Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Archive for December, 2019

Wishing you the best for 2020!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

As the final hours of this year wind down and I reflect on the experiences of the year, gratitude fills my heart and soul. Remembering the precious time spent with family and friends, feeling the loss of precious ones who slipped into the beyond, thankful for the successes of KIDS FIRST! and for good health. This year started with a remarkable retreat in Charleston and ended with a holiday retreat on Florida’s gulf coast with friends and family.

So many wonderful experiences flood my memory as I sit in quiet meditation this morning, from visiting friends and family in Budapest, spending time with friends and neighbors around the pool, at the beach and around the dining table in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. One of our big deals for KIDS FIRST! this year was finding a producer for our KIDS FIRST! TV show, which we hope to be sharing with you soon, and coaching our beautiful team of KIDS FIRST! reporters and helping them reach their own personal goals. We have several reporters graduating in the spring and have been busy writing letters of support for their college applications. Oh my, I remember them as mere pipsqueaks when they first started with us. How time flies and how beautifully they have matured.

I feel renewed and excited about jumping into 2020, filled with anticipation for a remarkable year. To all our followers, I send you wishes for a new year filled with love and peace and joy. Know that we always appreciate your love and support. We love to hear from you so, keep that up. Don’t be shy.

Hugs and love.
See you at the movies!
Ranny and Everyone at KIDS FIRST!

Little Women * Love Seeing Powerful, Sensitive, Smart and Gentle Young Women

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “I really enjoyed this coming of age film, mostly because of the genuine performances, but also how these young women are so powerful, sensitive, smart and gentle. I also think in an era of super heroes, galaxies and futuristic sci-fi films with special effects, this classic story reminds us of the power of good classic literature and simple characters.” Joshitha X adds, “Little Women, the new adaptation of the well-known novel, incredibly portrays the revered classic!  Little Women is also very satisfying to watch; I find myself lost in the aesthetics of the film, no matter the ambiance of the scene.” Will C. wraps it up with, “There are a lot of good things about the movie Little Women, but I don’t think the filmmakers had 10-year-old boys like me in mind as their audience. Parts of the movie are fun to watch, but I got lost when the scenes switched back and forth in time… By watching this movie, however, I did get a good understanding of how people lived around the time of the Civil War.” See their full reviews below.

Little Women
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Little Woman (2019) is the eighth film adaptation of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. I really enjoyed this coming of age film, mostly because of the genuine performances, but also how these young women are so powerful, sensitive, smart and gentle. I think in an era of super heroes, galaxies and futuristic sci-fi films with special effects, this classic story reminds us of the power of good classic literature and simple characters. I read the original book a long time ago, so when I found out the movie was coming out, I was very excited. This adaptation is well done and touching.

Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen and Florence Pugh in Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN.

This movie is about four sisters in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) occasionally get into fights, especially the youngest with the oldest, but they all bond and share a simple life together. They are united, but they have unique and different personalities. The story goes back and forth in time and the time reference in the film is unclear, which makes the story difficult to follow at times. 

One the sisters, Jo, is trying to pursuit an art career. She loves to write books and is having trouble actually getting her book published or even come up with some new ideas. The film shows how the sisters interconnect with the book storytelling, while the sisters are trying to figure out their lives and how to deal with all the chaos in their lives. In the film we see them all under the same roof and how their life evolves as adults when they don’t live together anymore.

Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson in Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN.

All the performances are very good. I particularly like Eliza Scanlen as Beth who has a fascinating arc. I also love the performance of Timothée Chalamet as Theodore “Laurie” Laurencehe who falls in love with Jo but is Beth’s love when he first appears in the sisters’ lives. Chalamet and Ronan worked together previously in Lady Bird from the same director (Greta Gerwig) and they create a whole different dynamic in this film.

Laura Dern plays Marmee March, mother of the four sisters. Her caring portrayal is more supportive mom than a matriarch since these young ladies are definitively leaders of their own lives. Dern nails the tone that this character requires.

I really like the music by amazing film composer Alexandre Desplat. Director Greta Gerwig manages to retell the classic story in a new way, keeping the essence of a story that has captivated people over the years. It is soft, subtle and perfect for new audiences. I really like the costumes and color palette. Each and every scene is beautiful to watch, particularly the ones at the beach, perhaps because the romanticism of the sea.

Eliza Scanlen in Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN.

Little Women shows girls who are independent, able to succeed without a partner and bond in a special way. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 17 and adults as well. 

Little Women open in theaters nationwide on December 24, 2019. Check it out.

Little Women
By Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Little Women, the new adaptation of the well-known novel, incredibly portrays the revered classic!  Little Women is also very satisfying to watch; I find myself lost in the aesthetics of the film, no matter the ambiance of the scene. Credits to Yorick Le Saux for the captivating cinematography. The wardrobe is detailed for the timeline that the clothes are meant to reflect, designed for our enjoyment by the skilled costume designer Jacqueline Durran. Moreover, the plot is fast moving and engagingly interesting, paired with timely humor and realistic tragedy.

Emma Watson in Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN.

Little Women is the tale of four sisters with alluring traits that set them apart. Joe passionately writes, Meg is a born actress, Amy gathers her dreams as an artist, and all that remains is the musical prodigy, Beth. These girls grow up in a society with an ever-present stigma against independent women. With the system rooting against them, how will a woman prove herself worthy of more than a delicate romance?

The harmony of the talent is intriguing, as each character portrays their own inner struggles. The character development is by far the most impressive aspect of this film, especially when the cast individually represent their characters as more than just little pieces of Jo March’s story. The characters of Little Women come to life in their struggles as females within a sexist society, intertwining their experiences as he story weaves together. The casting is undeniably the cause of anticipation for this movie; Oscar-nominee Timothee Chalamet as Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, and award-winning Saoirse Ronan as Joe March amplify the natural realism of the story. And comic relief plays a large role in this film. My favorite humorous scene is when the frame shifts from an emotional scene to a view of Amy sticking her foot in a bucket of clay, claiming that she must make a mold of her pretty feet for Laurie. Overall, every part of the movie proves to be essential to the message of the film.

BTS: Emma Watson and Director/Writer Greta Gerwig on the set of Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN.”

Speaking of message, Little Women shows that a person is the only one who can deem their own worth and their limits. A woman is not made to be sold off into marriage; she will choose her future whether the world accepts it or not.

I give Little Women 5 out of 5 stars. With mature themes from all corners of this film, I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, plus adults.  You can find this sensational movie in theaters near you, December 25, 2019.

Little Women
By Will Chuhta, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

There are a lot of good things about the movie Little Women, but I don’t think the filmmakers had 10-year-old boys like me in mind as their audience. Parts of the movie are fun to watch, but I got lost when the scenes switched back and forth in time, and I had started to lose interest by the end of the movie. By watching this movie, however, I did get a good understanding of how people lived around the time of the Civil War.

Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in Greta Gerwig’ LITTLE WOMEN.

Little Women is a fictionalized version of the early life of author Louisa May Alcott, and how she took her own personal experiences and turned them into a popular book in the late 1800s. The setting is mostly in Massachusetts, but there are some parts in New York City as well as Paris. There are four sisters, and the movie frequently switches back and forth in time for about seven years following their adventures, which is confusing at times. The sisters face various difficulties and have conflicts with each other, but they also help each other. Three of the sisters have love interests, so there are some male characters. However, most of the screen time features the women.

Little Women has some funny parts, but nothing very memorable. My favorite part is the realistic depiction of New York City, because I kind of felt as if I was there. Younger viewers will definitely recognize actress Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies as Meg. Some viewers will recognize Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Timothee Chalamet as Laurie. Overall, one of the best things about this movie is the period costumes that seem very realistic.

Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh in Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN.

The message of this film is that people should try to reach their goals even when there is adversity, and perseverance can pay off, as demonstrated by the main character Jo, trying to get her writing published. Younger kids might be troubled by brief scenes of sibling violence and a near drowning, but it’s rated PG and there’s not really any inappropriate language or content.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I think girls will appreciate this movie more than boys. You can see Little Women in theaters everywhere starting December 25, 2019

Cats * A Musical Fantasy With Outstanding Performances and Choreography

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Cats is a 2019 musical fantasy film based on the stage musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in turn was based on the poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939) by T. S. Eliot. The film is directed by Tom Hooper—in his second feature musical following Les Misérables (2012)—from a screenplay by Lee Hall and Hooper and features an ensemble cast, including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first feature-length film role. The storyline follow a tribe of cats called the Jellicles that must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ivey H. comments, “This film is a “claw-ful fantasy tail” about a tribe of misfits called Jellicle cats. Directed by Tom Hooper, this live-action movie version of the musical Cats tells the story of alley cats that seem to be competing for another kind of afterlife.” Jordan M. adds, “Although it is hard at times to sympathize with the characters, we get to see a more endearing side of them as the movie progresses. From the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson), an aspiring magician, to Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson), an outcast who seeks acceptance, you can easily see that some of the cats in the film spark emotion. There are also some amazing vocals in the film such as Jennifer Hudson’s “Memory” and Taylor Swift’s “Macavity: The Mystery Cat”. Morgan B. wraps it up with, “Everyone get ready to transported to a world where cats rule, dogs drool, and humans are nowhere to be found. The actors are intriguing to watch, because you forget they are human. Their personification of individual cat traits and personalities keeps you glued to the screen. It is fun to watch our favorite stars such as Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Hudson behaving as if they are cats.” See their full reviews below.

Cats
By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This film is a “claw-ful fantasy tail” about a tribe of misfits called Jellicle cats. Directed by Tom Hooper, this live-action movie version of the musical Cats tells the story of alley cats that seem to be competing for another kind of afterlife.

The story starts in a big city setting with a sad thing that happens to many helpless animals:  A young beautiful cat is abandoned by its owner in a dark alley. Soon she makes “fur-ends” with other cats of all shapes, colors and sizes. All the cats have their own unique personalities. Cats shows the “paw-some” nature of the cats, including the playful, sneaky and mischievous personalities of these human-like creatures. There are a few crazy cat characters, which were my most favorite to watch. They are in a competition for a better life and that is when the cat fight starts. Who will be the next chosen one?

The lead role is Victoria (Francesca Hayward), the abandoned kitty. Taylor Swift also makes an appearance as Bombalurina. Another of my favorites in this film is Bustopher Jones (James Corden). I really like this healthy cat and his funny scenes.  My favorite of all is Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson). She is so “hiss-terical” in this role.   I love the entire scene from the dancing mice and the army of coachroaches. The scenery colors are really electric, and I like how the set is realistically sized to the scale of the cats. The choreography and costumes are also very intriguing.

The Cats storyline is a little hard to follow, because there is more singing than dialogue. However, the overall meaning comes through, which is about finding your way in a big city, making friends, learning who to trust and letting the right people get what they truly deserve, and being honorable. There is no bad language, and it is very suitable for kids.

I give Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages8 to 18. It opened in theaters December 20, 2019 so be sure to check it out.

Cats
By Jordan M., KIDS First! Film Critic, Age 13

Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was one of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time. Now, with the help of director Tom Hooper, Cats has been adapted for the big screen, making the new movie a unique blend of both a musical and a major motion picture. Cats is filled with intriguing characters, dances and songs that are incredibly memorable.

The story begins in a mysterious alleyway when a car drops off a new, innocent yet unwanted cat named Victoria (Francesca Hayward). It is there that she stumbles upon a tribe of stray animals known as the Jellicle Cats. Once a year, the cats gather for their annual Jellicle ball, where they audition to be chosen by the wise leader Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) to go to the “Heavyside Layer”, a place that will provide them with the new and better life that each one can only dream of. As they prepare for the life-changing event, Victoria encounters each of the cats that hope to win, such as the hilarious Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson) and gluttonous Bustopher Jones (James Corden). Meanwhile, the evil Macavity (Idris Elba) and his partner in crime Bombalurina (Taylor Swift) will do anything to win, even if it means eliminating the competition.

From the beginning, the plot feels rushed and that it needed to be developed more. During the film, the characters constantly switch from different sets and have sudden outburts of singing and dancing. While these aspects may have worked well on Broadway, it makes some of the scenes feel awkward on the big screen. Because of the rushed plot and lack of dialogue, it is not only difficult to follow what is happening in the movie, but also to sympathize and get to know the characters of Cats and their struggles. Audience members are not given enough time to really take everything in, making the movie a bit overwhelming at certain times. Also, the CGI that was used makes everyone seem to be a strange combination of both human and feline. Depending on the actor or actress, the CGI is either very distracting or more on the subtle side. 

In spite of this, everything still feels very whimsical and as though you are being whisked away into the magical world that the Jellicle Cats are a part of. The sets for every scene are each incredibly giant, detailed and unique, adding to the fanciful and imaginative feelng. Although it is hard at times to sympathize with the characters, we get to see a more endearing side of them as the movie progresses. From the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson), an aspiring magician, to Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson), an outcast who seeks acceptance, you can easily see that some of the cats in the film spark emotion. There are also some amazing vocals in the film such as Jennifer Hudson’s “Memory” and Taylor Swift’s “Macavity: The Mystery Cat”.

Overall, while there are some confusing scenes, it is balanced with comedy, singing and dancing. The film also shows the important lesson of learning to accept and be kind towards others, especially cats. 

I rate Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. You can see Cats in theaters on Friday, December 20, 2019. 

Cats
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Everyone get ready to transported to a world where cats rule, dogs drool, and humans are nowhere to be found. The actors are intriguing to watch, because you forget they are human. Their personification of individual cat traits and personalities keeps you glued to the screen. It is fun to watch our favorite stars such as Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Hudson behaving as if they are cats.

Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is a gorgeous dancer and singer. I have never seen a more  graceful cat than her. When her journey begins it seems that she is a very scared young kitten, but as time goes on she grows to be a very graceful cat who knows what to do. Since she is such a great singer, she is my favorite character.

Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson) is the most magical cat I ever seen and he always has trick up his sleeve. Plus, he is too gosh darn cute to ignore.

The song Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat by Andrew Lloyd Webber is magnificent and too cute to ignore. The cinematography is magnificent and the dancing is outstanding. One of the best moments in Cats is the song sung when Skimbleshanks is tap dancing and turns the whole stage into a railway station.

The graphics are eye candy. Everywhere you look there is something or someone to look at. One time, it’s a giant bed the size of three people, another time it’s a building in the background, or it might even be the cats themselves. No matter where you look your eyes are never bored and there is always a fun graphic or two or three.

The dancers are stupendous. When they are dancing they act like cats. When performing simple moves they have to land or do the move in a whole new different way. Plus all time they are standing like cats and walking on all fours.

The songs from Cats are all now going onto my fave playlist because they all are so good. Each song is sung by different artist, so we get a glimpse of many different art forms while watching the film. We also see the characters having fun and being themselves.

Cats is based on the award-winning Broadway play and book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.  It is definitely a must see for 2019. People who love song and dance and are animal fans will find it a fascinating and magical experience.

I give Cats 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 years. Cats comes out in theater nationwide on December 20, 2019 so get tickets right meow.

Spies in Disguise * Mimicking Slick Spy Films With Lots of Comedic Effects

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is…not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo is forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise – transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic…pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “Spies in Disguise is a slick spy film that mirrors James Bond, but at the same time sticks to its own authenticity. Several of the scenes are adopted from action and spy movies like Skyfall, but I was impressed by the way that they are altered for comedic effect. Despite its silliness at times, Spies in Disguise manages to be entertaining with a perfect blend of emotions.” Mia G. adds, “Even though Smith’s performance is hilarious as always, Holland steals the show as the voice of Walter.  He brings warmth to the film much like he does with his rendition of Spider Man.  Walter is the heart of the movie. He teachers Sterling valuable lessons about how to care about others, work as a team, and make the world a better place.  Holland’s endearing and lovable voice-over brings the movie together. Instead of it just being a funny action film, the movie becomes a funny, sweet action film.” See their full reviews below.

Spies in Disguise
By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Spies in Disguise is a slick spy film that mirrors James Bond, but at the same time sticks to its own authenticity. Several of the scenes are adopted from action and spy movies like Skyfall, but I was impressed by the way that they are altered for comedic effect. Despite its silliness at times, Spies in Disguise manages to be entertaining with a perfect blend of emotions.

The story follows the typical conundrum of a framed spy trying to redeem his image. Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a #1 spy who is beloved by his agency, but when a mission goes terribly wrong, he finds himself the agency’s most wanted criminal. With help from a tech specialist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), Sterling learns valuable lessons through his journey for redemption.

The animation and the screenplay are key to making this story intriguing. For instance, every spy film has a car chase and so does this one. Yet, this car chase involves a pigeon controlling the getaway car. It is one of the funniest scenes and, since the animation has a realistic look, the chase is exciting and imaginative, yet not too absurd. Additionally there is impeccable attention to detail. In the same chaotic car scene, there is a slow motion scene where a calculator in the car is tossed upside down to reveal the numbers turning into the word “help.”

My favorite part about this film is what makes it unique: its message. Walter Beckett is a kind, nerdy individual who teaches his friend, Sterling, that every fight does not need to be fought with violence because we are all just people who make mistakes. This theme makes the film lovable and differentiates it from any other spy film. Furthermore, the film does not take itself too seriously which actually strengthens the comedy. I found myself giggling most when the film exaggerates the cliches that are so typical to spy films such as the car chases, trips to exotic places and the slow motion action. Another message of Spies in Disguise is that you do not have to do everything alone.

I give Spies in Disguise 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Please check out Spies in Disguise for a fun adventure when it opens in theatres on Christmas Day, December 25, 2019.

Spies in Disguise
By Mia Gonzalez, KIDS First! Film Critic, age 9

Spies in Disguise is a fun-filled, action movie that’s not just for the birds! It stars two of the most currently popular and talented actors, Will Smith and Tom Holland, who entertain us from beginning to end.

The animated movie begins with a little bit of background about Walter Beckett, Tom Holland’s character, and Agent Lance Sterling, Will Smith’s character.  Walter Beckett grows up alone and often isolated, despite being a genius and inventor for the C.I.A. He struggles to make friends and is often referred to as “weird.”  Agent Sterling thinks he has it all, as the best and most respected C.I.A. agent, but he does not work well with others and does not know how to be part of a team.  He doesn’t even bother remembering his coworkers’ names! The two unlikely friends pair up out of necessity and eventually realize how much they need each other. 

During the movie, Agent Sterling becomes a pigeon, which is of course, hilarious! Smith’s voice-over of Agent Sterling is perfect. He brings his usual suave, debonair qualities that we often see Smith portray in many of his movies. During his time as a pigeon, his outrageous comedic chops brings the theater to laughter.  Smith is truly an entertainer.

Even though Smith’s performance is hilarious as always, Holland steals the show as the voice of Walter.  He brings warmth to the film much like he does with his rendition of Spider Man.  Walter is the heart of the movie. He teachers Sterling valuable lessons about how to care about others, work as a team, and make the world a better place.  Holland’s endearing and lovable voice-over brings the movie together. Instead of it just being a funny action film, the movie becomes a funny, sweet action film.

The message of the film is that you can defeat all by working together as a team.  Agent Sterling becomes a better agent and person when he allows Walter to help him, and he learns how to effectively defeat the enemy without violence.    

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4-18.  Adults will love it as well.  The family friendly film opens in theaters on December 25, 2019. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker * Amazing. Great Ending To The Saga

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the riveting conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, where new legends will be born and the final battle for freedom is yet to come. The film stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, with Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams and Michelle Rejwan.

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lindalee R. comments, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is amazing and a great way to end the saga. This film is full of action and explosions – on the ground, in space and even in the ocean. I have never seen “the Force” used so amazingly well as it is in this movie.” See her full review below.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
By Lindalee R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is amazing and a great way to end the saga. There have been eight Star Wars movies, with this being the ninth and with iconic characters we’ve gotten to know and love over 40 years. This film is full of action and explosions – on the ground, in space and even in the ocean. There are a bunch of crazy choreographed light-saber fights, like really crazy!!! I have never seen “the Force” used so amazingly well as it is in this movie.

There are a bunch of really funny moments that break the tension and action and lots of really sad parts that made me cry, so I suggest taking tissues with you when you go watch it. A bunch of characters from past Star Wars movies return and, every time we saw an old character come on-screen, everybody in the audience went crazy and that was really funny. The special affects are spectacular. Don’t wait for it to come out on DVD or DISNEY+ because it is fantastic on the big screen and I highly recommend seeing it in theaters, even in IMAX.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sees our heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) as they band together to rise up and build the Resistance against the New Order, now led by Supreme Commander Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). When an unexpected presence from the past returns and threatens the balance of the plans of the Empire, it’s up to Rey and Kylo to decide whether to continue fighting each other, or to fight side by side to defeat this new threat to the entire Star Wars galaxy. 

J.J. Abrams directs this film and he has commented that he did his best to please the die-hard fans, wrap up the many loose storylines and create a closing to the saga that will hopefully leave everyone happy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is two hours and 22 min, so I advise hitting the bathroom before the movie starts, because you will not want to miss a single moment of this epic conclusion! 

Be ready for lots of surprises and shocking moments, because this movie is full of them! And a note to parents: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has some dark, intense and scary moments, so consider that before bringing small children to the movie. As a young Star Wars fan, I have to say, this is a terrific finale and quite possibly the best of the recent franchise’s sequel trilogy that my generation has been a part of. I give this amazing movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to18. And adults will definitely love it too. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes out in theaters on Friday, December 20. Be sure to look for it.

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