Watch Kids' Reviews of

What to know:
Recommended age 12-17
100 minutes
Listen to reviews on our radio show Listen to KIDS FIRST! Radio Coming Attractions on VoiceAmerica
FALCONER, THE cover image Click to play video trailer
From different worlds, separated by unique lifestyles, two friends model for viewers that no matter what divides us, we have a universal language that helps to form a strong bond. The Falconer, an award-winning adventure drama, is a one-of-a-kind film sure to wow its audience. It's the first international movie in history to be filmed entirely in this Middle Eastern town which alone sets this film apart from others.

Based on real life events, The Falconer highlights the friendship of two teenage boys living in a tiny Oman village and separated by other cultures outside of their small world. Tariq, an Omani teenager, the son of a poor beekeeper, is somewhat of the underdog within the relationship as his friend Cai, the son of Westerners, was born into an affluent world. Their passion for animals and the zoo that they work at solidifies their relationship and keeps them happy and shut off from the rest of the world, until their cultural difference becomes the wedge that will drive their friendship apart. Tariq's sister, forced into an arranged marriage, is being abused by her new husband and decides divorce is her only means to survive. Money -- which their family does not have -- is the only thing that can help her escape her marriage. The boys struggle with their moral conscience, but find that they can help Tariq's sister by stealing the zoo animals and selling them on the black market; however a line is crossed when Tariq decides to sell Cai's prize possession, the falcon he stole himself and dreams of one day setting free.

There is much symbolism in this film, which I find highly engaging. The falcon, for instance, is trapped in a captive life, much like many people who are born within a potentially hostile culture. This magnificent creature symbolizes the tension between a society that you are born into and the freedom that lives within you. This symbolism is deep-rooted and very authentic. What I also love about The Falconer is witnessing such breathtaking landscapes throughout the film. Some scenes are slow at times, but this allows viewers to take in the beauty that surrounds the actors and give us such an appreciation for Oman's landscapes and geography. Hats off to the cinematographers that capture such perfect footage. And a big two thumbs up for directors Adam Sjoberg and Seanne Winslow for creating such a timely, humanistic film.

The messages in The Falconer are about close relationships and cultural differences. Friendships are indeed critical while going through life, but those close bonds have limits and will always be second to family. Family is deep-rooted and sometimes complicated. We tend to only understand the culture we live in, and yet we must learn to respect our cultural differences with others. Parents should know there is some adult language in this film.

I give The Falconer 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Falconer is available now on a variety of streaming platforms.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

see youth comments
"The Falconer" centers around two best friends, Tariq (Rami Zahar), the son of a poor beekeeper, and Cai (Rupert Fennessy), a Westerner with a passion for endangered animals, living in Oman the summer before he is set to go off to college. They work together at a dilapidated zoo, blissfully separated from many of the troubles of the outside world. Their care-free friendship is challenged when Tariq promises to help his sister, Alia (Noor Al Huda), escape from an abusive marriage. Cai's worldview is pitted against Tariq's daring plan to steal animals from the zoo and sell them on the black market to help empower Alia to leave her marriage. They are forced to wrestle with morally complex choices that reveal the vast distance between their worlds.
You too can become a film critic!
KIDS FIRST! Goes Local: Submit a review & win!
Kid Critic video review by

Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook