults will enjoy it, especially the story line and the characters. According to Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam, Executive Producers of the show, their target audience is a wide range. They want parents to enjoy watching this TV show with their kids. Be sure to check out my amazing interviews and learn more about the cast on our YouTube Channel. I give this TV show 5 out of 5 gigantic robot stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTO THE INFERNO
INTO THE INFERNO - NETFLIX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer travel the globe and visit volcanoes in Indonesia, Ethiopia and even North Korea in an attempt to understand man's relationship with one of nature's most violent wonders.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Volcanoes are all over the world and we know so many scientific facts about them. They are majestic and very dangerous, but there is also culture, religion and much more that always surrounds these amazing creations of nature. Into the Inferno by Werner Herzog is a beautiful documentary that tells you all about volcanoes and takes you on a behind the scenes tour.

This documentary is quite educational and the creators of the film share their gigantic adventure around the world which is exciting and quite dangerous. There may be a couple of jokes here and there, but this film is not a comedy. Its main purpose is to show the beauty, danger and culture of volcanoes in an entertaining fashion.

This film follows Werner Herzog (Director) and Clive Oppenheimer (Volcanologist) as they explore the most unique volcanoes on Earth. From the coldest places in Antarctica to the hottest places in Ethiopia, to even the most mysterious places deep in the jungle or on remote islands. They not only talk to local scientists and experts about the area and the volcano, but they talk to the local villagers to hear about the culture and religion in each areas.

Simply put, this documentary is beautiful. There is no better word to describe it. The camera work is spectacular and borderline dangerous. Many of the volcanoes they visit are open and have visible magma lakes inside them. This makes getting the footage very challenging, but the crew manages to pull it off. On top of that, most documentaries only explore the science of volcanoes, but this one talks about so many other aspects of volcanoes. For example, in Ethiopia, they talk about archaeology and how volcanoes help preserve fossils. This allows the viewer to learn about not only the volcanoes but the many myths and rituals surrounding them. One small issue is that, if you are not passionate about learning about science or about culture, some scenes may be slightly boring or feel stretched. Otherwise, the director Werner Herzog has produced a perfect documentary that is truly educational and entertaining.

My favorite scene is when they go to Antarctica to see a massive volcano there. Not only does it just show how hard the crew works to get the footage, it also is mind-blowing to see freezing snow temperatures with a giant hot volcano right in the middle of it. In many scenes in Antarctica, they are right on the ridge of the volcano, looking down at the massive magma lake within the volcano surrounded by magnificent ice. This is absolutely spectacular and scary to watch at the same time.

There are many parts of the film that are either socially or politically mature in terms of cultures, which makes it unsuitable for very young children. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18. I give it 4 � out of 5 stars because it achieves perfect cinematography, is a unique concept and very educational, but it does feel a bit stretched out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BIRTH OF A NATION, THE
BIRTH OF A NATION, THE - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 16-18
Description - Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. This film is rated $ for disturbing violent content and some brief nudity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - KIDS FIRST! does not, as a rule, review R rated films. However, due to the subject matter, we did decide to review this but with the warning that this is not a film for young people under the age of 16. It has very graphic scenes of violence which, unfortunately, accurately portray the reality of the times. But, please approach this film with caution and do not take young children to see it.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The name of this movie is very fitting. It's an ironic title that, no doubt, has a connection to the 1915 silent epic with of exactly the same name. What's the irony? The 1915 The Birth of a Nation is one of the most influential films of all time. I've seen it and it is a masterpiece of cinema. Essentially, it is the Citizen Kane of its time, but it has an abysmal message. It encourages and praises the Klu Klux Klan and the movie did, in fact, have a huge influence in rekindling the rise of the KKK during the first half of the 20th Century. So 2016s The Birth of the Nation, which comes out over a century after D.W. Griffith's film, is fittingly named after it. Considering that Nate Parker's film is about rebelling against oppression with the backdrop of slavery and racism, the title adds a stark, ironic contrast.

The 2016 film is an account of the Nat Turner slave rebellion. Nate Parker plays the leading role. He is supported by Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Aja Naomi King. The all perform wonderfully in their roles. They are believable and honest with fine characterization. Though, it's clearly Nate Parker's show.

What I want to focus on is the direction. Nate Parker also directed this picture and I must say, I like his style. I fully expect people to compare this film with the 2013 Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave and have discussions on which is better. I contend that 12 Years a Slave is better, but they are not really comparable. Nate Parker directs this film with honesty, which is a polite way of saying brutality. He doesn't shy away from the violence and he shows shots that get across the inhumanity of the time. But he also mixes in a very cinematic touch. By that I mean he emphasizes the major moments with a sweeping score, he captures emotionality with close-ups, and he includes shots for the sake of beauty. Whereas 12 Years a Slave is unrelenting realism, without hint of sentimentality or cinematic nature. One thing I do appreciate with Parker's direction is that he isn't afraid to inject some humor. I actually think, within the tone of the film that is brilliant. It isn't as light as Django Unchained, but there are a couple of moments, a couple of scenes that relieve us of the heavy, draining nature of the movie, and nothing is taken away because of it.

The script, which was written by Nate Parker, is a good script. Though there are minor dialogue exchanges I could have done without and there are minute moments I would change, all in all he gets across his message. There are some VERY powerful moments. As a matter of fact, one scene in particular, where slaves are shown hanging from trees, and the camera slowly pans backwards until we see them in a medium shot, is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in the movies. And, I've seen a lot of movies. The way Parker frames them and positions them, they look like hanging ghosts, haunting the land and our memories. Combine that image with the sound of "Strange Fruit" playing in the background, one can't help but tear up. I did. And what makes that scene work is that is sums up the nature of the film. Nate Parker could have left that scene silent without a score or song, and just show that image and it would have polarized us. But by having "Strange Fruit", a song about lynching, play in the background, we are brought to emotion. It is a powerful scene.

So, I congratulate Nate Parker on his fantastic directorial debut. He is the true auteur on this, having starred, written and produced it. It is not perfect. It is flawed, but it is effective. There are some narrative issues and directorial inconsistencies, but the story and passion behind the choices cannot be denied. Because of that I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GENERATION STARTUP
GENERATION STARTUP - XXX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Generation Startup takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it's an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action-with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country's economic future is at stake.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you started a business from scratch? Or, are you thinking of starting a new business? If so, this is the film for you. The startups in this film are being built in Detroit which is a tough town to either make or break it. This film shows how hard people have to work to succeed and make their dream of owning a business come to life.

Award winners Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser filmed this adventure over a period of 17 months. A lot happens within this short time period. Susan Margolin is the executive producer with mega experience in film distribution. Lauren Zalaznick is also the executive producer and has an resume having worked at NBC Universal, Sundance, Cannes and many more companies. These four women definitely comprise a power house and are great role models.

Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America which has placed college graduates at startups in 15 different cities over 2 years. He is also an adviser though out this film. Will they have the guts, determination and drive to succeed? That is what this film is about. The ups and downs and mistakes you go through to make it. Pamela Lewis is the director of the New Economy Initiative and she is another adviser to this film.

The storyline is very interesting and told in documentary style. I love watching films with real people about real lives. This film follows six people trying to open new startup businesses from scratch. Brian Rudolph, Avery Hairston, Labib Rahman, Dextina Brooker, Kate Catlin and Max Nussenbaum are the six people that we follow on their journey. Will they make it? We are always on the edge of our seats wondering if they will make it because it could go either way. I think that this documentary really captures all the hard work, determination and perspiration you have to put into making your dreams come true. It takes a lot to start a new business. There is a ton of effort that goes into a little thing such as paste that I love to eat. No sugar coating here, they have many failures and successes.

All six people have different goals and different obstacles they have to overcome. No spoilers, but not all of them make it and some decide to take another path. They are all exceptional students. People like this hold the world's future in their hands. This is a small sample of the people who will be creating jobs, products and inventions for our future.

My favorite scene is when Max Nussenbaum and a bunch of his friends are in a house that has no heat, poor insulation and it is in the dead of winter so they have blankets, tents and space heaters all around them. I love this scene. It is hilarious as they all try to find warmth in the little establishment that they set up. Indoor camping, yeah! They said that, as difficult as this was, they miss this part the most. They have come a long way since then.

One of the great ideas I like is a spoon is covered with cereal that you dip into peanut butter and eat. You can do it while sitting in a car. I am going to try this. Other companies I found interesting were a chickpea noodle company, an on-line property management company, a website to encourages women mentors and more.

I recommend this film to ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this too. Kids will be inspired and will want to start their own business. Children are creating and starting businesses when they are very young, so who knows what this might inspire? Adults will think that the story is informational and intrigued to see who will make it. You should know that there is mild profanity but, it is story of determination and what it takes to accomplish your dreams. I give this 4 � out of 5 startup rising stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-15
Description - Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school's obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely enjoyed watching this movie because I could relate to the characters. Also the humor is great and the cast is superb. Meet Rafe (Griffin Gluck) who is entering another middle school, due to his behavior. Rafe attends his new school, but there is too many rules and Rafe doesn't like rules. So Rafe and his best friend Leo (Thomas Barbusca) decide to break every rule in the school. Rafe does this because the principal doesn't promote creativity and destroys his notebook which is filled with all his drawings.

Many people can relate to hating school at some point in their life and that is what makes this movie so relatable. I love the animations, because they are child friendly and are very well drawn. It shows that it's okay for you to have and use your imagination and be creative. Additionally, the performances of Griffin Gluck, Thomas Barbusca, Isabela Moner, Alexa Nisenson and the entire cast is fantastic. You can tell that the actors took it seriously and when they portrayed their emotions, it doesn't seem fake. It feels very real. The soundtrack is perfect. It gives the right tone and energy for the scenes. I love this movie so much there is nothing I didn't like about it.

This is Alexa Nisenson's first featured film and she gives an amazing performance as Georgia, making me laugh many times. Also, she makes you feel her emotions throughout the movie. The humor in this movie is great. I love the pranks Rafe uses to break the school rules which are created by the mean principal. My favorite scene is when Rafe puts post-it notes all over the school because I love how he created artwork with the post-it notes.

This movie is a must see, and I think that most kids will love this movie as well including the adults. I recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. I give this movie 5 out of 5 amazing stars. I recommend it to people who like adventure, family, comedy and book-based movies. Be aware that this movie contains some mild language and kids under the age of 6 might not understand what is going on. Also, there are a few emotional scenes, so bring your tissues. Make sure to see this film when it opens October 7, 2016 in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I admired this film because I like the fact that Rafe is courageous to stand up to the principal without backing down. I loved the animation because it brings Rafe thoughts to life with bright vivid colors and descriptions of appearances. It is awesome! The genre is comedy, humor and some drama. I can relate to this because I am in middle school and you always have to follow the uniform dress code or they will write you up. Rules can be good, but sometimes you do want to bulk the system (lol). The director, Steve Carr is incredibly artistic with this film especially the delusion of bringing a character from real life to the fantasy world. I not familiar with the book series, but I know it's probably interesting as well as the movie.

A new student comes to Hills Village Middle School Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck). His displacement from previous schools led him to this school and this is the last draw. On his first day, he encountered the principal Dwight (Andy Daly) who is just very difficult to deal with. He is stagnant on his rules and do not want to bend at all. Desperate to rattle his feathers, Rafe and his friends bring a creative solution and come up with a plan to break every single rule in the book.

My favorite part of this film is when Rafe and Leo (Thomas Barbusca) sticky noted the whole school. I liked this part the best because it is hilarious. Finally, someone sticks up to the principal about his shenanigan rules. It is creative and it is a good way to get the principal back for destroying his art book.

The message of this film is remember you have to follow some rules even when you don't, but make the rules according to acceptable standards and not rules you can't live or follow. Even adults have to follow rules. I feel this way because the principal wasn't following the rules and he suffered the consequences for his actions.

I recommend this film for ages 11 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because I feel that this is a comedy humor and some drama film for children. It is hilarious and you definitely will laugh and even may shed a tear.

This movie is available in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WILD LIFE, THE
WILD LIFE, THE - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - On a tiny exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can't stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn't always easy at first, as the animals don't speak "human." Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day, when their comfortable life is overturned by two savage cats, who wish to take control of the island. A battle ensues between the cats and the group of friends but Crusoe and the animals soon discover the true power of friendship up against all odds (even savage cats).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed this movie because it is exciting and adventurous. One exciting part is when pirates come to the deserted tropical island and rescue Crusoe. Another adventurous scene is when the tree house sets on fire after stray cats throw lit lanterns at Crusoe. I enjoyed that movie is narrated by the parrot Mak (David Howard).

If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different. Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe A.K.A Robin Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals. They do make mention of the cannibals when he and his dog Rufus (B.J Oakie) first get there. The animals make scary noises in reference to the cannibals. So basically, it's a kid friendly version of the book and now, all of a sudden, there are animals talking, pirates and paradise. When Robin Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer) gets shipwrecked on the island, the animals start to make hilarious statements about him.

The story is about an English man named Robinson Crusoe who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to learn how to survive in the wilderness along with his animal friends Kiki (Marieve Herington), Carmelo (Colin Metzger), Pango (Jeff Doucette), Epi (Sandy Fox) and Scrubby (Joey Camen). But as easy as that sounds, it takes months to complete it and, by then the stray cats have had hundreds of kittens and that creates problems. When this happens you discover how smart these old animals really are. They even learn how to fire a musket.

The movie graphics are great. The CGI animations are colorful, alive and very vibrant. When you get to see the whole tropical island paradise, lots of colors just pop out. I recommend this movie to the ages 5 through 13.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE
HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Capturing the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED, HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE is a new motion-picture genre: the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong's humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Watching Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is the most surreal movie going experiences you will ever have. It's not a film. It's not a documentary. It's a live worship experience being captured on camera.

Hillsong United originated in the late 1990s in Sydney, Australia. The band itself is made up of faithful members of the Hillsong Church. This Christian band creates music that not only worships God but also instills hope to their listeners. And now, they tour many countries and continents singing songs of worship targeting the younger generation.

Unlike popular concert films like One Direction: This is Us and Katy Perry: Part of Me, it is not filled with costume changes and performances. The purpose is to discuss the process of creating music that is truly meaningful. Many of their popular songs are featured in the film and have lyrics at the bottom of the screen to encourage the audience to sing along.

You may recognize Michael John Warren (director) from his other films like Shrek the Musical, Rent: Filmed On Broadway, Drake: Better Than Good Enough and Nicki Minaj: My Time Now. Warren digs deeper by interviewing band members, Senior Pastor Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston. Together, they share how the church has transformed their lives and why they value their music so much.

"We are the biggest band that you don't know." Joel Houston, band leader and son of Brian Houston, explains. For almost a decade, Hillsong United has been number one and two for U.S. Christian albums sales. Joel continues to say "This film isn't for us. The band isn't for us. It's for God." The band members emphasize that the songs are carefully crafted to express their deep feeling of admiration for God. Day in and day out, the band devotes all of their time to finding the perfect sound and lyrics. One song could take months or even longer to be completely finished. That also means, months and months away from their loved ones.

Music is one of the most powerful creations known to man. It is beautiful to observe these concert goers really receiving music and allowing it to affect them. I found myself shedding a few tears because it is so moving. This film is so personal and I felt like I was among the thirty thousand people at their annual conference.

The most important lesson you can take away from this film is to stay true to who you are and what you believe. I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Although this is a Christian band, I believe people that are looking for healing, have different beliefs or are music lovers will appreciate the real life stories and how their music is changing the world.

This film is out Friday September 16th. Check out your local theatre for listings.

Reviewed by Shelby Ronae, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE
LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz and more
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When you watch a romantic film, you expect it to achieve skilled levels of drama, acting, entertaining and relatable story to keep the viewer engaged, but still have a realistic romantic plot. The Light Between Oceans is a spectacular romance story that is truly perfect in many ways.

The Light Between Oceans tells a dramatic story with many romantic elements. There are couple of jokes but it should not be considered a comedy in the slightest. The characters do embark on a large and emotional adventure throughout the story, so this film can also be considered an adventure.

The story begins when Tom (Michael Fassbender), a WW1 veteran comes back to his home, Australia. After suffering in the War, he takes a job of a lighthouse keeper, living completely alone on a small island. However, he meets a girl named Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. After getting married and moving to the island, they try to start a family but lose two babies prematurely. Everything changes when a baby mysteriously washes up on the shore and they must decide to keep her or report this phenomena to the authorities.

The story is based on a book and the story itself is fantastic. In this film however, many scenes are unnecessary and cause it to feel stretched out. For example, there are flashback scenes about the baby's father, which would be nice in the book, but in a film are not necessary and drastically increase the run-time. There are also some scenes that seem to be there for no reason and could be cut out to make the film more enjoyable. Despite those issues, the acting is emotional and fits the characters. Michael Fassbender and Alica Vikander truly make you believe their characters, Tom and Isabel, are deeply in love. Another aspect is the film's heart-wrenching drama, which the entire cast brings to life. From sadness, to anger, to just plain awkwardness, they demonstrate their emotions wonderfully. On top of that, the cinematography is exquisite, especially of the lighthouse, the waves and the beach. It truly shows beautiful parts of Australia not widely known.

My favorite scene is when the boat landfalls onto the island with the baby. Isabel is heavily traumatized from losing two babies, so seeing a live baby changes her mood quickly and, it is interesting to see how the characters react to the situation. I also like this scene because it displays the actors' outstanding performances and is also easily one of the most important scenes in the film.

Although this film lacks any adult language, it still has a considerable amount of adult content so I recommend it to ages 13 to 18. Younger kids may be too young for the content and may not even understand the plot. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars due to its length but still, the acting and beautiful cinematography makes it all worth while.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE
BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Blinky Bill is a little koala with a big imagination. An adventurer at heart, he dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch and following in his missing father's footsteps. When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad's whereabouts, he embarks on a journey that takes him beyond the boundary of Green Patch and into the wild and dangerous Outback. He quickly makes friends with Nutsy, a zoo koala, and Jacko, a nervous frill-necked lizard. Pursued relentlessly by a vengeful Cat who has a personal score to settle with Blinky, the trio must learn to work together if they ever want to survive the rugged Australian landscape and find Blinky's father!

Stars: Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Toni Colette (Little Miss Sunshine), David Wenham (Lord Of The Rings), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge), Barry Otto (The Great Gatsby), Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) and Robin McLeavy (Hell On Wheels)
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great news for kids in the US! Now we can bring Australia's favorite childhood friend, Blinky Bill, into our own homes. This movie is such fun. I can't wait to introduce it to all of our young friends.

This much loved children's cartoon character was brought to life in books by author and illustrator Dorothy Wall and first published in 1933. Many adventures were created in book form and TV cartoons, making Blinky Bill a staple in Australian homes over the past 80 years.

Blinky Bill is a mischievous, yet endearing, koala who lives in Green Patch with his loving mother and adventurous father. His father takes off to explore the Sea of White Dragons and is gone for over a year. Young Blinky Bill sneaks off to find him, meeting friends and antagonists along the way.

Blinky Bill the Movie gives us everything that kids want from an animation film - heartwarming friendship, adventures, bravery and silly humor. The writing is brilliantly written for kids and for adults, who happen watch along. The dialogue is clearly written with a wink and chuckle and there are many jokes that go unnoticed by younger viewers, but are entertaining for the adults. One humorous scene finds Blinky Bill in a jam and the only defense he can think of is to pick his nose and rub his finger on his pant leg to repulse the predator. My favorite scene is two female Emus giving each other dating advice repeating, "I'm swerving it!" as they saunter about. The quick pace of dialogue, the Australian accents and adult aimed jokes left me smiling and wondering at times, "Did I just hear that right?"

I love the Australian cultural references throughout the movie. Regional expressions such as, "Blinky's gone bush!" and "Hang on a bilby's whisker!" sent me running to the internet to look up what was being referenced. Seeing the Australian terrain and the indigenous animals that we don't have in the U.S. provides a fun educational lesson.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. This film would be welcome entertainment and perfect for kids ages 3 to 13. As Blinky Bill's father would say, "Grab your gumnuts" and go enjoy Blinky Bill the Movie! It is playing in select theaters now and will be available on DVD October 11, 2016.

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this film. It was very fun to watch. I like that the adventures are comical and it's based on an Australian cartoon. It's a movie based on koalas which I'm very happy about because they haven't done that in a long time. Plus, it takes place in Australia so it has a few Australian words which are actually quite funny. And, of course, they have Australian accents which I like too.

It has quite a cast including Ryan Kwanten as Blinky Bill, an adventurous koala who decides to go look for his dad who has gone to the sea of white dragons to look after him mum and has been gone for almost a year. So, Blinky's worried about him and decides to go on an epic quest. On his way he meets Nutsy (Robin McLeavy) who is my favorite character. She is very silly and ditzy. Not only that but she's kinda like a zoo koala, aka a city girl. I think she's trying to find her inner wild side. She is very funny because she has some quite snotty remarks as well as she pretends that she doesn't like Blinky Bill most of the time. You can tell that her character is dead. Then there is David Wenham who plays Jacko. Nutsy and Blinky Bill try to find him and they help him out when he gets stuck in a couple of situations. Let's just say he's very silly and I like the way that his character is so uppity. He's very comical and a little crazy. But, that just adds to the excitement. Then there's the evil Cat played by Rufus Sewell. He's actually trailing behind Blinky and everyone else just because he doesn't like koalas. He doesn't like them because something happened in his past.

This is actually a pretty cool film. I love the animation because it is so crisp and clear and detailed. I like that it's so simple and colorful but yet has quite a lot of detail. It makes it seem like it's real. My favorite scene is probably Nutsy decides to finally go to her zoo home, which she's been trying to do the entire time, but decides to go with Blinky Bill instead and go with his family as well as Jacko. It was very sweet and a very humble moment as well. And, it's very silly, all because she decided to get over heights. It is actually very funny and the way the two of them bond is very adorable.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. Kids will love the story, the animation and the adventure. Older adults will probably like it too because it is very funny and silly. I give this 5 out of 5 wild outback koala stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2
ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Join Gumby and Pokey for fun-filled adventures in this fantastic second volume of the 60's series! Enjoy full-sized Blockheads bendables in this collectible box set! You'll enjoy over 40 clay-animated episodes, which originally aired from 1967 to 1968, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. These cleverly written stories engage both children and adults with timeless themes that captivate today's audiences as they did when first released. Gumby and Pokey are drawn into the past, present and future and to far-flung places for completely unique and sometimes surreal experiences. The Blockheads, who first showed up in the 50s become more prominent in this assortment of late 60s episodes. Along with the Blockheads, Prickle, Goo, Professor Kapp, Aunt Gumbiddy, Nopey, and other whimsical characters make appearances in this collection of episodes.

For the first time ever, you'll enjoy these special features: "Clay Peacock" art film, animated theme song, bumpers, photo gallery, and an interview with Rick Baker and others that worked on the Gumby series. Imaginative, comical and heart-filled. That's Gumby! Our loveable heroes, their friends and the mischievous Blockheads are off for yet another adventure!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have always loved Gumby, there's something about the style that just brings a glow to my face and it is so incredible to have the 60s collection together. I am very lucky in that I got to review Vol 1 as well. Between the digitally remastered visuals and the remastered music, I can honestly say that this collection breathes new life into Gumby. This collection is full of great views of friendship and working together. My children loved it and I am all too happy that they do. My only qualm is the fact that there are missing episodes between Vol 1 and Vol 2. After doing some research it appears some episodes were removed for appearing racist or having other socially unacceptable moments. Although I understand the reasoning behind the removal, it would have been nice to have the complete collection and for that reason I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fifty years ago, before computer animation, we had hand drawn animation and stop motion animation. The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 not only contains spectacular stop motion animation, but also has fantastic and fun adventures that kids and adults of all ages can greatly enjoy.

This series is meant to be an adventure but it doesn't hold back on humor and will make you laugh time and again. It also has some mild action and even a slight bit of intensity, but nothing to be too concerned about. Even those intense scenes are full of light and good nature.

Each episode focuses on a different story. Some may focus on an adventure into a dinosaur world or into space or even into a micro world where germs live. Each episode follows Gumby and his friends and what happens during their adventures while teaching kids some valuable information. Most episodes have some sort of moral message and, since there isn't a continuing, viewers can watch at any point of the series and understand what is going on. I enjoy the fact that, despite most of it being pretty fantasy-like, it intertwines actual science and real-world knowledge to the point where I found myself learning stuff about economics, which was a pleasant surprise!

My favorite episode is Shady Lemonade. In this one, Gumby and his friends go to a lemonade place and discover that the owner scammed them. Later that day, they save a man's cat and the man gives them a very large reward. They decide to use that money so people can get lemonade at a cheap price and not worry about getting scammed. I picked this episode because, despite it not have some fun adventure, it is still a unique and fun story which kept me entertained. On top of that, the moral of the story is great - for every action there is a reaction, just like it shows in Shady Lemonade.

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 has so much to love about it. Stop motion animation is sadly a dying art and, in this series, you see what makes it so fantastic. This is an art form that has more of a human touch. In hand drawn animation, you draw pictures with pen and paper. In computer animation, you type on a keyboard. With stop motion, you physically touch the characters and alter them at will. On top of that, the voice acting is wonderful as are the songs. There is some background music in many episodes, which isn't too noticeable but adds to the flow of the show. Despite it being over 50 years old, I still greatly enjoyed it and laughed throughout every episode. I also admire the series because its creators don't ever talk about morals or try to explain them, but you still learn a good lesson from the fun, easy-going stories.

This series is designed for kids and parents have nothing to worry about. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. I believe adults will enjoy this show too, even though it is a kid's show, because it sparks your imagination and its out of this world stories will make you laugh. For spectacular stop motion animation, wonderful voice acting, fantastic songs and perfect stories, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two is a good show with groundbreaking animation and an immense amount of creativity behind it. The Adventures Of Gumby follows a happy chunk of green clay named Gumby and his friends - Pokey, Prickle the little yellow dinosaur and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. Gumby can go anywhere, including inside books and turn into anything. The crew goes on lots of fantastical and quirky adventures together. One of the things I enjoyed about this DVD is its diverse set of characters. The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two has all the favorites from Volume One and introduces new creations like Nopey, a dog who can only say "no" and Dr. Zveegee, an evil scientist intent on capturing Prickle and using him for research.

The collection has 40 fun-packed and colorful episodes. My favorite is Point Of Honor. This episode sees Gumby infuriated at Prickle for pushing him and challenges him to a duel. It is surprising to see a quick change of tone in this show and watching these friends in conflict is quite engrossing. Another episode I enjoyed is A Bully For Gumby. This episode follows Gumby and Pokey trying to trick the Blockheads, their usual rivals, after they attempt a dangerous prank. I loved watching Gumby and Pokey outsmart the villainous Blockheads. Another fun episode is Dragon Daffy, in which Prickle is denied entry to an ice cream shop because the cashier thinks he is a dragon. Prickle tries to convince him he's a dinosaur and sends Gumby to find his mom so he can prove it.

I really have to give credit to Art Clokey for using claymation in an innovative television series and creating such classic characters. The special features on this DVD are very good and many honor his legacy. One of the special features I really like is the short film The Clay Peacock. This short demonstrates Clokey's exquisite animation ability and the music gives it an ominous vibe. I also liked the 60's Crew Interviews. This featurette helps you get a better understanding of what it was like working at Clokey Studios and it is interesting to hear how these people got their jobs.

I recommend this series to ages 6 to 8.These are short cartoons and are quite suitable for young kids' attention spans. The episodes are extremely colorful but I think younger kids maybe won't understand the jokes. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD



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