Archives for February 2024

Healthy skincare routine for Tweens!

Must for tweens!

Be-Tween was founded by Namhee, a parent of tween children. She grew up in Korea and her own mother taught her the importance of skin care. Namhee knew that her kids weren’t ready for harsh anti-acne treatments and masks, so she created the brand with them in mind.

Be-Tween Skincare Products

Aloe Cleansing Ball Face Cleanser. Our gentle face cleanser freshens young faces without drying them out. Put the moisturizing cleansing ball into the included mesh bag, run it under water, and apply the lather to a damp face. How cool is that! 

Aloe Moisturizer Face Lotion. Perfect for a tween’s changing skin, this moisturizer contains squalane, hyaluronic acid, and aloe.

Aloe Mask Powder. Finally, a skin mask that’s gentle enough for tweens! Mix this with equal parts water and face. It locks in moisture and helps acne-prone skin.

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Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images and information were also provided.

Popular Theory * Highlights The Concept That Friendship Is All About Chemistry

Popular Theory follows Erwin, a 12-year old genius, far smarter than any of her high school classmates. But Erwin’s genius has come at a price: isolation. She doesn’t have any friends and even her sister thinks she’s a social leper. Determined to win the State Science Fair, she teams up with classmate Winston, a fellow outcast and chemistry guru, to create a popularity chemical which they add into sticks of chewing gum.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “With compelling performances and a story emphasizing brains over social status, Popular Theory is both a heartfelt story of friendship and innovation that young viewers will love. Erwin (Sophia Reid-Gantzert), a young genius named for Nobel Prize–winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is the youngest student in high school and a bona fide loner.” Selene W. adds, “Popular Theory highlights the idea that friendship is all about chemistry!  The movie shows the negative aspects of popularity and how a positive charge or change through friendship can make the high school experience, and life, more meaningful.” Zoe C. wraps it up with, “I really love this film. So many aspects make it unique and really stand out. I love the camera movement; from scene to scene the film is packed with clever transitions that are so appealing to the eye. Cinematographer Damian Horan knew what he was doing – the colors are especially interesting.” See their full reviews below.    

Popular Theory
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

With compelling performances and a story emphasizing brains over social status, Popular Theory is both a heartfelt story of friendship and innovation that young viewers will love. Erwin (Sophia Reid-Gantzert), a young genius named for Nobel Prize–winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is the youngest student in high school and a bona fide loner. She enjoys spending time on her own doing complex science experiments so much that her aunt and father, who raise her, grow concerned and place a science plan on her. But when she meets fellow genius Winston (Lincoln Lambert), they team up to evade the ban and invent a pheromone that threatens to upset the natural order of high school.

Lincoln Lambert and Sophia Reid-Gantzert’s dynamic is my favorite part of Popular Theory. At a young age, both actors seem to have mastered the art of owning their character, whether it’s the micro-gestures of disgust, awe, sadness and hypochondria that Lambert portrays as Winston or Reid-Gantzert’s comfort being Erwin. It’s truly a delight to see them interact on screen as they transition from rivals to “colleagues,” to friends, and as forces push and pull them apart. I’m a Lincoln Lambert fan, having spoken to him about his film Language Arts and having discussed his creative process. But I have to admit that Reid-Gantzert steals the show. That’s largely because the screenwriters (Ali Scher and Joe Swanson) have crafted a teen movie that, thankfully, doesn’t turn into a rom-com halfway through. Too often the archetype of the wannabe teenage girl eager to change herself exploited. Yes, there’s an element of that trope in the film, both in Erwin’s character and in Erwin’s sister, Ari (Chloe East). But Erwin always stays true to who she is and takes pride in her status as a genius without coming across as too egotistical — a good role model for young viewers. On another note, the dynamic in Erwin’s home reminds one a bit of Matilda, with her aunt and father looking at her as some freak-of-nature genius. Some comical and unexpectedly sentimental moments come from Aunt Tammy (Cheryl Hines), who’s an eccentric hairstylist. Erwin’s father, Arthur (Marc Evan Jackson), stricken by the grief of losing his wife, feels a little like a prop character mainly because of a lack of screen time. He isn’t given much to work with in terms of dialogue or emoting. I wonder how the film would be affected if Erwin was only raised by her aunt. The direction and production quality are other highlights. The few moments dragging the film down are wooden performances by secondary characters, but those are overshadowed by the strength and integrity of the plot.

Popular Theory shows how dangerous instantaneous popularity can be and comments on the ethics of using technology for personal and social benefit. Making change through friendship and positivity can make the high school experience and life better in more ways than one.

I give Popular Theory 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Popular Theory released in theaters on February 9, 2024.

Popular Theory
By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Popular Theory highlights the idea that friendship is all about chemistry!  The movie shows the negative aspects of popularity and how a positive charge or change through friendship can make the high school experience, and life, more meaningful.   

Erwin Page (Sophia Reid-Ganzert) is a 12-year-old genius at Magnolia High School and suffers from social isolation.  Her formative years were spent primarily alone with her scientific experiments and books were her friends.  Erwin’s Aunt Tammy (Cheryl Hines) is certain that science is stunting her social development and with Erwin’s Dad (Marc Evan Jackson) empties her room of all science materials to force her to interact with others.  The situation is made worse in opposition with her popular older sister Ari (Chloe East) which contrasts the difference in the girls’ social positions.  High school can be depicted as survival of the fittest where popularity is all that matters to the student body.  Erwin is disturbed when new student Winston (Lincoln Lambert), who is 13, enrolls at school and the two of them engage in competition for the upcoming science fair award and scholarship.  Erwin and Winston end up together as science partners in their quest to win the competition by utilizing pheromones to impact popularity in their “Friendship Formula.”

The ensemble cast in Popular Theory is funny and acidic and gives us the exact chemical reaction that one would hope for.  The developing friendship and competitive nature of Erwin and Winston is believable and endearing.  I really enjoyed the comedic timing of Cheryl Hines in her supporting role as Aunt Tammy.  Also, I have to mention the hysterical drama offered by high school test subjects Casey (Kat Conner Sterling) and Alan (Varak Baronian) as they experience the reactions to their popularity quotient during the social experiment.  Great performances by many other high school student cast members really make this movie combust.  Popular Theory is directed by Ali Scher, who is also a co-writer with Joe Swanson. I really enjoyed the relationships and the dialogue they created.  The movie has a fun soundtrack from music supervisor Ben Sokoler and music editor Jason Soudah which adds to the cause and effect of this film.

This film’s message is that false friends can’t replace true friends and, as in science, “particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but are better understood through their interconnections.”  You don’t need to be popular at school or in life to thrive or be liked by everybody, but people do need somebody to connect with.  Erwin and Winston don’t win the science fair, but they do discover the real friendship formula.    

I give Popular Theory 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults.  This movie released in theaters February 9, 2024 so go learn why popularity isn’t all that matters.

Popular Theory

By Zoë C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


Popular Theory is an adorable film that showcases true friendship. The camera work, charming script, clever cinematography and great actors make this film a delightful experience.


The story begins by introducing Erwin (Sophia Reid-Gantzert), a 12-year-old genius who’s in 11th grade. She meets Winston (Lincoln Lambert), another 12 year-old-genius who’s initially her biggest competition. But, they agree to be colleagues and work on an experiment for the school science fair. They face many obstacles but discover what friendship truly means.


I really love this film. So many aspects make it unique and really stand out. I love the camera movement; from scene to scene the film is packed with clever transitions that are so appealing to the eye. Cinematographer Damian Horan knew what he was doing – the colors are especially interesting. Erwin is constantly surrounded by the color blue; while Winston is represented by the color orange. When the two first meet the juxtaposition of the colors stands out, as their friendship grows they both start wearing each other’s colors. The color palette is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also very symbolic and adds to the storytelling. I’ve seen similar applications like in the film 500 Days Of Summer, but I love the way Damian Horan shot this film, almost making the colors a standalone character. The art direction by Gavin Mosier and set design decoration by Mily Moreno is genius; kudos to the entire art department. Sophia Reid-Gantzert as Erwin and Lincoln Lambert as Winston make the cutest duo. They’re such great actors individually, but also they work so well together. One of my favorite characters is Cheryl Hines as Aunt Tammy; she’s a hairdresser and utilizes her craft as an art form. I also like how every character serves a different purpose in the film. I love the storyline; not only is it adorable but this film offers a great representation of what kids go through in high school and I think people can relate to many aspects of this film 


This film deals with many different themes like bullying, friendship, doing what is best for others, and other themes. The film’s message is that popularity isn’t everything and anyone can find true friendship. 


I give Popular Theory 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Popular Theory is available now in theaters.

A Nashville Wish * The Romantic Country Film Of A Lifetime. Combining Drama, Country Music, And Romance

A country singer falls for the girl of his dreams and has to choose between love and his dreams of stardom in Nashville.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “A Nashville Wish is the romantic country film of a lifetime. Combining drama, country music, and romance, this film is engaging and enjoyable.” Eshaan M. adds, “With a foot-tapping score, A Nashville Wish is a classic family watch that delivers exactly what it promises — a high school romance with some country music. “ Ella S. wraps it up with, “A Nashville Wish is a moving musical with an inspiring success story. It is set in the countryside and told by interesting, dynamic characters and impressive musical performances. I love the encouraging environment the movie creates with characters that provide support for one another.” See their full reviews below.

A Nashville Wish
By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

A Nashville Wish is the romantic country film of a lifetime. Combining drama, country music, and romance, this film is engaging and enjoyable. It has strong acting, pleasant music and, for the most part, an excellent storyline.

This film follows Tucker (Maxfield Camp) as he navigates the ups and downs of his musical career and his relationship throughout his senior year of high school and the following summer. Tucker has a dream relationship with his longtime crush, the cheer captain, Lisa (Kaileigh Bullard). However, this relationship begins to create more obstacles and challenges for Tucker as he is forced to decide whether the greatest love of his life is worth sacrificing the possibility of his lifelong dream, to record music in Nashville. With Lisa’s parents disapproving of Tucker, their long term plan for her in the family business, and her reputation in town, she also has to make a difficult decision.

The characters in A Nashville Wish are portrayed meaningfully and emotionally. Tucker and Lisa are both very dynamic characters who have deep, personal backstories. For example, we discover that some of Tucker’s motives are due to a family loss a few years back. This demonstrates even further the depth of each character and how much effort went into creating these characters and bringing them to life onscreen. The acting fully mirrors the talent of the writers. Maxfield Camp and Kaileigh Bullard have amazing chemistry as a couple throughout the highs and lows of their onscreen relationship. They are so genuine; it truly seems like they’re in love. Maxfield wonderfully accentuates Tucker’s changes through a variety of conflicts, emotions, friendships and so much more. To match the spectacular characters and acting, the music is fantastic and fits the movie in every way. Despite not being a big country music fan myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the songs that are incorporated at every twist and turn of the plot. They help express the characters’ emotions and thoughts, and also help with the setting and mood of the film. The tone of the music always matches the events occurring in the film. While the songs help move the story along, the story is a bit lacking at times. Although the plot and the concept are unique and very engaging, some of the subplots failed to engage me and ended up slowing down the movement of the story. For example, parts of the film focus on Tucker’s best friend, Chewy (Fletcher Olsen). Although the character and the acting are perfect for the film, some of the storyline involving him is really unnecessary and slow.

The theme of A Nashville Wish is that when difficult decisions come around in life, it’s important to think long and hard about your priorities so you don’t make irrational decisions. Tucker’s big decision is the main focal point of the film and this message is emphasized through his character and his decisions.

I give A Nashville Wish 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can watch A Nashville Wish in theaters beginning February 2, 2024, and on video on demand beginning February 27, 2024.

A Nashville Wish
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

With a foot-tapping score, A Nashville Wish is a classic family watch that delivers exactly what it promises — a high school romance with some country music.

In a small town in West Virginia, high school senior Tucker (Maxfield Camp) has big dreams to travel to Nashville and cement his career as a country music star with his best friend Chewie (Fletcher Olson) after graduation. He falls in love with the beautiful cheerleader Lisa (Kaileigh Bullard), and she’s smitten by him as well after a serendipitous event at a concert where their favorite artist Cassie Jo Campbell (Alexis Gomez) is playing. There’s just one problem — Lisa comes from a wealthy family who owns a prominent business in town, and her parents won’t let her go to Nashville with Tucker. Lisa defies her parents, and all is set. But in a conveniently-timed scene, right before they leave for Nashville, Chewie tells her that she will ruin Tucker’s chances of becoming a star and convinces her to dump Tucker and stay home. Now Tucker is heartbroken in Nashville, and Lisa is heartbroken in West Virginia. Viewers will see how the two get back together — if at all — and the role Cassie Jo Campbell plays in Tucker’s life.

There’s no diving deep into emotions, psyche, or similar here; A Nashville Wish is among the leagues of Hallmark-esque films releasing each year, which is perfectly fine. It works as good, clean family entertainment. The acting is passable, with Camp and Olson, ironically enough, having the best chemistry with one another. A couple scenes are interestingly staged, including a musical interlude where Tucker and Lisa are in the middle of a field alone…except for a truck full of singers behind them. The cinematography is good, though, with lots of medium shots and closeups that squeeze as much emotion out of the script as possible. The music is the most striking element, as it should be in a country music-centric film. Admittedly, I’m not a country connoisseur, but the songs are amazing, both in terms of the vocals and production quality. Lee Greenwood is the most recognizable voice as Grandpa Woods. T. Graham Brown sings a country and gospel song, and the film leads Maxfield Camp, Kaileigh Bullard, and Alexis Gomez do as well.

A Nashville Wish promotes following your passion and finding a balance between personal and professional aspirations by focusing on the professional first, and then letting the personal fall into place.

I give A Nashville Wish 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. You can watch A Nashville Wish in theaters beginning February 2, 2024, and on video on demand beginning February 27, 2024.

A Nashville Wish

By Ella S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

A Nashville Wish is a moving musical with an inspiring success story. It is set in the countryside and told by interesting, dynamic characters and impressive musical performances. I love the encouraging environment the movie creates with characters that provide support for one another.

The movie follows a recent high school graduate, Tucker (Maxfield Camp), who is an aspiring country singer. Tucker and his best friend Chewy (Fletcher Olson) are ready to hit the road to Nashville to become stars when Tucker’s dream girl, Lisa (Kaileigh Bullard), a popular cheerleader from a prestigious but strict family, suddenly and unexpectedly takes an interest in him. Unfortunately, Lisa’s parents are disapproving of Tucker’s plan, forcing Tucker to make a decision that could change the course of his future. 

One thing I love about A Nashville Wish is that Tucker has a great support system – the encouragement from his family and friends is clear from the beginning. Chewy and Tucker have shared the same dream of moving to Nashville to become famous since they were in fourth grade. It is nice that Tucker has a friend who shares his interests. And for many artists, gaining family approval presents a challenge, but this is not an obstacle Tucker faces, as his parents and grandfather (Lee Greenwood) truly believe in his star potential and urge him to pursue his passions. I admire Tucker’s perseverance as well. At times, his life is hard, such as when he is struggling for money in Nashville. But music is Tucker’s dream for a very long time – he never considers giving up on it, and eventually he finds success and stardom! The singing in the movie is also worthy of praise – all the main actors have vocal training and a background in music, adding to the film’s authenticity. A Nashville Wish takes you on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, from the move to Nashville and arguments with Chewy to Tucker’s date with Lisa at a Cassie Jo Campbell (Alexis Gomez) concert. Tucker’s duet with Cassie makes the film wholesome and brings it full circle. 

A Nashville Wish reminds us that determination is vital to succeed. It’s what drives you to go for your biggest goals, even when the world deals you a tricky hand. It’s also a reminder to keep your eyes on the prize and trust that the small things will work themselves out – the universe has a plan for you. So stay focused and remember to thank the people who believe in you!

I give A Nashville Wish 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults.  A Nashville Wish releases in theaters beginning February 2, 2024, and on video on demand beginning February 27, 2024.   Trailer:

Hey Buddy Hey Pal has partnered with Make-A-Wish for the “My True Wish” sweepstakes

Make-A-Wish North Texas Joins Forces with Hey Buddy Hey Pal and Their
EggMazing Egg Decorator Line for “My True Wish” Sweepstakes, Offering
$10,000 to Fulfill Someone’s True Wish

Running now through March 15th, this campaign is designed to not only fulfill the dreams of children battling critical illnesses but also to offer participants a chance to win an incredible $10,000 prize to fulfill their one true wish. Simply go to  mytruewish.org and donate $10 for your chance to win $10,000 to make your true wish come true.

Credit: Make-A-Wish® North Texas and Hey Buddy Hey Pal.

Roxanne, March 1 Pet of the Week

awwwwww

Roxanne doesn’t need that red dress or any accouterment other than a collar, a harness, an ID tag and a strong leash to take her on long walks, which she loves. She’s a favorite of the shelter volunteers, who have loved this affectionate, loyal 2-year-old since she came in a very long time ago. Please give her a happy ending! Our shelter is overflowing with dogs, and they all need adopters and fosters! You can speed the process to adopt or foster Roxanne or any of our other pets by emailing PetAdopt@longbeach.gov or petfoster@longbeach.gov or by calling (562) 570-4925. Our shelter hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 7700 E. Spring St. at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). Ask for ID#A702202.

Celebrate Black History Month 2024 with these books!

Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King by Coretta Scott King; illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Godwin Books, On Sale 01/02/24, Ages 4-8): Adapted from her adult memoir, this is the first picture book authored by the late, Corretta Scott King, and an unrivaled chance to introduce the next generation to The King family’s profound legacy. 

All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto by George M. Johnson (Square Fish, On-Sale January 16, 2024, ages 14-18): In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Cover images were also provided.

Books of the Week

 ALL OF THOSE BABIES by Mylisa Larsen

Come meet babies across the animal kingdom and learn their adorable names in this bouncy, rhyming picture book celebration of how—no matter what species—everyone grows!

Puffins have pufflings, porcupines have porcupettes, and echidnas have…puggles?! All these babies start out little, and then, just like humans, they grow and grow and grow. Featuring dozens of different animals, all adorably illustrated by Stephanie Laberis, this book is a vibrant celebration of little ones, growing, and love.

The book ends by drawing super sweet parallels between human babies and animal babies, and how no matter what species, everyone grows! This book is also the perfect gift for animal lovers and little ones that want a gentle introduction to species in the natural world. It would also make a perfect baby shower gift as well. This is a delightful book and I highly recommend it!

Author Bio
Mylisa Larsen was born in Idaho, has lived in eight states and two countries, and currently resides in upstate New York with her family. She is the author of several picture books, including How to Put Your Parents to Bed and All of Those Babies, and the novel Playing Through the Turnaround. Visit her at MylisaLarsen.com. 

Stephanie Laberis is a California-based artist and Rhode Island School of Design alumna. Her childhood spent in the woods of New England sparked her love for animals and the natural world and still inspires her artwork. She is the illustrator of many picture books, including All of Those Babies by Mylisa Larsen; Fur, Feather, Fin: All of Us Are Kin by Diane Lang; and the Grumpy Cat Little Golden Book series. When she’s not drawing, Steph volunteers at her local wildlife hospital or spends quality time with her beloved cats, rats, and mice. Visit her at StephLaberis.Squarespace.com.
JIMMY’S RHYTHM & BLUES: The Extraordinary Life of James Baldwin 

This year marks what would have been James Baldwin’s 100th birthday and this is a wonderful book that celebrates his life. It is also the *first-ever* illustrated biography about the legendary writer, orator, activist, and intellectual. Complete with a timeline of his life, an insightful portrait of the world he lived in, and black-and-white photos for kids to compare alongside Law’s rich illustrations, this is the perfect introduction to the multi-hyphenate icon who continues to shape our culture. You can find out where to purchase it here. I highly recommend it!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post.

Bob Marley: One Love * A Captivating Biopic Celebrating Reggae Artist Bob Marley And His Music

Bob MarleyOne Love celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. On the big screen for the first time, discover Bob’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music. Produced in partnership with the Marley family and starring Kingsley Ben-Adir as the legendary musician and Lashana Lynch as his wife Rita.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “Bob Marley: One Love is a captivating biopic that celebrates iconic reggae artist Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir), as fortitude guides him through adversity and his music inspires people all around the world. We see how Bob expresses unity and love through his music as he quickly becomes a worldwide phenomenon.” Mikella G. adds, “Bob Marley: One Love is a passionate and inspiring documentary. I really like this film because it is educational, yet thrilling at the same time, and caused me to positively change my view of the world.” NaNa A. wraps it with, “Kingsley Ben-Adir’s performance as Bob Marley is great. His singing and his dancing are on point. I love the song choices in this film. I think that they chose Bob Marley’s best songs and they fit well with the structure of the film.” See their full reviews below.

Bob Marley: One Love

By Zoe C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


Bob Marley: One Love is a captivating biopic that celebrates iconic reggae artist Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir), as fortitude guides him through adversity and his music inspires people all around the world. We see how Bob expresses unity and love through his music as he quickly becomes a worldwide phenomenon. As a music lover, and someone who didn’t know too much about Bob Marley, I really enjoyed watching this film. I like the pace and how director Reinaldo Marcus Green tells this compelling story through outstanding cinematography, an exceptional cast and sincere storytelling.


The story begins in 1976, late in Bob Marley’s life, but arguably the most important time of his career. While Bob loves Jamaica he realizes he must leave to protect himself and his family. He goes to London to find the right sound for his next album. Then “Exodus,” one of the most important albums of the 20th century, was born. The rest of the film demonstrates many of the obstacles Bob Marley had to overcome – finding purpose, struggling with confidence, and maintaining a healthy relationship with his wife.


Kingsley Ben-Adir steals the show. He’s extremely believable and delivers an incredible performance. From his body language to the way he speaks, he really becomes Bob Marley on the big screen. Lashana Lynch as Rita Marlee, Bob’s wife, gives another incredible performance. She plays Rita with such confidence – together, their relationship is one of this film’s strongest aspects. Kudos to them and to all the actors involved; their accents are on point, although a little difficult to understand at times. Regarding the story itself, I don’t think this film fully pays tribute to the icon that Bob Marley truly is. The film touches on how his music has united nations and delivers powerful messages of freedom, peace and bringing people together. However, Bob Marley didn’t only change music forever; he truly did change the world. I wish the writers would have delved deeper into the impact Bob Marley made on others. 


The message of this film is that people always face adversity but we can always find ways to overcome those hard times, and music is the greatest power to feel well and unite us. Be forewarned that this film is rated PG-13 for smoking throughout the movie, some violence and strong language.


I give Bob Marley: One Love 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releasesin theaters February 14, 2024. 

Bob Marley: One Love

Bob Marley: One Love is a passionate and inspiring documentary. I really like this film because it is educational, yet thrilling at the same time, and caused me to positively change my view of the world.


Bob Marley: One Love is an honest and revealing documentary about the life of Bob Marley. He is a father, husband and a trusted friend who wants nothing more than love and world peace to be spread across the nation. The Jamaican singer was determined to bring his people together through music, despite the ongoing war and conflict.


A huge standout in this film is the directing by Reinaldo Marcus Green who created a nostalgic, sentimental, yet uncomfortable feeling to this documentary from the start, foreshadowing the outcome of the film. He focuses on different characters in different scenes and uses camera angles that help viewers to pick up on specific details, particularly, the shots of Marley’s first concert in Jamaica. There are so many highlighted parts that help the audience to unravel this difficult topic of having hope in even the most hopeless of times. Some of the shots zoom in on Marley moving in slow-motion. Similarly, this is also done with the crowd that is watching him, which helps viewers understand just how impactful his music really is. All of the cinematography and scenery in this movie is beautiful. Each location shown is exquisitely shot. France, London, and all the other European locations have a very local feel, yet there is also the excitement of discovering a new place, which is exactly what those in the film are doing. Most importantly, the lens that Jamaica is shown through fits the tone and mood of this documentary perfectly. I felt that I was able to understand what it looked like in the 1970s and, through shots of the beaches, the eye-catching colors and the abundance of culture, I was able to partially understand what it must have felt like during that time. Lastly, what piques this film’s enjoyability the most for me is the message told throughout the movie. Bob Marley’s entire purpose for creating his music was to unite his people, and bring peace to the battling leaders of Jamaica. He wanted nothing more than for everyone to come together peacefully. The message of fighting for what you believe in – no matter the risks – and living your life to the absolute fullest is delivered beautifully, and reinforced throughout the entire film. Kingsley Ben-Adir who plays Marley is outstanding; his ability to showcase these characteristics of Marley does not go unnoticed. He brings this legendary human being to life, allowing the world to understand Bob Marley for all that he was and all that he stood for.


The message of Bob Marley: One Love is that in this life, peace and love will always bring you the most happiness and win in the end. Please be aware that this film does include foul language, slightly gruesome fight scenes, and the use of drugs and smoking.


I give Bob Marley: One Love 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Bob Marley: One Love in theaters beginning February 14, 2024.

Bob Marley: One Love

By NaNa A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I like the film Bob Marley: One Love because of its deep references to Jamaica and its culture. I also love the settings and the song choices. The humor is great and makes the movie a lot better.


This film is about Jamaica’s biggest pop star, Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and his journey to becoming a famous singer, beloved worldwide. We see Bob Marley at the beginning, living a normal life, playing soccer and making music with his friends. However, this was a time of a lot of violence in Jamaica and Barley and his wife both experienced it firsthand. Bob Marley was inspired by the violence to pursue his music career and traveled to London to start to produce his music there. His song, Exodus, gave him a big rise in popularity and fame. 


Kingsley Ben-Adir’s performance as Bob Marley is great. His singing and his dancing are on point. I love the song choices in this film. I think that they chose Bob Marley’s best songs and they fit well with the structure of the film. My favorite part of this film is when he is making his song Exodus with his band in his living room and everyone is smiling and having fun. It made me laugh and smile. Marley was a Rastafarianism which he believed unified the Jamaican people and was a big part of his music creation.  The film also has a lot of humor in it, which adds to its appeal. 


The film’s message is to never give up and always follow your dreams. Be forewarned that there are incidents of gun violence and bloody gore in this film. 


I give Bob Marley: One Love 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. You can find Bob Marley: One Love in theaters February 14, 2024.