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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIRST MAN

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FIRST MAN - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Easily one of the most famous events in human history is centered around a singular man, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Behind the Apollo Mission that landed the first human on the moon, Neil is a man with conflicts, a man with a history and a man with a mission.

Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.

The film begins up close and personal seeing Armstrong in his daring mission on the rocket-propelled plane, the X-15. Immediately, the story shows just how dangerous space exploration can be and how close those who brave exploring the final frontier get to never returning home. It follows Neil and his story intimately from the X-15 mission to the loss of three astronauts (close friends of Neil's) in Apollo 1, the near-lethal mission of Gemini 8 and, of course, the incredibly daring mission of Apollo 11, that landed the first people on the Moon. Throughout these milestones in space exploration, the story pauses to look at the relations and life of Neil, truly unveiling the blueprints showing who he was as a man.

While incredible in revealing a massive side of this well-known historical event, the film attempts to focus so much on a story that has little to tell. The length clocks in at just under two and a half hours, which feels very stretched after the adrenaline of the exciting opening scene wears off. Neil Armstrong is portrayed as a deep man with little visual emotions mixed with dramatic internal conflicts. While this decision allows for excellent character design, it makes him rather boring at times. It seems the writers wished to divide First Man into three stories - one, the story of Neil as a man; two, the story of Neil as a father and three, the story of Neil as an astronaut. All three have their pros and their cons, but mixed together, the film becomes daunting and stretched.

The cinematography sadly could have been better. Only a handful of camera shots do not shake. In most shots, the camera moves constantly or jitters. In the beginning, with the X-15 mission, this effect adds to the entertainment of the film. The audience quickly becomes sucked into the important and lethal mission with dangers at every corner. After two hours of shaky camera shots, that excitement changes to annoyance. While a mix would be ideal, and in more intensive scenes a camera shake would be appropriate, having the entire runtime featuring shakiness as well as many blurry shots, looks amateur and comes off as poor execution of what should be an interesting and captivating story.

However, the film does go beyond the moon in many ways. Predominantly, in the acting. Neil Armstrong has deep faults and that stands as a challenge to any actor. Ryan Gosling nails the role in what turns out as an Oscar�-worthy performance of the famous astronaut. Others, including Claire Foy, also deliver extraordinary performances bringing each character to life. Despite the fact that no one can hear you scream in space, the sound design really belongs out of the world due to the quality and complexity of the sound effects. Much of First Man contains loud, intricate sound effects that vary and cover a massive spectrum. Perhaps more powerful would have been the use of silence in the most dramatic moments, sending chills to the entire audience.

My favorite scene is one of these moments of eerie silence. In this scene, three members of the Apollo 1 mission do a test in the Apollo capsule. It goes horribly wrong and the interior of the capsule catches on fire, sadly, resulting in losing the lives of all three. Yet, the film takes this a step further, as the three fallen heroes are not new in this scene. The viewer gets time to like them, understand them and befriend them - just as Neil did in real life. This makes their sudden and dramatic loss nothing short of shocking and cold, replicating the real-life impact it had on Armstrong.

Although, First Man has a strong beginning, a strong ending and many high points throughout, it also has many mistakes and things that could be improved that simply negate the extraordinary story of this story. For that reason, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is quite intensive and is best suited for older audiences that will understand the impact of the events so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film opens nationwide in theaters on October 12, 2018 so, look for it. If you are a fan of space exploration, it is sure to make an impact, but even if you aren't you will learn something new.

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

First Man is a visually stunning and up-close account of the Apollo 11 mission. Excellent acting and innovative directing excel this personal focus, as one of a well-built dramatic journey. Anyone interested in space studies or even cinematic craft must check this out.

The story follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) in the 1960s on his journey to becoming the first man to walk on the moon. More so, an exploration of the sacrifices and costs that the journey had upon Armstrong's personal life and the nation itself, during one of the nation's most desperate and dangerous missions.

Ryan Gosling, as Neil Armstrong, is my favorite character with near-perfect representation of Neil's reclusive, yet adventurous self. His struggles to overcome the death of his daughter Karen and fellow crewmates offer the movie's best share of emotions and present a newfound inspirational look into this real-life pioneer. Claire Foy, as Janet Armstrong, excels with her bitter opinions on her husband's involvement in the Apollo program. Her intense wariness effectively presents the instability that the Armstrong family faced during such tough times. Corey Stall, as Buzz Aldrin, respectfully acts out the childlike, but intellectual aspects of his real-life counterpart. Jason Clarke, as Edward Higgins White, impressively presents a good friend in need to Neil, contributing to the success of NASA's missions with his tragic accident being handled all the more respectively.

Damien Chazelle expertly directs the movie with an innovative handheld approach steered by cinematographer Linus Sandgren that captures the paranoia, but wondrous awe of each voyage into space. This approach can become a little disorienting at times and requires an adjustment factor. My favorite scene is the Agena voyage, as it distinguishes itself from the Apollo 11 landing, by focusing on NASA's most miniscule attempts to catch up with the Soviet Union. As a result, the mission comes with its huge share of bumps, which are helped by the cringe-inducing sound design and a self-contained terror within the astronauts involved.

The message of the movie is that success never comes without sacrifice and failure, but most of all, perseverance. Armstrong sets a strong persevering mentality and example towards dealing with any obstacle as he seeks to support his family peacefully and the mission safely. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of infrequent intense scenes and language. The movie releases in theaters on October 12, 2018 so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

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GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - While collecting junk one day, best friends Sonny and Sam meet Slappy, a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps" book by R.L. Stine. Hoping to start his own family, Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his ghoulish friends back to life -- just in time for Halloween. As the sleepy town becomes overrun with monsters, witches and other mysterious creatures, Sonny joins forces with his sister, Sam and a kindly neighbor to save Sonny's mom and foil Slappy's plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is spooky, fun and creative! It is very engaging and entertaining throughout the whole film.

The story is about a young boy, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend, Sam (Caleel Harris) who finds a book. When they open it, a doll called Slappy comes out! The boys lose the book, but keep Slappy. The friends are very surprised and a bit scared when they discover that the doll can talk. He seems nice at the beginning. He wants to have a family. But later, the boy, his sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) and his best friend realize he is strange and don't want him to be part of their family anymore. Slappy has his own personal agenda and decides to create his own family. He makes Halloween come to life as he invades the whole town with monsters and all the creatures as allies. This is a very scary Halloween for the town of Wardenclyffe, where the story takes place, as all creatures make real chaos. Sonny, Sam and Sarah team up with neighbor Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong) to find the book that Slappy from to figure out how to stop him. They discover that the book can suck up monsters and they are determined to save the city.

The story is based on R.L Stine's books. This is where Jack Black comes in as he reprises his role from the 2015 film, playing the writer who came to help. His performance as the author is excellent. I love him.

The movie is funny and spooky in equal amounts. There is mystery and discovery all combined in the storytelling. There's kind of a homage to horror films, as we see some classic monsters. My favorite scenes are the ones with the Halloween decorations coming to life in the store and the fight with the gummy bears that become real and attack Sonny and Sam.

The effects are very well done. This story focuses on the 3 main characters and the actors did a good job carrying the film. There's a tribute to the books and literature. There's a beautiful metaphor with the blank pages in the book which is powerful. It is so interesting and kind of reminded me that reality is scarier than fantasy and there will be more stories to be written. The message of this film is, "when we face our own fears we learn how not to be scared."

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens October 12, 2018 and is the perfect movie for kids this Halloween. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 6 to 13 and grown ups as well.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Boo! Trick or treat! Who is ready for a perky piece of family entertainment? Giant spiders made of balloons, pumpkin-headed scarecrows, witches with glowing heads are the factual stars of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Who's ready to pop some popcorn with a fresh drink and enjoy the film?

This very funny, energetic, colorful and well-crafted film is directed by Ari Sandel. The film follows best friends Sonny and Sam, who meets Slappy, a frisky talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps " book by R.L. Stine. Slappy hopes to start a family of his own. Well you will see how that unfolds. Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his frightening friends back to life, literally bringing Halloween back to life! Just in time for Halloween. As the Slappy town becomes infested with monsters, witches and other shadowy creatures, Sonny joins powers with his sister, Sam and a concerned neighbor to save Sonny's mom and stop Slappy's strategy.

The lead characters are Kathy Quinn (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman), Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong), Sonny Quinn (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Sam Carter (Bryce Cass) and Slappy (Mick Wingert).

My favorite part of the movie is pretty much, the whole movie. This movie is one of those sequels where it gets restated in a new way, greater and sillier than before. I love how Slappy uses his magical powers to bring typical "Goosebumps" monsters to life.

Wow! Can I say the music in this film is surprising? Composer Dominic Lewis creates a perfect match to the Halloween theme. Every action coordinates with perfect music accompaniment. The music provides escalating emotions and had me jumping out of my seat a few times - in a good way, not a super spooky way. The animation has lively, attractive colors and put me in the spirit for Halloween.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well as adults. I believe the whole family will enjoy this film. The film is designed with so much fun reaction moments. It delivers on what Goosebumps fans have come to expect. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide October 12, 2018.

Reviewed by Nathalia Maria J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VENOM
VENOM - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake's experiments, Eddie's body merges with the alien Venom -- leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Venom is a somewhat entertaining comic book-based movie watch. The acting and directing provide for serviceable entertainment amid some of the movie's ill-fated attempts. Fans of superhero movies may want to check it out.

The story follows former investigative and maverick journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) after he attempts a comeback following a scandal that left him jobless, despite good intentions. Eddie's life furthermore takes on more complications, after accidentally becoming the host of an alien symbiote, giving him the carnivorous alter ego, Venom. Soon, he must rely on and master his newfound powers to protect the world from the shadowy organization he so sought to destroy, because of their involvement in experimenting with other symbiotes, before it's too late.

Tom Hardy, as Eddie Brock, is my favorite character and absolutely lives up to the hype surrounding his performance, even if a few of his deliveries come across as random, due to an inconsistent script. Also, he further sells the voice of Venom, delivering numerous nuances underneath the carnivorous savage. Michelle Williams, as Anne Weying, does the best she can with an uninspired script, that doesn't do her character justice, as Anne comes across as a stereotypical love interest. Despite this, she adds nuances to her characters' emotions and occasional comedic remarks. Once again, Riz Ahmed, as Carlton Drake, suffers from the same issue, but presents just enough threat to make his foe a formidable one. Still, his plotline involving the main lab corporation, remains one of the movie's stalling points as it remains nothing more than a disinteresting evil lair. Jenny Slate, as Dora Skirth, fares better as the script provides more material to go around. Her vibrant expressions and remarks make her one of the movie's most memorable assets.

Ruben Fleischer aptly directs the movie with an effective grasp on understanding the Venom character, which is the movie's saving grace. The mix of horror, adrenaline-fueled action and black comedy provides for a unique experience, unlike any other superhero movie, despite not being as polished as most. My favorite scene is the SWAT action scene, as it is a great showcase of special effects and unique sound design. The choreography further sells the excellent pace towards Venom's attacks. The other main flaw stems from the sub-par script, as it doesn't compliment the all-star cast's talents well. Aside from Eddie, every character is stereotypical and not as interesting to watch, with stilted dialogue further adding unintentional awkwardness to the characters' relationships. At times, the movie's plot progression becomes littered with holes and doesn't match the brisk pace that the many action scenes provide. In fact, any of the movie's plot, not involving the Venom symbiote, is met with a gruelingly slow pace, leaving us waiting for Venom to show up.

The message of this movie to always stand up for what's right and be careful about it, in spite of anyone in your way. Eddie's brutally honest responses to evil and the Venom alter-ego support this with a positive example. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters October 5, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SMALLFOOT

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SMALLFOOT - WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - A yeti named Migo is convinced that a human known only as "Small Foot" is real and has to prove to his tribe that it does exist with the help of Meechee and the S.E.S - Smallfoot Evidentiary Society.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This entertaining and hilarious film is furrowed with a variety of different themes. I absolutely love when a film keeps an audience intrigued and teaches them different lessons. This film does just that.

The storyline is about a community of yeti, typically known as a snow monster with big feet, and their utopia. Life is perfect the way it is and no one wants to change it. Everyone bases their lives of off a set of laws written on stones. The stone keeper is basically the chief of the village and tells everyone if they ever have a question, to just push it down. One day, Migo ends up outside of their village. He has an encounter with a crashing airplane and sees a small foot, or human, eject out of the plane and descend under the clouds with a parachute. He immediately goes back to the village and tells them about what he saw. The stone keeper tells Migo that it is written in stone that small foot do not exist. Migo goes against the sacred stones and stands with what he saw. And for that, he gets exiled from the village. But he doesn't know that there is a secret organization that believes in him. That's when their quest starts to prove the existence of the small foot, but they uncover so much more than they expected.

There are numerous stars voicing the characters including Channing Tatum who plays Migo, Zendaya playing MeeChee, James Corden playing Percy and LeBron James playing Gwangi. Zendaya is the perfect person for the role of MeeChee, a very determined and rebellious character. Zendaya portrays those characteristics through her voice.

The animation in this film is very colorful and detailed. There are shots of clouds, outer space and overview shots of the yeti village and the human town that are absolutely stunning. In the outer space scene for example, the stars, galaxies, planets and the comet they ride on are all beautifully illustrated, especially the supernova at the end. I also love the inspirational songs that gave me goose-bumps, which are sung throughout the film.

My favorite scene is when MeeChee goes exploring outside the village with Migo. She starts to sing and shows Migo some beautiful sights. Somehow, they end up riding a comet in outer space, which is a little bit random, but the underlying message is that outside in the unknown there are so many beautiful things to discover. The animation for this scene especially brought to life all of the beauties that MeeChee shows Migo.

There are many messages in this film. Two of the main ones are to always remember there are two sides to every story and to think for yourself. The other underlying themes can be interpreted in different ways and you might find more than other people. I recommend this inspirational and unique film for ages 3 to 18, even adults. I give the film 5 out of 5 stars. You have to check this amazing film out! It comes out on September 28, 2018 in theaters!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Smallfoot is a heartfelt animated film with several clever laughs and some interesting ideas at play. This film follows Migo, a Yeti, who lives in a village full of them high atop a mountain amidst the snow. Migo is content with his village's way of life and their beliefs that are scrawled in stone, until he makes a startling discovery. He encounters a being that proves the existence of the Smallfoot or, as we would call it, a human. This goes against the beliefs of his people and gets him banished from his home. From there, he consults a few Yetis who believe in the existence of the Smallfoot to help him prove to the rest of his village that he saw one.

I really like the character Migo, played by Channing Tatum, and Percy, played by James Corden, a TV host trying to influence a resurgence in his career and the Smallfoot whose existence Migo is trying to prove. These are members of two species who have to learn to communicate and get along because of the situation they're in. The two characters have very different personalities and motivations that collide and the aftermath of their meeting is part of what makes this film so interesting. Even what you could call Smallfoot's antagonist has relatable character motivations, as he is just trying to protect those close to him.

I do have problems with the flow of this film's story. This film's first act is largely uninspired with too much emphasis on slapstick humor and not enough on story. It feels like a series of comedic antics with some filler between them. The film really finds its Smallfooting in the second and third acts with some fun musical sequences and humorous encounters. Smallfoot also has a striking message about what we consider truth and why we believe what we do.

I recommend Smallfoot for ages 4 to 12 due to some mild bathroom humor and some images that could scare younger children. There is a scene with a bear that could be frightening, although it is played up for laughs. I think adults will also enjoy this film. I give the film 3 out of 5 stars. Go check this out because it's a smart animated film that has lots of moving parts that all manage to come together to make something fun and adorable. Smallfoot comes out in theaters on September 28, 2018.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Smallfoot is a fun, adorable, animated musical film. Is basically about monsters afraid of humans and humans afraid of monsters, similar to the plot of Monsters Inc. and Hotel Transylvania. But Smallfoot is different and very enjoyable. The movie is directed by Karen Kirkpatrick, who previously directed Chicken Run and Jason Raising who worked as an animator and visual effects artist in Shrek, Spider Man 2 and Kung Fu Panda.

This movie is about yetis, furry creatures that live up on the mountains by the laws of the stones. The yetis think the stones protect them and they think the smallfoot, "human," do not exist. One day, the main character Migo (Channing Tatum) sees the smallfoot landing from the sky. His name is Percy (James Corden) and, soon after that he teams up with the stone keeper's daughter Meechee (Zendaya), they team up with more Yetis also on the look for these strange creatures that are basically men, which they believe are monsters.

Percy is a TV personality who works with Brenda (Yara Shahidi). He is not very successful at the moment and creating a story about a supposed monster seems like a great idea to gain followers and go viral. Brenda reminds him of the power of integrity. Both the yetis and smallfeet will discover a lot about each other and Migo will need to find the way to prove that smallfeet actually exist and there is more to what the laws of the stones ask yetis to believe.

The story is simple and well developed. Most importantly, it opens our hearts to discover new things, learn to communicate better and make the right decisions. The movie addresses a lot of current aspects of social media and what we go through emotionally nowadays.

This is the first Warner Animation musical film and I love all the songs. My favorite song is "A Wonderful Life." I've been singing it all week because it's so catchy. I also really like the characters, the look of the yeti village and the way the voice actors give life to their characters. This amazing voice over cast includes Channing Tatum, Zendaya, Danny de Vito, Lebron James, Gina Rodriguez and Yara Shahidi.

My favorite scene is when Migo finds out Meechee's plan and all that happened when they worked together. I like seeing the characters trying to discover new things, being organized and standing out for their beliefs. The message of this film is that we all have different beliefs and need to accept others' beliefs and work together.

I give this film 4 � out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 3 to 15, although I am sure the whole family will enjoy it. Smallfoot opens in theaters September 28, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
NIGHT SCHOOL

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NIGHT SCHOOL - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mom always said, stay in school. Well, this cast of troublemakers did not. Night School is their effort to obtain their GED and matriculate back into productive society. I am not going to lie, the sophomoric approach to telling this tale did not light me up. I struggled to stay engaged with the themes of the film, as well as all the female stereotypes, racial stereotypes, schmaltzy, slap-stick and crude behavior.

Kevin Hart wrote and stars in Night School. He plays Teddy Walker, a successful sales man who blows up his one success and returns to night school to better his career choices. At times disjointed, I often felt the multiple story lines and activities of the cast do not coalesce into a coherent film or story. Fans of Kevin Hart's comedy shows will likely love the film, as there are a few good belly laughs.

Tiffany Haddish plays Carrie, the night school teacher and the leader of the pack. She plays a tough teacher, who also adds tough love to the mix as she corrals a ragtag group of students. The character contributes to a theme of second chances, which is the best part of this film. If you loved Tiffany Haddish's role in Girls Trip, do not look for the same comedic success here. She plays a more serious role in Night School and I venture she is much stronger in a pure comedic role.

I give this film of 3 out of 5 stars for lack of consistent story and character development. This is the most disjointed film I have watched in a long time.

This film will appeal to ages 13 to 18 as well as some adults. I caution younger viewing due to sexual references, crude language, drug use and reference, adult themes and violent scenes, which are inappropriate for younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Night School is a mostly enjoyable watch with no shortage of humor and heart. The acting and writing perfectly encapsulate the fast-paced comedic delivery. This is sure to be an enjoyable watch for anyone looking for a serviceably hilarious time.

The story follows street-smart, but academically dull-witted Teddy (Kevin Hart) as he fails to pass his GED college admissions test. Even still, he finds success as a grill salesman with a financially successful, yet unaware fianc� Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). However, when disaster arises with the accidental destruction of his workplace, Teddy must search elsewhere to support Lisa and hide his school failure from her as the GED is the only way out. With a determined teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and a group of misfits by his side, Teddy must test his mental and physical boundaries to power past his setbacks to pass the GED if there is any chance of him supporting himself and Lisa.

Kevin Hart, as Teddy, brings his signature style, as his exaggerated reactions and loud mouth continue to entertain. His character's inspiring attempts to change through hard work and perseverance provide for newfound nuances in his performance. Tiffany Haddish, as Carrie, shines alongside Teddy providing great amounts of sharp banter which truly bring out some of the movie's funniest scenes. Megalyn Echikunwoke, as Lisa, is great in her support of Teddy despite all his misfortunes. Taren Killam, as Stewart, presents a relatable, yet ruthless threat for Teddy as he threatens to damage his relationship with Lisa for the bullying he suffered. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Anne Winters and Al Madrigal round out the all-star cast, as the rest of the night school students, with each providing a uniquely hilarious persona. Romany Malcom shines as my favorite character, with his overdrawn reasoning providing for the movie's best jokes.

Malcolm D. Lee directs the movie with an effective grasp on character and comedic situations as there is never a dull moment. My favorite scene is the heist scene as its parody on heist movies is smartly done and the end gag leaves you breathlessly laughing. However, many of the movie's jokes don't land due to an overreliance on crass bodily humor, which come across as overly done for laughs. At times, much of it comes across as derivative of other school-based comedies, leaving much of the gags feeling unmemorable. Despite this, a good amount of smart deliveries and fun character work help balance it above many comedies that have failed to garner laughs.

The message of the movie to never give up, in spite of any obstacles as with proper rigor, we will succeed and learn the most. Teddy's disabilities and determined attempts to combat that compliment this message with a touching underdog story. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on September 28, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY HERO ACADEMIA: TWO HEROES

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MY HERO ACADEMIA: TWO HEROES - FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - All Might and Deku accept an invitation to visit a floating man-made city called I Island where they meet a girl and battle against a villain who takes the island hostage.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My Hero Academia: Two Heroes follows the story of Izuku Midoriya who lives in a world where 80% of the population has a special power or, as they call it a "quirk." Although Midoriya is "quirk-less," aka born without powers, he still wants to pursue his dream of becoming a super hero. After an encounter with a villain, Midoriya is given a quirk by the number hero in the world All Might and now must attend UA, a high school that teaches up and coming heroes how to use and better, not only their quirk, but themselves. This film takes place in between the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the show, however there is a recap at the beginning of the film to bring newbies up to speed. The storyline sort of reminds me of a PG Diehard where all the characters have to work together in order to save the day, while being outnumbered by the bad guys.

I love this film and love the series in general. This film is great for current fans as it touches on a scene that happened in the TV show, which technically makes the film canon to the rest of the series. The characters and the story are quite appealing and kids will enjoy the subject matter, the animation and the characters. The movie starts off really fast, but it is easy to grasp and the continuity between scenes makes a lot of sense. The style feels like the show, but with a much bigger budget has bigger scenes. All the characters are likeable. However, if you are new to the series, the character Bakugou might be a little off putting. If you are a fan of the series, you will like all the new characters as well as the familiar ones. The animation is spectacular. I love that the show transcended television and made it to the big screen. Depending on where you watch it, theaters have either the English dub or Japanese subtitled version. I saw the English dubbed version and loved it.

The biggest flaw in the film is that we don't see the whole class of UA that we are used to seeing. Out of all the characters in My Hero Academia's roster, a good portion of them are missing. However, that flaw aside, I love this film. I love this story. The animation is amazing and, I'm not going to lie, I teared up a little during the final battle.

The message of this film is that, although whenever something changes drastically it can be scary, during the transition you have to look towards the future like All Might and Midoriya do. All Might, being the number one hero, must retire due to a previous injury, but he sees in Midoriya a new symbol of peace and justice that will take his place down the line. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. There is some mild profanity such as "bastard," but nothing too severe.

Reviewed by Angel U., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie so much! It was an amazing experience that made me happy to be a fan of this amazing show. It includes all the things I love about My Hero Academia - incredible action, hilarious comedy and wonderful characters.

The story takes place between the second and third season of My Hero Academia, as Deku and All Might travel to the moving city, "I" Island, and must fight a villain who has taken the entire island hostage with the help of Deku's classmates.

An important aspect of this movie is the fact that it takes places in between seasons of My Hero Academia. So the question is, "Can you watch this without having seen the show?" I'd say it probably is ok if you aren't already following the show. The beginning of the movie is mostly exposition, so it explains everything you need to know to understand the world and the protagonist. However, the movie doesn't explain smaller elements of the show, such as how Deku got scars on his hand and why Deku is surprised by a character that uses a certain power. Those are things you would need to have seen the show to understand. However, it doesn't affect the story too much. Aside from Deku and All Might, no one's powers are specifically explained, yet they're shown in way that gives you a general idea of the power, which is kind of a downfall.

So first, animation. The show My Hero Academia already has fantastic animation, but this movie in particular looks amazing and that might be because of its budget. The fight scenes in the show were already amazing, yet the scale of the fights in this movie make them awesome. What impressed me was that I got scared during these fights, yet I knew the movie wouldn't connect to the main story. That's when you know an action scene is cool.

Probably my favorite aspect of My Hero Academia are the characters. Every character is well defined and unique, in powers, appearance and personality. Unfortunately, my favorite character isn't in the movie a whole lot, while my least favorite character is a main character in this movie. It didn't bother me too much though, because the other characters are so funny and likable.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars, mainly because I am a huge fan. If you are just starting to enjoy anime, then this is a great series to start with. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. You should go see it even if you're not yet a fan. It is in theaters now but hurry because it has a limited run.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 11-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOVE, GILDA

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LOVE, GILDA - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner looks back and reflects on her life and career. Weaving together recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with her friends, rare home movies and diaries read by modern day comediennes (including Amy Poehler), LOVE Gilda offers a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Love, Gilda is an incredibly heartwarming and engaging story that entertained me thoroughly as well as educated me. When I sat down to watch it, I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. I was thoroughly impressed with how they portrayed Gilda, how they managed to hold your attention and how they tell a story that made me laugh, cry and relate. While watching, I felt as though, even though I had never met her, Gilda was a friend of mine.

Love, Gilda documents the life of comedian and actress Gilda Radner from her childhood, to her time on Saturday Night Live, to her health struggles towards the later part of her life. It chronicles the exciting and disheartening parts of her life, shows interviews with the current Saturday Night Live cast and includes snippets from her personal diary to illustrate how she felt about the events that occurred.

Something about this film that really stands out to me is how smoothly the storyline and plot flows. Documentaries, especially biographies, tend to give the audience too many irrelevant and unnecessary details that make it so difficult to sit through them and pay attention. But this film has an exceptional way of making me feel like a friend is talking and relating to me, instead of telling me something. It feels authentic and real. It feels as though Gilda herself is talking to me, which I partially accredit to her diary entries. I felt her pain. I felt her happiness. I laughed at her jokes. One part that really stands out is the scene in the hospital when she is being treated. Without giving too much away, that part really inspired me and left me with a happy feeling, even though it is a very sad scene.

This is an exceptional movie. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Some of the subject matter in the film are a little mature and difficult to deal with. However, I really think that, even though there are many scenes that can be considered depressing, Gilda Radner had such an incredible outlook on life and she didn't feel sorry for or pity herself ever. Therefore, I never felt depressed. Love, Gilda tugged on my heartstrings, but also made me laugh. I am impressed with every aspect of it and I was entertained the whole way through. It is in theaters now, so look for it. Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE

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HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who wanted to cause the Apocalypse so that he could see what happened afterwards. To do this, he constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it's too late, and before Isaac's wife, Selena, gets to it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gather around and get ready to travel to a land of magic adventure and mystery, where things come to life before your eyes and people and places are different, because they are filled with magic and beauty. In this land we shall meet new people and see fabulous things that have never been seen before, such as talking couches, Griffins and much more. So come with me and you will see all the magical things that lie inside the world of The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is a wonderful warlock. As a mater a fact, he is my favorite warlock throughout the entirety of this film, because he grows during his adventures and becomes a better warlock, friend and family member. As he becomes a better person, we see him learn magic with the help of a few friends and family members. These scenes are just adorable.

Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) and Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) are the two best magic teachers in all the land. After all, they have an entire enchanted house which they use to teach magic and they also know how to be great family members when you stay with them. These two characters have totally different personalities and that is what makes them the perfect couple. Jonathan Barnavelt is very funny and acts just like the person who portrays him, Jack Black. While Florence Zimmerman is very serious and kind, she is a lady and acts like it too. She is the perfect replica of Cate Blanchett who portrays her perfectly.

Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) and Selena Izard (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) are the villains we love to hate. I have to say that their plan for world domination is actually very scary. They make this film perfect for Halloween by adding scary little trick and treats up their sleeves that gets us into the mood for this special holiday that comes once a year.

The best scene in this film is when Lewis Barnavelt taps a water fountain and makes plants come to life as he taps it. I found my eyes lighting up, just like the stars as I watched the plants pass me by in the blink of an eye. Also, I like that it has so many different plants and that the cast interacts with them by juggling them and bouncing them on top of their heads.

I love the graphics because they not only look lifelike, but they act as if they are real, not just computerized graphics. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Griffin, the Couch and the Glass Mural. Each and every one of them has a personality and they act like people, not just old abandoned furniture that you might see in an old house such as the one that Jonathan Barnavelt and Florence Zimmerman live in.

Since this film has some scary aspects such as ventriloquist dolls, live pumpkins with faces, demons, the devil, witches, warlocks and many more, I recommend that your kids know that they are all fake and not real. As long as they know this, then they are okay and will enjoy the movie with no problems. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give this film 5 out of 5 stars.

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

This is an amazing live-action film. It is funny, exciting and a little spooky. I don't usually like scary movies, but this one has just the perfect amount of scary. This film is based on a novel of the same name from 1973 from writer John Bellairs. I haven't seen too many movies with Jack Black in it, but I can tell you Jack Black has usually played funnier roles. This time he plays a more serious character. Cate Blanchett is the perfect addition for this cast. I think the editing is very well done. The sound effects and the film effects are also really good and create an enchanting atmosphere. This story is a classic tale about self discovery in a beautiful magical set up, just like a good old magic trick.

The movie is directed by Eli Roth who is better known as a producer, but has directed a few films with some dark content. This is actually the director's first film not rated R.

The storyline follows a 10-year-old boy, Lewis (Owen Baccaro) who lost his parents and goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in a very old house with a peculiar thinking heart. His uncle is quite mysterious. He is a warlock and his neighbor, Florence is a good witch (Cate Blanchett). A warlock is basically a boy witch and Jonathan is not a very good one, but he is sweet and has the best intentions. Florence's spells do not always come out right, but she is very caring.

Lewis wants a normal life, but he soon discovers some strange forces dormant within the house. His new home is magical, because a long time ago, a man named Isaac (Kyle McLachlan) lived there with his wife Selena (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) and they constructed and hid a powerful clock to bring the world into apocalypse. One day, he was doing a spell that accidentally killed himself and his unfinished purpose was hidden in the house with a clock in its walls. Lewis tries to adapt to his new strange home and school. He tries to make new friends and impress the popular boy in the school. By doing so, he releases Isaac and Selena from the tomb on Halloween night, causing chaos in the old pacific town. Lewis goes through an incredible journey in order to have the life he wants.

The story is very engaging at the beginning, but loses a bit of interest as it progresses. The actors are very good. The cinematography and production design are beautiful and immerse the audience in a fantastic world. The music and sound effects are my favorite technical aspects. To me, they become a character themselves.

I definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended from ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The message is that things happen and you can't really change them, but magic and great things are always within our hearts. This film opens in theaters September 21, 2018.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SOUFRA

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SOUFRA - CONTENT MEDIA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - South of Beirut, Lebanon is a 68 year old refugee camp housing refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq. Many have lived in this camp their entire lives-- Mariam AlShaar is one of them. Now, Mariam has pulled the women of this camp together to do what has never been done before. They started with a small kitchen from a micro-loan. With nearly insurmountable political odds against them-- they look to start the first refugee food truck. Their journey is one of many ups and downs but it is the community that is built, their sense of hope and how they see themselves that makes this a moving, touching film about their journey. Mariam has been known as 'the crazy lady' and now she will show just how crazy she is.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary is about one woman's quest to start a food-truck business in the refugee camp where she resides, in Lebanon. The quality of life for the camp's residents is quite low, with many people living in very condensed dwellings. Mariam Shaar, with her adept business sense and entrepreneurial spirit sets out to improve the quality of life for herself and those around her. She, along with other women, cook high quality Mediterranean food and through a Kickstarter Campaign, raise and exceed the amount of funds needed to buy a van and get the permit for the business. Not surprisingly, things do not go as planned. Mariam's lawyer tells her there may be hurdles in terms of getting the permit and obtaining a truck because she resides in the refugee camp and because of her ethnicity. Therefore, when she goes to the automobile dealer, she is turned down. Inevitably, a few months later, she is turned down for the license to operate Soufra also. She feels defeated at this point, but her lawyer explains a way in which she can circumvent these laws regarding license, location and ethnicity Mariam can find a brick and mortar place as a legitimate residential location for her business on the outskirts of Beirut. She does in fact find a place and is then granted a license. The van approval for her food truck comes smoothly after that. Her dream of a food truck business is then realized. I enjoyed watching this documentary mainly because it has a happy ending. Many documentaries seem to end on a desolate note. In addition, people residing in the West think about the Mid-East as being repressive towards women, in general. This documentary counters this thought process. We see Mariam as a determined businesswoman making lots of decisions and meeting with others on her own to get the business up and running. As the director of a Foundation stated, she would "get this going with or without financial help." I give this documentary 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as well as adults. This film is being shown at select theaters throughout the country. To find a screening near you, visit https://www.soufrafilm.com/
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Soufra is a fantastic film filled with delicious-looking food and inspiring messages for women and others. This documentary is clearly made with passion, purpose and heart. It is a little heart wrenching, but still fun and interesting at the same time. The production values are high, particularly the cinematography. I felt so connected with the women in this film and was really intrigued by their stories, as well as what they have to say. This is an incredible film in so many ways.

The filmmaker follows a group of women in a Lebanese refugee camp who enjoy and have a passion for cooking. They are hired by a fellow refugee, named Mariam, to start a catering company called Soufra. The film documents the struggles of these women being unable to purchase a food truck for their business. Even though they raise the money to purchase it, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, it is still difficult for them to get the proper permits to own the truck, due to local laws.

What really intrigued me initially, was the beginning scene in the kitchen. It is so lively, entertaining and captivating. The introduction to a film is so important. The rest of the film is equally well shot. The camera quality is clear and the cinematography is pretty spot on. This film really is quite entertaining and educating at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and I because every aspect is so incredible.

The messages the film promotes are completely pure and positive. These women deal with really tough situations and lead extremely tough lives. However, they manage to stay strong and powerful regardless. The message is about never giving up or quitting, even when it feels like the entire world is telling you to. Never loose sight of your goals. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I am so impressed with the women in this film and everything they have accomplished. I admire them all very much. This is a film that is truly incredible and one I will remember for years to come. This film is available at select film festivals this fall so, check to see if it is playing near you.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OPERATION FINALE

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OPERATION FINALE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Director Chris Weitz's historical thriller is based on the story of how a group of Israeli secret agents arrested notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann - the man who masterminded the "Final Solution" - in Argentina. Oscar Isaac plays the legendary Mossad agent Peter Malkin, while Ben Kingsley plays his emotionally manipulative arch-nemesis. After tracking Eichmann down to Buenos Aires, Malkin and his men captured him and brought him to Israel for a historic 8-month trial.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Operation Finale is horrifyingly intense as well as funny at times. The two main characters, Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) are terrifyingly realistic. The suspense feels like it's on real stakes because this film is based on actual events. One criticism I have is that all the secondary characters are easily forgettable.

The story of this film focuses on a group of Israeli agents who are tasked with capturing and bringing back Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi Lieutenant who escaped justice after World War II to Israel. The agents spot him at his house after a spy tells them where he lives. They watch his daily routine until they memorize it and fake their car being broken in, to jump him. They take him back to where they are staying and take turns watching him. One day, the airport calls saying that they have to get a signature from Adolf Eichmann to let them board so they try to convince him to sign. Malkin tries a more friendly approach to make him sign and they get to know each other.

My favorite part in this film is when Malkin and Eichmann are getting to know each other. You get to see Eichmann's side and how he interprets the holocaust. That is very interesting.

There are two big names in this film. Ben Kingsley plays Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin. Ben Kingsley has been in numerous award winning films such as Ghandi, which he won an Oscar for best actor. Oscar Isaac has been in Ex Machina, an Oscar winning film and the Star Wars series.

I recommend this film to anyone who wants to know more about the Holocaust or World War II. You should be aware that the adults in this film smoke and drink. I recommend Operation Finale for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters August 29, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SEARCHING

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SEARCHING - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new drama/thriller grabbed my attention since the beginning, because of its amazing and unique storyline. I felt thrilled to discover what would happen at the end and, whether or not the outcome would be what I expected. I came up with my theory for the conclusion by putting together the clues from the movie, little by little. It is very entertaining, because the film gives the audience an opportunity to be detectives for a moment and try to solve the very unique mystery in the film.

The storyline is about a father, David, that enjoys watching his daughter Margot grow up while posting pictures and videos of her to social media, sharing his happiness with his love ones. As Margot enters her teenage years, she starts to grow apart and seem distant from him. One day, she disappears after telling her father that she went to a study group. David looks on the internet to try to find clues about where she may be. Her friends don't seem to know much and don't help either David or the detective that comes on the case to figure out what happened to her and hopefully find her alive.

My favorite scene is when David starts to get desperate because of Margot's disappearance, leading to him brainstorming ideas about how to find her. This results with him going into Margot's computer to find answers as to whereabouts. This is my favorite scene because it is very meaningful and is the moment he starts to realize, although he doesn't admit it, that he truly does not know his daughter at all. When he opens her laptop, it is as if he is entering unknown territory and we see the distance between him and Margot. He was very close to her, while she was growing up, but as soon as she hit the teenage years, she became a stranger.

The important message in this film is that better communication between family members is encouraged and will improve the dynamics of the family. For example, in the beginning of the movie, the reason for her disappearance is unknown and that leads to the suspense and mystery of the storyline. But, let's say hypothetically that Margot disappeared on purpose, because she was dealing with a problem and, since she had grown apart from her dad, she didn't feel he could help her. If parents, especially those raising their children alone, communicate and interact better, they can help their kids through the tough times. They ease the process of going through conflicts, so that running away is not their only choice. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults and I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters August, 31, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PICK OF THE LITTER

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PICK OF THE LITTER - SUNDANCE SELECTS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind, the ultimate canine career. Cameras follow these pups through a two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. Along the way, the dogs meet a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. The stakes are high and not every dog can make the cut. Only the best of the best. The pick of the litter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pick of the Litter is such an adorable movie. It has an amazing topic that not many people know about, so you are not bored. It's a great family movie with all of the cute dogs. Pick of the Litter follows such a sweet storyline that you just fall in love with all of the dogs and their journey through many different homes.

Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they are born through their journey to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. The "P" litter has to go through two years of training with many different owners to train them on their journey to become Guide Dogs. But only the pick of the litter will get the chance to become Guide Dogs.

This documentary is such a feel good movie. There are some moments that bring tears to your eyes. When my family and I watched the movie, it was fun for us to guess which dogs would pass the tests and become Guide Dogs. All the dogs are so cute and the relationships the dogs go through with their trainers and finally when they get paired with their official owners, is very emotional. The five dogs in the litter are Patriot, Potomac, Phil, Primrose and Poppet. All the dogs have such unique personalities. My favorite out would have to be Patriot because he has a lot of different trainers and he has so much energy. He has the biggest personality. He also ends up with such a sweet family and really helps the family he's with. The movie has so much for people of all ages. The charming dogs are enjoyable for everyone and the story they tell is delightful and sends a great message.

The message The Pick of the Litter sends is that dogs go through a lot of work to become Guide Dogs and, even if they don't become one, they still bring joy to whomever owns them. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 17. There is so much to learn about the training Guide Dogs go through and this film has lots of things for kids to learn. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it has such a great topic and the dogs are super adorable. You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 31, 2018 so, check it out!

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALPHA

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ALPHA - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, ALPHA tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man's best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe's most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This unpredictable film is a roller coaster of emotions. Although some parts are pretty graphic, it makes the whole thing more real and it helps you feel empathy for the characters.

The film starts off with the turning point scene, then goes to the backstory, then goes back to review what happened in the turning point scene in dramatic snippets and finally continues with the rest of the story. The film tells the story of how a man's best friend came to be. In the story, Keda helps an injured wolf who he eventually become friends with and they help each other survive.

The actors all have amazing abilities. They really draw in the audience in an emotional way. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Keda wonderfully in this film. He cries tears of sadness, longing and joy. Keda also leads us to believe he is cold or sick in different scenarios.

The cinematography in this film is amazing. The different camera scenes are shot most creatively. The cinematography really helps conveying different emotions, depending on how different scenes are shot. All the different biomes and climates look so beautiful.

My favorite scene is the scene where Alpha, the wolf, cuddles up next to Keda one cold night. Usually, whenever Alpha tries to get close to Keda, he pushes Alpha away. Seeing Alpha and Keda finally become close warmed my heart.

The message of this film is to always show kindness. Even though the wolf tried to hurt Keda, he still helped it heal. Later on, Alpha is very helpful to Keda. The wolf, who was once his enemy, becomes his best friend. Another message of this film is to never give up. Many times Keda considers giving up. He feels so hopeless at times and thinks he isn't getting anywhere. Even so, he keeps going no matter how hard it is and it pays off big time in the end.

This film is such a wonderful experience. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. This film will also appeal to nature lovers and dog lovers! Even if you don't fall into one of these categories still check this film out. You might become a nature or a dog lover! It opens August 17, 2018, so go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a beautiful film about survival. I love everything about this live action film. The editing flows nicely and there are many visually stunning scenes. The story is about survival, loyalty and, most importantly, following your instincts.

In this film, a boy named Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is attacked by a buffalo. His father thinks he died, so he leaves him on the cliff where he was attacked. When he finally makes it to the ground, a pack of wolves attack. One of the wolves is very hurt and he decides tries to help him. During the course of movie, they help each other in many different ways. At the end of the film, you discover a beautiful surprise about the wolf.

Please keep in mind that this film takes place in prehistoric times and the dialogue is not in English, but is subtitled in English. I could understand the movie perfectly, even though it isn't in English. Keda becomes a man as the story unfolds. It is a coming-of-age story, wherein the boy and the wolf look out after each other as if they are family. The boy tries to prove to himself and his tribe that he can become a man and can be strong. By bonding with the wolf, he accomplishes the unimaginable.

This type of film is uncommon in contemporary cinema. The editing is very well done and there is a flash back at the beginning that helps you understand the back story. The costumes are tribal, which makes the characters seem more believable and tribe-like. The landscapes are quite extraordinary. In so many ways, this film is truly beautiful. Everything that happens takes place in natural environments.

The message of this film is that we should bond with nature, follow our own instincts and preserve our innate quality of being kind. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the beautiful landscapes and touching story. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I was very lucky to watch this movie with my dog, because I attended a special screening that allowed dogs, so that experience was truly unforgettable. Alpha opens in theaters August 17, 2018 so, look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Everyone get your time machines set up to go to a land filled with adventure and love because we are going to the Ice Age. On our journey we will find stunning views and magnificent creatures that no longer exist, so get ready for one terrific ride.

The graphics in Alpha are breathtaking. I love that we get to see so many animals and different views because they make this film really stand out from other films. We don't see animals like mammoths, saber tooth tigers and warthogs everyday. This not only adds history, but also a few fun facts for kids to enjoy as they watch this film.

During this era there were hardships that were dealt with by brutal force. However, sometimes one finds a kind, cautious and adorable friend to help you along the way. In this case, Alpha. love the wolf Alpha and his new found owner Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Since there are only two main charters, I might add that I like them both because they are too gosh darn cute together. Also Keda's performance as a caveman is quite believable.

My favorite scene is when Alpha and Keda spend the night together for the first time. I admire this scene because it shows Alpha's love when he listens to Keda. This scene made me miss my dog Dusty because Alpha reminds me of him. Alpha is definitely a film for pet owners, especially those with furry friends. Even if you don't have a pet, you will want one after seeing Alpha. This film is truly about man's best friend and how the bond was made over a short period of time.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. Kids will love the wolf and will learn a few things about being future pet owners. Also they will learn about the Ice Age and the creatures that lived during this time period. Older kids and adults will love the animation and the acting. Please note that children need to be able to read, because this film is subtitled. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Alpha is in theaters now so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MEG, THE

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MEG, THE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Five years ago, expert sea diver and Naval Captain Jonas Taylor encountered an unknown danger in the unexplored recesses of the Mariana Trench that forced him to abort his mission and abandon half his crew. Though the tragic incident earned him a dishonorable discharge, what ultimately cost him his career, his marriage and any semblance of honor was his unsupported and incredulous claims of what caused it - an attack on his vessel by a mammoth, 70-foot sea creature, believed to be extinct for more than a million years. But when a submersible lies sunk and disabled at the bottom of the ocean - carrying his ex-wife among the team onboard - he is the one who gets the call. Whether a shot at redemption or a suicide mission, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life and the lives of everyone trapped below on a single question: Could the Carcharodon Megalodon - the largest marine predator that ever existed - still be alive ... and on the hunt?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Meg is a somewhat entertaining homage to old-era shark flicks. A frightful direction and vibrant special effects provide a serviceable summer-end movie. Fans of shark flicks may want to check it out.

The movie follows a Shanghai-based, deep-sea team as they seek to postulate new discoveries among the underwater trenches. However, their discoveries go awry when a previously thought extinct Megalodon attacks their submersibles and threatens to roam the Shanghai seas. With time on the run, team leader Dr. Zhao (Winston Chao) recruits former rescue diver Jonas (Jason Statham). Unbeknownst to everyone, Jonas has previously encountered the same Megalodon and must now confront his fears to save those aboard.

Jason Statham, as Jonas, is always a vibrant presence with his charm and smarm making gold of the cheesy script. He also excels in his underwater stunts, creating some nail-biting thrills. Bingbing Li, as Suyin, proves herself as a smart, yet impatient presence, who wants to prove herself. However, she does fall key to an unnecessary clich� father-daughter subplot, but makes the best of what she is given. Winston Chao, as Dr. Zhang, greatly presents his fears and desperation for Suyin and the mission, in spite of the weak backing for the emotional stakes of the two. Rainn Wilson, as Jacks, heightens his stereotypical rich guy presence with well-timed remarks alike his in The Office. Shuya Sophia Cai, as Meiyang, is my favorite character in her banter with Statham and brave actions power her from just being a 8-year-old damsel in distress. She truly excels in her first, breakout role. Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, and Cliff Curtis complete the rest of the pack, each giving a unique performance, even if the characters can be viewed as expendable at times.

Jon Turteltaub's direction allows for brisk thrills taking inspiration from Jaws, but allowing for his own unique takes on the genre. My favorite scene is the final act, as it goes all in with the illogic of the shark conflicts allowing for a fun conclusion. The other flaws are the inconsistency of the tone and writing of the movie, which goes from serious to knowingly funny at times and the placement of the scenes feels off at times. The movie also suffers by detracting from the shark conflict and focusing on poorly written character situations. In fact, it takes a long amount of occasionally grueling time and development for the Megalodon to even show up.

The movie's message is that being a hero can come with its fair share of compromises. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, because of intense action, gore and some language. The movie releases in theaters on August 10, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Meg is a very exciting film to close out summer. The huge shark is very scary and the images look very real. The chase scenes are intense and the action scenes are really entertaining.

The film begins with Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), a marine explorer having to save an underwater exploration team that is stranded after something broke their sub. He saves all but one crew member. He goes back to the exploration center later and one of the scientist's daughters sees a Megalodon, which is what stranded the other scientists in the Mariana Trench. He realizes that they broke the barrier between the modern world and the world of prehistoric animals. Now, it is up to Jonas Taylor to save millions of people from the Meg.

My favorite part of this film is when the shark heads towards an overcrowded beach in China and we see how much terror a shark can cause. The protagonist Jonas Taylor is played by Jason Statham (Fast and Furious, Spy and Parker). DJ is played by Page Kennedy (Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Rhett and Link's Buddy System).

This film begs the question: Should you save everyone and risk everything or should you sacrifice a few people for the better good. There are some risky thing kids should not imitate and the main character is portrayed as an alcoholic. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and People that like Jaws or other thrillers. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. This film hits theatres August 10, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CRAZY RICH ASIANS

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CRAZY RICH ASIANS
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CRAZY RICH ASIANS - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The story follows Rachel Chu (Wu), an American-born Chinese economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick's (Golding) hometown of Singapore for his best friend's wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick is from a family that is impossibly wealthy, he's perhaps the most eligible bachelor in Asia, and every single woman in his ultra-rarefied social class is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I can hardly begin to describe how much I enjoyed this film. As the first film with an all Asian cast since Joy Luck Club, it comes out of the gate full throttle. The talent is extraordinary, the sets and locations stunning and the storyline engaging. I would like to believe that the film gives Westerners an inside look at what wealthy Asians' lives might resemble. Of course, it is Hollywoodized so, keep that in mind. However, the problems of young Rachel Chu when dealing with the upper crust Asians are not untypical of any group of people from any culture. She is ostracized by the young women her own age for not coming from one of their wealthy families. Her boyfriend's mother and grandmother dislike her for the same reason. Yet, she perseveres and shows the depth of her own constitution and we see why her boyfriend has fallen for her. Kudos for creating such an entertaining and engaging film. It certainly makes me want to visit Singapore in the most aching way. The gorgeous locations are jaw dropping. It's like a fairytale come to life. Then, of course, there are the costumes which, scene after scene tend to make you think you've never seen anything so spectacular since Ocean's 8! Ok, enough said. Go see it. You'll be glad you did. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I usually dislike romantic comedies. Romance is probably my least favorite genre. I find it almost impossible to make rom coms interesting or unique. However, every once in a while, a movie like this appears. This movie was actually very enjoyable and made me laugh out loud.

The story follows Rachel Chu as she accompanies her rich boyfriend, Nick Young, to Singapore for a wedding. She meets his family and tries to get along with them. The plot is very straightforward, but it is compelling mainly through the dialogue and acting. Also the visuals.

The visuals in this film are fantastic. This film takes place mostly in Singapore and it looks gorgeous. From the street vendors, to the crazy mansions, to the wedding, which is fairytale phenomenal, this movie is just amazing to look at. I am also not a fashionista, but the outfits are just incredible. Kudos to the costume designer, Mary E. Vogt. There's also a really cool scene near the beginning where someone sending a text is visualized as a stream of color traveling to the person's phone. It looks really cool. Now, a big part of this movie is the fact that the entire cast is Asian and yet, this is a mainstream Hollywood movie. Representation is very important to me and the last movie with a full Asian cast (that I remember) was in the nineties. This is what made me originally excited for this movie. Of course, this film isn't only good because of the representation and it works a lot on other levels.

First, the acting. The actors in this film are amazing. There are two actors who truly caught my eye: Gemma Chan as Astrid Leong is mesmerizing on screen and Peik Lin Goh is played by Awkwafina, who is my new favorite comedy actor. I love her voice. These actors are the standouts for me, but everyone else is also great. There's some really good mother-daughter emotional scenes. I almost teared up, which is something impressive. The dialogue in this film is also really great. It feels so natural. I feel like I'll be quoting this movie a lot.

Nick's Mom is the villain, but she is complex and believes she has her family's best interest in mine. This is more than your basic Cinderella story. I love learning about other cultures through media and now, going to Singapore is on my bucket list! You might leave the theatre a little envious, but we can all dream.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It comes out on August 15, 2018 so look for it.

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

Everyone pack your bags and get ready for one terrific trip because we are going all the way to Asia! In the film Crazy Rich Asians we see stunning views and a great Asian cast. Also this has a fantastic plot and jokes that are not filled with humor with a great heart behind them.

I adore the script. It is very funny and at times, sad and courageous. I admire that so many emotions come out in this script because it makes the film sound real and, therefore, it takes us on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The jokes made me laugh. They are quirky, especially some that refer to Americans and our culture.

Another thing about this magnificent cast is how well they play their roles. I especially like Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), because she is very smart and passionate about her dreams. These are admirable qualities for all women. I love how Rachel demonstrates these great qualities and we see her use them throughout the film. She uses them when needs to make important decisions to make her dreams come true.

My favorite scene is when Rachel meets Nick Young's (Henry Golding) mom Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) for the first time. This scene is very funny and is filled with suspense, so you get two emotions in one scene, which is something I enjoy.

Let's talk about the scenery and architecture in this film. I just love all the gorgeous views and scenery that we see throughout the film. It is not only fun to look at, but there was so much to look at that I didn't even know where my eyes should focus on while watching it. After all, we are look at Singapore where everything is simply breathtaking to look at. From the gowns to the glorious houses, you're sure to find something you like.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Crazy Rich Asians is playing in theaters now so, be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018)

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CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018)
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CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An adult Christopher Robin, who is now focused on his new life, work, and family, suddenly meets his old friend Winnie the Pooh, who returns to his unforgotten childhood past to help him return to the Hundred Acre Wood and help find Pooh's lost friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What day is it? Why it is today, my favorite day. I am a life-long Disney fan. While it is not surprising I loved seeing the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood come to life via CGI transformation, I was surprised to see A.A. Milne's beloved characters in their original book form, not their Disney animation form.

Christopher Robin does not spend a lot of time introducing the viewer to the characters from the idyllic forest where a young British boy spent time creating adventures with his friends - Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. If one is not a Disney-phile, it may be hard to comprehend why a boy arrives from a tree to have picnics with animals.

That said, the Winnie the Pooh, Disney lover that I am, saw so much love in this film with its themes of friendship, love, family and tenderness. The vintage, live-action look is appealing and kept me intrigued wondering what the "silly old bear" would do next. Winne the Pooh is quite the adventurous wanderer as he goes in search of Christopher Robin who has grown up and works in London. The adventures suspend belief as grown-up Christopher Robin, well played by Ewan McGregor, originally annoyed by Pooh, remembers some of his favorite things, like "doing nothing" and realizing true north is his family and friends, plush or live.

As a grown man who has returned from World War II, married to Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and father of a daughter, Christopher Robin is an efficiency manager for a luggage company or "a fish in the sea" as Winnie the Pooh says. He is a work-a-holic and has a taskmaster as a thankless boss. When told he must work rather than go on holiday to the country with his family, Christopher Robin attempts to take Pooh back to the forest where he and his woodsy friends awaken the lost child from within. They also meet his daughter Madeleine (Bronte Carmichael) and another adventure ensues. Madeline assists Pooh in getting to Christopher Robin when he needs all of them most.

For a franchise, which has historically targeted the very young, the film has melancholy themes. Visually, it is beautiful with its artistic production values and cinematography. The score is also very good. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for the casting, cinematography, life lessons, amazing cult Winnie the Pooh references and music. I recommend it to ages 8 to 18, due to some mature themes. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you're a fan of Winnie the Pooh, it's safe to say you are going to love this movie. But even if you aren't, you might still enjoy it. This film is absolutely adorable and it makes you feel like a kid again.

The story follows a grown up Christopher Robin, with a wife and daughter, as he struggles with his job and runs into Winnie the Pooh. The movie follows him interacting with his old friends, while also remembering what's important.

This movie is straight up gorgeous. The Hundred Acre Wood is so lovely. It definitely looks like a place I would like to hang out and read a great book under a tree. It is just how I imagine Winnie the Pooh's home to be. The special effects on the Pooh characters look great as well. There's something charming about their designs, especially Pooh's. I just wanted to hug all of them and take them home with me.

Speaking of cute, that's a good way to describe this movie. Pooh is absolutely precious and is super charming. Every single one of his lines are just so pleasant. He's very likable and he really made me think about my younger self. I feel like Winnie the Pooh is one of those franchises that you always associate with childlike wonder and this film represents that very well. There's something kind of innocent in this film's tone. There's so many scenes that remind me of what it was like to be a younger child and it made me really happy.

This movie also made me tear up a lot. I had tears in my eyes almost instantly, mainly because of how adorable a lot of the scenes are, but there are also a lot of pretty emotional scenes. We see how innocent Pooh is and how a child doesn't stay a child but grows up to have different ideas about what is important.

The soundtrack is really pretty and atmospheric. The background music really works well with the setting and the instrumental version of the Winnie the Pooh song made me really nostalgic. The voice acting is also really great. Each of the Pooh character's voices fit incredibly well with the actual characters. I can't imagine any other voice than these ones. The Pooh characters are the real stars of this movie. Ewan McGregor is wonderful as the adult Christopher Robins. I felt the acting from Bronte Carmichael, who plays Madeline, Christopher's daughter, to be average.

Be sure you stay till the end for a charming scene. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 as well as adults. It opens August 3, 2018 so go see it with your family. Pooh is 93 years old, so everyone, no matter their age, can enjoy it.

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

I honestly love Winnie the Pooh, because this bear never goes out of style. After all, my grandmother grew up with this bear in the original book that came out in October 14, 1926. Then, my mother and sister grew up with him and his friends -Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore - when the first Winnie the Pooh movie came out March 11, 1977. Now, I am growing up this silly old bear and soon my children will as well, because not only is this bear cute, but he has a kind heart and is a timeless classic.

The cast in Christopher Robin all act and sound exactly as I imagine these charters. Jim Cummings (Pooh, Tigger) brings such a beloved bear to life. He really sounds like Pooh and I found myself wanting to grab him right off the screen and make him my own. As you can tell, I am a Winnie the Pooh fan and this he is one of my all time favorite characters, because of his kind and courageous heart and the way he enjoys life, which is in little things like honey and balloons. That is a characteristic we should all have. Also his voice of Tigger makes this character fun to watch and his version of the Tigger song is one I truly love.

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a very complex character and different from the rest. You see, he is Christopher Robin as a grown up and his viewpoint of the world has changed along with is characteristics. He has given up his childhood dreams and has moved onto things like bills and jobs. This grown Christopher Robin is portrayed perfectly by Ewan McGregor and I greatly enjoyed his performance. Also he is great at interacting with the other characters because, as we know, they are mainly animated. Therefore, he is staring at nothing while talking to his beloved Pooh bear.

Hayley Atwell (Evelyn Robin) plays a magnificent mother and she shows many sides to Evelyn, which I liked. Bronte Carmichael (Madeline Robin) is just too cute. She might be one of my favorite childhood characters named Darby from My Friends Tigger and Pooh. I really hope they make a sequel about her and her new found friends. Brad Garrett (Eeyore) is hilarious. I couldn't help but laugh at his performance, because he was not only funny to me because he brought this carter to life in a new found way but because he reminds me of my sister Chantel in how he acts. One top of that, when I was 6 years old Brad Garrett gave me the most adorable hamster who I named Hamie. That hamster was an amazing hamster and so very adorable.

My favorite scene in Christopher Robin is when Madeline Robin joins Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore on their great adventure to help Christopher get his important papers. What makes this scene funny is that while they are trying to help Christopher, they cause a lot of mischievous and the whole town goes into panic. Also I like all the bouncing, playing naptime and going to a getaway car along the way, which makes their journey very fun and entertaining to watch.

The animation is very life-like and, at times while watching the film, I felt as if I was really holding my very own Pooh bear. It took me a while to get used to the stuffed animals' new looks because they look a bit ragged, but after a bit, I didn't notice it anymore. I found out it was due to aging. I felt that the movie gets better and better as it develops.

During the film, I noticed that they kept some of the Whinny the Pooh language, so seems closer to the book. This is something I really enjoyed, because I love the fun words used in the books and I think the writer A. A. Milne would smile down upon for sure.

I recommend this film for ages 3 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

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TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
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TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 7-12
Description - It seems to the Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies-everyone but the Teen Titans, that is. But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is such a hilarious film. During the premier at the Chinese Theatre, the laughs echoed around the room. The film stays true to the TV show, with inside jokes about Robin's baby hands and beautiful butt. Even with those things from the TV show, the film still makes sense if you haven't watched the show before. And, there are new things for people who have watched the TV show.

This film is about the Teen Titans trying to get their own movie in order to become official superheroes. To do that, they need an arch nemesis and they come across Slade (Will Arnett). This causes them to get a movie deal with Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) who has some ulterior motives.

As an original viewer of the TV show, I can tell you that it's classic Teen Titans with many added aspects. One of which is the songs. There are occasional songs in the TV show, but this movie is jam packed with amazing songs by Jared Faber that help keep it interesting and move the story along. They are so catchy that I could hear people singing them as they left the theatre. The jokes in this film only make it better. This film just keeps you laughing throughout and at the edge of your seat with all the action.

The cast is really spectacular! They have the original five from the TV show - Tara Strong (Raven), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Khary Payton (Cyborg), Hynden Walch (Starfire) and Scott Menville (Robin). They also have a couple of new voices, including Kristen Bell (Jade Wilson), Will Arnett (Slade), Nicolas Cage (Superman), Stan Lee (Stan Lee), Halsey (Wonder Woman) and Lil Yachty (Green Lantern) who also does a remix of Go! My favorite character would have to be Beast Boy, because he is so hilarious and is always there for all the Titans. My favorite line is Robin's catchphrase, "Crack an egg on it... ca caw!" It's just so ridiculously funny and random.

The message of this film is the classic: "You don't have to be super to be a superhero, you just have to be yourself." I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because it kept me laughing and smiling for an hour and a half. I recommend it for ages 7 to 14, because the jokes are more geared to older audiences, with some really more for adults. Check it out when it opens, July 27, 2018.

By Dariana Alvarez, KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 7-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media:


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN

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MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Discover Donna's (Meryl Streep, Lily James) young life, experiencing the fun she had with the three possible dads of Sophie (Amanda Seyfriend). As she reflects on her mom's journey, Sophie finds herself to be more like her mother than she ever even realized.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film has many beautiful settings and hilarious scenes that had the audience laughing. I love the unique story line that is unpredictable and interesting. Although I enjoyed it, younger children might not understand some of the jokes. This film is for more mature audiences.

We learn more about Donna's (Meryl Streep, Lily James). We learn about Sophie's (Amanda Seyfried) three possible dads and what risks Donna took for Sophie. Sophie now is pregnant and finishing up her mother's dream of fixing up the property to become a beautiful hotel.

Lily James has to do a lot of difficult acting in this film and she pulls through. She fits the personality of the younger Donna perfectly, which is great because it makes it easier to see the connection between younger and present day Donna. All the actors have amazing singing voices, whether they are singing solos or blending their voices with the others. They break out in song often and I wasn't bothered about that at all. They are all great dancers and seem to really just have fun.

The sets are so pleasing to the eye. The setting on a Greek island with gorgeous views are amazing. All of the cities look authentic and colorful, which makes everything even more pleasing to watch. The costumes are colorful and flashy as well.

My favorite part of the film is when two of Sophie's three possible fathers attend her party and they bring many guests. Sophie is so happy to see her fathers in that scene and to have everyone see how much hard work had been done to renovate the property. I also like this scene because, on the boats people, are climbing everywhere, dancing and singing together. This scene is really hyped up and has so much energy.

One message of this film is that family should always love you and be there for one another, no matter what. In this film, Sophie's three dads all stick with her and support her, even though they are very busy. They never abandon her or her mother.

This is definitely an unpredictable and interesting film. To better understand it, it would be best to watch the previous one, Mamma Mia. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Songs, songs, and more songs! Mamma Mia, you have done it once again with your newest addition to the family tree being Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and boy, am I loving it. This classic mother / daughter story is more heartwarming then ever. Plus, there are a few twists and turns that make it a perfect family friendly film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

One thing I like about this film is that they bring old characters back and introduce new ones to keep the sequel fresh and interesting. This is one of the treasurable factors in the series, which makes it fun to watch and relatable for any generation.

Young Donna (Lilly James) is a free spirited, independent young woman, which is what I like about her. At the same time of being fun and silly, she can be on fire and refuse whoever stands in her way. This is one of her best qualities; also, Donna's fun spunk really shows in her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), whom I admire greatly.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is without question a fighter. She has a kind heart and strong determination, which I admire. However, she is grieving the loss of her mother and needs a bit a guidance to help her through this dark time, which makes her character seem even stronger.

Sky (Dominic Copper), Rosie (Julie Walters), Tanya (Christine Baranski), Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Cher (Rudy Sheridan), Donna (Meryl Streep) and the rest of the case are all terrific co-stars and great singers. When the film ended, everyone in the audience applauded. I'm a big fan of ABBA songs and want to get the CD as soon as it comes out.

The best scene, with lots of dancing, singing and stunning views, is when Sophie and two of her mother's friends sing about boys and about not looking into their cute little eyes. I still can hear them singing "don't look into their angel eyes or you'll get hypnotized." Honestly, it is very funny and I loved this scene.

I should mention that the scenery is just stupendous. Wherever you look there is eye candy, since this film takes place on a Greek island. There is always a scenic view on screen. Another thing I love about the location is that it looks as if you are standing right there and could jump right into the screen. However, movies don't work like that, so we have to take a boat or plane to see these views in person.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. Everyone who watches this will love the breathtaking scenery, fabulous acting and the music. This film is perfect for summer viewing by the whole family because, after all, it truly is all about family and the joy they bring. I give this 5 out of 5 ABA stars. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is in theaters now, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT
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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - So far, this summer's action and adventure films have been very boring. However, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is far from boring. It's full of adrenaline-pumping action! I believe that this is the best summer action / adventure film of the year and the best Mission Impossible film to date.

In this film, we see Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he receives a mission he chooses to accept, but fails to complete, because of an ambush. As a result, Ethan and his IMF team must work together with the CIA and other familiar allies to stop Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), John Lark (Henry) and his group, known as the Apostles, from trying to execute a nuclear threat to the world.

What I really enjoyed about this film are the sound designs, stunts, plot, cast and all the mind-blowing illusions IMF uses to trick the bad guys. I must say, the sound design is fantastic. The audio for explosions and gunshots sound authentic. It sounds so real that I felt as if I was in the scene. The stunts are intense because, if you don't already know, Tom Cruise does all of his stunts. When he performs them, it is hard to watch since he jumps off of many things such as planes and buildings. I felt so nervous that these stunts are real. The stunts are so nerve racking because most of the movie isn't made with CGI's, so most of the stunts are done exactly how the movie shows it. The story is very interesting. I like that you really don't need to see the other films to understand what goes on in this one.

The cast overall is superb. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are excellent as the IMF, since every delivery is spot on. I like that Benji is the most nervous character and you feel what he feels when a dangerous event happens. Also I enjoyed the performance of Sean Harris, who really brings in the mystery of this character, since he doesn't speak a lot until the end of the film. Rebecca Ferguson, as Ilsa Faust, makes a great curious assassin, since she always goes the opposite way of the IMF and always finds something different and important, which helps the IMF. Also, Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin's performances as Erica and Alan are fantastic. I like how their relationship is shown as contradictors, because they both argue their own points. It is a shame we don't get to see more of this in the film. Henry Cavill, as August Walker, is also fantastic. I like how Ethan and August have different ideas about what they should do in the missions and they both try to incorporate their ideas, but those ideas come at a cost.

I really like how each scene feels more intense than the last scene. At one point, I thought that the movie was going to end a certain way and I was so nervous about what was going to happen that I almost fell out of my seat. Finally, what I extremely like about this movie is the tricks the IMF use to trick the bad guys. In certain scenes I was surprised that it was an illusion. My favorite illusion is the masked one where Benji wears a mask that allows him to look like anyone.

This movie had a lot of great things going for it. The only thing I did not like about it is that it shows way too much in its trailer. However, it is fantastic. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like action / adventure and thriller movies. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Make sure to see Mission: Impossible - Fallout when it opens July 27, 2018.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is one of the most action-packed films of the year, and perhaps of the entire Mission: Impossible franchise. The legendary Tom Cruise never fails in making cutting edge films and surely he has not let his fans down in this one.

This film is a continuation of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The story follows the agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he embarks on another dangerous mission with his fellow teammates, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickle (Ving Rhames) to stop a catastrophic event from taking place.

I have been a very big fan of the Mission Impossible films for many years. I have watched them all and enjoy them very much. That being said, this film feels very different from the others. This storyline is very intricate and complex so, if you miss a piece of dialogue, it's very easy to get lost. It has always been easy to grasp what's happening in the other films in the franchise, but this one is quite overwhelming. There are a couple of new characters introduced including the spy August Walker (Henry Cavill) and they bring back characters from past films. If someone missed the last film, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the story line. I highly recommend watching the previous film, just to jog your memory.

One thing that makes this film different from past ones is the deep emotional connection Ethan Hunt faces in this film. It really goes deep into Ethan Hunt's mind and shares his greatest fears with the viewer. I enjoy that this film gets more personal and cuts deeper into who Ethan Hunt really is as an individual and not just as an agent.

The action scenes are absolutely insane. There are car chases, motorcycle races, jumping off roofs, mountain climbing and way too many more for me to begin to describe. It's a very big clich�, but I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout the entire film. The fighting scenes are very climactic and interesting. The scene I looked forward to watching most is the scene where Tom Cruise actually injured himself performing a stunt. Yes, he broke his ankle performing a stunt! And, the best part is, they kept that scene in the film. Tom Cruise has shown time and time again how he is devoted to this franchise. He is an extremely talented actor and makes the films jaw dropping. He brings much needed humor and intensity to this film.

This film is one to definitely go see. It is entertaining with its captivating fight sequences, goes deeper into Ethan Hunt's psyche, and still keeps the story light and fun to watch. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. You should know that there is lots of rough fighting and bloody shots that are inappropriate for younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters July 27, 2018 so put it on your watch list.

By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout definitely lives up to the hype and is an all around enjoyable film. There are some parts where Tom Cruise does a stunt, but could have done something simpler to achieve his goal. For example, he knocks a car into a river, but he could have extracted the hostage just by pulling him out.

The storyline follows Ethan Hunt saving the world from a nuclear apocalypse. He goes to deal with a terrorist to get plutonium cores, to stop other terrorists from making nuclear bombs. He fails at this, because one of the terrorists finds out he's there and puts a gun to his friend's head. Ethan decides to save his friend and hence leaves the plutonium cores unprotected. Ethan's mission changes course. He must now earn the trust of a gang boss in order to get the cores.

My favorite part of this movie is when Ethan tries to get a detonator from the bad guy and has to hang onto the helicopter of his enemy. He does all sorts of crazy stunts to get inside the helicopter and ram it into the other helicopter where the bad guy is. Another really good part is in Paris, where they have a huge car chase while trying to outrun the gang members. Ethan has to make a decision whether to save a cop or kill all the gang members.

There are a lot of huge names in this film including the star, Tom Cruise, (Risky Business, Edge of Tomorrow Mission Impossible). Co-stars include comedian Simon Pegg (Ready Player One, Mission Impossible, Star Trek), Alec Baldwin (Boss Baby, Mission Impossible, Saturday Night Live), Henry Cavill (Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel), Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson. Obviously, many of these actors are Mission Impossible veterans, along with Cruise.

The message of this film is that you should always save your loved ones no matter what. There is a bit of bad language in this film, including one f-bomb. Most importantly, in case you haven't read about this, all of Cruise's stunts are astonishingly real, so tell your kids not to try these at home. I recommend this movie to those that enjoy Marvel comics and films, because the style is typical combining comedy with action. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This film is in theaters now, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD

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DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Narrated by Academy Award� winner Jeff Bridges, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is a first film of its kind for IMAX� and giant screen theaters that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals for the world's largest screens, DREAM BIG reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. DREAM BIG is a MacGillivray Freeman film produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary is extremely educational and filled with a lot of information about engineering. I enjoyed the narration by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and found the different scenes quite amazing! The scenery is my favorite thing about this film. I also enjoyed the background music and the inspirational stories by all the different engineers. Overall, this is enlightening, inspirational and quite interesting. I like how it shows that engineering really makes a difference in our lives. My grandfather, who was an engineer, would have loved this film. That being said, I think kids may get a bit bored after a while, unless engineering is something that really interests them and they want to learn more about it. I wanted to love it, but have to admit, even I was a bit bored about half way through, because there is a lot of information. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and anyone who is interested in learning more about engineering and all its wonders. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is really informational and the camera shots are amazing. The only drawback is that it gets a bit boring after a while. There is so much information that isn't all that interesting. This documentary would really appeal to those interested in architecture and engineering.

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SKYSCRAPER

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SKYSCRAPER
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SKYSCRAPER - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building...above the fire line.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This science fiction film grabbed my attention from the beginning, because of its very interesting plot and fascinating storyline. It made me feel driven to discover what would happen at the end. From the beginning of the film, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, because it has a combination of topics that I love seeing in movies - action and suspense! These drew me in. I wanted to finally find out what the outcome of the movie would be. I also liked it because I admire Dwayne Johnson's exceptional work as an actor. He is very expressive with his actions and makes the audience empathize with what he is going through. Because of that, I always follow the movies he works in.

Skyscraper is about a past FBI leader and war veteran called Will Ford who is now managing security programs for skyscrapers. He's been sent on a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity to establish security measures for the tallest and safest building in the world, located in China. Suddenly, the skyscraper turns into flames and the security measures fail. He is the primary suspect since he is the only one authorized to control the security. As the story progresses, Will must find those responsible for the destruction in order to clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building, above the fire line.

My favorite scene in this film is when Will runs away from the authorities, climbs up the construction equipment, moves it so that it will point at a floor close to the fire line, and jumps towards a broken window. I love this scene because it shows what a man is capable of doing for his family's welfare. He risks his life in order to save them from the fire that is threatening their lives. Aside from that, I was astonished at all the special effects used to create this action sequence. The post production of this scene is flawless. It all seems as if it really happens. You don't notice the editing at all.

The main message of this film is that family comes before anything else. Some people are driven to do the impossible because of the love they feel towards their family. In this film, Will's devotion to his wife and kids is very impressive and is admirable. It sends a very family oriented message and teaches a valuable lesson that can be applied to anyone's life. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 and up. The film is available now in theaters so, check it out.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Skyscraper is an entertaining, yet derivative homage to the 80s action era. A towering pace and consistent acting provide for a memorable summer detour. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any action movie fans.

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION

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HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac's Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka. Now it's Mavis' turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his "too good to be true" love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy film had me laughing the entire time with all the ways the creatures are portrayed and how the director, Genndy Tartakovsky, manages to bring them to life through the exceptional animations. I love how all the actors resonate with their creature, making it sound natural and fitting. I was excited waiting for this movie to come out since it is the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series. I have seen the previous films and, when I found out there was going to be a sequel, I practically counted the days to the premiere.

The story follows the monster family embarking a vacation on a monster cruise ship. They mostly go so that Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else vacations at his hotel. The whole pack starts to have fun by getting involved in all of the activities the cruise has to offer such as monster volleyball, excursions and tanning. But, the amazing vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes her father likes Ericka, the captain of the ship, who she suspects to be hiding something from Drac and his family.

My favorite scene is when Ericka, the captain of the ship, welcomes all the guests and informs everyone that the first time that a monster cruise has been created. Because monsters are not allowed to live and socialize with people that are not monsters, they have had the opportunity to take a cruise before. I like this scene because, in it the variety of creatures are shown and I was amazed at the creative animations that the creators designed and brought to life.

The important message of this film is that letting go of old grudges and being open to changes in your life are very important. This film is a reminder that one has to honor the past, but be willing to allow new aspects to take place in your life. For example, since his mother's death, Drac has never fallen for anyone else. But when the family arrives for the cruise, the head of the pack starts having feelings for someone else, making it weird for the rest of the family. As time progresses, Mavis, her daughter and the rest of the family accept the fact that they have to let go of the past and be open to new changes in their lives. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters July 13, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is an entertaining animated film filled with unique creativity. Wonderful voice acting and a distinctive animation style separate this from the majority of animated films. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for all families.

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This phenomenal, action-packed film kept my eyes glued to the screen for the full two hours. 2018 is the summer of Marvel. The writers had very big shoes to fill, following on the heels of the blockbuster Avengers movie. My expectations were greatly exceeded, with a combination of comedy, action and some heartfelt moments.

With the help of the Wasp, Ant-Man must come to the rescue, in order to bring back Dr. Hank Pym's wife, who vanished years before, by saving the world from a nuclear missile. Before Pym's wife can be rescued, our hero has to find the technology the team needs to extract her from the subatomic particle abyss. Along the way, Ant-Man finds himself transforming into various sizes, from the size of a microscopic dot, to a massive skyscraper. The race is on to capture Pym's lab, with the law always one step behind.

The major characters from the first film return for the sequel. Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man/Scott Lang, is teamed up once again with him love interest, Hope Van Dyne/the Wasp, brilliantly played by Evangeline Lilly. As an individual, Paul Rudd's character is at best, ordinary. But, with his suit and sharp wit, he becomes a formidable superhero. Hope's no-nonsense personality traits come directly from her father, Dr. Pym, played by Michael Douglas. The coldness in both characters will leave you warm by the end of the movie. Luis, Ant-Man's sidekick, played by Michael Pe�a, offers up lots of comic relief, with a personality that everyone would want for their best friend. With more than one show-stealing scene, Luis balances out the comedic moments in the film.

The special effects are just what you would expect them to be, for a Marvel extravaganza. Disappearing cars, shrinking buildings and giant ants entertain the audience, while the action swirls around Ant-Man's crew. The IMAX 3-D animation is breathtaking, because you feel as if you're right in the middle of the movie. The giant ants are a seamless fit.

My favorite part of the movie is when the criminals interrogate Luis, to try and find Ant-Man. There is an interaction between a number of people, that had me laughing, even after the movie concluded. Speaking of which, do not, under any circumstances, leave the theater, until all of the credits have rolled. Enough said.

The sanctity of the father-daughter relationship permeates the film. It starts with Lang and his daughter, playing in a man-made fort, which takes up most of the house. It continues with the relationship between Dr. Pym and his daughter, Hope, after the loss of her mother. Love your parents to the ends of the earth, because you never know when they will be gone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, but I wish I had more stars to give. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, and adults will certainly enjoy it too. There are a few scenes with violence, so it is not suitable for young children. Also, the ants can be scary, so if you don't like ants, make sure to bring some bug spray.

Check it out in theaters nationwide on July 6, 2018. The sequel is just as good as the original.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I laughed so much when watching this film! It has an amazing storyline as well as great humor. There also is wonderful CGI and acting. There are a lot of characters in this film, but I never became confused or overwhelmed.

Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place around the same time that the film Avengers: Infinity War (another film in the MCU series) takes place. It shows what Ant-Man is up to while the rest of the avengers are fighting a war. There are a lot of hilarious jokes that I enjoyed, but younger children might not understand. There also is a little bit of bad language in this film.

Paul Rudd, who plays the main role of Ant-Man / Scott Lang, is such an incredible actor. In some of the uncomfortable scenes, he really gets into his character and is unfazed by some of the weird stuff he does. He is also a hilarious character and brings comedy to this action filled film which makes it even more enjoyable. Hannah John Kamen, who plays the role of Ghost (a new character who was affected by the Quantum Realm and now has powers), is also a very good actress. Just through her face she expresses so much desperation and sadness. Even though the things that she does are violent and unnecessary, you can't help but have empathy for her.

The CGI in the Quantum Realm is out of this world. Even though I have never seen anything like it before, all of the movement and colors make it seem real. It is truly incredible that they are able to make a world that we have never seen before look as if it is real and not like some imaginary magical world.

My favorite part of the film would be a spoiler. So instead I'll talk about my favorite character, Jimmy Woo, the detective. He is my favorite character because, first of all, he is extremely hilarious when working or talking with Scott. Second, he is such a determined and hardworking character. He really wants to do his job right. Even though he isn't perfect, I still give him credit for working so hard.

There are multiple morals in this film. The ones that stand out to me are about family and helping others. Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), the daughter of the Wasp who gets stuck in the Quantum Realm, misses her mom so much and does everything she can to rescue her. But the Ghost also needs the Wasp to save herself which would be fatal to the Wasp. I don't want to give too much away, but they both need the same thing and they have to find a way to make it work. Whether that is through just fighting it out or other means.

As you can probably tell, I was intrigued the whole time watching this film and I really enjoyed it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults too will enjoy this film. You should definitely check it out to see what happens! It comes out in theaters July 6, 2018.

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAN WHO UNLOCKED THE UNIVERSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COMING TO MY SENSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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