In Brief: Wonder is simply wonderful.

Wonder is a beautiful story about an ugly duckling.

Jacob Tremblay (Room) is Auggie. He’s 10-years old, home schooled and enters public school for the first time in the 5th grade. Auggie is born with a facial deformity called mandibulofacial dysostosis.

Facially, Auggie is a freak.

His first year in public school and how it impacts him, friends he makes and his family is the subject of the film based on R.J. Palacio’s best selling novel. Bullying and what really makes someone beautiful are the story’s underlying themes.

Tremblay is maybe the best kid actor working today. His work in Room and The Book of Henry got him critical accolades and award nominations. This film will do the same. Equally good are his co-stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Izabela Vidovic who play his parents and sister.

Wonder also features wonderful performances from young actors who play Auggie’s school mates, friends and enemies.

It’s directed and co-written by Steven Chbosky who penned Beauty and the Beast and the acclaimed teen-angst flick The Perks of a Wallflower. He’s a most excellent storyteller.

Telling you much more isn’t necessary. Between the film’s opening credits and closing scenes you will laugh, smile, be inspired and there may even be tears. At the same time things happen within the story that will anger and horrify you.

This is a must-see for everyone but especially for pre-teens and teens. Take a hanky or two. You may need them. Wonder is definitely the feel-good movie of the year.

Director: Steven Chbosky

Stars: Steven Yen, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez, Tyler Perry, Christopher Plummer, Keegan-Michael Key, Patricia Heaton, Kris Kristopherson, Ving Rhames, Anthony Anderson, Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Gabriel Iglesias, Aidy Bryant, Tracy Morgan, Phil Morris, Kelly Clarkson, Joel Osteen

Wonder is a beautiful story about an ugly duckling. Give it a 4 1/2 on the Average Joe Movie 0 t0 5 scale.

Click here for showtimes and theaters.

5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.

Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.

Got a movie suggestion or comment? Click here to email him.



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