Crazy good. A sharp, witty romp disguised as a movie for little kids. For proof, just listen the to theme song. “Everything is Awesome” is an infectious, upbeat piece of pop candy you can’t get out of your head. But its feel-good effect is belied by the lyrics, which lampoon the current trope in daily conversation of everything being “awesome” be it good or bad, trivial or important. A pretty sophisticated comic concept in a movie based on toy blocks sold “for ages 4 and up”! (The song comes partly from the people of “Lonely Island”, Andy Samberg’s “Funny or Die”.) This little comic rocketship belongs in the good company of animated winners like “Wreck-It Ralph”, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Team America”, with blow-your-mind design (on a relatively small budget) and brains and heart. The movie hits so many adult notes in the first three-quarters that we not only accept, but welcome when it goes soft at the end with a clever mirror image that explains the story. Easily worth a second visit to catch the lines you missed. Go! (But put the cap on the KraGle first!) — Jeff Schultz

I had serious doubts about THE LEGO MOVIE. It seemed like a blatant marketing ploy designed to sell the plastic brick toys and get people to visit it’s namesake amusement park. Boy, was I wrong. It’s not close to the best of Pixar, but it is pretty incredible. There is humor, great action and a bit of a message for the kids about liking yourself. The voice work by Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and anyone else I’m leaving out. Oh, right… Liam Neeson! The movie has non-stop laughs for Mom and Dad, and stuff the kids will love. Like, their favorite Legos coming to life and talking! There are a couple of scenes that are kind of intense, but I don’t think there’s anything there that will give kids nightmares. Mark Mothersbaugh’s score is perfect and the song “Everything is Awesome” by the guys behind The Lonely Island is goofy and catchy and I can’t get it out of my head. It also has a cool reveal toward the end that kinda makes it all make sense. I’d go into details about plot and story and how it all comes together, but what’s the point. Just go see this. You’ll laugh and your kids will thank you for taking them. But be prepared to head to the toy store after you leave the theater. — Alan Yudman

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