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Archive for the 'Feature Film Reviews' Category

Downton Abbey: A New Era * Brings Our Favorite Characters Together Under Interesting Circumstances

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event Downton Abbey: A New Era. The much-anticipated cinematic return of the global phenomenon reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., comments, “It’s so incredible to return to the Downton Abbey era and the Crawley family. Each one is out of their comfort zone in this new movie, which is absolutely hilarious. It’s beautiful to see how much the characters have changed since the first time we met them in 2010. This movie focuses on relationships and characters that we haven’t seen that often.” See her full review and talent interviews below.

Downton Abbey: A New Era
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Crawley family returns once more! Downton Abbey: A New Era brings all our favorite characters together again in interesting circumstances. Fans will love what’s in store in this new film. 

Downton Abbey: A New Era focuses on the secret past of the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). She comes into possession of a property in the South of France. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his family head to France to investigate why the villa was given to his mother. Meanwhile back at Downton, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) hosts a crew of filmmakers and actors who use the estate as a set for their new film. 

It’s so incredible to return to the Downton Abbey era and the Crawley family. Each one is out of their comfort zone in this new movie, which is absolutely hilarious. Lady Mary becomes a voice actress temporarily and seeing Robert hate the film crew for taking over his property is as funny as possible. The Crawleys have seen the times change and preparing for cinema to take over is amazing. It makes audiences realize how this generation saw life change so rapidly.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech) is happily married and some new couples flourish in the film too. It’s beautiful to see how much the characters have changed since the first time we met them in 2010. This movie focuses on relationships and characters that we haven’t seen that often. It’s refreshing to watch the pure relationship Daisy (Sophia McShera) and Andrew (Michael Fox) have and I loved watching fan-favorite Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) chase her love. The wardrobe is as spectacular as ever, even adding some Victorian pieces for the film being made at Downton. The comedy is brilliant and cunning, reminding us why we love Violet as much as we do.

There are many messages to take away here. Lady Mary learns to embrace the new era of filmmaking and life as she gets out of her comfort zone and realizes that it’s okay to try new things. Lord Grantham learns that, even though being Earl and having property is a big part of his life, it is not everything. He realizes how important his family is to him.

I give Downton Abbey: A New Era 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theaters May 20, 2022. 

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The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib * The Latest Installment In The Boss Baby Franchise That Entertains Both Kids And Parents

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Theodore Templeton is framed for embezzlement and forced to revert back to his old Boss Baby self and crash with his brother Tim and his two nieces, brainy big kid Tabitha and fellow Baby Corp employee Tina. Together, Boss Baby and Tina co-lead a new Field Team fighting to increase Baby Love while keeping a new group of arch-nemeses – The Uncuddleables – from destroying Baby Corp itself.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.” See her full review and interviews below.

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.

When Theodore Templeton (JP Karliak) gets framed for embezzlement by his employees, he is forced to turn into his baby self and hide with his brother, Timothy (Max Miittelman) to escape from the FBI. While staying at his brother’s house, he rejoins Baby Corp. and goes on many secret missions and exciting adventures with former characters and a whole new crew.

Since this show is based on The Boss Baby, Boss Baby: Back in Business, and Boss Baby 2: Family Business, I would recommend watching them in advance as the series references characters and storylines from these movies and show, but it is not necessary. And even though there are several different storylines in the Boss Baby franchise, this series still stays fresh and unique. Although it’s not for my age range, it’s is the perfect show for young children and their parents to enjoy.

The strongest performances of the show come from JP Karliak, Mary Faber and Ariana Greenblatt. JP Karliak as Boss Baby is so funny and excellently mimics Alec Baldwin, who voiced Boss Baby originally. Mary Faber voices Tina, and she brings such a happy and sweet mood to the scenes she is in. Ariana Greenblatt in the role of Tabitha has the perfect proportions of clever, smart and caring that a big sister would have. My favorite character is NannyCam No Filter CEO Baby, voiced by Nicole Byer because she is so hilarious and brings a wonderful personality to the long line of Baby Corp CEOs.

The message of The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib to fight for what you believe is right. This show also has great themes of teamwork and friendship, and how everyone deserves love.

I give The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11, plus adults. It comes out on Netflix May 19, 2022.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness * Edge-Of-Your-Seat Exciting, Heartwarming, Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Love

Sunday, May 8th, 2022

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A., comments, “The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writtenby Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez.” Katherine S. adds, “Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.”

Tiana S. wraps it up with, “This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse.” See their full reviews below.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

(L-R): Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange and Benedict Wong as Wong in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The thrilling Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, written by Michael Waldron, keeps you on the edge of your seat—you silently root for Doctor Strange as he embarks on the daunting journey to save America Chavez. Not only exciting, this film is also heartwarming, as the characters show the viewers the true importance of love. The acting is emotional and grounded in reality, even though the Marvel world is fantastical. Marvel fans will be fully engaged as they travel through the endless and unknown multiverse with Stephen Strange.

The storyline follows Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he tries to save America Chavez’s (Xochitl Gomez) powers from being stolen by the indomitable Wanda, the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen.) The unlikely duo must travel deep through the uncharted multiverse in order to defeat Wanda, but along the way, how will Strange and Chavez overcome the seemingly impassable obstacles that they will inevitably face? Wanda just wants her children back, but how much is she willing to sacrifice and destroy in order to return to her content family life? 

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

As usual, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Stephen Strange’s beautiful complexity with ease, making his work seem simple. I forget he is even acting. To me he is truly Doctor Strange. Xotchil Gomez, although new to the Marvel Universe, starts off with a bang. She acts in a relatable and comical way, and it is impossible not to root for her with every step. The CGI is scarily realistic and absolutely essential to the story.  The marvelous monsters are gruesome, each universe is unique and colorful, and the fight scenes are powerful—all because of the CGI. The music in this movie, by composer Danny Elfman, makes the action even more dramatic and gives the audience a pump of anticipation and adrenaline. Music even plays a pivotal role in one scene as it becomes a tool and a weapon in battle. My favorite part of the movie is the first time Dr.Strange travels with America to a new universe and experiences wonder and fright and ultimately awe.

The message of this film is that love is the most powerful kind of magic. One may be strong or supernatural, but familial love comes before any other superpower. This message is beautiful, relatable, and uplifting, especially for those of us who miss someone we truly love. The film starts really quickly and immediately draws the viewers into to the plot, but there are many macabre scenes that may be frightening to a younger audience. 


I give Doctor Strange, into the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10-18, plus adults. It released in theaters Friday, May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Right from the start, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the duration. The movie evolves the depth of these Marvel characters that we already know and love, and it introduces us to new characters that are likely to be fan favorites.

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters fourteen-year-old America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who has the power to travel the multiverse, but she doesn’t know how. Strange joins his old and new allies to go on a thrilling and perilous adventure that pushes the limits of the multiverse.

The special effects are not just out of this world, they are out of this universe. Everything from intense fight scenes and portals through the multiverse to scary creatures and witchcraft, the CGI lives up to the high standards of a Marvel movie. My favorite performances in the movie come from Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez and Rachel McAdams. Elizabeth Olsen, as Wanda Maximoff, really sheds new light on her character as she displays a more complex personality. Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez and brings a very refreshing yet powerful performance. Rachel McAdams (as Christine) shows the audience an independent girl-boss side to her character. Make sure to look out for some surprise cameos and always stay for the credit scenes at the end.

A scene from Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios 2022. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The message of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is to try to make the most of your circumstances as “multiversal” travel isn’t usually an option. This movie contains violence and some scenes that will be frightening for the faint of heart.

I give Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Marvel fans will love this movie. It released in theaters May 6, 2022.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Tiana S., age 11

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Four Doctor Stranges, epic battles, twists and turns and dimension travel are just some of the thrills you can expect in the new Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness! This film pulls you right into the multiverse with action-packed scenes from the opening credits right up until the credits at the end. The visual effects and cinematography will have feeling like you’re traveling through your own multiverse. 

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), is having dreams about the universe being in danger and him trying to save a young girl, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). The adventure begins when he encounters her in his real-life universe and learns that she has the power to travel dimensions. They run into Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), also known as the Scarlet Witch, who is on a mission to steal America’s powers so she can re-connect with her two sons. It’s an all-out battle between happiness vs. sadness, evil vs. good and even dreams vs. nightmares.     

On left: Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The main characters of this film are Stephen “Doctor” Strange, Wanda Maximoff, America Chavez, and Wong (Benedict Wong). I love the different versions of the characters and learning the backstory of each from their own universe. My favorite part of this film is when America and Doctor Strange are falling through tons of dimensions and pass through one that turns them into paint. America even jokes about how hard it is to eat in that universe. The music battle scene between two Doctor Stranges was hilarious and creative. They use their powers to fight each other with music notes while upbeat piano tunes play in harmony. The Marvel character cameos from films such as The Fantastic Four, Captain America, and even a special appearance from the X-men that, once again, will wow Marvel fans.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shows us that just because someone stumbles, and falls, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Many of the characters multi-verse versions didn’t always make the best decisions. People deserve to have second chances to become better. Parents should be aware of foul language, gory scenes, some jump-scares, and violence.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is very entertaining. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now in theaters only.

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Chloe and Theo * Inspiring Film Showing How Unlikely Friendships Can Change The World And How Protecting The Environment Is Crucial

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Based on true events, a young woman living on the streets meets a wise Inuit elder who was sent to New York by his elders to provide a message of change to the world. The woman, who had been searching for something to believe in, becomes inspired and, with the help of a kind lawyer, the three of them present his story to the United Nations in hopes of creating a better future for us all.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Carlee S. comments, “Chloe and Theo is a touching and thought-provoking story based on the life of a young homeless woman named Chloe whose world changes when she meets an Inuit with a message to help save the world… The messages in this film are to care for others and for the Earth’s environment. Protecting the Earth is vital for survival for everyone, so everyone should work together to make sure it is taken care of for the future.” Ashleigh C. adds, “Chloe and Theo is a unique and inspiring film that shows how unlikely friendships can change the world! Caring and helping with the environment is very crucial and this film brilliantly portrays this message.” See their full reviews below.  

Chloe and Theo
By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Chloe and Theo is a touching and thought-provoking story based on the life of a young homeless woman named Chloe whose world changes when she meets an Inuit with a message to help save the world. Theo, an Inuit, travels from the snow-covered Arctic to New York City in search of the Elders of the South. They both discover that although their worlds are very different, friendship and a common cause can bring people close together.

The film begins in the Arctic, a winter wonderland, where Theo (Theo Ikummaq, who is playing himself) and other Inuit are discussing the effects of the sun and global warming on their environment. They decide it’s time for someone to deliver this message to Elders in the South to help save Earth. They choose Theo as the best candidate because he spent time in the South when he was young. He sets out on his mission and ends up in New York City in search of the Elders. Along the way, he meets Chloe (Dakota Johnson), a homeless girl who seems tough on the outside, but has a kind heart. She listens to his message and decides she wants to help him spread it. Together they face many obstacles and dangers, but they also make new friends, including a woman named Monica (Mira Sorvino), who are determined to assist Theo in his journey to deliver his message help save the environment.

My favorite scene is when Theo goes to a meeting with other green environmental companies who have the same goals as Theo. Theo decides to take the stairs and walk up to the top of the building rather than taking the elevator. Thankfully, Chloe and his other friends cover for him in the meeting while he walks up all those flights. The scene shows how far Theo is willing to go for his cause while adding a bit of humor. The costumes fit each character’s situation and culture. Theo is seen in clothes he would wear in his village in the Arctic and his clothes change in the film due to the storyline. Chloe is seen with worn, dirty clothes and messy hair, which showcase what it’s like to live on the streets. The contrast in settings helps the viewer to understand the characters’ lives. The peaceful Arctic village, compared to the noisy city, shows how different Chloe and Theo’s lives are.  The place Chloe shares with her street friends is also a contrast to the apartment belonging Monica who helps them.

The messages in this film are to care for others and for the Earth’s environment.  People are all connected no matter how far apart they live.  Protecting the Earth is vital for survival for everyone, so everyone should work together to make sure it is taken care of for the future. There is some mild violence that parents should be aware of.

I give Chloe and Theo 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 12 to 17, plus adults. It is releasing for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on VOD and DVD.

Chloe and Theo 
By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18 

Chloe and Theo is a unique and inspiring film that shows how unlikely friendships can change the world! Caring and helping with the environment is very crucial and this film brilliantly portrays this message. 

A homeless female, Chloe and an Inuit named Theo build a relationship after getting a life changing message in order to save the world. Despite being total opposites and having a difficult, yet hilarious adventure, both Chloe and Theo create an unbreakable bond in order to finish the mission successfully. 

Chloe (Dakota Johnson) is my favorite character in this film. Dakota Johnson is an all-around, well-rounded actress and her acting brings so much to the complex character of Chloe. There is so much character development with Chloe; we see how she grows and matures as a person. Her character is someone that many people will relate to. The Inuit, Theo (Theo Ikummaq) essentially plays himself and captures his own cultural heritage with what seems like little to no acting. His portrayal Theo makes this film heartfelt and more personal for audiences. Chloe portrays a homeless woman and her clothing shows us exactly what her circumstances are. Theo’s clothing, to the best of my knowledge, does justice to the Inuit culture by using traditional attire. The music and score, from start to finish, is incredible! Every funny scene, serious scene or even dialogue rich scene is enhanced with the background music. My favorite scenes of the film are those with educational aspects. While much of the film is based on fictional storylines, there are many cultural and environmental aspects that I learned by watching this film — an experience you don’t have often with movies. 

The message of this film is to be open minded to different people and possibilities. If Chloe had rejected the opportunity to help Theo carry out the message to save the environment, then she would not have been able to be a hero or make a difference. Despite their differences, they looked past this and decided to see the bigger picture – a lesson I encourage all to learn from. 

I give Chloe and Theo 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Chloe and Theo releases just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on Digital and DVD. Don’t miss it! 

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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore * Finally – The Backstory Of What’s On Dumbledore’s Brilliant Mind Throughout The Harry Potter Saga

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A. comments, “This fascinating film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finally gives us the long-awaited backstory of what is going on in Dumbledore’s brilliant mind throughout the Harry Potter saga. The movie is heart-wrenching, and yet at moments it leaves you bent over with laughter.” Katherine S. adds, “After four years of waiting, the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise is finally here! Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has a perfect balance of comedic scenes that will make you chuckle and action-packed scenes that will make your adrenaline pump and tightly grip your seat.” Ava C. adds, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the 3rd movie of the Fantastic Beasts movie series. It brings the same mysterious, dangerous-yet-exciting adventure as the movies that came before it. Actor Eddie Redmayne’s character, Newt Scamander has a new mission that is more courageous and dangerous than before! Can he do it?” Heather S. wraps it up with, “This movie is every bit as magical as the Harry Potter series. After ten Wizarding World films, fans might expect a decline… However, The Secrets of Dumbledore puts in new creatures, new defense spells, and a whole world of port keys that will astound even die-hard fans.” See their full reviews below.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This fascinating film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finally gives us the long-awaited backstory of what is going on in Dumbledore’s brilliant mind throughout the Harry Potter saga. The movie is heart-wrenching, and yet at moments it leaves you bent over with laughter. The actors are truly convincing, bringing their characters to life. Every Harry Potter fan will enjoy hearing the subtle references to the books as they watch the infamous Grindelwald at the height of his power.

The storyline follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his comrades as they act on instructions given by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to find and defeat the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). This unlikely team faces major challenges and setbacks as they try to stop Grindelwald from winning the election for Minister of Magic. Newt uses his quick mind to find him, with help from his fantastic beasts, his friends’ brilliant minds and his brother’s spell work. Dumbledore has a plan, although he is just as secretive as all Harry Potter fans will surely remember. Will a small group of wizards (and a muggle) be able to defeat the greatest dark wizard of the time?

Jude Law portrays Dumbledore almost perfectly, just as people have always imagined his younger self to be. Dumbledore’s secrecy, love and trustworthiness come across effortlessly in Jude Law’s face. The protagonist, Newt Scamander, is likable and a spark of joy in these dark times. The computer generated fantastical beasts are extremely realistic and adorable, and the visual effects during fight scenes are powerful. My favorite part of this movie is the bittersweet ending. Watching the characters finally enjoy their lives, far away from evil, brought tears to my eyes.

The message of this film is that strength comes in numbers. One person may be powerful, but when people come together using their unique strengths, they can triumph. This is a beautiful message to all those who feel helpless, reminding them that they can always turn to people they trust. There are not many age restrictions in this movie, but I think it will be more interesting to slightly older audiences. The film starts slow and there are subtle clues that the viewer needs to pay attention to in order to completely understand the storyline. Because of this, this movie would be most appealing to people over the age of eleven.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters on Friday, April 15, 2022.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

After four years of waiting, the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise is finally here! Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has a perfect balance of comedic scenes that will make you chuckle and action-packed scenes that will make your adrenaline pump and tightly grip your seat.

Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), former partner of Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) and future headmaster of Hogwarts, calls upon Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the socially awkward but loveable “magizoologist” to lead a team of witches, wizards and muggles to defeat Grindelwald and his vast crowd of supporters before he takes over the Wizarding World and starts a war between muggles and wizards.

I highly recommend watching the first two films in this prequel, Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald before watching this third installment. However, it is not necessary to watch the Harry Potter movies or read the Harry Potter books. The special effects are remarkable, as all the magical animals are truly “fantastic” and the magic spells coming out of the wands are so convincing. The movie takes place in the 1930s and the costumes, objects and sets are absolutely beautiful and so well put together.  The movie also maintains an accuracy to the era. The acting is very strong in this movie, especially with Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, Eddie Redmayne as Newt, and Jessica Williams as Professor Hicks. My favorite character is, without a doubt, Jacob Kowalski, (Dan Fogler), the amiable muggle, because he is so hilarious at some points and also convincingly serious in others.

The message of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is to do what is right and not what is easy. There is violence and death in this movie, so be aware of that for younger viewers.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Fans of the Wizarding World will definitely enjoy this. This will be released exclusively in theaters on April 15, 2022.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
By Ava C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the 3rd movie of the Fantastic Beasts movie series. It brings the same mysterious, dangerous-yet-exciting adventure as the movies that came before it. Actor Eddie Redmayne’s character, Newt Scamander has a new mission that is more courageous and dangerous than before! Can he do it?  Will Newt and his team be able to successfully complete this mission?

Newt Scamander and his team are tasked with trying to stop Gallert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) from taking over the wizarding world. Not only is this movie mysterious with great humor, but it is also dark, eerie and action packed with enough action and suspense to keep you guessing. There are parts where I laughed so hard—I love a movie when I can get a good laugh in. Let’s talk about suspense: The whole movie kept me on my toes. I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I was never able to predict what would happen next, which made the movie extremely enjoyable.  Viewers of the previous Fantastic Beasts movies will really enjoy this movie. Part 3 aligns perfectly with the other two movies; therefore, it makes it easy to follow what was going on from the start. Honestly, you really do not need to watch the other two to follow the movie.

There is a lot going on in the movie with switching clips from one character to next, yet the camera quality and editing makes it easy to keep up with.  The acting also makes this movie wonderful— it has a marvelous cast, and you can see how well they all worked together. I really enjoyed the plot and storyline of this movie. It is interesting all the way through, and I never lost my attention.

The message of this movie is to not judge people or alienate others because they can’t do certain things, look different, and accept your family members for who they are. The movie is kid appropriate. There’s no bad language or drugs. The most violence shown is battling with the wands. Some of the creatures can be scary or creepy for younger kids, but it is not too bad.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The film releases in theaters April 15, 2022.  

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

We return to the Wizarding World once again! Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a grand adventure you won’t want to miss. Fan-favorite characters make their return and fans are swept up in an incredible ride of magic and mischief.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore picks up right after its predecessor Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) has a blood pact with Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), who is gaining power and rallying supports to kill muggles. With the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Dumbledore assembles of team of wizards to break the blood pact and end Grindelwald’s war. 

This movie is every bit as magical as the Harry Potter series. After ten Wizarding World films, fans might expect a decline, for example, with common spells that have been seen before. However, The Secrets of Dumbledore puts in new creatures like the Chillen, new defense spells, and a whole world of port keys that will astound die-hard fans. The visuals are exciting; with many slow-motion fight scenes, scattering papers, and jets of light from wands. Spells and magical creatures are hidden in every nook and cranny of film, which makes the magical universe seem infinite and extremely detailed. The director, David Yates, shows how the Wizarding World evolves, keeping fans on their toes for more violent duels and even better special effects. The best part of the film is seeing new sides of the characters we know and love. Newt’s kindness and bravery is on full display, as well as seeing Jacob, a muggle, use magic.  Seeing Dumbledore question himself and make mistakes reminds fans that before he was the most powerful wizard on the planet, he was just a human who was in love. 

Several characters learn different messages throughout the movie. Newt learns that he can be kind but also brave and a valuable asset to a team. Jacob and Queenie fight for their love in a world that was disapproving of their relationship. Dumbledore and Credence have to face old ghosts of their pasts and do what is right to save humanity. 

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It premieres in theaters April 15, 2022.

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