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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ASBURY PARK: RIOT, REDEMPTION, ROCK N ROLL - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - The film tells the story of the long troubled town of Asbury Park, and how the power of music can unite a divided community. A once storied seaside resort, Asbury Park erupted in flames during a summer of civil unrest, crippling the town for the next 45 years and reducing it to a state of urban blight. A town literally divided by a set of railroad tracks, the riot destroyed the fabled Westside jazz and blues scene, but from the flames of the burning city emerged the iconic Jersey sound. Asbury Park returns Asbury sons Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny Lyon and Bruce Springsteen to the legendary Upstage, the psychedelic after hours club where they got their start, featuring never before seen interviews and performances. Shuttered for four and a half decades, the Upstage remains a perfect time capsule of the Club, which united both sides of the tracks in Asbury and acted as a crucible for young talent. Now, as Asbury Park enjoys its long awaited renaissance, it is music, which has brought it back from the dead. The film is supported in association with Jersey Mike's, which allows all profits worldwide to be dedicated to promoting and creating music education programs for wide distribution. This message contains information which may be confidential and privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient (or authorized to receive this message for the intended recipient), you may not use, copy, disseminate or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the sender by reply e-mail, and delete the message. Thank you very much.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an energetic documentary detailing the rarely discussed music scene that flowered in Asbury Park, New Jersey in the 1960s. Focusing largely on the area's most famous musical export, Bruce Springsteen (who named his first album "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ.") the 80 minute film traces the roots of the beachside city's musical explosion, very much a product of racial segregation that led to a mingling of white and black musicians in the clubs on the west side of town. The film combines copious interviews with musicians and archival photographs and video to paint a well-rounded portrait of the late-night club scene that started developing in the 1950s encompassing jazz, blues, soul and rock and roll and that contributed greatly to the Bruce Springsteen sound. The troubled city's downward spiral in the 1970s and rejuvenation in the 2000s is also well-documented. Recommended for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DARK PHOENIX
DARK PHOENIX - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - This is the story of one of the X-Men's most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we've come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet -- one of their own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like this movie. I love super hero movies, especially Marvel movies. Unfortunately, I was a lot younger when I watched the previous X-Men movies, so I don't remember them that well. When I was watching Dark Phoenix, I was a little lost on the background of the characters.

Dark Phoenix is about the super hero team we all know as X-Men. The main character is the one and only Jean Grey portrayed by Sophie Turner who we also know as Sansa, The Queen of the North from Game of Thrones. The movie shows how Jean Grey meets Professor X (James McAvoy) after a fatal car accident and how she joins the X-Men team. Professor X sends Jean and the X-Men team off on a rescue mission in space. They have to rescue a group of NASA astronauts. During the rescue mission, Jean suffers an accident, causing her to start losing control of her emotions and power. Her uncontrolled emotions are mostly anger and rage, which accounts for the title of the movie, Dark Phoenix, because you see a bit of the dark side of Jean Grey. The villains in the movie are a group of aliens that lost their planet in an explosion, so they come to planet Earth to kidnap Jean and acquire her powers.

Besides Sophie Turner and James McAvoy, this movie has another well-known actress, Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), who we know as Katniss Evergreen in The Hunger Games. In this film, we see a different Mystique, showing her good side and her protectiveness for her team. The sound and visual effects are amazing. My favorite scene is when the X-Men team rescue Jean and have to fight off the aliens. There are some sad parts such as the loss of some characters, which, of course, you need to watch the film in order to know which ones are gone.

I really like the moral of the movie: you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. Jean Grey needed to know how strong and powerful she is, because she doesn't have a choice. Another message is about how family will always be there for you and will help you through tough times. The X-Men and Professor X are Jean Grey's family.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. plus adults. I don't recall any profanity in the film, but there is a far amount of graphic, bloody death scenes. The film opens nationwide in theaters June 7, 2019.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Dark Phoenix is an exciting, action-packed ending to the current series of X-Men films. The humor, special-effects and solid acting make this a great choice for a summer movie. If you're not familiar with the most recent X-Men movies, you might want a refresher, before you see this one. I watched a quick recap on YouTube and it helped me become familiar with the characters. Even though I haven't seen any of the previous films, it wasn't as confusing as I thought it would be, and I still understood enough to enjoy it.

Dark Phoenix is in the same timeline as X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. It centers on the powerful mutant, Jean Grey. In 1992, the X-Men are sent on a space mission to retrieve a crew from a solar flare. Jean Grey, a.k.a. Phoenix, saves them by going inside and closing up the holes. While doing this, she absorbs a cosmic force and becomes Dark Phoenix. Some aliens find out that their source of power was absorbed and taken to Earth, so they morph into the shape of humans and start doing normal bad guy stuff - they want to take over the world, destroy the world, which is basically all any of the bad guys want to do in these comic book movies!

My favorite thing about this movie is definitely the incredibly awesome fight scenes! The special effects are very impressive and I love how they show all the mutants using their abilities together. There's a scene on a train where my favorite character, Nightcrawler, uses his powers of teleportation to fend off the aliens. I was looking forward to seeing Quicksilver, but he actually isn't in the film much. I'm disappointed because he really could've helped the storyline along.

Parents should know that there's plenty of violence and some blood, and a main character meets a distressing end. There's not a lot of bad language, but there is one big, dramatic F-bomb that kids might be tempted to imitate. The message of this film is that you should be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. Charles Xavier is presented as a flawed hero who makes choices both good and bad, so if you're looking for a movie where the main characters do no wrong, this might not be for you!

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults who like comic book movies should enjoy it too. Dark Phoenix opens in theaters everywhere Friday June 7, 2019.

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Dark Phoenix is a conclusion to the X-men franchise. The best aspect of this film is the actors. Sophie Turner, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender put up some great performances, as always. But, this film lacks the sort of intensity and depth that makes you want to care about the characters. Also, the visual effects are lackluster. It has the most exposition by one character, which is so constant that you feel like you're having the entire movie spoon fed to you.

Dark Phoenix follows Jean Grey, an X-men. She is infused with what is thought to be a solar flare. When Hank runs a test on her, the stats are off the charts, even though she was exposed to the solar flare. She fights with her emotions to prevent hurting her friends and people she loves. She figures out a repressed secret about herself and goes to Eric for guidance, only to be rejected.

My favorite scene is the train fight scene, because it provides some great action and develops the story a bit. It shows the teamwork between the X-men. We see the baddies crawling over the train, trying to reach Jean, with all of the mutants holding them back. I have an issue with this scene though. When Nightcrawler lets a guard die, he gets infuriated and releases his anger on the bad guys. This scene bothers me, because Nightcrawler is generally pretty passive and, because he lets one person die, he turns into Azazel, a villain in X-men: First Class.

This movie has some great stars. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Grey / Phoenix is easily recognizable for her role as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. Co-star James McAvoy who plays Professor Charles Xavier is known for his past performances as the Professor in the previous X-man films. Michael Fassbender plays Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr and is well-known for his role in the Alien films and the Steve Jobs biopic.

The message in this movie is that even though everyone around you is saying you're bad, doesn't mean you are. I recommend this movie to people that liked the previous X-men films or other action films. There is not much risk in this film. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults and give it 2 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide June 7, 2019. Check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This is an incredible Marvel science fiction movie. The special effects are on point and there is so much action and a great plot. I really enjoyed the superheroes. Watching their awesome super powers is great fun.

The storyline is about a girl named Jean Gray (Sophie Turner) who has incredible strength and special powers, which are a blessing and a curse. She has no control over these powers she possesses. Doctor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) takes her into his special school for super humans and raises her as his own. Along with her are several other fictional superheroes including Mystique, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler.

I love the costumes for all these characters. Each one has its own personality and they are all well developed. These super humans have not always been considered superheroes by others. Some have been excommunicated. Their missions can be life threatening and one turns absolutely deadly. Jean is absorbed by a cosmic force into the galaxy, which turns her into the most powerful mutant of all time. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Gray is an English actor known for her role as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. She is excellent in this role, showing a range of intense emotions and a fierce competitive personality. She really brings it to the table. I enjoyed watching her trying to figure out what was happening to her and how she plays both good and evil sides to the character. Director Simon Kinberg wanted this film to have a realistic ending, which it does.

My favorite scene is when Jean gets the fire flare in her eyes and her red hair begins to float as she becomes more powerful than ever. It seems Jean is torn between her biological family and her superhero family. Will her family come back together or turn against her? I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters June 7, 201. Be sure to see it!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FLOOGALS: SEASON 1 VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research project and triggering an exciting adventure. Includes 26 Super Adventures!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is a lot of fun for little kids! This DVD has 26 11-minute episodes filled with humorous scientific exploration for preschoolers. It combines live-action with 3-D cartoon animation to create a show parents can enjoy along with their young children. At 9, I'm well out of the target age range for this series, but there are still some parts I found really funny, and I could see myself watching it with my little cousins.

The main characters are three alien explorers who come to earth to observe "hooman" behavior with often amusing results. Since the Floogals are aliens, they haven't encountered common things like dogs, babies, mirrors, and beds. The preschool audience this show is aimed at will be delighted that they know more than the Floogals do! But the show seems to be less about teaching kids about the actual objects the Floogals discover and more about showing the aliens working together to use the scientific process.

The voice actors for Flo, Fleeker, and Boomer make it believable that they don't understand what all these common objects are. The animation is convincing especially when the animated characters move objects in the real world, like when they hide inside a real teapot or bowl of fruit. My favorite part is when they run away from a balloon that they think is a monster!

This series has a lot of positive messages about teamwork and the joy of discovery. Even when things go wrong, the Floogals are always ready to encourage and support their teammates. They don't always get to the right answer on their first try, but they're always learning, just like real scientists!

I give this series 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5, but parents won't mind watching along with their kids as well. Floogals: Season 1 Volume 1 is available on DVD May 7, 2019. Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

This DVD is very good for a young audience. It entertains kids by showing them how to find, question, and explore everywhere they go. There are 26 different adventures and each is filled with the cute animated Floogal characters - covering over four hours of fun.

Floogals Season 1 Volume 1 has so many episodes to enjoy. The Floogals are tiny happy aliens that zoom in from outer space and end up in a child's toy bin. And from Project Ice to Project Piano, the Floogals are always finding everyday items to explore.

This DVD is for a younger audience because the skills that the Floogals are learning are geared towards children pre-K through first grade. The characters are fun to watch as they have adorable faces and wear vibrantly colored space suits. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is funny, slightly clumsy, and always hungry.

Throughout this DVD there are a lot of positive messages, which include the fun in being curious, the benefit of learning and of course, teamwork. This DVD has no bad language and no bad behavior. There is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.

I give this DVD a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend buying this for your young kids.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG'S JOURNEY, A
DOG'S JOURNEY, A - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film A Dog's Journey, directed by Gail Mancuso, is the most heartwarming, tear-jerking, wholesome film yet to hit the theaters. This movie (the sequel to A Dog's Purpose directed by Lasse Hallstr�m) is much better than the original film, because it incorporates characters from the previous film as well as adding a whole new plot. The film is about a dog (Josh Gad) named Bailey (initially) and the many lives he experiences while trying to help and protect toddler Clarity Kathryn Prescott) from unnecessary hardships.

My favorite part is when Bailey does a major chase throughout a neighborhood in New York City in order to reunite with Clarity for the second time. The tension as well as the suspense of Bailey being lost for even just a split second, and then the progression of Bailey's character conveyed through his determination to make it to Clarity ties the movie together. This event effortlessly launches us into the next plot twist which is a key detail that I love even though it is a small event (timewise).

My least favorite thing about the film is the slow-paced beginning. I was so excited to finally get a sequel to the amazing original film, but the beginning is unnecessarily lengthy. A movie that good doesn't need the cushion of a background story, especially since we already have the previous film to refer to.

I give A Dog's Journey 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, although adults are sure to love this movie as well. You can catch this movie in theaters near you starting May 17, 2019.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I absolutely love the emotional journey that Bailey takes in this film! Bailey's sense of humor shines throughout the film as he tries to make sense of the actions of his various owners and his meaning in life. He balances his purpose with his love for bacon and all disgusting smells.

A Dog's Journey continues with the story of Bailey and the humans in his life. His relationship continues with Ethan on the farm until Ethan gives him a new purpose which is to protect Ethan's granddaughter, C. J. Bailey goes through many changes and continues to be puzzled by humans. He protects C. J. at any cost from the time she is a toddler through her adult experiences. Some of my favorite scenes are those where he deliberately misbehaves or manipulates to get rid of her boyfriend Barry. Bailey gathers people into his human packs and eliminates others that don't belong.

Bailey's voice is portrayed by Josh Gad who has a brilliant sense of comedic timing and he adds so much humor and depth to Bailey's character. W. Bruce Cameron who wrote the book, also worked on the screenplay. Dennis Quaid returns to the role of Ethan and the movie just wouldn't be the same without him. Casting is by John Papsidera and the entire cast is talented and works together seamlessly in their humorous and very touching roles under the guidance of Director Gail Mancuso.

The message of this film is to find meaning in your life experiences. In all of Bailey's lives he learns things which fulfill his purpose and allow him to find meaning in his actions with his humans. It is an emotional roller coaster filled with laughter, joy, love, tears and bacon.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, but of course adults will definitely enjoy it too. This movie opens nationwide in theaters May 17, 2019.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

A Dog's Journey is my second favorite reincarnating dog movie. Opening this week, it is a sequel to the 2017 film, A Dog's Purpose. It's much like the first one with plenty of cute doggie screen time and Buster who dotes.

One strength, compared to the original, is that it spends more time on one particular canine / human relationship rather than jumping around to lots of new people. For a movie for dog lovers, this sure shows a lot of dog deaths. As the movie begins, loyal dog Bailey is living with Ethan and Hannah as an old St. Bernard on their farm in Michigan. As Bailey draws his last breaths, Ethan orders the dog's spirit to watch over his granddaughter C.J. throughout her life. That's exactly what the reincarnating dog does, first as a puppy named Molly to help C.J. as a child, next as a terrier named Max who helps teen and adult C.J. (Catherine Prescott).

Josh Gad is back as the perfect dog voice, which stays the same regardless of the breed in which his spirit is currently living. Director Gail Mancuso has made a real tearjerker for dog fans aided by Mark Isham's sentimental musical score. This movie has fewer adult themes than the book it's based on. Aside from the dog deaths, there are a few other things that might upset younger children. For example, one character gets very sick and another is stalked by an ex-boyfriend. There's also an upsetting car crash and some alcohol and drug use at a party.

The message of this film is that you can persevere to overcome the bad things that happen in your life. You need to surround yourself with people who you care about. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 but, adults will like it too if they really love dog movies. You can find A Dog's Journey in theaters everywhere starting May 17, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALADDIN (2019)
ALADDIN (2019) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Young Aladdin embarks on a magical adventure after finding a lamp that releases a wisecracking genie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Aladdin is one of my favorite stories and I enjoyed Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin with its mesmerizing, exciting, colorful and heartwarming scenes. I particularly enjoyed the way the movie begins with the story telling by the Mariner (Will Smith) to his two young children.

The performances by Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Jasmine (Naomi Scott) are very good. They display warmth and love for each other in a playful way. Will Smith plays Genie and makes the character his own. I could feel the rapper, actor and creativeness of Will Smith.

My favorite scene is when Aladdin uses his first wish to be a prince because Princess Jasmine is required to marry a prince. Genie creates several possibilities and finally gets to Prince Ali. The pomp and circumstance and pageantry of his entrance into the kingdom of Agrahbah is spectacular with color and thunderous music and marching bands.

The CGI is excellent. The scenery is breathtaking. There are some scenes that are a bit scary but exciting such as when Aladdin is in the cave to retrieve the magic lamp, an eruption causes him to be thrown around. Aladdin is a film with messages about the value of friendship, courage, integrity and a clear reminder of love and family.

I give Aladdin 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Some adults will like it too. It opens May 24, 2019 in theaters nationwide. Hop on your magic carpet and see it!

Reviewed by Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Aladdin is bolstered by its great direction and acting talent, but ultimately it doesn't quite break the Disney fatigue in remakes. Still, its grandiose production overcomes its lack of originality. Fans of Disney movies, especially the cartoon classic Aladdin, must check this out.

The film centers upon the beloved classic story, taking a few liberties. The adventure roams as "street rat" Aladdin (Mena Massoud) frees a genie (Will Smith) from a lamp, granting all his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince so that he can please beautiful Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). But, every hero has his villain as evil sorcerer Jaffar (Marwan Kenzari) is determined to secure the lamp for his own sinister purposes. He threatens to do this at any cost necessary, and only Aladdin can outsmart him.

First off, Mena Massoud, as Aladdin, is fantastic with his charisma and kind heart, while also proving his physical prowess in the adventurous parkour scenes. His chemistry with Jasmine is well realized and moves forward their iconic romance. However, his singing does not fare well, with most of it appearing like a mediocre lip dub. This appears to be more of an error on the production side, than that of Massoud's. Will Smith, as Genie, is my favorite character because it's really just a medley of charm and swagger. I was worried that he would just try to imitate Robin William's signature fast talk. Thankfully, he really does his own thing, and it works. Naomi Scott, as Jasmine, is stellar with her overall strength, and a few liberties are taken to establish her as more independent than her predecessors. Her aspirations to become a ruler among Abragah are well-fleshed, and her singing fares the best, despite some choppy editing. Unfortunately, Marwan Kenzari, as Jaffar, gives his best, but fails to leave an impression. His character is terribly one-note with his nefarious intentions. The script fails to develop his motive, but then again, he was never the classic cartoon's strength. He always was a moustache-twirling villain.

Guy Ritchie elegantly writes and directs with many dazzling musical numbers and soaring perilous adventures. His movies always contain a unique style, but at times, style outweighs substance. Here, it's mostly not the case as the brilliant acting talent carries emotional and humorous scenes relating the story. The pace moves fast from one Saharan setting to the next. The production value and costume design are always wondrous. My favorite scene is the "Friend Like Me" number which doubles down on the craziness of the original. It's a familiar, but faithful take that highlights Will Smith's ability to helm the iconic musical number. New numbers such as "Speechless" are welcome additions that highlight the changes in Jasmine's overall character in this version. They also showcase Naomi Scott's range as a singer, and that musical number also stands among my favorites.

The message of this film is that love conquers all. It is not just in Aladdin and Jasmine's love for each other, but also in the brotherly fulfillment of promise on the Genie's side. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 due to some action and peril. The movie released in theaters on May 24, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Aladdin is an enchanting retelling of the classic Disney animated film.

Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is a streetwise thief living in Agrabah, stealing to survive with his monkey Abu. He has a chance encounter with the Princess of Agrabah, Jasmine (Naomi Scott), disguised as a handmaid and romance blossoms. While sneaking into the palace one day, he is seized by the nefarious Jafar (Narwan Kenzari), an advisor to the Sultan, who sends him to retrieve a powerful lamp in the magical Cave of Wonders. Once he gets the lamp, he is granted three wishes by mystical Genie (Will Smith). Aladdin wishes to look like a prince in order to get closer to the Princess, but has to prove to her and to himself that he is worthy without truly being a prince.

Aladdin keeps the best parts of the original, while adding a few really awesome new things. None of these tweaks to the story feel like filler, but necessary changes that bring this story to life for a new audience. I really like that characters Genie and Jasmine get more to do. Jasmine, in particular, takes on a much more active role in this version.

I love the performances in this film. Will Smith is measuring up against the pretty iconic voice performance of Robin Williams as Genie in the previous film. He makes the role his own and really gives a unique, colorful flair to it. Smith's performance is charismatic, energetic and, above all - fun. Naomi Scott is very powerful as Princess Jasmine. She does a lot of this film's emotionally heavy lifting and has amazing vocals. Mena Massoud is likable and relatable as Aladdin and has a strong, comedic rapport with the Genie.

Jafar is a weak antagonist in this film. I think the character's motivations are well-executed, but Marwan Kenzari's overdone performance lacks the qualities that make the character compelling.

This is one of those films made to be seen on the big screen. From the sprawling landscape of Agrabah, to the magical, magnificent Cave of Wonders, the visuals in the land are excellent. Director Guy Ritchie mixes in some of his familiar trademarks with a lot of really colorful set pieces. Every musical number feels huge and well-made. From costumes to sets to cinematography, on a visual level, Aladdin is astonishing.

I recommend Aladdin for ages 8 to 16, for some implied violence and scenes of peril and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Aladdin is a feel-good summer movie and a magical ride well worth taking. I highly recommend you check it out when it swoops into theaters May 24, 2019.

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

This action filled movie is incredible. The acting is remarkable and the music is excellent. It will truly touch your heart.

The story is about a poor boy named Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who lives in Agrabah and falls in love with the Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). At the beginning of the movie Aladdin faces challenges when he is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer named Jafar (Marwan Kenzari). The sorcerer sends him into a dangerous, but treasure filled cave to retrieve a magical golden lamp. After getting trapped in the cave, Aladdin accidentally rubs the lamp and, voila - the Genie (Will Smith) appears. Soon after, Aladdin sets out to impress Princess Jasmine and their adventure begins.

Disney has make so many spectacular movies from Snow White to Moana, and now this live action movie Aladdin, which is by far one of the best. Of course this is no surprise, because it has many wonderful actors like Will Smith, Mina Massoud and Naomi Scott. The costumes are dazzling. Not one detail is missed. I absolutely love all the costumes. My favorite scene is when the Genie describes how he lives inside of the itty-bitty golden lamp for 1,000 years. It's very cramped. My favorite characters are Dalia and the Genie. Dalia is innocent, giddy and funny. The Genie is magical, entertaining and charismatic.

The message of Aladdin is to be yourself and don't do anything to change that. It has some negative behavior and some risky things that kids might imitate, but that's unlikely.

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars I recommend this for ages 6 to 15. Adults might like watching this with their kids. This movie is in theaters on May 22, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Aladdin is one of the best re-created films that I have seen. It's funny, colorful, has lots of action and amazing special effects, and the hip hop flavor of the songs and choreography helps to keep the audience alert and watching. Although all of this makes me happy, there are times when little ones, like my four-year-old sister, tend to close their eyes and ears. So, I recommend this movie for ages 6 to 18, as well as for adults who are still kids at heart.

In this upgraded adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film, you still get that magical feel of the original Arabian Nights in Agrabar. There's singing, dancing, princesses, sultans, sorcerers, monkeys, magic carpets, parrots, tigers and even a charismatic "street rat". The infamous Cave of Wonders, while a bit more scary, still offers jewels and gems, and houses the lamp of that big, blue, blubbery genie, that we all know and love, once brought to life by Robin Williams.... That character is now portrayed by Will Smith, who takes on the comedic challenge, sensitivity, and power like a champ! Bringing a touch of that "Fresh Prince" swag and humor to this live-action film really sets it apart from other remakes. Seeing this newly-improved genie as a buff, ladies man definitely flips the script from the original, and gives moviegoers a little bonus. Other characters, such as Marwan Kenzari, who plays Jafar, are not as frightening in this movie, but nonetheless he is a beast as a result of its booming CGI. The sultan, Navid Negahban, not as clumsy and stubby as in the Disney version, also helps to keep the sacred story of Aladdin together.

Writer/Director Guy Ritchie sticks to the original story. This film is straight to the point, has some intense moments, and teaches the importance of just being yourself. The best part is seeing the heart to heart talks that Genie and Al have, and being able to feel for both characters. Actress Naomi Smith brings strength and "woman power" to Princess Jasmine's character, which makes you forget that at some point she kind of becomes a prisoner, and her handmaiden, Dalia, played by Nasim Pedrad, serves as a great comic relief. Although I like this 2019 reboot, Iago should be funnier, and Raja is supposed to be more fierce! At the end of the day, it's our charming thief who steals the show and his way to Princess Jasmine's heart. Mena Massoud, real-life actor playing Aladdin, is awesome! He executes backflips and popping when he dances. His swag makes all of the ladies love him, and his good heart and promise keeps him right with Genie. Overall, this movie is a must-see for anyone who calls themselves true Disney fans.

Aladdin not only continues to bring smiles to faces of many, it also represents doing the right thing. Sometimes we get caught up in our own problems, and forget that if we help others first, everyone can come out "royal". I give Disney's Aladdin 5 out of 5 stars. It's another one for the entire family, unless loud noises, flashes, and some mild violence bothers you. Go see Aladdin at a theater near you Friday, May 24, 2019. Remember to like and subscribe to our channel and newsletter. Reviewed by Brandon James R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9. That's a wrap. Peace out!
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
HUSTLE, THE
HUSTLE, THE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the men who have wronged them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hustle is an extremely mixed bag of a movie. On one hand, it's very entertaining and had the entire theatre laughing because of the raunchy humor and continuous jokes, but this is also its weak point. The jokes keep on coming and coming, but they are all so similar that after awhile they get boring. The jokes are either fat jokes or raunchy sexual jokes and easily get stale.

The Hustle is adapted from the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and it features two huge stars in the lead: Anne Hathaway as Josephine and Rebel Wilson as Penny. The story follows Penny, a con artist who catfishes men and takes their money. She is coincidentally on a train with world-class con artist, Josephine. Josephine overhears Penny's tactic to get money from an old man. She is afraid that Penny is going to "take over the market". So to get Penny out of the city she operates in, Josephine trains her and doesn't pay her, just to make her mad and force her to leave. This causes Penny to retort and purpose a turf war.

The Hustle has two huge stars leading the film. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are both predominant stars. Anne Hathaway is an Oscar-winning actress for her works in Les Mis�rables and has gotten praise for her performance as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Rebel Wilson has been in franchises like Pitch Perfect and Night at the Museum.

My favorite part of this film is when Penny is getting trained by Josephine to be world-class con artist like herself. Josephine shows Penny how to react to any situation by teaching her tricks that are used in a heist and not really to scam a man for money.

The message in this movie is that just because you're a con person trying to steal money from men who have done you wrong doesn't make all men evil. This movie has a lot of swearing and crude sexual remarks, and I strongly advise parents to look into the content before taking their kids. This film is no doubt entertaining, but once the jokes get stale the film does as well. The Hustle is appropriate for children 14 to 18. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. The Hustle hits theatres Friday, May 10, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOLKIEN
TOLKIEN - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the "fellowship" apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tolkien is an incredibly heartwarming film telling the story of John Ronald Tolkien's life and how he drew inspiration for his books. This film is extremely entertaining for a biopic. It tells his life story in a way that shows how events throughout his life fueled his imagination to create his incredible fantasy stories. It brilliantly represents how people make connections with other people and events that inspire creativity.

Tolkien begins with J.R.R. Tolkien in a small camp in a WWI trench, where he is having visions of mythical creatures battling. It then cuts to him as a child and shows how he always loved these mythical creatures that he wrote about. Suddenly, due to a lack of money, his family is forced to move to the city where he has no friends. He and his brother are admitted to a prestigious school on scholarships where he makes some lifelong friends.

The use of imagery in this film is incredible. Lots of normal things are transformed by John's imagination into incredible creatures from myths and legends. Many of the things that John experiences over the course of his life are mirrored by the events in his books. The film excels at showing that Tolkien was really passionate about his writing and the use of language. The war scenes in the movie are quite graphic and hard to watch, but show the inspiration for Tolkien's epic battle scenes in his writings.

One thing I disliked is the way the movie starts. It begins with a scene of two CGI horses being ridden into battle. The CGI used isn't that great and is a terrible choice for the opening scene, because it instantly turns down the audience and makes it just a little bit harder to get their support. However, the story is strong enough to compensate for that and you become quickly lost in the world of Tolkien's imagination.

The moral of this film is that you should try to accomplish your goals and overcome obstacles. This is told throughout Tolkien's journey. He constantly tries to accomplish different goals and is incredibly dedicated to finishing them. There is also an integral message about dealing with loss. This is shown in how he deals with the many devastating losses in his life.

The music in this film is great. It is exciting and conveys a strong tone that matches the film incredibly. It is very interesting and has a lot of variety. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 through 18, because it covers some heavy topics that are unsuitable for younger viewers. Any fan of the writings of JRR Tolkien will love this. It is one of my favorite films and I am certain I will watch it again. It opens in theaters May 10, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

At this point, it's hard not to know about J. R. R. Tolkien. Given that The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings are behemoths in pop culture, you've no doubt heard of the author. Even though I'm not a Tolkien fan, I'll admit this movie is quite interesting.

This movie is a biopic about the early life of J. R. R. Tolkien showing his high school years, him building his strong friendships, falling in love with Edith Bratt - all culminating in the creation of The Hobbit.

A mind like Tolkien is very intriguing. I was interested in how creativity and imagination are the central focus of the movie. As I writer, I get very excited when I hear how "creativity can change the world," because that is something I believe in very deeply. So, I enjoyed that very much.

A big focus of this movie is about how friendships we build in school can push us and help us ascend to become better artist. Early in the movie, Tolkien befriends three boys - Robert Gilson, Christopher Wiseman and Geoffrey Bache Smith. They form The TCBS Club which created such a strong brotherhood that it probably would have lasted a lifetime, if not for the war. Most of the scenes in this movie focus on their relationship and the performances really bring their friendship to life. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the performances in this film. The two leads, Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien and Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, work really well together. Not only do they have a lot of charm, but they also have a lot of chemistry. There's one scene where they're in a restaurant and talking about Tolkien's stories and languages. The dialogue feels very natural. Something about the whole scene is very immersive and charmingly romantic, without being cheesy, which is very rare in modern cinema.

I like how references to Tolkien's future works are sprinkled throughout the film. From he and Edith going to see an opera about a magic ring, to a very well shot scene from Tolkien's time in World War 1 where he sees fantasy creatures throughout the battlefield, it reminded me of how I picture scenes for my own stories.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It comes out May 10, 2019. Look for it, especially if you are a fan of his literature.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRUDER, THE - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Intruder is very suspenseful. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I watched it, wondering what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the good balance between mystery, horror and romance. There isn't too much of one genre, so the mix of styles is all spread out evenly.

The Intruder tells the story of a young married couple who buys a beautiful house with several acres of land in the middle of a some very lonely woods. They find out that the man they buy the property from refuses to let go of it and, in fact, has an obsession with it. The film shows how emotionally attached the landlord is to what once was his, and also shows the actions the couple takes to protect their new home.

The film was written by David Loughery and directed by Deon Taylor, who sets the film in a very lonely and rural town in modern day. This location is essential to the plot; since it takes place in an old house located in the middle of the woods, the setting helps create a feeling of curiosity and creepiness. The music in this film intensifies the emotions in certain scenes. It adds a lot of eeriness to the more action-based scenes and brings out the horror in them.

The Intruder has a very intense ending that leaves the audience feeling empowered. This film values the importance of family and what it means to stick together through the hardest times. It emphasizes how there's nothing as valuable as family for those who are lucky enough to have one, like the married couple in the movie.

I really enjoyed The Intruder! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for how creatively this suspenseful film was made. I recommend it for ages 10 through 18, but adults might also enjoy it as well. The Intruder will be released in theaters on May 3, 2019.

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

The Intruder is a hair-raising, creepy thriller movie!

The film was shot in Canada in British Columbia and Vancouver. The scenes are tranquil, and everything looks crisp and clean on the big screen.

The Intruder has a great plot. A newly-married happy couple embark on a move out of the city to start a family. The husband receives a promotion at work, so they can finally afford their dream home. The conflict is that the owner of the house loves the home too, and just can't seem to let go. Which makes you wonder: why did he sell it?

The house is the perfect setting for this mystery film. The antagonist homeowner is Charlie Peck played by Dennis Quaid. He is perfect for this role because he is very intimidating and eerie. His home has a long history, and it's his legacy, so he is not letting go easily. Meagan Good plays Annie. She is a country girl at heart and wants to raise children in a loving home. She is really great at portraying the naive young wife who sees the good in people. Mike Ealy plays Scott, the husband. He really brings energy to this role. He is reluctant to move to the country. At first Scott is very tolerant of Charlie's intrusions. Then his suspicion grows as to the true motives of Charlie. You totally understand the doubts and fears of these characters. Is Scott able to protect his wife from Charlie's secret motives and gain back her trust?

The director Dean Taylor does great work in this film. The acting scenes and timing are great! The momentum and build up are perfect. I love how it gradually builds up to be more thrilling to scary. I screamed and jumped out of my seat a couple of times! The writer is David Loughery. Everything really flows very well in this script. I really enjoyed the music and sound track, too.

The moral to this story is when buying a new home do your homework before making such a huge purchase. The couple is too eager and trusting. They ignore all the signs and red flags that lead to the conflict.

I give this film 5 out 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. There are a few vulgar words and heavy romantic scenes. If you love a good mystery thriller with a few screams be sure to check this out. Release date is May 3, 2019

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT (2019)
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT (2019) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is incredibly entertaining and will definitely hold a toddler's interest. It is 60 minutes of silly education that allows kids to boost their knowledge of everyday life. The five included episodes; Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise, each with a run time of about 10-12 minutes, teach little ones about experimentation, discovery and observation. Each episode can be played separately or continuously. In addition, the cover of the DVD case, color codes each episode to highlight the expected learning activity. The series uses live action, animation, live animals and fun songs to present positive role models with bright colors that will grab young kids' attention. Floogals encourages critical thinking, fun and is great for ages 1 to 5. It highlights that adventure can be wholesome and is helpful for kids that are learning to talk. I give this lively series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for all young kids. Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to find, question and explore everywhere you go? This is an enjoyable animated DVD for a younger audience. Floogals: Project Egg Hunt is a fun way to learn, because we're learning through adorable little aliens called Floogals. And the Floogals are always ready to help the "hoomans" (humans).

This 60 minute DVD has five adventures, including an "eggcellent" egg hunt, the hunt for the end of a rainbow, a kite adventure, a playful picnic and studying a wrinkly rock creature (also known as a tortoise). The fizzer-flying Floogals include Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer. In each story, the Floogals encounter something new that becomes their mission of the day. At the end of each mission, they sum up everything they learned and report about it to their home planet.

The colorful animation makes the Floogals look so cute! My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he always ends up in funny spots. My favorite part is when Captain Fleeker calls the tortoise a crinkly, walking rock creature.

The message of this DVD is to always try to help - especially if you're an alien in a hooman world. There is no bad language, no bad behavior and nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to imitate. It promotes teamwork and learning. And the characters are always happy.

I give this DVD a 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 3 to 7. This is available on DVD now.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Floogals take us on different adventures where we can explore and experiment. The animation and hoomans (played by real actors) are an interesting combination. The Floogals problem-solve and work together solving everyday problems.

The main characters are Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer, which are cute little aliens from the planet Floog. There is adventure everywhere they go as they try to understand the hoomans' world. They learn how rainbows are created, how kites fly in the air and the different types of activities that take place at picnics. As they discover and explore, they report to their home planet to describe what they've learned.

My favorite character is first officer Flo. Not only is she the smartest in the group, she is the only girl. Flo has the cutest yellow outfit, olive eyes and pink horns. The music is cheery and made me want to sing along. The animation is detailed and bright. The combination of animation and real life actors reminds me so much of the movie Smurfs.

All of the episodes are educational and entertaining. It is interesting to look at the our world from a different point of view. The message is: teamwork makes the dreams work. These aliens came from a different planet and learned so much about our planet Earth. They could not have survived on Earth without each other.

I give Floogals 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. Parents would enjoy watching this with their little ones. Floogals is out on DVD now so look for it!

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 89 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIREFIGHTERS
FIREFIGHTERS - ZAK MORGAN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC
Series: MUSIC VIDEO, AGES 5-8
Description - Music video for a song honoring firefighters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This music video is quite appealing. The music is very catchy and the scenarios have a comedic twist. I'm sure that children will enjoy this because it is based on firefighters, has wonderfully funny actors, energetic music and lots of comedic stunts throughout.

The video shows us an actual fighter station, live children visiting it and fun scenarios that relate to everyday life. It is well constructed, very entertaining and made me laugh a lot. The actors dress up as firefighters who are looking to put out any fire they see in a childlike manner. It has wonderful visual appeal with an overall summer vibe. There are many hilarious outcomes that an audience will enjoy. There are images of putting out fires but they are quite appropriate for the target age.

This is an adventure to watch. I like that I could pause and replay the screener. There are some moments when I just had to laugh out loud! The song itself is very catchy and makes you want to sing along. The cast includes a diverse group of actors involved in silly scenarios. Audiences can easily relate to this visually pleasing musical story. Children will surely dance along with the very relaxed interpretation based on the lives and work of flame fighters. It is very action packed and thought provoking.

It has a very relaxed message honoring firefighters in a fun way. It's thought provoking in that it helps kids understand that real life firefighters fight fires of every size and save lives. You can appreciate watching the different lengths that these firefighting actors go to extinguishing fires. The concepts are fun, but still contain messages of heroism and safety.

I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Aside from one reference of an adult attempting to smoke from a wooden pipe, there are not any other adult behaviors.

Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really admire this music video because it has the funniest song I have ever heard about firefighters. The firefighter in the video is so hilarious and the people in each scene are very funny.

This video recognizes how good firefighters are and what they do, but in a very playful and funny way. The firefighter messes up people for doing things at a birthday party, a an engagement celebration and then, three "cavemen" trying to lit fire. Where it falls short is not being more clear what firefighters actually do.

The actor portraying the firefighter, singer Zak Morgan, is very good at singing and acting funny as well. One hilarious part is when the firefighter brings a whole bucket of water just to take out candles on a birthday cake. My favorite part is when a couple are on a date celebrating their engagement and the firefighter dumps water all over the table to take out the candles that are part of the table decorations. The song in this video is so catchy, that I could listen to it over and over again.

The moral of this video is to thank firefighters for what they do. We need to appreciate them for their hard work. A firefighter's job is not easy. They risk their life in order to protect ours. Even though this is a funny video showing us what they do, we should take in consideration that they are heroes doing a risky job.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 8. It is a silly music video and you can find it online at zakmorgan.com.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: Video and DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UGLYDOLLS
UGLYDOLLS - STX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don't have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Three words I can say about this film - animated musical adventure. This thrilling, exciting, intriguing and stimulating film had my hooked to the screen. This film, directed by Kelly Asbury, shares many indispensable and major lessons.

The story follows Moxy who is a brave, independent, free-spirited and inspiring UglyDoll. For her entire life, Moxy has eagerly viewed the real world, hoping she would be good enough to join and find the love of a child. This film is an animated adventure where the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different and struggle with their desire to be perfect. As the film develops, you get to see how Moxy and her back-up crew inspire the people of manufacturing and Perfectville to realize what makes them different through multiple catchy, up-beat and thrilling songs.

The lead characters in this film are Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), Ugly Dog (Pitbull), Lou (Nick Jonas), Mandy (Janelle Monae), Ox (Blake Shelton) and complimented by many more. My favorite scene, without giving anything away, is when Moxy proves to everyone that being different Is not something to fear. She proves to everybody that standing out is not harmful and does not make you ugly in any way. In this scene, Moxy is being punished for being who she is. She gets yelled at for trying to make a divergence in Perfectville. Watching this scene shows how some of her peers were "fake friends" to Moxy.

My favorite character is definitely Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), the main protagonist. When she makes a change, she bounces a cause and effect on others which makes them realize that being unique and being yourself are important ways to carry yourself and show who and what you are. She is the glue that sticks for her team and holds hope tighter than any of her team members.

The animation is groundbreaking, amusing and bright. I was amused by all the colors and little details which make it so believable. For example, in one scene there is a dark tunnel and, as you get a clear shot of the tunnel, you see scratches and mold which help identify it as an old tunnel.

There are many important messages here such as: be true to yourself, be proud of who you are, don't be afraid to be yourself. You should be aware that this film has some rude humor which makes in inappropriate for younger viewers. Beyond that there are no other bad actions that kids might imitate.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 16, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Make sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

UglyDolls is such a cute and feel-good animated movie! It made me feel happy inside, even as I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next! UglyDolls is an entirely kid-friendly musical and comedic throughout -- all while tackling tough topics. Throughout the story, there are recurring themes of body positivity, trusting in your friends, and believing in yourself.

In this heartwarming story, the main character Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) has the dream of becoming a loving doll to a special little girl. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Moxy, because of the way the doll-making factory works, all of the ugly dolls (or rejects) are thrown into the recycling chute. These dolls end up in a different made-up world called, Uglyville. If you go to Uglyville, you don't get to go to the real world and become someone's special doll. But Moxy doesn't know this is how it works. Moxy and her friends in Uglyville have a pretty special and fun life there together. Every day, Moxy wakes up and dreams that this is the day she will meet her new friend, a little girl. When that day fails to arrive, Moxy decides, with the help of her friend Lucy Bat (Wang Leehom), that she is going to go on her own to look for a little girl to comfort . So, off she goes, with a group of her ugly doll friends, on a journey to make her own destiny. Along the way, she runs into many obstacles, such as mean people who send her back to the beginning, and happy occurrences, such as people who encourage her to stay strong and fight for what she wants! Does she end up back in Uglyville? Is she a little girl's doll? Sorry! No spoilers here!! You'll have to watch the movie to find out!

In UglyDolls, there are so many cool sound effects, pretty backgrounds, and smirky/funny comments that make it extra fun to watch! I especially loved the backgrounds and settings, which are colorful, bold and just right for whatever is happening in the story. Additionally, the songs (and soundtrack) in this movie are amazing! The songwriters, Christopher Lennertz and Kelly Clarkson, created some very inspiring and catchy tunes.

There are multiple deeper messages in UglyDolls. One of them is to never give up. Another important theme is to love and accept yourself no matter who you are, because Moxy, the whole way through her challenges, never loses confidence in herself and keeps fighting to be accepted.

UglyDolls is an inspiring movie for so many people but especially for kids. I got the chills watching it because it was so good and I really love the messages! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to12. If you are into musicals, animation, and loving, heartwarming movies, definitely check it out!. This film opens May 3, 2019.

Reviewed by Lexi G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This animated musical is adorable! The music is outstanding, which is no surprise because it has so many amazing singers. The colorful and lively animation makes you feel as if you are in a wonderful world of dolls.

In the film, we first see how happy everyone is in Uglyville, where the ugly dolls live and actually embrace all of their different appearances. Even though the protagonist Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) is happy in Uglyville, she wants to be with a real kid. So Moxy sets out with some friends to find a way to get to the real world. After going through a spooky tunnel, they find themselves in Perfection where dolls try to get a home in the real world. They soon realize that living in "Perfection" is not that easy.

In addition to Kelly Clarkson, there are so many other incredible voice actors including Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. My favorite characters are Ox (voiced by Blake Shelton) and Moxy, because Ox is the absolute nicest mayor of any town and Moxy is always happy and believes in herself.

The message of this movie is that no one is perfect and you should follow your dreams. This movie has no bad language, but it does have a scary robot dog and a dark tunnel. And of course, there is some negative behavior such as calling things ugly.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. This movie opens in theaters May 3, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 11

Wow, where to start? This film is absolutely outstanding, adorable and remarkably inspirational. I love how the characters lead the viewers into their world to create a warm welcome. Everything about this film, from the animation, to the voice acting is incredible. The characters and their personalities really make the emotion of the film come to life.

A group of rejected dolls know as "Ugly Dolls" go on an adventure to see what the real world truly looks like, but they end up in a picture perfect world where everyone is a perfect doll and must prove they are ready to go to the real world. But, when the Ugly Dolls show up, they are taken for granted and they must prove they deserve a chance in the real world. You'll have to watch the film to find out where they end up.

My favorite part definitely has to be when the ugly doll Moxy sings her song about how today can be the day. That is absolutely my favorite song out of all the amazing songs in this film. I also love all the characters and their bright and colorful personalities. I love the music and songs which help the audience feel the vibe ten times better.

The message is such an amazingly powerful one. It emphasizes how you should always celebrate your weirdness and strangeness, because beauty is more that meets the eye. You shouldn't be afraid to embrace and believe in yourself. Be yourself, don't try to be like the rest of the world. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE
LITTLE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - A ruthless tech mogul, Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self (Marsai Martin) at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear after a girl she offended wishes she was little. Jordan receives help from her overworked assistant, April (Issa Rae), to find a way to revert to normal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little is a mostly enjoyable romp with its familiar, but unique spin on clich�s. Well-matched talents and a heartfelt script carry this fun, but flawed ride. Families may want to check out this crowd-pleaser.

The comedy centers on woman (Regina Hall) who, when her successes get the best of her, is forced to take the form of her younger self (Marsai Martin). This gives her not just a chance to relive more careless days, but an important lesson pertaining humbleness.

Marsai Martin, as little Jordan, is my favorite character with her introductory film role racking up well to most experienced stars. She translates her great work from Black-ish even more here. She truly plays well off Regina Hall's adult footing. She, as well, nails it with her energetic banter, but rudeness to others, being a center focus. But, all this is not complete without Issa Rae, as April, who sells the chemistry with both actors equally well. This trinity truly sells most of the comedic and heartfelt wonders.

Tina Gordon Chism aptly writes and directs with fresh takes at common plots. It also helps that every joke is well-timed and most end up landing. She really nails more heartfelt moments as the movie's tones remain natural. My favorite scene is the restaurant karaoke, because it is truly a staple of creative and relevant humor. Marsai Martin and Issa Rae really give it their all with their zappy singing being on point. However, many other jokes just don't land. It really falters when the middle school subplot becomes center focus and the talent show finale with its Fortnite dance-off doesn't help anything. It feels uninspired and, with the solid buildup, the whole setting really could have strived for more. All the characters here feel cartoonish and clich�d to a fault. Thankfully, the "friend zone" kids (J.D. McCrary, Tucker Meek, Thalia Tran) are a saving grace with their twee personalities and relatable struggles.

The message of this film is to just be yourself. Sure, it is one simple aphorism to live by, but the movie offers a fresh take by diving into the minds of kids. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, due to some suggestive content and brief language. The movie releases in theaters April 12, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie quite a bit. The storyline is very fun and the actors are perfect for each role.

The movie is about a woman named Jordan Sanders who is the owner of a gaming company. She is also the office bully, the office Negative Nancy type. She is constantly offending her employees and ignoring team dynamics. One day at work, she meets Stevie, a young girl who loves magic. When Stevie sees that Jordan is nasty and unkind, she casts a spell on her to be little. When Jordan wakes up, she is little - as in 13-years-old little. So, she goes back to school, is bullied all over again and needs to figure out how to change herself back. Her attitude changes as well along the way.

Regina Hall plays the lady Jordan and is a great mean boss lady. Marsai Martin plays little Jordan and is an amazing thirteen-year-old diva. Something that stands out to me is Marsai's hair! It is so, so, so beautiful. My favorite character is Jordan's assistant, April (Issa Rae). She is a donut-loving assistant that helps Jordan with everything. My favorite part is when Jordan first wakes up and realizes that she is the little Jordan. Little Jordan is hilarious.

The message of the film is to be yourself! Don't let bullies change you. And, don't be mean to a girl with a wand. You should know that there is some profanity, some suggestive sexual content, some negative behavior and risky things that kids might try to do, like piercing your ears without using a piercer machine. EEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!

I give Little 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Adults should enjoy it as well. It's not very appropriate for anyone younger. It is in theaters on April 12, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING LINK
MISSING LINK - ANNAPURNA DISTRIBUTION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing Link is a positively charming adventure with a lovable protagonist and fantastic animation.

The story line follows Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a daring adventurer with a flair for the dramatic, who stumbles upon a massive discovery. He receives a letter confirming the existence of the Sasquatch and treks off to meets the sender, a Sasquatch named Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis). Mr. Link convinces Frost to help him track down his cousins, the yetis, living up in the Himalayas. Together with Frost's old flame Adalina, they travel the globe in search of Link's distant family.

My favorite character in this film is Mr. Link. He is a big creature with an even bigger heart. Link yearns for family after years of loneliness in the wilderness. Link takes everything very literally which provides the film with some witty gags. Zach Galifianakis's voice work on this film adds an extra layer to this character with his warm, upbeat energy and comedic voice performance.

I really like the character of Sir Lionel Frost also. He is a flawed explorer who has lost his passion for adventure and has gained a desire for success in all the wrong places. It's interesting to see an adventurer who, although good at what he does, isn't as dashing and is more unlikable at the onset of this film than the norm. Frost isn't readymade for the role of hero and earns it as we watch him become a more selfless, kind person during his arc in the film.

I love the animation in this film. With Missing Link, animation studio Laika continues to prove that its animation is getting better and better with each film. Every locale in this film, from India to the Himalayas is colorful and vibrant. These environments and characters are well-crafted and thought out. You sense the work and passion behind what you see on screen and the animation is breathtaking and even unbelievable at times.

Missing Link doesn't overuse the fish-out-of-water trope with the character of Mr. Link. The one flaw with this film is the use of an assassin character named Stenk. This character doesn't add much to the film, other than an action scene every once in a while and comes across as underdeveloped.

I give Missing Link an age rating of 5 to 15 for some scenes of peril and crude humor. I give Missing Link 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you see this film when it ventures to theaters on April 12, 2019.

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

Missing Link, written and directed by Chris Butler is a heartfelt and funny film. It is a story about adventure and friendship.

It tells the story of monster hunter Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) who is in search of a mysterious creature - the Missing Link. He wants to join an exclusive club and needs this discovery to become a part of it. Soon he goes searching and spots the Missing Link in the woods. Link, who goes by Susan, is played by the hilarious Zack Galifainakis. The two set out on a journey to find Link's home, a land of yetis, so he can finally be part of a family. They are joined by Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana). She is a spunky and fearless woman who helps them on the way. On their way, they encounter villains who are determined to stop Sir Lionel from proving Link's existence.

The movie has outstanding animation and a unique storyline. Because it's a LAIKA studio film, the characters are made out of clay and there are a lot of incredible details that add to the movie. Fans of LAIKA films will enjoy the artistic style of the film. My favorite character is Link (aka Susan) who is funny and lovable. The movie takes the audience on a journey as Link tries to find out who he is and where he belongs. I also enjoyed the character Adelina because she is the motherly figure of the group. Together, Sir Lionel, Link and Adelina are a perfect team. My favorite part of the movie is when the three characters set out on an adventure to find Link's family. It is the first time they work together and they are hopeful.

The film is a story about belonging and friendship. Sir Lionel and Link form a strong bond. They remind me of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The movie is full of humor and surprises.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults. It's fun for the whole family. You can find it in theaters on April 12, 2019.

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I enjoyed this animated, action and adventure, stop-motion film! LAIKA's Missing Link has exciting motion, stunts, fight scenes, an amazing musical score and a wide range of characters. It is simply fascinating to me. I love to make stop-motion films, and so I know firsthand how difficult it can be to bring the sets to life. I applaud the writer/director Chris Butler. He weaves everything together perfectly.

In the beginning of Missing Link, we are introduced to a character named Mr. Lionel Frost who's a dapper and self-centered explorer. He longs to be part of an elite explorer's club. One day he comes across an opportunity to prove himself worthy to the club. In order to gain their approval, he sets off on a wildly adventurous voyage to find the Sasquatch, a famed beast. Soon they form an unsuspecting bond. Mr. Link (aka Sasquatch) wants to find his long-lost cousins, and so Mr. Frost agrees to help him in exchange for proof that he (Sasquatch) is real. They set off to travel across the world to the Himalayas in search of the Yeti, a similar beast.

Hugh Jackman is the perfect voice actor for Mr. Lionel Frost. Zach Galifianakis is the tender voice behind Mr. Link , also called Susan. My favorite character is Susan, the sweet, silly and oh so lovable Sasquatch. She is so clumsy and hilarious and takes everything quite literally. My favorite part is when Mr. Link names himself Susan because the name is very fitting for his character.

The message of the film is that friendship can be found in the most unusual places and that sometimes you can fit in or belong in places where you don't think you will. Susan and Mr. Frost are joined halfway through the film by a lady friend Adelina. She helps Mr. Frost understand the importance of thinking of others, caring, kindness and friendship.

The movie has a lot of gun violence, fight scenes and a rowdy character that is constantly trying to kill the trio. That could frighten younger kids. There are a lot of risky things in the movie that should not be imitated like fighting and trying to shoot or kill someone. It has no bad language.

I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This movie is in theaters on April 12, 2019.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLOEY - VIVA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - A plover chick has not learned to fly when his family migrates in autumn. He must survive the arctic winter, vicious enemies and himself in order to be reunited with his beloved one next spring.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ploey, Ploey, Ploey... where do I begin? This is a cute family / love story that dragged until the last 10 minutes of the film. It was very hard for me to stay engaged.

The story is about a little plover chick named Ploey, who has not learned how to fly before his family migrates to the south. He learns about bravery and adventure through the scary winter. Ploey must face his fear of flying, in order to be reunited with his family and his true love Ploveria. Throughout his experience he meets a malicious hawk named Shadow, a creepy cat and a sympathetic big bird named Giron.

My favorite character in this film is Giron. The voice of Giron is played by John Stamos who is well known for his role Jesse on Full House. Giron is amusing, lovable and smart. He comes to Ploey's rescue. My favorite part is when Giron uses Ploey as bait, then accidentally falls asleep in the middle of the trap. I could not stop laughing. Ploey is another favorite character of mine, because he reminds me so much of the adorable Chicken Little. There are several parts in this movie that are not necessary, which causes the film to drag. The music is very mundane and I felt like I was going through the long winter with Ploey. The movie starts to pick up towards the last ten minutes of the film.

The message is to never quit. Everyone learns at their own pace. As long as you keep going and not give-up, you will make it. I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 11. I do not think adults will enjoy this so much. Ploey opens in theaters in the US on April 26, 2019.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BEST OF ENEMIES
BEST OF ENEMIES - STX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Best of Enemies has some truly captivating messages and storytelling, but its presentation of the segregation debate can get lost with the lack of background insight. Still, the excellent performances here carry over some of the weaker writing. Anyone interested in docu-dramas might want to check this out.

The film centers on the most unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson), an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), a local Ku Klux Klan leader. The two reluctantly battle over the desegregation of schools in Durham, NC during the one of the nation's racially-charged turning points. C.P. slowly feels drawn towards Atwater's commitment to her people and becomes a frenemy. Can love trump hate?

First, Taraji P. Henson, is fantastic as Ann Atwater with her acerbic nature, but heartfelt fight for the poor and oppressed. She respectfully handles the rebellious, yet kind-hearted nature of the real-life figure. But, the drama's center comes from Sam Rockwell, as C.P. Ellis, who is my favorite character despite playing an initially despicable figure. His redemption is naturally done, and the messages never feel forced here. The two really work well off each other, and their chemistry is hilarious to watch. Babou Ceesay, as Bill Riddick, gives another great performance with his contributions to the segregation debate being another interesting learning experience.

Robin Bussell spectacularly writes and directs with the events presented in a clear, chronological order. But the pacing can be lost amongst this, as the film really stalls when juggling multiple real-life figures. It's the individual moments that stick, because she knows how to write human and relatable characters. The racial tension feels real here, as did the moments of unity. My favorite scene is the final verdict as the scene is filmed so well, leaving the audience unnerved at each person's decision. Still, it's C. P.'s monologue that sells the scene, which I just can't spoil. Seeing is believing. However, in addition to many moments of rocky pacing, the movie's focus on other characters, especially Atwater, is quite minimal and scattershot at times. C. P.'s development is forefront and that's understandable given he is the most complex character. I would have loved to see more personal looks at other characters.

The message of this film is that love is the greatest asset in any debate. We can all learn to reconcile our difference and just love each other. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to mature themes and racist language. The movie releases in theaters April 5, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

I really enjoyed The Best of Enemies. The movie shows a lot of anger and humor between two enemies who oddly share very common goals in life - family, faith and education. The movie is based on a true story and shows the audience what life might have been like in the 1970s in North Carolina.

Ann Atwater is a poor, black single mother living in Durham, N.C. in 1971. C.P. Ellis is the president of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). When the black children's school is damaged by fire, Ann wants the black children to attend the same school as the white children and learns that the black children are not getting as good of an education. Ann and C.P. then spend their time convincing others to be on their own side.

The acting is terrific. Taraji P. Henson plays Ann Atwater and shows a variety of outstanding emotions from her voice, to her walk. C.P. Ellis is played by Sam Rockwell and his acting is incredible also. I wanted to hate him, but still liked him because he is such a good father, especially to his special-needs son. Ann Atwater is my favorite character because she adds a lot of humorous comments right after saying something really serious. My favorite part of the movie is the ending - but no spoilers here!

The key message of The Best of Enemies is that change is worth fighting for. If you see something that you think is wrong change it, even if it's going to be really hard. The movie has mild profanity, some violence and deals with a very serious topic - the inequality of segregation.

I give the movie a 4 out of 5 stars. It is appropriately rated PG-13 and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This movie opens in theaters April 5, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOAH (2019)
NOAH (2019) - SIGHT & SOUND THEATRES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - With a catastrophic storm on its way, Noah is given a monumental task: build a boat big enough to save mankind from a flood that will cover the entire earth. Seen by more than 5 million people live on stage, Sight & Sound's landmark production sets sail into movie theaters this April for a nationwide Fathom Events presentation. NOAH takes you on history's best-known voyage as you board the enormous ark--along with two of every kind of animal! Filmed before a live audience, NOAH captures the panoramic scope, spectacle and grand scale that are signatures of a Sight & Sound musical production.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Sight and Sound Theatre's NOAH is a stage musical presented as a film and I really like it. Full disclosure, I am not a pious person, but I derived a lot of enjoyment out of this surprisingly entertaining rendition of the story of Noah's Ark. The moment you set your eyes on the stage, you realize just how much budget and coordination went into making this show. It's outstanding. The stage and props are huge with fantastic quality and tremendous variety. It really sets this production apart from other of a similar vein. Similarly, the actors are remarkably multifaceted in their talents. Every one of them seems equally capable of transitioning from deep dramatic moments, to musical numbers, to comedic moments. For the religious and the not-so religious, this is a wonderful stage show with very obviously high production values. The musical numbers are very cute and catchy. Recalling this story from Bible school when I was younger, it was always one of my favorites. This really helps bring Biblical stories to a fun light for younger ages. I recommend this for ages 9 to 14, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Can I say memorable, exciting, truthful, teachable and intriguing? This film takes you on a journey through the perspective of Jesus and Noah. It will keep you interested throughout the whole film. Are you ready for this extraordinary Bible story coming to life on the big screen?

The story follows Noah, a dedicated believer of Jesus, along with his family. One day Jesus speaks to Noah and exclaims there will be a massive flood throughout the land and his family and he will be the only ones to survive because Noah will build a boat. Noah listens right away as his brother, king of non- believers of God, tries to stop him. His brother has little faith in God left. We see the outcome while watching the film.

My favorite part of the film is that this is a physical film which allows me to see the back story that leads up to the ending. I also love that this story is not animated and you are able to see real reactions and actions. My favorite real-life character would have to be Noah. Not only because he is the lead person in the story, but because he stands up for himself throughout the hardest time and he completes a task without any doubt of his own beliefs.

This film shares important messages such as stay strong to your beliefs. We see this important message modeled in the scene which shows everyone except Noah and his family leaving and exclaiming how they didn't care about money. Noah and his family stay strong and happy. Another important message is to always stand up for yourself, no matter the situation.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I believe the whole family will enjoy it as well. It will play in theaters for three days, April 11, 12 and 13, 2019. Make sure to check it out at your local theaters on these dates.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

NOAH is incredibly different and wonderful! It teaches about trust, choice, family and beliefs. Noah believes in God. He stands alone and people are against him because of what he believes in. He has to do what God says and not let anyone change his decision to listen. This is what all of us have to do sometimes, even when we feel alone. Sometimes we know we are right, but everyone says we are wrong. Noah doesn't want to die with everyone else. He wants to save his family, so he builds an ark.

There are lots of lessons and parts when you feel scared to see people that are going to die. God is tired of everyone that does not obey and does not live like God wants them to. So, he tells Noah that he is going to end the world. Noah gets treated badly. It reminds me of school, when people want to pressure you to do bad things and if you don't do them, they will turn on you. Noah has to do the opposite. He has to turn on the people who don't want to do good, in order to save himself. It is hard to say no to peer pressure sometimes.

The film is a recording of a live performance. It is different than other films and seems more real in some ways. We know it is not real because everything happens on the stage, but it made me pay more attention to the characters since there are not different setting or locations like in most films. I liked it. I would not want to watch a lot of movies like this. I prefer seeing plays in person. However, this is good.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-11. It made me proud of what I believe in and that I can trust my family to protect me too! It is playing at select theaters April 11, 12 and 13.

Reviewed by SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHAZAM!
SHAZAM! - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Shazam! keeps up the strong footing of solo DC movies within the Extended Universe. It soars far above other superhero movies buoyed by a unique direction and story. This is a must watch for all.

The story follows street-smart foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who turns into an adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) by yelling "Shazam!" Courtesy of an ancient wizard, Billy revels this adult version of himself alongside foster pal Freddy (Jack Dylan Gratzer). Can he fly? Can he buy beer? Does he have X-Ray vision? Better yet, can he talk to fish? These scenarios are tested to their limits, but seriousness strikes as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) seeks to defeat Shazam and steal his powers. Billy realizes there's more to this than jokes, but also a test to prove what makes a hero.

First, Zachary Levi owns it as Shazam with his natural comedic talent and physical prowess. He looks the part with his Godlike figure, while nailing the childishness with believability. The same goes for Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson with the similar youthfulness, but nails his quieter heroic actions. The transformation is so seamless that you can truly believe the two are playing off each other. But, the cast's standout comes in Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy who proved his talents in IT, but here he is even better. His conversations with Billy/Shazam are so improvisational and random and they just work. Every line of his lands. The rest of the foster family, played by Faithe Herman (Darla), Ian Chen (Eugene), Jovan Armand (Pedro) and Grace Fulton (Mary) are all incredible with each member having their own unique characteristics. I especially love Darla's innocent goodness and happiness to have Billy around. Mark Strong, as Thaddeus Sivana, is a formidable foe with an apt back story. Still, I would have loved to see Strong saved for a bigger endgame.

David F. Sanberg's direction is superb, especially for his first action movie after a variety of successful horror movies. He even flexes his horror muscles with some truly terrifying designs for Sivana's powers. My favorite scenes are Freddy's training montages as those are a true testament to the film's sense of humor. Scenes like these are so unique in comparison to most superhero films. I also love many of the heartfelt moments within Billy's quest to find family. I wish the film had a bigger budget to make up for its action scenes, which could be far-between and underwhelming. But, in a way that adds to the movie's freshness, giving small scale looks at big fights.

The message of this film is that family is found from loving and genuine experiences, not in a word. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to intense action sequences, brief suggestive content and language. The movie opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Shazam! is absolutely amazing. It's entertaining, funny, action packed and engaging. This is maybe the best DC Extended Universe movie so far.

Fourteen-year-old Billy Batson discovers, with the help of an ancient wizard, that he can turn into a Superhero, just by saying the word Shazam! But Billy is not just dressed in a superhero outfit. He looks older and bigger.

Converted into Shazam, Billy, who lives with adopted parents, goes home and tells his friend Freddy that he is Shazam. Freddy loves and knows everything about superheroes. Together they test Shazam's capabilities and, surprise! He is indeed a real superhero. Billy uses his powers for good, but also for fun.

I think Shazam! makes the cinematic world a better place. This is not just a hilarious comedy. It is about finding a family, making true friends and combating bullying.

The acting in this film is amazing. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam. He has the charisma and humor to make this hero adorable and he is a big kid. Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer also make this movie very engaging. They are not just funny but also kind hearted. These actors totally carry the film. I think all the actors make it more relatable for younger audiences and new generations. I definitely think this movie is unique, because superhero films are usually more serious and only have a couple jokes, but this one kept my laughing. There's action and emotional moments as well. The amount of comedy is perfect and what makes it so special. The director David F. Sandberg surprised audiences. He's most know for his horror films, but this one turns out to be incredible and enthusiastic.

The message of the film is that we can all be heroes. It only takes a pure heart to have the power and strength to do good deeds, help people and beat the bad guys. The story works perfectly for the whole family, so I recommend it for ages 8 to18. I am a huge fan of this film as it made me laugh and I felt entertained the entire time. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Shazam! opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so make sure to catch it in theaters!

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

Shazam! is a refreshing, rollicking good time with some hilarious comedy and great performances. Shazam! has tons of superhero fun, but also has a warm emotional center.

The story line follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid, who moves in with a new family. Billy gains powers from a wizard who chooses him to be his champion against the forces of evil. He can transform into a powerful superhero just by saying the word "shazam." He and his foster brother Freddy test Billy's abilities to figure out the extent of his powers. Billy navigates the ups and downs of being a sudden superhero, while also clashing with Dr. Sivana, who is determined to take Batson's powers to rule the world.

I really like the performances in this film. Jack Dylan Grazer is good as Freddy. Grazer takes a comedic best friend and makes him much more than a one-note sidekick. Zachary Levi is great as the super-powered version of Billy Batson. Levi channels the personality of a teenager very believably. His performance is natural and I don't feel like I'm watching an adult try to play a teen. Mark Strong hams it up as Dr. Sivana, but he's still quite frightening and a real threat to the characters.

I love the tone of this film. It's never self-serious and, rather than making the hero dark and brooding, Shazam! captures its heroes and their powers with a childlike wonder. This film understands that superheroes are people who we can look up to because, even though they are flawed, they always aspire to do the right thing. I love the stakes of this film. It does not rely on apocalyptic proportions to make you care about its characters.

Shazam! starts as an origin story, but ends up doing more than that. Billy has always pushed the idea of family away and is more scared of accepting family than his powers. He has to embrace the idea of family to grow as a person and a hero. He realizes he can't beat Sivana alone and what you gain from having people support and appreciate you. I think this arc is heartwarming and a great direction for this film.

I recommend Shazam! For ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although this film sometimes veers into predictable and clich�d territory, I came out of Shazam! with a smile on my face and excited to see what comes next from these characters. I highly recommend you check out this film when it comes out in theaters April 5, 2019

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BREAKTHROUGH
BREAKTHROUGH - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake Sainte Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth's mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Breakthrough is a phenomenal, inspiring film. I was intrigued by this film because of the powerful message it shares.

The film was inspired by a true story that hit the nation with unwavering faith, hope and prayer. John Smith, who the film is about, is played by Marcel Ruiz who grew up in the film industry and both parents are award-winning directors. John Smith, a courageous teen, is Latino who struggled with his identity and learned that love conquers all. John Smith is passionate about basketball and hopes to one day become a professional basketball player. His passion helped him endure this incident to the very end. Due to excruciating events that occur in this film, I realized and appreciate the miracles that I am able to witness and enjoy within my own life.

The film is directed by Roxanne Dawson, a theater arts major from University of California Berkeley who is also known as an actress (Baywatch, Star Trek). Breakthrough was written by Grant Nieporte a screen writer (Seven Pounds).

What I like most about this film is the friendship of family and friends who become family in a tight knit community. They join forces and focus on one major life threatening situation. This film portrays unity, love and compassion.

Another thing that I really enjoyed is when one rescuer, who didn't believe in God, learned that there actually is a God and, from that moment on, it changes his life in many ways. The rescuer later received other signs that led him to believe in God.

John Smith's mother is played by Chrissy Metz (This Is Us, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) who portrays her in the most believable way. She delivers a powerful message about faith and perseverance. Chrissy builds a relationship with Pastor Jason-Noble (Topher Grace, That '70s Show). In Breakthrough, Pastor Jason-Noble is intricately involved in helping Chrissy deal with the situation and is an inspiration and light to many.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and as well as adults. Breakthrough comes out in theaters April 17, 2019 so make sure to look out for this inspirational, educational and motivational film at a theater near you.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Despite not being religious and usually not enjoying movies like these, I like this movie. Every once in a while, everyone needs an emotional yet inspirational story and this is it.

This movie is based on the true story of Joyce Smith and her son, John, after he falls through a frozen lake and ends up dead for about an hour. Yet, when his mother prays for him to be revived, he suddenly gains a pulse. The rest of the movie is about Joyce hoping for John to fully recover.

It is important to mention how this is a movie about faith in God and the love of a mother. I am not religious, so I must bring up the question: "Do you need to be religious to enjoy this movie?" I feel that you can enjoy this movie, even if you don't believe in Christianity. The religious aspect is very prominent, however it's not as forced as I originally predicted it would be. Plus, having strong faith in God actually makes sense in the context of this movie.

In a movie like this, arguably the most important aspect is the acting. While the whole cast is pretty great, the main star, hands down, is Chrissy Metz as Joyce. Most of the emotion comes from her stellar acting. The scene where she prays over John's body really hit me hard. Of course I can't gloss over everyone else in this amazing cast. A particular favorite is Topher Grace as Pastor Jason Noble. He really helps lighten the mood when the movie needs some relief.

This movie is based on a true story and, since John Smith is still alive, one can guess how this film ends. Despite that, many moments in this movie are genuinely suspenseful. When John falls through the ice, it actually startled me, despite the fact that I knew what was about to happen. The actual climax is filmed in a very interesting way which is filled with tension.

My one problem with the film is that it feels as if the dad doesn't have much to do. He is present in his son's life and he cares about him, yet it feels like the movie mostly forgets he exists. This movie definitely is more focused on the mom, yet that felt weird to me.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 10 to 18. It comes in theaters nationwide on April 17, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The film was inspired by a true story that hit the nation with unwavering faith, hope and prayer. John Smith, who the film is about, is played by Marcel Ruiz who grew up in the film industry and both parents are award-winning directors. John Smith, a courageous teen, is Latino who struggled with his identity and learned that love conquers all. John Smith is passionate about basketball and hopes to one day become a professional basketball player. His passion helped him endure this incident to the very end. Due to excruciating events that occur in this film, I realized and appreciate the miracles that I am able to witness and enjoy within my own life.

The film is directed by Roxanne Dawson, a theater arts major from University of California Berkeley who is also known as an actress (Baywatch, Star Trek). Breakthrough was written by Grant Nieporte a screen writer (Seven Pounds).

What I like most about this film is the friendship of family and friends who become family in a tight knit community. They join forces and focus on one major life threatening situation. This film portrays unity, love and compassion.

Another thing that I really enjoyed is when one rescuer, who didn't believe in God, learned that there actually is a God and, from that moment on, it changes his life in many ways. The rescuer later received other signs that led him to believe in God.

John Smith's mother is played by Chrissy Metz (This Is Us, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) who portrays her in the most believable way. She delivers a powerful message about faith and perseverance. Chrissy builds a relationship with Pastor Jason-Noble (Topher Grace, That '70s Show). In Breakthrough, Pastor Jason-Noble is intricately involved in helping Chrissy deal with the situation and is an inspiration and light to many.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and as well as adults. Breakthrough comes out in theaters April 17, 2019 so make sure to look out for this inspirational, educational and motivational film at a theater near you.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Description - A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve a mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very entertaining which is why we go to the movies. Even though I have no nostalgic attachment to the Nancy Drew books, I really enjoyed this film.

The story is about Nancy Drew who has just moved to a small town called River Heights. She meets an elder woman named Flora who claims her house is haunted. Nancy decides to investigate with the help of her friends, George and Bess, and Flora's "mean girl" niece, Helen. My biggest issue with this movie is the mystery. I understand that this movie is aimed at younger kids, yet I feel the mystery is too easy to solve. However, that is my only major problem with this film. Plus, I didn't mind this that much, since even though the mystery is obvious, I mostly let it slide as I enjoyed the characters so much.

One thing I really like about this film is the typical mean girl character, Helen. At first it seems like Helen is just a stereotypical popular girl. Instead, she's only mean for a little bit of the movie. Halfway in she actually goes through a character arc. I really like this as I honestly feel mean girl characters are so overdone at this point. So it is nice to see this character done differently. However, my favorite character is hands down Flora. She is a very funny and so memorable. Everyone needs to have an Aunt Flora in their life. Flora had some of the best lines in the movie.

I really like the cast of this film. Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew is fantastic. She is very engaging and I hope to see more of her in the future. Linda Lavin as Flora is amazing. She brings so much charisma and humor to every scene she is in. Zoe Renee as George and Mackenzie Graham as Bess are also pretty good supporting characters. I wish they were in the movie more.

Now, it's no secret that Nancy Drew is timeless. The books were first written in 1930 and they have been inspiring women ever since. I believe Nancy Drew is timeless and we all need a little girl power!

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. This film comes out on March 15, 2019 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN MARVEL
CAPTAIN MARVEL - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, "This film makes good use of its 90s setting. There are a lot of jokes involving technology and pop culture from this period that work well. Also, the soundtrack has a nice selection of songs from the 90s that complement the film very well." Arjun N. adds, Captain Marvel is a solid, if slightly flawed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A talented cast and savvy direction make for a crowd pleaser. Any superhero fan must watch this as the hype for Avengers: Endgame arises."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Marvel is a solid, if slightly flawed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A talented cast and savvy direction make for a crowd pleaser. Any superhero fan must watch this as the hype for Avengers: Endgame arises.

The story follows Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes. Set in the 90s, this adventure follows her struggle to regain her past as one mysterious incident created her powers. Amidst this, a galactic war arises between the Kree, her brethren, and the Skrulls, shapeshifting fugitives, as Carol remains the only one powerful enough to end the war. This war takes to Earth, with S.H.I.E.L.D. in its adolescence investigating. With this, Carol must team up with no other than a nascent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as the two investigate all sides to this war.

Brie Larson, as Carol Danvers, surprised me and is my favorite character as she is nothing like what the controversial trailers portrayed - hardened and emotionless. In fact, she is very sassy and witty, like Tony Stark, and even humanizes the character with her relatable struggles. Sure she is stoic and hardened to some extent, but she does everything she needs to, as audiences need to be sold of her importance in not just Avengers: Endgame, but the whole MCU, and that's exactly what we get. Samuel L. Jackson, as Nick Fury, is absolutely incredible, even if certain character decisions from a writing standpoint are very questionable, with one reveal just baffling. The dynamics between Danvers and Fury is one of the movie's best, with a buddy cop feel to it. It is investing to watch the younger, more inexperienced Fury, with certain nods to his future being a neat addition. The same goes to Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson. It is a welcome surprise to see the simpler days of these two. Ben Mendelsohn, as Talos, also gives his all with his Skrull leader a formidable foe and he is more charismatic for it. As twists and turns reveal, he and his race became a sympathetic asset, with their kind being one of the most intriguing amongst the MCU roster. Last but not least, Jude Law, as Yon-Rogg, is interesting in his mentorship of Carol, and the twists regarding his character add for an emotional edge.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fledge aptly direct the film, with a stylish approach somewhat like Thor: Ragnarok. Every scene is well produced, but the style and vision are sometimes lost amongst the craft. The special effects are mostly on standard, but the de-aging effects for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg rise far above the standard. They don't look fake, and all expressions are truly natural. We are truly in the future of seamless CGI. My favorite scene is when Danvers truly becomes Captain Marvel, unleashing her full power amongst an enemy crew.

The message of this film is to never give up. Danvers takes several hits, to the point of giving up, but she always rises up to the challenge. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to some intense violence and language. The movie released in theaters on March 8,, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Marvel is a fun, if sometimes flawed superhero adventure that further develops the cosmic landscape of the Marvel movies with good performances from Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Captain Marvel takes place in 1995 and follows Vers, a Kree warrior with flaming fists on her way to becoming Captain Marvel who finds herself on Earth after a mission gone wrong. She teams up with a detective named Nick Fury to pick apart the secrets of her past. Meanwhile, Vers has to stop the shapeshifting Skrulls from infiltrating the planet and putting an end to the war with the Kree.

I like the performances in this film. Brie Larson is good as Captain Marvel and brings an understated verve to the role. Larson is good at delivering quips, but also has a few pretty powerful moments in her performance that help develop Captain Marvel as a character. Samuel L. Jackson is also good as Nick Fury. This is a different Fury from what we're used to with Jackson offering some nuanced clues about the changes Fury will face in the future. In Larson and Jackson's third onscreen collaboration, the duo brings great chemistry and the scenes with them playing off of each other are easily some of this film's best moments.

This film makes good use of its 90s setting. There are a lot of jokes involving technology and pop culture from this period that work well. Also, the soundtrack has a nice selection of songs from the 90s that complement the film very well. The setting doesn't feels like an attempt to cash in on nostalgia, but the 90s theme gives the film a more pronounced tone and humor. I also really enjoyed the element of mystery that comes with the Skrulls' ability to shapeshift into anyone and its clever use throughout the film.

I do find quite a few flaws with this film. Jude Law's performance as Yon-Ragg, the Kree leader, is disappointing. He feels so self-serious; it's as if he's in a different movie. There is a lot of exposition throughout the first half that, after a while, is a chore to listen to. Action scenes range from well-choreographed to hard to tell what is going on.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18, for some sci-fi violence and language and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Captain Marvel falls a bit short of being completely marvelous, but it's enjoyable and well worth the price of admission. I recommend you go see this film when it comes out on March 8, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM
SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 7-11
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before - an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he's up against, Sonic is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. The series is set in a wide-open world, where most of the characters live in and around an unnamed village. Just over the horizon is a vast landscape filled with beaches, jungles, mountains, undersea civilizations, cloud cities, frozen lakes, and more! Includes 8 Action-Packed Episodes!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is a compilation of episodes from Sonic Boom, an animated (CGI) kids' show based around the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Let me frank, I have seen better kid's shows. That's not to say that it is not a good show, it just isn't as great as the video game that it originates from. Aesthetically, it is a fairly good looking show, certainly above average your standard kiddie show in that regard. The voice acting is pretty good, but I have other concerns. The dialogue seems as if it is intended for preteens or adolescents, but it is not nearly clever or funny enough for that audience. Although it's based on the Sonic franchise, there is not a lot of on-screen action to keep little one's eyes trained on the screen. That said, I believe that any young kid who is a fan of the game will be very excited to see Sonic on screen. I recommend this for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action packed series is very educating. The morals taught in the episodes are valuable for the target audience. I love how they are able to teach important lessons in a very entertaining way.

The show follows the characters Sonic, his friends and Dr. Eggman. Sonic and his friends always have some conflict with Dr. Eggman. The different schemes that Dr. Eggman comes up with are amusing and I watched till the end to see if Sonic and his friends were be able to solve the problem.

Mike Pollock voices Dr. Eggman in a very interesting way. Pollock can sound like a villain in one scene and in another he could be your grandfather. Dr. Eggman is a character with two personalities and it is great that Pollock voices both of them.

The characters in this series are unique in their appearance. Sonic and his friends are animals, but they only have a few features that are recognizable as animals. I like that they vary their appearances from other films and series. It keeps the audience interested and intrigued.

My favorite part about this series is that they always find a way to make it humorous and add some plot twists. Every episode is different and that makes the audience want to watch the whole series all at once.

There are many underlying messages in each episode. The ones that stand out are to find the goodness in people and to work together. Sonic and Dr. Eggman will forever be rivals, but they do enjoy each other's company. Sonic realizes that Dr. Eggman is desperate for attention and uses that to his advantage to be able to get to the good side of Dr. Eggman. This is how Sonic is always able to calm Dr. Eggman down and stop him from continuing his crazy, sometimes evil, ideas - for a while. Sonic and his team of superhero friends have to work together to come up with a plan to stop Dr. Eggman. Sometimes, when Sonic leaves, they fight over what to do and who should be the leader. In the end, they resolve their problems and learn the right thing to do for the next time a similar situation arises.

I loved how this DVD teaches valuable lessons that are usually overlooked in other children's shows. I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 9. Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom is out now on DVDs so check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I like this show because it has lots of characters from the classic Sonic Video games and TV shows. It shows their personality and fighting techniques. This is a good introduction to the characters to anyone that wants to play the Sonic games. If you want to try Sonic games, but you don't know any of the characters just watch this show.

Sonic Boom - Here Comes the Boom is about Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and his friends facing challenges usually involving Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock), where they must work together to either escape a temple or destroy a robot. Sonic can't fight off Dr. Eggman by himself, so he gets help from his friends and sticks the completely wild badger that uses a boomerang as her weapon of choice. Amy Rose is a pink hedgehog who fights with her hammer and keeps everyone at peace. Rounding out the team are Knuckles the echidna with a love of fighting and Tails Sonic's tech-loving fox sidekick that can use his two tails to help him fly around.

My favorite episode in this DVD is "Just a Guy." In this episode, Sonic accidently calls someone "just a guy" and everyone gets angry at him. I like this episode because it is funny and has a good message. That message is "don't stereotype people." Another good episode is "CowBot," which is about when Dr. Eggman sends a robot that looks like a cow after Sonic. After a bit of fighting, Sonic gets the CowBot to go after Dr. Eggman. He goes to save him, but the CowBot is incredibly slow so they do loads of funny stuff while they wait. This episode is hilarious in how they solve the problem in the end.

My favorite character is CuBot because, whenever his partner OrBot says something smart about something he just says the real meaning without knowing what OrBot wants. For example, in the episode "The Meteor." OrBot says, "Perhaps it is time we bid our foes "adieu." CuBot doesn't know what that means so he just says, "No time, we have to leave," which means the same thing. I find these parts funny.

The main message of most of the episodes is, you must work together to complete a challenge. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7 because it has good messages in every episode that younger kids will like.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-11 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BRINK, THE
BRINK, THE - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A fly-on-the-wall chronicle of embattled former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon's global mission to spread extreme nationalism.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Brink is an interesting yet disturbing documentary that leaves the viewer feeling passionate but angered about the state of our country. It gives young people ideas about how not to behave, especially if you are a public figure. The Brink gives an inside look at all the intimate details of the brain of a political figure and shows just how crazy life can be for them. Although I do think that they could've done a better job on some certain aspects, I left the theatre feeling ultimately very disgusted, which I believe was the intent of the filmmakers.

The Brink is a documentary film that follows Steve Bannon, the founder of Breitbart News and Donald Trump's ex-chief strategist. It chronicles his life after the 2016 election and his attempts to form a group called "The Movement," which is a nationalist movement that involves a lot of world leaders and billionaires who have primarily conservative views (not to mention are extremely racist and anti-sematic). Bannon is portrayed throughout the film as being determined and dedicated, but those qualities are misguided as he is not advocating for the good of the people.

The Brink does a decent job of showcasing what a creep and how dimwitted Steve Bannon is. It catches him reusing the same joke over and over again ("a rose between two thorns") and hosting gatherings for The Movement filled with old white people. Most of these gatherings were fairly small, the majority of them consisting of around forty to fifty people or less. Bannon's attempts to make The Movement happen, although arguably seeming successful, appear rather pathetic if you look deeper into it. The film captured Bannon's life and business affairs but I feel as though it pandered to him a little bit. The filmmakers could've done a better job of exposing him and making him seem more disgusting. Even though the film portrayed him in a negative light, I don't feel like it was enough. That said, there were some funny bits within the film that I did enjoy. It was also captivating, watching someone be so outwardly awful and idiotic on camera.

I would give The Brink 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 14 to 18. Kids younger than that may not understand it or find it boring. There is also some language, used by Bannon, that may not be suitable for younger audiences. The Brink might not have done the best job of portraying Steve Bannon's story and proving their point, but I was captivated by it and ultimately learned a lot about not only Bannon, but what it means to be a decent American. This film opens in theaters March 29, 2019 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her loved ones behind and face this new cutthroat world alone. Paige's journey pushes her to dig deep and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - When I heard about this film, I thought, "What a crazy title!" Well, it is not so crazy; it is enchanting. This film is based on a true story and follows the antics of a former wrestler and his family, as they make a living wrestling in small venues in northern England. The family is in the business, and the kids dream of making it in big in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

While wrestling is not my jam and the film is slow at times, it captured my heart with big family values - life lessons about believing in oneself and each member of one's family. The sibling wrestlers Saraya (Florence Pugh) and Zak Knight (Jack Lowden) have trained for the big stage of wrestling since they were young. In fact, Zak reminds us that this was his dream since he was three. When they get the call from a WWE scout named Hutch (Vince Vaughn), it is a dream come true. On the other hand, is it?

Florence Pugh is fantastic and I cheered for her throughout the film. Her family brings a lot of comedy and grit to their roles. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is in all the trailers and has some key scenes. He will definitely help sell tickets! It is great to see Vince Vaughn in a positive and upbeat role.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The stunts are detailed and outstanding. The choreography is flawless. The casting is great. The costumes are authentic and there are many laugh-out-loud lines. You do not have to be clan of grapplers in Norwich, England to like this film! The film screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters nationwide February 22, 2019. Look for it!

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fighting with My Family is already one of 2019's best movies. Excellent performances and an apt direction make for not just one of the best wrestling movies but documentaries also. This movie truly has something for all audiences.

This docu-drama follows the incredible story of WWE superstar Paige, or Raya Knight (Florence Pugh). Born into a cheerful wrestling family, Raya and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) get a once in a lifetime opportunity to try out for the WWE. Raya earns the spot, with Zak being left behind, and Raya having to leave her family behind to compete for the spot as Diva. With rigorous coach Hutch (Vince Vaughn), Raya will be pushed to new limits while Zak faces a test moving on from his dreams. These journeys push them to fight for their family and prove what truly makes a star.

Florence Pugh becomes Raya Knight/Paige with her persistence and wit towards any obstacle being very inspirational. She respectfully adapts Paige and her final speech at WrestleMania looks exactly like its real-life counterpart. Jack Lowden does the same with Zak, my favorite character, as his character arc is so relatable with his struggles to move past his dreams of making the WWE, disregarding his own wife and child. Jack shows excellent range presenting Zak's eventual passion for helping others with his family's wrestling service and taking care of his child. Nick Frost and Lena Headey, as Ricky and Julia Knight, complete the family with their uniquely jovial, but lewd attitudes that only want the best for their children and other people in need. Vince Vaughn, as Hutch, is very impressive providing an inspirational mentor for Raya, as well in his real-life friendship with the Rock. Dwayne Johnson plays himself, enough said. In all seriousness, it is very entertaining and informative to watch his real-life impact on Paige.

Stephen Merchant spectacularly writes and directs, with the events presented in clear chronological order. But the real standout comes from his snappy writing, as all the jokes and emotional moments land. He truly knows how to write human and relatable characters. My favorite scene is when The Rock gives Raya's family a surprise call. Dwayne Johnson and Nick Frost truly give their all in the funniest repartee, while also giving the feels with The Rock presenting his admiration and best regards for Raya. Still, with all the positives, I feel that the film doesn't acknowledge all angles to a boxing match and the matches here feel very simplistic at times. However, the film's main intent is to flesh out the family first and then get into the nuances of the sport, so this flaw isn't particularly egregious.

The message of this film is that a person's character doesn't come from the title they hold, but by one's contribution to help others. Zak holds the strongest example of this. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to language and sexual references. The movie is in theaters now, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita's true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Alita-Battle Angel, a sci-fi, action film with a little romance thrown in. The film mixes action, romance, relationship building and humor in a charming way. This film has excellent computer-generated graphics. I was very impressed with the details of her body parts, which shows how much CGI has come along since Toy Story!

The story line is about a 26th-century cyborg warrior girl assembled from scavenged bits and pieces. Alita (Rosa Salazar) is re-assembled by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christopher Waltz) who reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein. Alita has no memory of who she is and we see her venture out into the world with a child-like curiosity and fearlessness. The story is based on a graphic novel by Yukito Kishiro with a screenplay by James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis and Robert Rodriguez. It is directed by Robert Rodriguez as well.

The action scenes are exciting to watch. To me, it was good to see the fight scenes occasionally interrupted by flashes of Alita's previous life. This helped me to understand what was going on and yet, it did not seem to faze her at all.

My favorite scene is when Alita goes to the hangout of the warrior hunters to unify the efforts to defeat the enemy and the men think she is crazy and cannot possibly fight. She, of course, proves them wrong when she demonstrates her strength and power. I also enjoyed the development of the romantic relationship between Alita and Hugo (Keean Johnson).

I recommend it film for ages 14 to 18 and some adults may enjoy it. I give it 5 out 5 stars. It opens in theaters February 14, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alita Battle Angel is an epic, action-packed film. It has incredible CGI and accomplishes lots of world-building. It is based on the Manga series Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro.

When Doctor Ido finds a living machine in the scrap yard, he takes it back and calls it Alita. When she wakes up she realizes all her memories have been lost. She finds herself in a crazy world in Pig City, beneath the last floating city. She tries to restore her memory and makes some friends and even more enemies. While it's an interesting story, I feel like it's not the focus of the film. Instead, the focus appears to be the battle scenes, because there are lots of them. While being beautiful and entertaining, I feel many were unnecessary.

I really liked the fight scenes. The unique fighting style used by Alita makes them interesting to watch. The CGI is incredible. I almost forgot Alita is a CGI character because of all the facial detail. The sport Motor Ball is unique and explained quite well. I found the ending left me wanting more. The character design in this film is wonderful. All the different androids are visually impressive. They are so unique. You can tell what they can do just by looking at them. The sets are also very well designed and stick to the theme. The floating city is very intriguing. I enjoyed how they explained little bits of it. However, this movie feels like a long setup for a sequel.

The moral of this film is to not stand by while people are being hurt - to speak up in the face of injustice. Unfortunately, although this message is spoken a few times, it isn't communicated very well throughout the plot of the movie and seems a bit like an afterthought. The music is great. I enjoyed it without being distracted by it. It varies in each scene but keeps to a coherent theme throughout the film.

My favorite scene is when Alita goes into the hunter-warrior bar and tries to recruit people. This scene is very entertaining to watch and is choreographed brilliantly. It also introduces a bunch of interesting hunter-warriors. They all have entirely different fighting styles which makes this scene interesting to watch. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 11 through 16. It opens February 8, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

This is an extraordinary animation film by James Cameron about a young girl who has forgotten her past and is trying to find herself. This story empowers us young ladies. She is brave, strong through rough times and proves people wrong. I really felt the emotions and turmoil of this coming of age tale of Alita.

This story is set in the future, after terrible devastating world event. It is about two worlds, one above and one below. It is action packed with villains and heroes. Alita is found by a cyborg Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) in a junkyard. He refurbishes her into a cyborg part-human and part-machine. The young Alita is trying to figure out her past. Meanwhile, she discovers her hidden abilities to transform into an elite fighter, athlete and warrior. She never looses heart, as she becomes a young woman and haves to deal with several conflicts.

The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by James Cameron, a creative genius who is known for many other films such as Titanic and Avatar. The lead character, Alita is played by Rosa Salazar. Rosa truly takes you through the emotions of her character. Alita's human sidekick, Hugo, is played by Keean Johnson. He is her teenage first love. The villains are played by Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelley. Ed Norton makes a cameo appearance at the end which makes me believe there will be a part two and we will see more of him.

The CGI and F/X in this film are so vivid and realistic. It is hard to tell animation from reality. The cyborgs' transformer bodies are so creative and the costumes really bring light to the characters. The music, lighting and scenes are enhanced by the 3D movie theater experience.

My favorite part is when Alita gets a new robotic body and is better than ever. It suits her. I also like when she decides to start a fighting league of her own. She signs up to be a bounty hunter, then tries to rally other bounty hunters. They do not take her seriously, but they will soon learn she is a force to be reckoned with. The bounty hunter Zapan (Ed Skrein) and the bounty hunter that loves dogs are pretty cool characters.

The message in the film seems to never give up, even when the odds are against you. Never let anyone tell you who you are or who you should become. I really relate to the story line and it made me to want to be the best that I can.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 due to adult language and violence content. Adults will also enjoy this film. This film opens in theaters February 14, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I really like this film because, even though Alita is a cyborg, that doesn't stop from her from doing everything she can to make her discover who she actually is. Although she is a machine, she is still treated as if she is a human being.

This amazing film is directed by Robert Rodriguez who also shoots, produces and scores many of his films in Mexico, as well as his home state, Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a huge commercial success. The story line here follows the one and only Alita, who is found in the scrap yard and taken to a nearby clinic by Dr. Ido who repairs all cyborg visitors. As Alita awakes, she has no memory of what happened, where she is or even who she truly is. As she explores the world little by little, she has minor memory recall about who she really is.

The more Alita experiences her present life, she meets a lot of people who are just like her. Dr. Ido tries his best to keep her safe from any bad things coming into her life.

The main characters in the film are played by a veritable who's who of talent: Alita is played by Rosa Salazar (Parenthood, American Horror Story). In Rosa's portrayal of Alita, we see that she is more than just a machine; she is also a warrior. Hugo is played by Keean Johnson (Heritage Falls), who really portrays Hugo as being a really cool and trustworthy guy. Dr. Dyson Ido is played by Christoph Waltz (Spectre). Waltz really surprised me in this role which suits him well. Plus, even though he is older, he still has great moves. Chiren is played by Jennifer Connelly (Only the Brave, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Winter's Tale). Connelly shows us what an interesting character Chiren is and contributes to the idea of how she doesn't look bad, but actually is. Mahershala Ali plays Vector. This character is quite different in how he communicates with the headmaster of Iron City, which is why people obey him. Ed Skrein plays Zapan as very intimidating, because of how he roams the streets as a big tough guy. You do not want to mess with him.

The sets are pretty cool. I like the set at the local plaza where Alita first learns to play the game motor ball. I also really love the music in this film because, depending on the scene, the music changes within it and drives the story line alone. The costumes are quite amazing and different. They aren't like the usual bad guy costumes. They are enhanced with CGI, which makes them quite tremendous.

My favorite part of the film is when Dr. Ido comes to find Alita in a bar, where she is challenging hunter-warriors to fight with her if they lose. In between all of the chaos, Dr. Ido shouts "Stop it, Stop it right now!" Yet, no one listens to him until he says, "Or no one gets free repairs!" In less than a second, everyone releases each other from the chaos.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. I think that everyone watching this will enjoy all the good reaction parts as well as jump scares. It opens in theaters February 14, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Alita: Battle Angel has a lot of vision and scope but in the end, sacrifices giving the audience characters they can connect with for building a visually stunning future world.

This film is based on Yukito Kishiro's manga series, which follows Alita, a cyborg who is rebuilt by the caring, but overprotective Dr. Ido who takes her in. She lives in Iron City, a giant factory populated by the less fortunate who work to facilitate the lives of the rich, who live in the sky above. Alita struggles to find out who she is and who she was before. Meanwhile, she is pursued by the ruthless Vector and the multitude of cyborg goons that he sends to hunt her down.

The visuals in Alita are breathtaking. Iron City feels so much more realized and fascinating to explore. The mechanics of the city itself are already interesting, but the vivid detail and rich colors give it a layered, complex nature that draws you in. The CGI plus motion capture for Alita is very impressive and the realistic result is unprecedented.

Rosa Salazar plays a believable Alita and stands out among what are generally undeveloped characters. Salazar imbues the cyborg teen with a warm, but fierce persona that makes her likable, but still a force to be reckoned with. Through all the visuals and CGI, Salazar gives a memorable, emotional performance that really gives the android character a soul.

I still find a few flaws with this film. Alita: Battle Angel doesn't know what it wants to be. It tries to be edgy, futuristic science fiction, but also has elements of a young adult novel adaptation such as Hunger Games or Maze Runner, that fails to gel. Mahershala Ali seems wasted. He is such a good actor, but isn't given enough to work with here. His performance feels muted and bland.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, due to some violence and language. There is some fairly violent action in this film that pushes the envelope of its PG-13 rating and could definitely frighten younger audiences. I think teens and fans of the original manga will enjoy this film.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars, because it left me disappointed and wanting more. I respect the movie's ambition and love its visuals, so I still say see it in theaters where its best qualities shine through. It opens in theaters February 14, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ARCTIC
ARCTIC - BLEECKER STREET MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown in hopes of making it out alive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This intense dramatic film about survival had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

The film takes place in the cold, icy mountains of Iceland. A man crash lands in the middle of nowhere, thanks to a snow blizzard. He is very resourceful and does well on his own. Finally, a rescue arrives, but things get out of control. Time is ticking and he needs medical help. He has more difficult times ahead battling mother nature and has to decide to either stay at his makeshift campsite or move to clearer ground in hopes of being rescued.

Written by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, the protagonist Overgard is played by Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor who has appeared in many American films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange. He makes you experience the physical and mental emotions of this painstaking survival of the fittest. His rescuer is played by Maria Thelma Smaradottir who does very little in the film because she is on her death bed.

The scenery is mostly snow-covered mountains and the landscape is beautiful. Overgard's costumes look suitable for his role.

I enjoyed this film because it taught me about how unpredictable nature is and how to think through a difficult situation. The scenes with the bear scared me so much, I literary jumped in my seat!

I give this film 4 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. You should know that there is some adult language in it, including use of the F word. Talking is minimal and it's an excellent film, aside from the profanity. This film opens February 1, 2019 in select theaters so, look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISS BALA
MISS BALA - COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Miss Bala, a film of female power, is very exciting and thrilling. It certainly had me on the edge of my seat. Based on the 2011 Mexican hit film by the same name, it centers on Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), a smart, courageous Mexican-American woman who must work for a cartel boss to find her missing friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo).

While we don't see a lot of blood, the violence is in our face. You can expect gun battles, an execution- style murder, a car bombing and more. We see a sexual culture that dehumanizes women, which I feel the film clearly does not support. There is unwanted groping and sex, strong language and cursing in Spanish. Characters drink and use drugs.

My favorite scene is when Gloria returns to Tijuana to help her best friend, Suzu enter a beauty contest. At a nightclub, Gloria survives a shootout, but loses sight of Suzu. While trying to find her, Gloria catches the eye of crime boss Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova), who shoots up the club and has plans for her. In order to find her friend and survive, Gloria shows her strength and wisdom to survive the malicious actions of the cartel, corrupt police and DEA agents.

Miss Bala has excellent visual production. I could feel that I was there with Gloria and feeling her fear, yet her bravery and commitment to find her friend no matter what it cost.

The story involves some questionable and illegal activities, but Gloria's intelligence, courage and loyalty drive everything. It's a female-empowerment film.

I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18. You should know that it is not a film for everyone. I give it 5 out 5 stars. Miss Bala opens in theatres Friday, February 1, 2019.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Miss Bala is quite a movie! From the friendship that led to a whirlwind of violence and manipulation, to the caring of others, that is the reason behind the storyline. Miss Bala has it all. While watching this film, I definitely had some mixed feelings, but overall I enjoyed the story and found it fun and interesting. If you enjoy being misled through twists and turns, never knowing where the next scene will take you AND you like being scared along the way, you'll love Miss Bala! If you don't like being scared or a fast-paced, violent movie, you may want to stay away.

In this action-packed film, a young woman, Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), returns to her birthplace Tijuana, to visit a close friend. Little does she know that going to enjoy a fun night out would lead her down a path of constant trouble. Gloria gets pulled into a literal turf war between the gang La Estrellas and the Chief of Police (Damian Alcazar) when she witnesses a shooting where her friend also disappears. Luckily, Gloria survives the shooting, but in an effort to locate and rescue her friend, she experiences a number of mishaps with the gang, the DEA, the Police Chief and more. Unbeknownst to Gloria, all of these men are using and manipulating her to get what they need. When all she needs is to find her best friend Suzu (Christina Rodio). Does she rescue her friend? Does she escape the gang's awful manipulations? I guess you'll have to watch it to find out!

There are so many elements of this movie that make it awesome and entertaining! The funny comments, realistic music, beautiful sets and locations, and super cool special effects. Despite this being a live-action film with quite a bit of violence, there are actually some really funny parts and comments, too. Plus, with the help of the music and the costumes, the story flows and makes sense. What I liked and appreciated the most was how perfectly the music changes and is paired to match the feelings of every scene!

The deeper message that this film displays is that we have to be careful with who we put our trust into. In Miss Bala, Gloria puts her trust into the gang and they end up doing things that are not okay and using her. Then, she trusts the DEA and just wait until you see how they treat her. These are not the kind of people we want to trust. Keep in mind that this is a pretty violent movie, even though it's rated PG-13, it has lots of blood, guns and more scary stuff. Also, look out for some partial nudity and profanity. I definitely would never bring anyone under the age of 13 to this movie!

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I'm not giving it 5 stars because I am not a big fan of scary and violent movies, so it was unsettling, for me. I can see, however, that others would really love the action-packed sequences. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and adults. That said, I wouldn't even bring a sensitive 13 or 15-year-old who scares easily. This film opens February 1, 2019 all over the USA. If you like action, drama and thrillers, check it out. You'll enjoy it!!!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 4-12
Description - Remember that time you passed gas in that super crowded elevator? Or when you lost your sock in the dryer? That was just bad luck, right? Wrong! That was the work of Yo-kai; the invisible Yo-kai all around us that are the cause of our daily annoyances!! Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There's just one problem: they're everywhere and they love to cause mischief!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I feel that Yo-kai Watch definitely owes a good deal of its model to Pokemon. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you. But you'll quickly notice how Yo-kai are collectible creatures who are varied and around virtually every corner. However, unlike Pokemon, these creatures speak an intelligible language and have strong personalities. What are Yo-kai" Well, they are trans-dimensional spirits that travel to the human world in order to make mischief for people. This often manifests in things such as affecting people's mood, pick-pocketing candy and things of that nature - nothing horrible. Also, unlike Pokemon almost no one can actually see these Yo-kai, as they are impossible to see without the titular Yo-kai Watch. The watch is a device that allows a human to both see, AND summon Yo-kai. All of these stories on the DVD are extremely lighthearted and are done with a ton of humor with younger kids in mind. From these episodes, the ideal audience for this anime is around the 5-year-old mark, but I can certainly see even younger kids enjoying the show for its lively art and regular silliness.

This Limited Edition Gift Set comes bundled with an American comic book in digest size. It certainly keeps the tone and art of the series intact and is smaller and more durable than a standard comic book, something that is certainly ideal for its target audience. Though it's not geared at adolescents, I can see some of them enjoying it as well. I recommend this for ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have vague memories of Yo-kai Watch from when it first came to the states. I never beat the first game and I ended up forgetting about it for a few years. However from what I remember, the show reflects the game and the world pretty well.

The story follows a kid named Nate who finds Whisper, a Yo-kai, who gives him the Yo-kai Watch. This watch allows him to see Yo-kai, mischievous spirits that are invisible without the watch. The show mostly follows Nate's adventures as he helps and befriends Yo-kai. This seems to be the main plot of the show. There doesn't appear to be any overarching story or conflict. Remember, these are only a few episodes from the first season. So maybe there eventually is a set goal or conflict. However, there are a lot of positive lessons. So parents, this show is a good one to watch with your kids.

Nate, the protagonist, doesn't seem particularly invested in the world of Yo-kai. He's essentially forced to solve everyone's problems and he seems to reluctantly just accept it. For example, when he first meets Whisper, a literal ghost, he tries to walk away from the conversation three times and he barely seems to care that he is talking to a magical ghost that appears from a capsule machine. That isn't exactly a good way to introduce your main character.

Also, the structure of the show is rather confusing. At first I thought the show had the "two 11 minute stories merged into one 22 minute episode" type of structure that many cartoons have, but no. Sometimes it's one really long story combined with a story that's really short. Sometimes it's THREE stories in one episode. It's really inconsistent. The show also seems oddly inconsistent in its tone. The show is mostly comedic, however one story has no comedy and is entirely serious. It just feels really random, but maybe it ties in with Season 2. It is entertaining overall and a series I would have probably watched when I was younger.

I give this show 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This DVD is already out, so look for it.

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

This is a very interesting and cool DVD to watch! It has all the qualities that make a good animated series - interesting plots, vivid and clear animation, a fun mix of humor and action all in one! I really like when the action in the story, because it makes me feel more excited and enthusiastic to watch what is going on in.

The story is about Nate, a normal boy, except he has a Yo-kai Watch which gives the person who has the watch the power to see Yo-kai. Yo-kai are things that cause your daily annoyances such as, when you have bad luck and fall or, you really have to go to the bathroom but there is a really long line, or you have a song stuck in your head that you hate or dislike. The Yo-kai are mischievous and you never know when they might show up or what they might do. Also, the Yo-kai are invisible, so you can't see them unless you have the Yo-kai Watch. This DVD reminds me of Pokemon a bit so, if you like Pokemon I recommend this for you! I am pretty sure the creators of this film got inspired or got the idea from Pokemon.

The show is well produced and made me want to keep watching. Sometimes though, I was a little confused as to what was happening. I wished for more details. For example, the film kept switching to other subjects which are a little confusing about what is happening. Sometimes the story is not so specific. Besides that, I really enjoyed it!

This show does have some mature humor. Even my mom and dad laughed at some of the jokes! But for the most part, the series is really kid-friendly and younger audiences will enjoy it or appreciate this DVD! In my opinion it is a really awesome series for kids!

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, because anyone can enjoy it. This DVD is already available so look for it!

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I've been a fan of the Yo-Kai franchise for a while, but I had never watched some of the episodes featured on this DVD. Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, Volume 1 is an awesome addition to your collection if you are already a fan of Yo-Kai! And, if you are new to the Yo-Kai stories, then you are in for a treat!

The Yo-Kai are funny little spirits who are responsible for all of life's daily annoyances. Yo-Kai are all over the place, but no one knows they are there. Humans can't see them unless they have the special Yo-Kai watch!

Nate is the main character, along with Whisper who is his Yo-Kai butler and Jibanyan, his Yo-Kai cat. Nate is a kid who seems to be about 13 years old. Whisper is a proud, yet annoying sidekick. And Jibanyan is Nate's playful pet, who helps with his knowledge of Yo-Kai and also brings a comedic element.

In this series, we learn a lot of back story about the Yo-Kai. They are all interesting, but I must say that some of them are a bit dark. After all, these spirit creatures were once alive, which would mean that something happened to them to make them not alive anymore - aka disease.

The animation is classic simple Japanese anime. It's easy to watch. It held my attention from start to finish. The music is catchy and original. The theme song gets stuck in my head all day whenever I hear it!

I give Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, Volume 1, 5 out of 5 stars! This series has so many good episodes. A viewer will probably watch for hours - like me!

In my opinion, this series is good for ages 9 to 18. I don't know if adults would like it. They may get bored or not understand it. But for a kid, it's great! Get it where your favorite DVD's are sold or on Digital. It's available February 26, 2019.
Runtime: 286 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WE ARE ONE
WE ARE ONE - ANIMAL FARM MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - The message of "We Are One" is all about bringing people together through, like Aesop's Fables, the use of animal characters - whether it's something humorous like a baby bat who is afraid of the dark or something more serious like a monkey witnessing deforestation - songs that talk about our shared humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Animal Farm's We are One CD is a musical bouillabaisse of energetic, engaging tunes that will tickle little ears and tantalize the soul and imagination. Fun animal songs abound. The band and arrangements are tight and the songwriting is solid. The electric violin is a standout. Most importantly, this collection scores a hit with its target audience and delivers a seal of approval from...the seals of course, KIDS FIRST! The engaging songs about animals and its kid-friendly concepts are commendable. The style is consistent for the intended age group; the continuity flows well and the structure follows suit. These artists know their key audience and the content is totally appropriate with lots of positive reinforcement on attitude and our association and connection the world around. The artists do not talk down to their intended audience and, in many places, lift them up to learn more about the stories in their songs. The performances are strong and kid friendly. I especially appreciate the electric violin which adds a touch of musical class. Through the use of well-constructed songs with accessible lyrics, this group is able to ...wait for it...edutain their fan base. I believe children are always excited about learning more about animals and there are many songs here that promote that discussion and a fun journey. I give this CD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animal Farm's, We Are One, is a wonderful CD filled with songs that promote social and emotional learning and self-expression. It uses animal characters to help bring people together. There's great storytelling and really cool beats to help to make this group of educator's and musician's version of Aesop's Fables come to life.

Each track tells a story that makes the listener either feel happy or sad. From shouting out animal noises in Cranky Pants, to learning how to deal with life's challenges in It Always Could Be Worse, children are taught humanity through different mixes of all genres of music including jazz, blues, salsa, afro-pop and more.

We Are One is surprisingly not a CD with songs simply about animals with human-like qualities. It teaches kids creativity and encourages them to use their imaginations to understand real life situations and people. After listening to the chorus of these tracks, you'll find that colorful songs like Awesome Possum and Snow Bird will stick in your head.

I give this CD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6. You can stream these songs online at https://animalfarmband.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-one or buy the CD. Thanks for listening, peace out!

Reviewed by Brandon James J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

At a glance, I love the concept of We Are One by Chicago based quartet Animal Farm. In the world we live in now, this refreshing album with the image of planet earth surrounded by a bunch of animal friends makes a great message, because we very much need inclusion and music!

We Are One is a compilation of happy tracks. The music is not the traditional harmonies that we often hear on children's music. It is an eclectic collection of song genres that you can enjoy - rock, country, folk and others. In general, it sounds very American.

In some songs, the ukulele, stands out and in others, the violin. The lyrics are fun and the vibe is very positive. There's a simple, but thoughtful storytelling within all songs.

My favorite tracks are "Cranky Pants," which for some reason sticks in my head, "Two Headed Tortoise," "Screen Time" and "The Abbys," which I love the French prelude because it reminds of Jacques Cousteau's marine explorations. When "Nocturnal Me" starts, it reminds me of the beautiful tune in Kansas' "Dust in the Wind." I may be 10 years old, but I love music from 60s, 70s and 80s).

I also love how, when you listen to this music, it sounds like regular songs and not a typical kids' CD. And, when you listen to the lyrics, they are very funny. When I listen to this album, I think of a family road trip with music in the background that all family members can enjoy and relate to.

Kudos for Animal Farm's musicians, educators and soul up-lifters for creating such terrific material for kids and people of all ages to enjoy.

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

Animal Farm's fun CD titled We are One is filled with music that give us lessons and things we should always remember. We are kids and kids sometimes don't understand the world. Sometimes we get confused or sad or mad for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes we can react and things that we thought were bad become worse, because we didn't think first. There are so many lessons in these songs plus they are just fun to listen to and sing along!

One of the songs I like best is called Slow Down. It is about a snail watching everyone in the world rush past him, scrambling to get here or to do this or that. He keeps telling people to slow down. I wish the world would slow down too. I wish people had time to sit and relax, talk and have fun. We are always going somewhere or doing something and we don't enjoy it much, because we are rushing to do something else. We should remember to take our time and really enjoy our life by taking time to appreciate everything.

Another song I like is called The Abyss. I had to look up that word. It means a big dark place that has no end or seems like it does. An animal says his house is in the abyss and that everyone is not going to like it because it is not their home, but he likes it because it is his home. We all feel more comfortable at our own home where we eat and talk to our family, sleep and do homework. We are most comfortable there. When we go to someone else's house, even if it is nice, we do not feel as comfortable as we do at home. This song tells kids to be happy that they have a home and to relax and be happy there.

The last song I'll mention is We are One. They saved the best song for last. There is so much bad going on in the world with so many different types of people, some thinking they are better than others. Some people are treated badly if they are handicapped or if they don't fit in. Everyone is different, but we all should be able to get along, be proud or ourselves and be nice to other people. The song talks about how we could all agree that, even if we are different, we are people and should make everyone feel comfortable.

I like this CD and recommend it to ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It's available now, so look for it. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic SaniyaRain F., age 11
Runtime: 46 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 15 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GLASS
GLASS - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film Glass is breathtaking! This unique film is such a great combination of comedy, action, and drama and that's what makes it unique and different. I didn't want to look away during any part of the film, because every second you feel like you want to know more. The way each story is laid out is outstanding. Each character is so unique and all have their own strengths and weaknesses. The film is so extraordinary that you think you have powers.

The storyline is about three people who have amazing gifts that are so unbelievable that they start to believe they are more then just a person with amazing gifts. Then, a doctor finds out about them and takes them in because she doesn't believe that they have extraordinary gifts. She believes they just have mental disabilities from accidents that happened to each of them during their lives. She tries repeatedly to make them believe that they are all normal with a disability, until they decide to do something insane to show her that they are not just a normal people and are special. This film will surely bring chills, smiles, laughter and maybe even tears to those who watch it.

The main characters are: James McAvoy (Kevin W. Crumb/The Beast/Patricia/Barry), Bruce Willis (David Dunn), Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah Price/Mr. Glass), Sarah Paulson (Dr. Ellie Staple), Spencer Treat Clark (Joseph Dunn) Anya Taylor Joy (Casey Cooke), Charalayne Woodard (Elijah's Mother). These actors truly make you believe their characters are real and keep you on the edge of your seat with their performances.

My favorite part is when Anya Joy (as Casey) speaks to Kevin Crumb who has split personalities - good and bad. During this conversation, Casey talks to all of Kevin's various personalities and the love she shows somehow fights off the other personalities. It is heartfelt to watch this scene because it shows how important their friendship is.

The message of this film is that we are all special. All we need to do is express ourselves and not hide. Another message is that it doesn't matter if other people believe in you. As long as you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, including adults. I truly believe that many who watch this film will really enjoy it. This film opens in theaters on January 18, 2018. Look for it!

Reviewed by Nancy F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This action-packed film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, puts a unique twist on the classic theme of a superhero movie. As another addition to Unbreakable and Split, this movie ties the series together well and I enjoyed it.

The comic book thriller follows security guard David Dunn, who uses his heroic powers to find a troubled man named Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has a superhuman alter-ego and twenty-four distinct personalities. When the men are captured and taken to a mental institution, they encounter another character, named Mr. Glass. The doctor informs them that she has three days to convince them that superheroes are not real, but she is yet to realize that the three characters are meant to be connected by fate.

This movie puts you into a new perspective, and makes you think differently. The stunt coordinator, Mohammed J. Ali, incredibly incorporated action and fighting into certain scenes. However, the plot is sometimes unclear and characters' roles are unbalanced, so some people receive more attention than others. My favorite scene is when the main characters sit in chairs and are asked to recall moments that make them believe they're superheroes. The doctor tries to convince them that there is a logical explanation behind these events, but as viewers, this is when we know that they have powers.

The movie overall has a deep meaning that there are more complications than good and evil and the idea of superheroes clashes with modern day society. Although the movie contains some mild profanity and violent scenes, it is still a great film to watch.

I rate this production 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters Friday, January 18, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Glass kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time! This film takes the viewer on a rollercoaster of twists and turns. It's very well done with exceptional acting, which is what I like most about it. James McAvoy, Ana Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson all make you feel as if you are inside the movie, living all the intense moments they go through as your own. M. Night Shyamalan's direction is outstanding. Everything is so well set up and all the questions are answered at the end of the film, giving it a suspense that keeps the audience engaged.

Glass is a mixture of narratives of two of standout originals, Unbreakable from Touchstone and Split from Universal in a new comic-book thriller. From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis comes back as David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price or Mr. Glass. From Split comes James McAvoy, replaying his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities that reside within and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only survivor from the Beast. Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb's superhuman figure of The Beast in several events, while the manifestation of Price appears as a mastermind that holds secrets critical to both men. Definitely this concludes the series in an unexpected, yet impressive way.

My favorite part is when Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) switches and acts like his multiple personalities when he is first taken into the mental hospital. For anyone that has seen Split, you get to relive how funny his impressions of the distinct personalities are and remember how much you enjoy them. The whole plot is so tense throughout, that it is good to have moments like these to breathe a little bit before the film goes back to more serious moments of the story.

This is a very entertaining film that perhaps reminds us not to be friends with psychopaths. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18, plus adults and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters January 18, 2018 so, look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN - WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: VIDEO, AGES 13-18
Description - After the death of Superman, several new people present themselves as possible successors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As a long time DC Comics fan, I love anything DC related. Now, if you combine DC Comics and animation, I'm sold. This movie is great the whole way through and does not disappoint.

Reign of the Supermen is the sequel to the movie The Death of Superman (Oh yeah, by the way, spoiler alert...Superman dies in The Death of Superman). In the wake of Superman's death, four new would-be-heroes take on the Superman name and serve as replacements. However, these new "Supermen" must put their different views aside to work together to defeat a mysterious alien threat.

First off, let's talk about the animation. While the animation looks nice, it feels kind of basic to me. The style is more realistic and so are the colors. The art style emulates the DC Comic style and I like that. I just feel the animation doesn't stand out as much as the story and writing.

Speaking of story, I've watched quite a few of the DC animated movies and, while I like those films, I enjoyed the story in this movie more than any of the other films. This movie is more engrossing. There's something about the mystery of the alien threat and the new Supermen that I find really interesting. I also really like that Lois Lane actually is important to the plot. Even though Lois (Rebecca Romijn) is one of the most well-known DC characters, her entire character has been the damsel in distress since Superman first came out. And even though there are periods of time when she is a superhero, most of them are alternate universes and dreams and, one interpretation made her a hero because the writer of that specific story received accusations of using a misogynistic stereotype. Plus, no one talks about these interpretations. I didn't even know that she has been a superhero until I was researching her for this review. So it really feels like a breath of fresh air for her to be in the spotlight in a way that feels natural. Plus, I like how you can say that journalism is her super power, which makes her stand out.

This movie is pretty funny. An issue that I have with the live action DC movies is that they tend to be too serious for their own good and, when they try comedy, it just doesn't work. However, I laughed a lot at this movie. All the characters are very lively and witty with clear personalities that work well off each other, especially Green Lantern. Kudos to the voice actors.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and anyone who loves DC Comics. It comes out on digital on January 15, 2019 and on DVD January 29, 2019.

By Calista Bess, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 87 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THREE BEARS AND THE PERFECT GIFT, THE
THREE BEARS AND THE PERFECT GIFT, THE - THREE BEARS MOVIE LLC
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - When Baby Bear steals a turnip from the wicked Boo-Hag's garden - she transforms him into a human. Unless he finds the perfect gift before Christmas morning, he will remain a boy forever and Mother Nature will banish him from the Enchanted forest.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A loving heart can be the greatest gift of all. The Three Bears: The Perfect Gift is sure to be a holiday favorite. It revisits the classic Three Bears story, adding a modern twist filled with suspense and thought provoking circumstances. Can humans, animals and make believe characters find the courage within to help each other on Christmas? We take a journey through an enchanted forest where multiple tragedies take place. Boohag, a wicked witch who lives in a secluded space called black hollow, is to blame. She is a mean old witch that will ruin the lives of anyone that crosses her path. Find out what happens when two loving fathers join forces to rescue their family.

Goldie, Benny the Beaver and Baby Bear travel along an amusing journey of danger, mystery and magic. Most importantly, we find out if spells are cast and if wishes really do come true. Curious children decide to collect gifts on Christmas Eve, but find much more than they bargain for.

I enjoyed the actor's performances, the graphics and the storyline. The message is about learning to be brave and put differences aside to problem solve. I really liked seeing a new version of this childhood classic with a holiday theme that appeals to kids and families. I had to stream the video on a different device because the first one kept pausing. But, once I got it working, it was entertaining and held my attention immediately after the first few minutes. The film progressively gets better. The story is a little predictable, but the ways in which problems occur is unexpected. The costumes are also quite charming.

The production quality is very good, although some scenes and graphics don't match the actual settings. But, all images are clear. The sound is great. I enjoyed the bonus features and bloopers at the end. It gives us a chance to see the actors without their costumes on.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to12. This is available now on DVD so, keep a look out for it, especially for the next holiday season. Reviewed by Elle Stewart, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like the adventurous plot, the realistic and detailed costumes and the character personalities in this remake of the class Three Bears story.

This film tells about how Baby Bear sneaks out on Christmas morning to find the perfect gift for his parents, Mama and Papa Bear, only to cross paths with the evil Boo Hag who transforms him into a human. It is the prefect mixture of action, sadness and silliness. It is 100% live action, with the animals being people in costumes instead of being CG.

The characters that stand out the most to me are Bedilia Beaverton (Maile Flanagan) because she's hilarious and Madame Rosa (Elissa Dowling) because I like her accent. They are very realistic and yet they also have human characteristics as well. They are always in one forest or another. My favorite setting is the scene where they are walking through the woods and all of the trees are lit up with Christmas tree lights.

I like the song in the beginning a lot. It reminds me of barn dance music. All of the songs are good, but the singing could have been better. There are only two special effects. One is a kind of scary banshee. The other is a fairy that is a glowing pink orb half of the time.

The message of the film is that a perfect gift doesn't always have to be something big and extravagant. Sometimes, the perfect gift is something small but meaningful. Some things to be aware of are that first, we see Baby Bear, Benny and Goldie sneaking off without telling their parents where they are going and then, they talk to and trust a stranger. There are some scary images that would make it unsuitable for younger kids.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It will be available November 15, 2019 so look for it.

By Kayenta C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 84 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KID WHO WOULD BE KING, THE
KID WHO WOULD BE KING, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he's just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be. CAST: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching The Kid Who Would Be King. It is a family film full of adventure and a very timely version of a classic tale about the famous Excalibur sword of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Writer/Director, Joe Cornish gives us a fresh look at the King Arthur tale.

like that the story is retold using the book given to Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) as the source for his adventure. We see Alex along with his fellow students at school and going about their daily activities as they hear and see negative news about a divided United Kingdom. It is similar to the type of activities we are experiencing in the United States today.

We see Alex defending his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), a would-be magician, which leads him to become the target of bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Doris). After running from them, Alex discovers a sword in a stone. He and Bedders deem it to be Excalibur. Alex is reminded by Bedders and his book of King Arthur of his mission to unite and fight the evil of Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) sister of King Arthur.

My favorite scene is when young Merlin (Angus Imrie) appears at the school as a lanky new teen student with an ill-fitting uniform. To me, he steals the scene with his hand actions, clicking and snapping to perform his sorcery. The repetition of his sorcery provides some elements of humor and, at one point, I tried to duplicate his hand actions.

The CGI and other visuals and music are acceptable. Be aware that there is fantasy action violence, scary images with bullying. The Kid Who Would Be King has an important and timely message. We see young people standing up to wrongs and taking on what is right. Age is not a deterrent and a group victory can be achieved.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18, and some adults. I give it 5 out 5 stars. This opens in theaters January 25, 2019 so, look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very interesting. I like how it starts with illustrations that look like you are reading a book, then transitions to a live action film. While watching this, it made me think about Harry Potter, although it is very different than other magical and majestic films like the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts and other fantasy movies.

The film is based in the King Arthur story and retold in a modern way. It's about a boy named Alex (Louis Ashborne Serkis) who finds the Excalibur sword and embarks on an adventure trying to battle bullying and injustice. He teams up with his best friend in his journey to become a great leader. Alex and his enemies conform a group of brave knights to fight monsters and defy great dangers.

In the beginning, Alex and his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) are victims of bullying at their school. They believe they are regular boys, until one day Alex comes across a sword in a big rock. He pulls it out and he shows it to Bedders. Later, they realize that everything that happens to them is similar to what happened in a book Alex's dad gave him with a very special dedicatory. It is a very special book because, despite that his father left, he has feelings for him. He and Bedders go on a quest that replicates in many ways the story of the King Arthur legend. Alex not only discovers his power for being a leader and doing good deeds, it is also a self discovery of loss and acceptance.

This spin on the classic King Arthur tale has a different purpose than other films or interpretations of this classic tale: - to show todays' kids the power of classic tales, the importance of books and to find the good within ourselves by retelling the story in a contemporary way and making it relatable to a new generation.

The film reminds us why books are essential in our education and how they show messages about perseverance and loyalty. In the movie, the main characters face lots of obstacles and some are very scary!

The scenes with the medieval villain Morgana are particularly exiting. I also love the scenes with Merlin, especially the younger one. They are funny and obviously magical. I like that Alex and Beddders team up with their enemies in their journey. I enjoy the sets in London from the landscapes near the city to the beautiful Stonehenge. The sets and costumes are well done. The acting is very good and the special effects believable.

The story flows well, although there are so many scenes that make the film longer than necessary. Another thing that bothered me is that it references so many things we have seen in other films. That makes it not very original. Also, some scenes are a little too over dramatic. I do like how this film shows the classic tale based on someone pulling a sword out of a stone and becoming king.

The message of this film is that nobody is just ordinary. We just have to discover the great powers we have within ourselves. I give The this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 6 to 18. It opens in theaters on January 25, 2019. So look for it.

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

The Kid Who Would Be King is a heartwarming film about a boy named Alexander who finds out that he is the future king of Britain. Now he, his friends and his enemies, must embark on a quest to defeat a wicked enchantress named Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) before the end of a solar eclipse. This film is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, including the legend of the magical sword, Excalibur. At night, everyone disappears from the world except for Alex and anyone he has knighted. This way they can take whatever they want and try to defeat all of Morgana's minions. When they are all gone, Alex and his knights stay where they are and everything else returns to normal.

There are lots of cool scenes in this film that involve exciting sword battles. In my interview with Patrick Stewart (Merlin), Rhianna Dorris (Kaye) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (Alex), I learned that the cast used real swords to train with to learn the real feel and heaviness of medieval swords and armor. However, in the actual film they used realistic plastic swords, because otherwise it would be too dangerous.

My favorite character in this film is Merlin (Angus Imrie/Patrick Stewart). He is serious and gets things done most of the time, but he also does a lot of funny and cool things that are really appealing to watch. For example, when he does his magic, all the stuff around him is flying through the air and all the lights are flickering. That is a really interesting effect.

My favorite scene is when Alexander and a few of his knights are rushing through the woods on horses, while trying to defeat a large army of fire monsters on fire breathing horses who are trying to take Excalibur away from them. This scene is very exciting and has a few funny parts in it too.

The message of this film is that anyone can be a king; you just need to have a good heart and follow the knight's code which says that you must "honor those you love, refrain from wanton offence, speak the truth at all times and persevere in any enterprise until the end."

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because it is a good combination of an action movie and a heartwarming storyline that gives it a great message. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This movie opens in theaters on, January 25, 2019. Look for it!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPSIDE, THE - CHRISTOPHER SANSONE
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Philip is a disabled white billionaire, who feels that life is not worth living. To help him in his day to day routine, he hires Del, an African American parolee, trying to reconnect with his estranged wife. What begins as a professional relationship develops into a friendship as Del shows his grouchy charge that life is worth living
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Upside is a wonderful, but very contrived remake of the French classic: The Intouchables. The superb main duo makes for a variety of heartfelt and well-found laughs. Anyone looking for a packed "January movie" will find a perfect outing.

Inspired by an incredible true story, the movie follows a recently released ex-convict named Dell (Kevin Hart), as he seeks employment to do right by his family's financial needs and regain their trust. He finds the most unusual employment with an offer to care-take the paralyzed billionaire Phillip (Bryan Cranston). Most don't believe in Dell's capabilities, especially chief executive Yvonne (Nicole Kidman), with Dell failing, but slowly learning to care-take. Amidst this process, Dell and Phillip form an unlikely friendship and journey, bettering themselves.

Kevin Hart, as Dell, is my favorite character, as he steps into newfound dramatic territory and delivers exceptionally. As always, his unique sense of humor remains and he is as better than ever with the amicable chemistry he shares with Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston, as Phillip, delivers a gravitas to his character when needed, as his condition make him hopeless. In only a way Cranston can deliver, his journey to regain hope and optimism through Dell is very compelling. It also helps that their unique banter is just so funny and intellectually executed. Nicole Kidman, as Yvonne, is another relatable character, as even she learns to smile from Dell, despite her disagreements. Her long history with Phillip is well sold, as well.

Neil Burger serviceably directs the movie, with a great eye for scenery, even if many scenes fall within a repetitive layout at times. My favorite scene is the haircut scene, as it is a fun rendition of the classic French scene and even has more nuances of its own. The main problem with this movie comes from the fact that, in comparison to its French counterpart, there really isn't much of a difference with a few scenes and characters having some subtleties. At times, its pace even takes a hit and even the newer additions don't fare as well as the original. This can be viewed as a bit of a pro, as sticking with the original does prove to its advantage.

The message of this film is that a friendship is a relationship most valued and will always remain irreplaceable. If we all get along, we will strive towards greatness and a happier mental well-being. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of some sexual references and brief drug use. The movie releases in theaters on January 11, 2019, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STAN & OLLIE
STAN & OLLIE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURES, AGES 10-18
Description - The true story of Hollywood's greatest comedy double act, Laurel and Hardy, is brought to the big screen for the first time. Starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the inimitable movie icons, Stan and Ollie is the heart-warming story of what would become the pair's triumphant farewell tour. With their golden era long behind them, the pair embark on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland. Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda) - a formidable double act in their own right - the pair's love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Stan & Ollie is a superb bio-pic about the famous comedy duo. Spot-on casting and great direction make for a very informative and entertaining romp. Anyone looking for an outstanding bio-pic or a wonderful movie will want to watch this.

The movie follows the famous Laurel & Hardy, as they set out to tour Britain in 1953. However, years have passed since their heyday of being Hollywood comedy kings, and they face an uncertain challenge. They find success obtaining their long-lost charm and even reconnect with their most ardent fans. The tour eventually finds success, until Stan (John C. Reilly) and Ollie (Steve Coogan) can't quite shake their disagreements and Ollie's health starts failing. They are aware that this may very well be their swan song, but amid that they can rediscover just how much their brotherly bond means.

The titular duo, Stan (John C. Reilly) and Ollie (Steve Coogan), remain my favorite characters and bring great heart. The two share great chemistry and bring out the best with their impeccable theater performances. Same with their wives, Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson) and Ida Laurel (Nina Arianda), who equally sell their disagreements, but with sisterly love. Shirley, in particular, shines with emotionally charged reactions to her husband's health. Danny Huston, as Hal Roach, embodies the famous producer, and gives us a good look behind the scenes in Laurel & Hardy. His frustrations with the group is also well presented and those provide a most realistic look at the bitter friendship the three had.

Jon S. Baird aptly directs the movie, with a great eye for the duo's on-stage performances. The shifting timeline proves slightly confusing at times, but such moments are few and far between. My favorite scene is the final concluding scene, that proves to be an epic ending to the tour and is very touching. It showcases the true power of friendship and the importance of the duo on comedy history. It is a perfect ending to this poetic tale.

The message of this film is that a friendship can always outweigh any challenges and even the test of time. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because of brief language and smoking. The movie had a limited release in theaters on December 28, 2018 and is rolling out across the country, so check your local listings.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Stan & Ollie is a fine biopic with great performances, beautiful scenarios and a powerful story about the value of friendship.

I didn't know much about these comedians and this film offers a great introduction to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (affectionately nicknamed Babe), two of the most fascinating entertainers of the Golden Era of Hollywood. I like discovering the roots of filmmaking and physical comedy. The movie shows who they are, their artistic personalities and the dynamics of their friendship.

Directed by Jon S. Baird, the story starts in 1937 when the duo is at the peak of their career. Then it quickly moves to 1953 when their career is not solid anymore and the comedians embark on a trip to Great Britain to reconnect with fans and regain fame. Even though they are famous, there are empty seats at their shows. They have recognition, but not that much money. They return to what they know and love to do - comedy. People thought they retired, but they managed to perform and work hard like they did from the beginning. I like that the film centers in this poignant part of their lives where their friendship is put to a test, while they struggle with aging and loosing popularity. They haven't stopped dreaming and hoped to obtain the financing for a movie project.

I enjoyed their slapstick comedy and noticed how different humor was in the 30s and 50s. I appreciated how committed they were as working actors. Stan and Ollie conformed a unique duo. They shared a strong friendship and were not only business partners, but truly close friends. Their bond was special. They complemented each other in the creative process and on stage with grace and sentiment. They seemed to be in constant collaboration. The film also shows their dynamics outside the stage and with their wives, who were kind of rivals, but they supported each other at the same time. Their love for comedy and performing arts was genuine. They really lived for that. But they didn't always have happy moments. We see them disagree and even break each others' hearts. Despite their different point of views about business, they shared a true love for performing and entertaining.

My favorite scene is the iconic gag where they keep on going in circles to find each other when they are next to each other all the time. I like all the jokes and I really enjoyed them.

The most remarkable aspect of this film are the performances by John C. Reilly (Ollie) and Steve Coogan (Stan). Not only for their impeccable physical resemblance, helped by some awesome make up, but for their interpretations and rapport, which reflect the spirit of the duo. You can feel the actors' admiration for the comedic duo.

The message of the film is that no matter how much you disagree and even fight with your friends, true feelings always endure and true friendship is endless.

I give Stan & Ollie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Is a great movie for those who are familiar with early Hollywood films and for us who want to discover and connect with the origins of cinema.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
ON THE BASIS OF SEX - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - On the Basis of Sex is such a fun and empowering film. I enjoyed it quite a bit as it was equally entertaining and informative. The characters are well crafted and the aesthetic of the 50s to 70s time period really sets the tone of the movie. It feels real and true, as opposed to the glorified version of the story that some biographical films show. The authenticity and uniqueness of the film really helps it stand out. This is a very important movie for people see.

This film follows the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a young and gifted lawyer, who struggles to find work simply because she is a woman. In order to prove that the law discriminates on the basis of sex, Ms. Ginsburg has to work harder than she ever has before.

The film is very well written with an immaculate attention to detail, thanks to the writer being Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nephew Daniel Stiepleman, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing. It is full of heart and truth because Justice Ginsburg made sure everything was accurately portrayed. She read all of the drafts of the scripts to make sure that her story told well. It is never boring! I laughed out loud when it was funny and got angry seeing RBG rejected and having doors slammed in her face, due to her gender.

The acting is really great. Both Armie Hammer, who portrays Martin Ginsburg and Cailee Spaeny who portray Jane Ginsburg absolutely blew me away. Armie portrays Martin as a man who really loves and respects his wife in such a heartwarming way. Cailee portrays Jane as a funny and empowered feminist. The relationship between Jane and Ruth is displayed with such honesty and realism. My only complaint about the acting might be that Ruth's accent could have been much stronger.

I rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, as well as adults. This film tells such a special and unique story, one that is incredibly important, with equal amounts of heart, humor, turmoil and honesty. This triumphant story really gets you thinking. It opens nationwide in theaters January hits theatres worldwide on January 11, 2019, so do yourself a favor and go watch it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI
NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI - GKIDS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - A look at famous Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki following his retirement in 2013.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki is a poignant, revealing portrait of the Oscar�-winning Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki. Directed by Kaku Arakawa and produced by NHK, this documentary shows Miyazaki's fans what the legendary director is planning for the future, since his decision to retire in 2013. The film uses chapters to title each section of the film, which makes it seem more personal, as if each piece is a part of Miyazaki's thought process. The editing and camera angles are spot on and very cleanly done.

As the film opens, Miyazaki believes that he is too old to continue with hand-drawn, animated, feature films, because they are too emotionally and physically taxing on his aging body. He decides to start focusing the rest of his energy on a less physically intense short film, Boro the Caterpillar. In order for this project to be practical for Miyazaki, he and the remains of his trusted team decide to call upon a more technological, younger CGI team. Miyazaki doesn't trust the younger team at the start because he says they don't capture the essence of emotion and passion in their CGI work. However, he ultimately gets a kick out of learning CGI animation from the younger team and begins to feel more open towards them, because he feeds off the energy of their youth.

During the project, Miyazaki becomes mildly depressed because two of his old animation colleagues pass away and he questions why he didn't go first. Miyazaki says that he would rather die being productive, making his next film than being an ordinary, lazy old man. In fact, the documentary shows how he changes his mind about doing another feature length film. Even though he may die during the making of the next film, he states that he wants "to die with something to live for."

This documentary was somewhat sad for me, because Miyazaki is, by far my favorite director. To see him speak of himself as old and feeble was really hard to watch. I've seen all of his films multiple times and it's really distressing to think that it will all be over after his next film. However, he still appears to be robust and the films ends on a positive note. He states that "self-satisfied people are boring and we have to push hard to surpass ourselves." It's difficult to imagine how Miyazaki can surpass what he's already accomplished.

I recommend Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki for ages 13 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it digs deep into the emotional and complicated life cycle of a world-shaping animation director. This film is distributed by Gkids and playing in select screenings through Fathom Events. Do check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AQUAMAN
AQUAMAN - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Origin stories are always fun. Learning the back-story of a character is a wild ride, especially when discussing Aquaman. The unlikely and forbidden union of a human man and a queen from the depths of the seas resulted in a boy with surreal aquatic skills and knowledge. As the narrator of the film, Aquaman/ Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) tells the tale of his birth and youth in a lovely way - until his Mother Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is violently swept away by the troops of King Orm (Patrick Wilson), a power-hungry ruthless ruler. Now confused, Arthur is visited by a teacher named Vulko (Willem Dafoe) who teaches him the ways of his people.

As Arthur grows up, he learns he is the heir to Atlantis, an underwater kingdom. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, which teach the audience more about his origin story and how his disinterest in attaining a throne comes to be. Throughout the film, Arthur denies his birthright and refuses to fight for his rightful place as heir to a throne held by his half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson). His betrothed, Princess Mera (Amber Heard) reconsiders her place in the kingdom as the battle for Atlantis ensues.

Throughout his life, Vulko has trained Arthur to educate him about the sea, and the reigning factions. As he is a cross-species being, he must learn how to get along above and below the sea. Arthur lives a history lesson as he learns about the sea Kings and evolution of the Master of the Sea.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. As widely reported, there is a lot of CGI, and violent CGI. The War Of The Seas is scary at times. Conversely, the stunts and special effects are detailed and outstanding. The visuals are beautiful. The costumes are alive with color. Moms will see themselves in the reality of Motherhood self-sacrifice in Queen Atlanna. Hats off to Jason Momoa (swoon. His over-the-top portrayal of Arthur works. He is equally funny and dedicated to the role. Suspend belief and enjoy a wet ride through lands never seen before. This film opens in theaters nationwide December 21, 2018.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like this film because the message is so powerful. It's about training to be the best you can be. Then, when you are ready, your task is to beat anything that's in your way, with a humble heart because good always wins. Another reason why I like it is because of the action between Arthur and King Orm. These two teach that, no matter what the situation is, violence is never the answer. I also really like the background music because the suspense really moved me and made me want to jump out of my seat with excitement and joy.

This amazing action/adventure film is about the city of Atlantis, which is now an underwater kingdom ruled by the power-hungry king Orm. With his army by his side, King Orm plans to take over the remaining oceanic people to become the King of all oceans better known as the Oceanic Master, then to rule the surface world. Standing in Orm's way is his half-Human, half-Atlantean brother, Aquaman, known as half-breed. With help from Vulko, who is the royal counselor of the throne, Aquaman must retrieve the powerful trident of Atlan to proclaim the title as the protector of the deep blue sea.

The cast includes Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa, Game Of Thrones), Atlanna (Nicole Kidman, Dead Calm), King Atlan (Graham McTavish, Outlander), Mera (Amber Heard, Never Back Down), King Orm (Patrick Wilson, Insidious), Vulko (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man), Manta (Yahya Abdul-Manteen II, The Greatest Showman).

My favorite part of this film is when Arthur finds out that he has the power to talk to the creatures in the water, in other words echolocation. Following that, Arthur doesn't know how to control the power that he has, which is why King Atlan puts Arthur in the hands of the royal counselor, Vulko, to learn to control his powers. From the training that Artur does with Vulko, Arthur shall use it in the future.

Aside from that, King Orm plans to take things into his own hands and decides to conquer the seven seas to become King Of The Deep Blue Sea, also known as the Oceanic Master. After that, King Orm plans to take apart the surface world to become his treasure for good.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. Truly the whole family will love this film as it has so many funny and good reaction moments. This film also requires very good anthropomorphic qualities in various scenes. Don't miss this amazing action/adventure film directed by James Wan, which is playing in theaters now, to find out what happens at the end.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MORTAL ENGINES
MORTAL ENGINES - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mortal Engines is a visually incredible movie. Unfortunately, the story is quite hard to follow, and a lot seems to have been cut.

The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where civilization has been wiped out. What's left of the human race has rebuilt cities as war vehicles designed to destroy and loot other cities. A girl named Hester Shaw tries to revenge her mother and stop London from destroying the shield wall, a wall that protects the peaceful, non-moving cities.

I dislike how fast it moves. There are lots of action scenes and some of them get a bit too fast. On the other hand, these action scenes are well planned out and have lots of moving parts. In almost all of them, the characters are fighting while the city falls apart.

The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed. He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details. I specifically like how he can hold onto the ground by folding his feet down. This is a unique ability that isn't over or under used. I enjoy Stephen Lang's voice as Shrike. It gives an expected, eerie feeling to his character. The makeup for Hester's scar is great, looking realistic but not too over the top.

The moral of Mortal Engines is that you can accomplish anything if you work as a team. This is shown when Hester refuses to work with her friends until the end, when they must work together to stop London from destroying the shield wall.

The music is often too overpowering. In several scenes, the music actually takes away from what is happening on screen. For example, in the final set it gets so loud that you can't hear what the characters are saying.

My favorite scene is at the beginning, when they show the landscape of this post-apocalyptic future and then, quickly jump into the action with a fun chase scene. This scene is very intense and shows what most of the movie is all about.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 15. It opens in theaters Friday, December 14, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Mortal Engines is one of the most creative films I've seen in years. The concept is fresh and imaginative and the storytelling is solid. There are two flaws though. This film tries to create a universe that is deep and rich, but also has many plots going at the same time which makes the film seem jumbled. It seems that they tried to fit too much into one movie.

Mortal Engines' premise is that world's crust is split into hundreds of pieces thanks to a war that lasted 60 minutes. Humans, after the decimation of the earth, made cities and nations built on wheels, because the entire earth became a hunting ground where larger more powerful cities prayed on the less powerful. The film begins with London chasing down one rogue city that tries to escape, but is captured. The city has onboard Hesther Shaw (Hera Hilmar) who has been tracking down London to kill its commander Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), who killed her mother. She attempts to murder him, but gets caught and runs away with another Londoner.

My favorite part is the opening sequence where the smaller city is driving away from London. This is a great way to show off the type of world this is. Also, it shows the pure beauty of the CGI and special effects they use.

This film has some serious star power. Most notably Hugo Weaving who has been in countless movies including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Matrix. He is a Nigerian born Australian-English film and stage actor. Also Leila George who plays Katherine Valentine and is a stage actor who is also known for her work in The Long Home and The Kid, both to be released in 2019.

The message of this film is that you don't have to do whatever it takes to get your way. I recommend this film to anyone who likes Lord Of The Rings and Mad Max. There plenty of stunts that you don't want to try and lots of drinking so, I recommend this for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. This film hits theatres December 14, 2018.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - "Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006," Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. "I've said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said 'Yes' on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining..."Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL in an homage to Savage's starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Fred remarked, "while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab"
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Deadpool had much attention recently for its fame of being highly mature, but at the same time incredibly entertaining. Once Upon a Deadpool attempts to break that by releasing a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 and, while it will make the audience laugh as much as the previous version, it fails to expand the Deadpool audience to younger viewers.

Similar to the original film, the story holds is action-packed with some romance and drama, but always draped with the famous parody feel that creates an entertaining and comedic atmosphere.

Once Upon a Deadpool follows the previous film with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) losing the love of his life, leading to him trying to find ways to stop his grief, eventually ending up with Deadpool trying to save a young mutant boy from becoming a cruel murderer and on the way making a new family. In the PG-13 edition, the entire story is told by Deadpool to Fred Savage as a bedtime story, similar to the style of Princess Bride. While this doesn't truly affect the main plot a lot, the twist leads to much laughter and many comedic moments.

Once Upon a Deadpool delivers the same chaotic, dark and highly mature atmosphere that the previous film did and, despite being marketed as a PG-13 film, it still has the same amount of lewdness and foul language, even if the material merely gets hinted at instead of blatantly shown. While this does technically makes it a less severe rating, the re-cut is far from a family film that everyone can enjoy. Also, at times, the re-cut rearranges scenes and shots very uniquely to avoid showing anything mature. Mostly this works to tell the story, but at times it feels forced, as if the editor had to construct a film from sticks instead of clips, with awkward cuts and sequences.

Aside from this, the film achieves high praise overall. The new cast and old cast hold a great quality in their performances, despite being in many ways a parody film. Of course, being a superhero action, good VFX holds a huge role in the end product. While the CGI throughout has less quality than what you'd see in an Avengers' film, it still mostly looks realistic and could convince anybody that what they see on screen is real.

Some of the funniest scenes come from the method that the film tells its story by having Deadpool read it to Fred Savage as a bedtime story. Most of the scenes breaks the fourth wall and are filled with self-mocking and sarcasm, which makes each time that the two are shown on camera together enjoyable. Savage and Reynolds' on-screen chemistry works perfectly and the conversations and scenes flow smoothly, adding to the enjoyment as the comedy feels natural and real.

Despite being rated PG-13, Once Upon a Deadpool fails to actually expand to the target audience. I recommend this for ages 15 to 18, as well as adults. Parents should be warned that, while the film meets the national standard for a PG-13 rating, many adult-oriented elements are still referenced heavily, making it very mature in many ways. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for excellent acting and comedy, but lacking in an interesting and unpredictable story and having a strange flow at times due to the numerous edits necessary to achieve the lower rating. This film opens in theaters December 12, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - Miles Morales comes across the long-dead Peter Parker. This Peter Parker is not from his world though; he's from somewhere else in the multiverse. With Parker's guidance, Miles will become Spider-Man: and through that he will become part of the ever-expanding 'Spider-Verse'.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What would you do if you could be a superhero? What if you have no choice? From the very beginning, Spider-Man: Into the Spicer-Verse is very energetic and captures your attention. This animated film has impressive visuals. The music creates a fantastic rhythm. And you just want to watch more.

The story follows a high school student named Miles Morales, who just changed school. He goes into an abandoned subway station with his uncle Erin and gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Ever since that day, Miles starts sticking to everything he touches. Then, he meets Spider-Man (Peter Parker), teams up with some friends from the same dimension and they attempt to save the world from the villain Kingoin.

The story is very original and makes the impossible possible. It takes all the abilities of Spider-Man to far and beyond with its action scenes. The film also shows a very real family atmosphere and the humor is smart. I love the non-traditional characters and how they embrace diversity. And yes! Spider-Man is Latino and surely does speak Spanish! There are also some fun new characters.

With this film, Marvel has created a film that celebrates comics, film and visual arts. Of course, it celebrates Spider-Man and makes this super hero relevant and contemporary. It is absolutely eye-poppingly beautiful and really pushes the boundaries of the genre with its colors, textures and camera movements. There are several different forms of animation in one film. You feel as if you are actually reading a comic book or the comic book is coming to life.

Naturally, the film does a very touching tribute to genius Stan Lee. I feel the filmmakers took some risks bringing new ideas to this iconic character which as been adored for over 50 years. The result is a must-see family movie that is even more appealing to new generations. I also love how this film is animated. It's so different. I've never seen a film like this one. I think it's very unique. Be sure to stay after the credits to see something very special, including another set of credits at the very end.

This film sets a new era in animated movies. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and include it in my Oscar predictions as a very possible winner. This is the film parents will love their kids to watch and kids will enjoy in many different ways.

With great power comes great responsibility and we all can be heroes. This is the idea behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - inclusion for all in the vast universe and the idea that we can all be heroes by making the right choices and doing our best helping each other in our everyday life. This film opens nationwide December 14, 2018 at a theater near you. Be sure to check it out.

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a masterpiece of the superhero and animated genre. Groundbreaking animation and voice talent propel this above any other Spidey movies. Any fan of Marvel or even animation must check out this one-of-a-kind experience.

The story follows Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) or the "new Spider-Man," after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. When Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, dies, Morales realizes he is the only one left to save the city from the grips of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber). Kingpin threatens to risk all space-time continuums, which even brings new Spider-men from other dimensions and timelines. One such is another Peter Parker (Jake Johnston) who serves as Miles' mentor. These Spider-men remain the only ones powerful enough to defeat Fisk and his maniacal experiments.

Shameik Moore, as Miles Morales, is easily the movie's best character and empowers in what is the first depiction of his character in a movie. His coming-of-age brings upmost relatability and his perseverance only makes his origin story as compelling, if not more so as Peter's. Jake Johnston, as Peter Parker, portrays the classic original well, but with neat nuances. His character is one that has suffered many setbacks and devolved to laziness, with his arc being a fun, unexpected diversion. Bryan Tyree Henry, as Jefferson Davis, charges his father-son relationship with much heart as he struggles to bond. His brother Aaron, played by Mahershala Ali, provides another compelling performance, as he remains a key inspiration for why Miles is who he is. The Spider-verse, is complimented by the mysterious Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), anime-inspired Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), Nicolas Cage who shines as the Spider-Man Noir and last, but not least, the wise-cracking anthropomorphic Spider-Ham (John Mullaney). Liev Schreiber brings a deep booming voice in the Kingpin that only adds to his menacing large physique.

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman are experts in their class with many beautiful and visceral shots commanding the plot. The animation is something to be commended with its own identity taking homage from many comic books. My favorite scene comes from the central scene where Miles becomes one with his powers, as every shot has meaning and flair. It is truly inspiring and mind-blowing from a plot-driven and animated perspective. I could nitpick on the lack of a compelling villain at points or even some very infrequent awkward song placements, but in the end, everything comes into fruition and those are a long gone afterthought.

The message of the movie is about taking leaps of faith as Morales's whole story revolves around just that in his quest to live up to the worthy Spider-Man mantle. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of some intense scenes and themes. The movie releases in theaters on December 14, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse surprised me in its ability to create an original piece despite the several renditions of Spider-Man that exist! Spider-Man has been adopted by several films and TV shows in the past decades, yet Into the Spider-Verse is the most creative take on Spider-Man. The animation sets a milestone in the history of animation, for it is the first of its kind. Such aspects bring fresh artistry in animation that is rare in the film industry.

The story follows Miles Morales, a young boy who faces pressure at high school and at home to be the best. However, when a portal to the multi-verse is opened, Miles is tasked with the responsibility of saving his hometown of Brooklyn. Along the way, several Spider-Men and Women meet who align with Miles and they become a close and loving family.

The animation is contemporary and avant-garde, featuring pop art and street art. It is a tribute to the art of comic books, bringing them to life. It has several aspects of a comic book including onomatopoeia like "Pow!" and "Boom!" that are surrounded by colorful borders in several of the action scenes. Another example of the comic book charm occurs when an exciting fight move is taken by one of the Spider characters. At this time the screen splits into three, displaying the happenings in that instant, and adding to the thrill of the moment and overall fight. These small nuances accumulate, making me feel as if I had walked into a comic book.

My favorite part is the way that there are small tributes to the original Spider-Man comic books with different takes on villains such as Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin. They even made small references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that added to the ingenuity and display the directors' attention to detail. The only thing that the film can improve on is the plot, because some of the characters are underdeveloped. Otherwise, the climax and storylines are unpredictable and engaging.

The message of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that all it takes to be what you want and do what you want is to take a leap of faith. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Be sure to check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in theatres nationwide December 14, 2018.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
MARY POPPINS RETURNS - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming musical is not a remake of the original Mary Poppins, like some expected. Rather it is a sequel to the wonderful original, with the children grown and parents themselves. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the lamp-lighter with his usual panache and flair. I swear, I could watch him on screen forever. He is ever so charming and sprightful. Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins is equally engaging, bringing her own magical fantastic way of problem-solving to the family as it faces economic ruin. Rob Marshall has a way of creating such delightful family friendly films and this one will become a must see for those who love musicals. The singing and dancing are superb. The choreography makes use of lampposts, ladders, bicycles and everything else in the set as the ensemble cast adeptly dances their way across the screen. Really, all the cast is superb and I would be remiss without shouting our Dick Van Dyke's cameo appearance at the end. Seeing this 90 year old icon dance on top of a desk just proves that you're never too old to be young! I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 through 18, as well as adults. My older sister watched this with me and I had to drag her out of the theater afterwards. She loved it! So did my much younger grandson. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mary Poppins Returns is a charming musical filled to the brim with imagination and whimsy. It is quite entertaining and Emily Blunt is very good as the magical, manners-focused nanny.

The storyline follows the title character as she returns to the Banks' family home, decades later. Siblings Michael and Jane Banks are grown up. Michael, with kids of his own and mourning the loss of his wife, is about to lose the home that they have lived in since they were children. Poppins descends from the London sky, ready to help the Banks' family with their plight and teach Michael's kids to use their imaginations and improve their manners. The bank has given Michael a few days to pay off his house, setting off a countdown for Poppins, the Banks and a lamplighter named Jack to save the home.

The story is interesting. Michael Banks has hit rock bottom. His wife has tragically passed away and he's about to lose the home he has lived in since childhood. The only thing that brings him joy is the comfort and company of his family. It's a sad place to start, but it's a great scenario for Mary Poppins to come to work her magic. The idea of losing your home is pretty realistic and the contrast with such a fantastical protagonist and situation, provides an aspect that I quite enjoyed.

Emily Blunt is very good as Mary Poppins. She puts her own twist on the character, yet you can still trace it back to the earlier onscreen depiction of Poppins. Blunt gives the character a sharper, comedic edge. Her Poppins is much more witty and sarcastic, but still gives a sense of compassion and care for those around her. Blunt really dives into the role and cements her portrayal in a charismatic way. She steals the show in nearly every scene.

I recommend Mary Poppins Returns for ages 5 to 18, due to some dark themes. Adults and fans of the original Mary Poppins will enjoy this film. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The film has lots of charm and it's great to see Poppins sail back onto the screen once again.

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

The movie, Mary Poppins Returns is a beautiful classic movie. I totally enjoyed it and can't wait to watch it again. However, it is different from what I thought it would be. I thought I was going to see a remake of the original Mary Poppins, you know, the one made famous by the incredible Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. However, Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel.

The story takes place 25 years into the future of the Banks' family and the brother and sister are all grown up now. Mr. Banks has recently lost his wife and is devastated. The family is losing their home because they are behind on payments. Fortunately, for the Banks' family, Mary Poppins (played by the multi-talented Emily Blunt) returns to help the family.

What I really love about this film is that it has a great story, acting, singing, dancing and music. I particularly loved the live action mixed with vibrant colorful animation. There are also golden nuggets of lessons to be learned in life, which I'll share shortly.

One of my favorite parts in the movie is when Mary Poppins makes her grand entrance gliding down from high in the sky with her umbrella. Another awesome scene is when Jack (played the brilliantly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda) uses a ladder to climb the multi-high clock tower. Another really cool scene is when all the characters go down a tub drain and enter a whole new world where they swim and sing.

I love the singing voices of Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is great to see a cameo appearance by the amazing Dick Van Dyke (as Mr. Dawes Jr.) who runs the bank. He literally lit up the film when he appears and dances on a desk. Angela Lansbury's cameo as the Balloon Lady was also just perfect. She has one of those voices when you hear one word you know it's her.

The messages of Mary Poppins Returns are important for all of us to remember - never lose hope, try to look at the brighter side of things and don't forget what it is to be or have the heart of a child. I recommend this for ages 5 to 18 and also for adults. This film comes to theatres December 19, 2018 and I think you will love it, too. I joyfully give Mary Poppins Returns 5 out of 5 stars!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1
ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1 - ZOONICORN, LLC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, take young animals who are facing a real-life challenges on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. Songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Zoonicorn Sing-Along Songs, Volume 1 is a web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters, My Little Pony-ish, with unique magical strengths that impart through song and story positive and uplifting answers to children's fears and esteem issues. The songs are well-performed and produced, though somewhat repetitive in style. Children will be drawn to the vivid color and texture of the scenery and characters as well as the child-like voices. In addition, children will identify with the trials and tribulations of the little Otter, Pancake, as he learns life lessons with the help of the Zoonicorns. Nicely produced and performed music. Orchestration is particularly well done on the Pancake story. There is definitely value in the positive messages such as: You can do anything if you try. Don't give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. The sample episode and songs follow the uplifting winner approach of this concept and the 3-D visual style works well as a platform. One problem I have with it is that some concepts or particular phrase are over the heads of little target audience such as 'go with the flow' or 'dot your i's and cross your t's'. It teaches children about tools to use to overcome fear or self esteem issues. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to listen to the unique, magical and joyful web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters. Get ready to view real-life challenges and imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. This colorful masterpiece web series is created and executive produced by Mark Lubratt and directed by Cliff Dew and Ariel Yamus.

The web series follows four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, taking young animals facing real-life issues on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. The songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams.

The set of songs are well-performed and produced. Along with each song, you will meet seven new colorful, inspiring and adventurous friends as you visit beautiful Zooniverse. The songs provide age appropriate lyrics for which kids can easily sing alone. How fun is this? The music provides positive impact for children to build their vocabulary. No question that every child will be drawn to the vivid colors and texture of the scenery and characters, as well as the child-like voices.

This web series deliveries very powerful messages - for every problem, there is a solution; nothing is impossible, if you just believe in yourself; you can do anything; don't give up! Some of my favorite themes are about showing children to care about themselves, to be creative and to use their imaginations. The Zoonicorns provides lots of positive answers.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this web series and kids will certainly enjoy the catchy tunes This web series launches December 1, 2018 so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Zoonicorns are four mixes of Unicorns and Zebras that help other animals with their problems. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams. As the Zoonicorns help others, they sing and their singing provides lyrics for which kids can easily sing along. This singing is great for preschoolers. The Zoonicorns provide answers to problems. The solution they find for every problem is that it comes from within and nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. Teaching a child about caring for themselves, using their imagination and creativity is another part of their message. The sing along builds up and introduces words to help the child expand their vocabulary, understanding new words and learning how to use them. This great web series comes out December 1, 2018. You can find it online so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Cemre C, KIDS FIRST! Youth Reviewer, age 14
Runtime: 17 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GETTING GRACE
GETTING GRACE - DANIEL ROEBUCK
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Grace, (newcomer Madelyn Dundon) is a teenage girl dying of cancer, who crashes a funeral home to find out what will happen to her after she dies. Instead, Grace ends up teaching the awkward funeral director, Bill (Daniel Roebuck), how to celebrate life in this critically acclaimed movie for the entire family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is a very emotional ride. I laughed a lot and I teared up. It is so well done, from the writing to the acting. Even though Getting Grace deals with something very sad, it tries to have a positive outlook, which makes it stand out.

The story follows a teenage girl named Grace, who has cancer. She crashes a funeral home to ask the funeral director what happens when someone dies. Most of the film follows her living her life as the clock counts down to her death and shows the way she affects the people around her, especially the funeral director, Bill.

The acting in this movie is fantastic. Some stand out actors are Madelyn Dundon as Grace, Daniel Roebuck as Bill, Marsha Dietlein as Venus and Alexa Mcfillin as Audrey. However, everyone else in the cast also come through, even very small characters. Kudos to the casting directors, Rod Gilkeson and Elaine Nunez. Speaking of the emotional scenes, these are genuinely amazing. Towards the end of the movie, there are some really great performances from Madelyn Dundon, Daniel Roebuck and Marsha Dietlein. But, I don't want to go into much detail because I don't want to spoil it.

Along with the acting, the movie is also carried by the direction. There are lots of really cool scenes in both the beginning and end of the movie. In the beginning, there's a scene where Grace rips off her wig to reveal she's gotten to the point where she's lost her hair. That's one of the many stand out scenes in the film. The foreshadowing! There's some really great foreshadowing in one particular scene, which I won't spoil, but it ends up being really important and really heartbreaking in the end.

I enjoyed the characters in this movie a lot. Grace is very funny and entertaining, but is a very tragic character as well. The way she slowly starts to understand the seriousness of her condition as the story progresses really hurts. There's also a lot of nice character development, particularly with Bill. He first comes off as cold-hearted and a bit emotionless, but he soon develops into a pretty sad, yet complex character. My one issue with the film is that certain scene transitions from a serious scene to a more normal scene kind of kill the tone the previous scene was going for. So there are some editing issues.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This film is already out so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GREEN BOOK
GREEN BOOK - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who's about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sometimes being alone means not being accepted. A fact that some have attempted to convey in the art of cinema, but only a few reach the precision and emotional strength of Green Book which shows not only the complex and dark social issues of the 1960s but also demonstrates the power and emotion of feeling truly alone.

This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States. Yet still, the viewer will be surprised by the amount of humor and wonderfully vibrant moments that are portrayed. They will make you laugh in all the right places, without interrupting truly emotional moments.

Taking place in the 1960s, Green Book follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) accompanies Shirley going from his driver to savior to eventually, his close friend. As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s.

Perhaps one of the most lovable aspects of this movie can be attributed to the story itself. Every person in the film has a major character arc in which they become completely reshaped and remolded by the end. The entire cast performs with Oscar-worthy emotional portrayals of their characters. Mahershala once again delivers absolutely heart-wrenching scenes as the audience becomes acquainted with the lonesome and depressed life Don Shirley lives in, despite being unarguably talented and highly intelligent. The complexities in the set design, costume design, and overall tone of the entire world never run out of depth as the entire film feels as if it truly belongs in the 1960s, despite being shot nearly half a century later. Director Peter Farrelly may be seasoned in humoristic comedies, but makes sure his background stays separate for this film. With his lead, the audience experiences bitter reality and, with the help of cinematographer Sean Porter, view a vivid and colorful picture of United States in the 1960s, from up north in New York all the way to down south in Alabama.

Cinema about musicians would be blasphemy without an impressive soundtrack to follow suit. From music considered modern and pop for that era, to classical pieces hundreds of years old, Green Book promises a highly wide and diverse soundtrack that highlights itself as one of the greatest this year. Furthermore, the music tells the story as it begins with 1960s music, but slowly goes more and more towards classical and orchestral as the story unfolds and the viewer learns more about the conflicts of pianist Don Shirley. Furthermore, despite being over two hours long, the film keeps you captivated for the entire runtime and leaves you satisfied with a natural and beautiful ending.

Instead of a favorite scene, I would like to talk about several sequences present in the film. Since they're on tour, of course, Shirley and his fellow musicians in his trio are shown playing music. Yet, this varies in emotion, strength and passion as real-life events impact Don Shirley's craft just as the events impact his actual character. The power of his work never dwindles and always leaves you in awe. During the performance scenes, every aspect of the film shines with absolutely masterful cinematographic compositions that seem to isolate the musicians and truly captures the raw emotions such powerful music creates.

Despite the beauty and power that hold true throughout this film, it does have things to concern parents. As previously stated, the film embraces the bitter and blunt reality of the 1960s, from homophobia to racism. This makes it most appropriate for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. I absolutely give the film 5 out of 5 stars for its powerful portrayal of an inspirational journey that promotes courage, activism and always doing what's right in the world. It opens in theaters November 21, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope's video game, "Sugar Rush." In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet -- the netizens -- to help navigate their way, including an entrepreneur named Yesss, who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case. The film builds upon the friendship that Ralph and Venellope have with each other. The climax of the movie is a heartwarming test of their friendship which brings light that friends don't always need to agree on everything.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is about Mr. Litwack installing the Internet to his arcade and his "Sugar Rush" game breaking, which leads to their adventure through the internet. Mr. Litwack orders the parts on eBay, but it costs $200 which is more than the game makes a year. Ralph and Venellope overhear him talking and decide to go on a quest to find the part and save Venellope's game. They travel to the router and get transported to the magical world of the Internet. They awe at the vibrant colors and variety of the internet and go directly go to the search bar where they ask to go to eBay. When they realize they have to bid for the wheel, they bid the highest number they can think of, not realizing they have to pay. This causes them to go on an epic adventure to get $27,001 in under 24 hours or else the item would be re-bid. They find a pop-up ad that shows them how to make money playing video games. They decide to get a car owned by Shank. They race Shank until they get beat by her. She gives them a tip and tells Venellope she races well.

My favorite scene is when they go to the Disney section of the Internet and we see a whole lot of cameos from favorite characters such as Eeyore and Stan Lee. I especially love when Venellope is being chased by Stormtroopers and goes into the princess lounge where she teaches them about modern comforts. I found that hilarious.

This film has huge star power. Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly, the man behind Step Brothers and The Sisters Brothers. Also, Sarah Silverman plays Venelope who started in SNL and has appeared in The battle of the Sexes.

The message of this movie is that, even if you are best friends with someone that doesn't mean you can't disagree. This movie has nothing be inappropriate for kids. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now so look for it.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that's full humor and excitement. It is about Ralph aka Wreck it Ralph who goes on a trip with his best friend Vanellope into the internet to buy a steering wheel for Vanellope's game so it doesn't get shut down. The internet is a whole new thing for Ralph and his friends and they walk into some trouble while trying to get the wheel. A few of the inconveniences they run into are not knowing where to go and also not having money. Before Ralph and Vanellope find out they need money, they place a bid of $27,000 on the steering wheel. When they get to checkout and they don't have money, the cashier says they have 24 hours before their bid expires. That's when they embark on their journey through the internet.

All the same characters from the original movie Wreck it Ralph are in this film and there are even some new ones introduced. Nathan Warner, the cinematography director excels at giving the movie a realistic cartoonish look. It really fits in with the whole video game plot and scenery. The theme is that friendships come in all shapes and sizes and that friends are forever.

If you plan on bringing kids under 11 or 12, I strongly recommend that you watch the trailer with them and ask if they would want to see the full movie because there are a lot of puns about Twitter and a lot of jokes that I don't think younger kids will get. I'm not saying that you shouldn't bring younger kids, because they will still understand the majority of what's happening and enjoy the film, but the director geared this film for older audiences such as 12 and above. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. It seemed that the adults were laughing more than the kids during the movie. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is a hilarious movie that kept me interested for all two hours.

Make sure you stay for both scenes after the credits. You can find this movie in USA theaters November 21, 2018 and worldwide in the days and weeks after. Put it on your calendar!

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE
NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter a fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Do you remember The Nutcracker ballet? What about Cinderella? As I screened this film, both childhood memories came to mind. Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has brought the magic of Disney back to the big screen. From the beginning of the film, your senses will be ALIVE! Every set looks edible with color and life. Truly, this live-action Disney film is a breath of fresh air.

While you may know the story of The Nutcracker, your senses will be awakened by the colors, costumes, and scenery in this film. As with most Disney films, there is a theme of loss, yet it is also so alive!

Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is an amazing young protagonist. I found myself drawn to her curious nature and determination to live up to her mother's curious nature. As a young girl, she plays a curious and adventurous spirit, who is also very mechanically inclined. She amazed me by her desire to succeed, and her courage. She walks into dark spaces knowing she is enough, and encounters creatures who challenge her along a path of discovery. She encounters toy soldiers and magical mice - some of whom are not kind! Clara's quick mind and wonderful, kind skills help her get through a lot of sticky situations!

Without giving too much away, the gist of the story is about a gift, presented by her Father, but left to her by her mother at Christmas. Her second gift is from her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) at his annual holiday party, which leads her to a coveted key - which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. From one world to the next, Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets, Clara and a soldier she meets named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara's key.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Sugar (Keira Knightley), we learn, is not to be trusted and at times, gets annoying with her over the top antics. But in the end, this film has all the feels (and reminds me of so many things) of a Victorian English Christmas, the beloved Russian ballet, lively forest creatures from Disney and the bond of family. Misty Copeland makes a magnificent addition to the film, showcasing her balletic perfection.

Hats off to the costumers and make-up artists! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, as well as adults. You should know this film deals with the death of a parent. It opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it! You'll be glad you did.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a wondrous, visual experience that is somewhat light on substance. Apt acting and sensational ballet dancing excel and make this something more memorable than the premise might suggest. Any Disney fans will want to check this out. The story follows young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) as she recovers from her mother's death. However, a spark of hope lightens Clara after seeing her late mother's parting gift of a box with a hidden key. This key belongs to a parallel world, unlike anything, to which Clara must travel to obtain the key. With the help of budding soldier Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara learns of all obstacles that await, especially in the form of the menacing Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), leader of the Fourth Realm. Most importantly is a looming war that could preside over the three Realms that are at peace - Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets and are threatened by the Fourth Realm. In the three Realms resides Sugar Plum (Kiera Knightley) who is on same page as Clara and braves her up for the Fourth Realm as the fate of the Realms and her mother's dying wish relies on it.

Mackenzie Foy, as Clara, well presents her character's central struggle to find her inner place amidst all the tragedy, while also being hopeful and cheerful. The end result of this character development is a joy to watch and most definitely the movie's best subplot, amongst all the other slumberous ones. Kiera Knightley, as Sugar Plum Fairy, regales with well-written comedic relief, but the timing of her intervention seems quite random and very over-the-top at times. Regardless, children, most of all, will find enjoyment with all the youthful energy. Jayden Fowora-Knight, as Philip, is my favorite character, despite this being only the second film he has appeared in. His charm and braveness add a relentless vigor to the character that never gets old. Helen Mirren, as Mother Ginger, likewise shines, despite her character suffering from a lack of screen time and character development. With what she is given, she shines with the menacing undertones that could mean good under the entire demeanor. Also, Misty Copeland's cameo is full of entertainment with her ballet proficiency bringing a certain something to the stage without feeling like a forced addition. Instead, it feels more like a celebration of the Nutcracker's roots and remains my favorite scene.

Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston expertly direct the visual flair with clear attention to every nook and cranny of the special effects and sound design. Despite this, the movie has flaws coming from the lack of a compelling story line, aside from Clara's inner struggles. Everything feels introduced way too quickly and without clear meaning. This leaves the movie feeling rather inconsequential and just an excuse to put the Nutcracker on the live screen. Still, the movie delivers an amazing awe to each scene's production.

The message of the movie is to never lose yourself in sorrow and always connect with your family and friends during times of grief. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on November 2, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This live action film is absolutely stunning! The sets are rich and make you enter a fascinating world of four different, colorful realms. It is so beautiful, I did not want to leave the movie theater. I want to see it again. The film is inspired by the original story from German author E.T.A Hoffman, written in 1816 and the ballet by Tchaikovsky (1892).

The story is simple, but powerful in concept. This is the journey of Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who is dealing with the loss of her mother, trying to reconnect with the world and with her family, especially her father. On Christmas Eve, she receives a special gilt from her mother - a mysterious box. But, she is missing the key. With the help of Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), her godfather, she enters a world of mysteries with characters that will help her find the key. When she first enters, a cute mouse has the key, but is impossible to catch. She meets a Nutcracker soldier, Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) who tells her about the realm of Flowers, the realm of Sweets and the realm of Snowflakes, but warns her about the dangerous fourth realm and Mother Ginger. But, Clara is determined to find the key and will do what it takes to find it.

This film has the power of captivating you. There are moments I was really afraid and others I was delighted and amused, depending on the characters in the scene. It has the power to be frightening, like in the fourth realm, with all kinds of circus characters. All the performances are amazing. Mackenzie Foy conveys innocence and courage at the same time and is just perfect for this role. She has an ethereal look and is a brave actress who did as many of her own stunts as can could. I love that she is a princess and a hero at the same time. Morgan Freeman adds gravitas to his role and a sense of wisdom. Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez is so flamboyant and adds a nice touch to the cast. Keira Knightly is the perfect fairy. She has a special tone in her voice. Helen Mirren is also absolutely believable as Mother Ginger. There's a mystery about her character and, despite her bad reputation, you want to know more about her. Actually, the only thing that bothered me in this film is that we don't know her back story and why she is a villain when we first meet her.

I love the ballet and the fact that the filmmakers decided to incorporate dance into the story. Misty Copeland's dancing is flawless. She is the first African American woman promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theater. Although the story is simple, all the visual and camera work put you in a fascinating world you are exited to be part of. The costumes are beautiful and the art direction and production design deserve an Oscar nomination.

The message of this movie is about embracing your own courage and discovering yourself. I think this is very important for kids to learn and understand the answer to so many questions. So many times we underestimate the power we have to make the world a better place. I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 16. Unlock the mystery!

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love all of the stories and plots from J.K. Rowling. She never fails to amaze me with all the different plot twists that she comes up with. Besides having a wonderful follow up story that leaves the audience wanting more, the CGI is very detailed, yet still realistic. The sound immerses viewers even more into the story.

The story starts off with a very intense scene that starts the conflict and trouble. No spoilers though. After the introduction, it picks up three months after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them left off. We are introduced to Newt's brother who works for the ministry and his fianc� who had a childhood crush on Newt. We also discover that Jacob gets his memory back!

Eddie Redmayne comes back to play Newt. He embraces Newts' quirky and kind side perfectly. Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol (Jacob and Queenie) come back even closer as a couple. They fight just like a real couple too. Ezra Miller (Credence) is back, but as an older, mature and independent adult. His ability to portray his rage while staying calm is impressive and also intimidating.

The CGI is quite realistic, but at the same time out of this world. All the different creatures are so unique. I love how immersive the entire experience is. The animation combined with the acting, sets and music allows everyone to enter a different world.

My favorite scene is when Credence transforms into his black, floaty form because he is angered. In this form, he tries to attack one of the wizards who killed the person he was trying to get information from. He uses all his might and strength to attack. He even damages the entire building they are in with his force. Even though Credence is very powerful, he is still unable to pierce the wizard's shield. This scene is very intriguing to me because everything is so detailed. From Credence's liquid, black form to the crushing of the building, everything is very realistic.

There are many different underlying messages in this film. One of them is about family. Newt and Theseus (Newt's brother) haven't always been on the best of terms. For a while they worked against each other because of their conflicting views. But inevitably, they ended up on the same side, because they both have good intentions. And even though they might have done some unforgivable things to each other, they still forgive each other.

I love that this film allows you to enter a new world. It is fantastic! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this intriguing film. This film is out now in theaters so go see it!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a serviceable entry in the Harry Potter universe despite its many shortcomings. Fantastic performances and visuals complete some truly great and pivotal plot developments. Any Harry Potter fan might want to check this out, but go with lowered expectations.

The story follows the breakout of influential dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) as he seeks to enlist his army of pure bloods. He starts by manipulating the transformation of Credence (Ezra Miller). All sides are divided by this as many find that killing both will fix the issue and many believe that Grindelwald upholds what is right. All except for the moral Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who believes in stopping both but not killing. As a result, a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists him to work behind the lines as dangerous times approach testing the loyalties and love of all involved.

Eddie Redmayne, as Newt Scamander, is always entertaining with his quirky remarks and unswayable morals. Also, he attempts to reunite with Tina (Katherine Waterston) to humanize his central struggle to find company. Johnny Depp, as Grindelwald, empowers with his powerful voice and fear-inducing actions. His presence holds well even among the likes of Voldemort. Jude Law, as Albus Dumbledore, is my favorite character with a spot-on recreation of a younger Dumbledore even if he's not in it for long. His wise remarks and enthralling character developments only left me wanting more. Zoe Kravitz, as Leta, is one of the most interesting characters with her fair share of story which leaves us craving for more regarding the mysteries of the lore. Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Ezra Miller return better than ever with twists and turns further developing their characters, even if a little too much time is spent on their side of the story.

David Yates expertly directs with an eye of awe for each of the magical settings visited. It is always a delight to see the early happenings of events and monuments such as Hogwarts. However, my favorite scene comes from the opening escape which rips and roars with wondrous sound design and sets the precedent for a truly epic villain in Grindelwald. Despite this, the movie comparably falls flat resulting in some boring sections of exposition with forced moments of fan service. The movie feels considerably crowded and in need of a more compelling story in some sections. Despite this, the exceptional first few minutes and last third redeem the story from being a total slump.

The message of the movie is to never lose your morals despite what could benefit you. Newt is a great example of this because he chooses what's right in spite of Grindelwald's powerful way with words. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of some intense action and themes. The movie releases in theaters on November 16, 2018 so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE - THE STORY PIRATES
Series: AUDIO, AGES 5-12
Description - From the creators of the hit Story Pirates Podcast comes an album full of songs for kids that parents will love, too! Nothing Is Impossible features twelve infectious songs, written and performed by the Story Pirates, based entirely on stories written by KIDS! To learn more about the us, visit storypirates.com!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Story Pirates have created a lovely 12 song album based on original stories written by children ages 4 to 11. The imagination is brilliant throughout this project and the performances are impeccable. Each song is based on a different child's original story so each structure is unique to that particular content. You know you're in for a ride when the opening song is "Fart Out Loud Day," written by two sisters from Colorado. I'm sorry, but "Pass Gas Out Loud Day" just doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi - excuse my French. "All Eight Unicorns" are pretentious valley girls and reminded me of the Kardashians - silly unicorns! These are well produced arrangements and performances that are absolutely creatively stimulating for young minds. They are smart songs with a child's sensibility where imagination rules the day and written stories can blossom into something very special. The performances and production are first-rate across the board! Sharing observations and fun, silly ideas with peers can build positive social interaction. I would hope this concept would encourage a child to write down their own stories and observations. This would be a fun activity for the classroom. The hits keep coming and the smiles are plenty, so find your way to this gleaming pot of gold because Nothing Is Impossible! I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. It is well produced, entertaining and fun.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nothing is Impossible is a collection of songs that are impossible to get out of your head (in the best way possible)! These tunes are funny, addicting and creative. Kids and parents alike will love this music. Even as a teenager, I found this album really funny and musically impressive. I really enjoyed listening to each song and felt that I was listening to music that I could show my kids in years to come.

Nothing is Impossible features songs written and sung by the creators of the hit Story Pirates Podcast. It's based entirely on stories written by young children. The influences for these stories include six-year-old Leah from Maryland's story about being in the car (hence the title "In the Car"), a comic made by eleven-year-old Peer from California ("The Guy") and ten-year-old Alex from New York's story about a talking carrot ("Fred the Carrot"). One story that really caught my eye was four-year-old Ethan's from New Jersey. Ethan has heterotaxy, so he has a special heart and battery. He said the reason behind writing his story was that he would "love to run and catch a seagull, but I can't even jump that high so I wrote a story about it." I really want to commend Story Pirates for choosing Ethan's story and allowing him to express himself. It is really heartwarming to listen to that song and read Ethan's artist statement.

Nothing is Impossible is really an awesome album. Kids will laugh hysterically at songs such as "Fart Out Loud Day" and "Fred the Carrot." Even I had to stop myself from chuckling. Some of these song lyrics are really creative, as are the concepts. It's hard to believe that young kids came up with these ideas. The songs promote self-love and positive messages for young kids, such as believing in yourself and being confident and proud. The concept of this collection is an original one. I've never heard of anyone basing songs off of kids' ideas. Kids can be smarter than grown-ups sometimes, so it is really interesting to see all of these cool concepts played out in song form.

I recommend Nothing is Impossible for kids ages 2 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because of its creativity and humor. This CD is a fun and entertaining way for young children to enjoy music and life. Thanks to its positivity, it may also boost their spirits and confidence. I really enjoyed this CD and I think younger kids will enjoy it even more.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 45 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INSTANT FAMILY
INSTANT FAMILY - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hope of becoming a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Now, I must admit that I'm a bit biased. My mom has worked with foster kids for 20 years and I've helped out a charity that helps foster kids. So foster children are really important to me and this movie really reflects the truth about this system in an emotional and funny way.

The story follows Pete and Ellie, a couple who feel as though there is something missing in their life. They decide to adopt three siblings from the foster care system. However, they find that raising children is a lot harder than they thought.

This movie deals with a very heavy subject - the foster care system. Foster kids go through a lot of terrible stuff, which greatly affects them psychologically. One thing I really like about this movie is that it doesn't sugar coat the hard reality. It dives straight into the lives of foster kids, without simplifying what they've gone through. I really like this as it breaks the impressions that a lot of people have about raising a foster kid - that it's not as hard as raising your own kid. That is not the case and the movie perfectly shows this. It may seem like the kids are unlikable because of this, however they grow on you. It took quite a while for Pete and Ellie to grow on me however. They're very impatient and annoying for a lot of the movie. And, although they get better over time, it kind of takes a while.

This movie is a comedy. So how is the comedic aspect? Pretty good. However at the beginning, there are lots of jokes about foster kids that feel very forced. While they technically have a purpose. They just weren't funny to me. For example, there is a joke where Pete says one kid looks like she has fetal alcohol syndrome or was chained to a radiator her whole life. While there is a funny pay off, the implications kind of made me uncomfortable and it was part of the reason why I didn't like Pete and Ellie.

I admit that when the film starts to get really emotional, it really hits hard. The acting is really great in the serious scenes, especially from Lizzy (Isabela Moner). Of course, I need to give a shout out to Octavia Spencer who plays Karen, one of the case workers. I really like Octavia Spencer and she makes every scene she's in absolutely outstanding!

I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I would also recommend this movie for people who are considering becoming foster parents. If you want to mentor foster youth go to your local group home and help out. This movie is out on November 16, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GRINCH, THE
GRINCH, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it's a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award� nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Grinch is a cute and funny movie that reminds us of the real spirit of Christmas. This film is based on the famous Dr. Seuss book about the Grinch who hates Christmas so much. He tries to spoil it for everyone in the very Christmassy town he lives in, Whoville. Meanwhile, a small Who child tries to catch Santa, so she can talk to him about something very important that she wants for Christmas. The Grinch is an orphan and never had a family Christmas. He used to sit at his window watching all the Whos playing and celebrating outside. This made him hate Christmas. Years later, he decides to try to stop it. The Whos are a species that are always incredibly jolly around Christmas, so it will be hard to take it away from them.

I like how the music is the same music from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), but modernized with a hip-hop beat, complements to Danny Elfman. The way the Whos move around the town quickly is quite unique. Instead of roads, the Whos get around get on snowmobiles and sleds. The main characters in this movie are, The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), the only person that hates Christmas and Cindy Lou, (Cameron Seely), the little-girl that is trying to catch Santa and talk to him.

The Grinch lives in a cave north of Whoville that is full of rooms with inventive passageways and elevators to move between them. It is clear that the Grinch is very inventive. For example, in the music room there is a thin pathway that leads to a massive organ for the Grinch to play and a tiny drum set, for Max, his faithful dog. The Grinch is always telling Max to stop playing because he is ruining the vibe, but eventually gives in. He does this most times Max wants something, showing he is not as mean a character as he pretends.

Max is my favorite character in this movie. He goes about his day using Rube Goldberg machines to help the Grinch get ready for his day. My favorite scene is when Cindy Lou is sliding down the hill to get to the postman and crashes into the Grinch. That scene is hilarious and cool at the same time, featuring lots of fast action and comedy. Another good scene is when the Grinch is choosing his clothes. Inside his closet, he has clothes that have tags on them that read, "sad, very sad, miserable, very miserable, Christmas or happy." The happy pants are super clean while the very miserable pants look old and worn. This shows that the Grinch has been extremely sad lately.

The message of this film is that being together with friends and family is the only gift you ever need. Cindy Lou shows this through how forgiving she is, even though he steals their Christmas. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is a great family Christmas movie with a good message. This movie opens in theaters on November 9, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

What a touching moment! This full-length animated film intensely has you gazing at the screen, without a doubt. This enjoyable, wonderstruck, emotional, touching and kid-friendly movie is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. Get ready to enjoy this perky piece of family entertainment, just in time for the holidays. It is filled with memorable and touching moments that catch you off guard.

The story follows a mean-spirited, cynical and grumpy Grinch who sets his eye on a mission, with his energetic dog Max, to destroy Christmas for one deplorable reason. The Grinch really hates Christmas, especially the loud, bright celebrations in Whoville. In order to get some peace and quiet, the Grinch disguises himself as Santa Clause and you'll have to wait to see how he steals Christmas from The Who's. He doesn't expect what happens when he meets a young girl names Cindy Lou. The Grinch realizes he is only afraid of one thing that has affected him his whole life.

The lead characters in this film are Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), Cindy Lou (Cameron Seely), The Mayor of Whoville (Angela Lansbury), Izzy (Scarlett Estevez) and narrator (Pharrell Williams).

My favorite part of the film is when the grumpy and cruel Grinch changes his attitude and action choices. He has a change of heart and experiences his old ways to become happy and respectful as he feels valued (which is what everyone should feel). A quick theory of what happens is the small young girl changes the Grinch heart with a sentence, and that sentence changes everything.

This holiday film will definitely bring lots of laughs and humor. The film certainly provides positive messages about optimism, compassion and generosity. The animation deserves a big round of applause. It is jaw dropping, extraordinary, realistic to the story theme, beautiful and vibrant. The amazing animation is brought to life by Cinzia Angelina (storyboard artist), Sylvia Deboissy (Character Designer/ Development Artist), Patrick Muylken (color designer) and many more.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 16, as well as adults. Truly, the whole family will enjoy the film. It is designed with so much reaction moments. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide November 9, 2018.

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



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