Bridge to Terabithia, based on the Newberry award-winning book written by Katherine Paterson, is one of the must-see movies of 2007. For those of you who saw the 1985 TV movie - don't be fooled! This movie is much, much better than that version.
Jess Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) is a fifth-grade boy who is mistreated at school and neglected by his family. His biggest dream is to be the fastest runner in his grade, but that dream is crushed by the new girl who beats both him and all of the boys: Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb, who definitely steals the show, along with Bailee Madison, who plays May Belle).
Now, beating somebody in a race doesn't sound like a good start for a friendship, does it? But nevertheless, and despite their many differences, the two become inseparable. One day, Leslie runs off into the woods with Jess tagging along. They swing on a rope over a creek to the other side of the woods. Plain and ordinary to many, but a magical kingdom to Jess and Leslie. Leslie names the kingdom Terabithia, and shortly, they must defeat the (imaginary) creatures that stand in their presence.
One day, Jess's music teacher (and crush), Ms. Edmunds, invites him to go to an art gallery in Washington, D.C., with her. But upon his return, Jess learns some shocking, heartbreaking news from his family. It is then when he comes to grips with this that he learns the strength and wisdom Leslie gave him.
Parents - the word "damn" is used once. The debate between Jess and Leslie over whether it's necessary to believe in the Bible may offend some viewers. The action battles get rather rough, even though it's supposed to be imaginary. And a shocking plot twist midway through the story will certainly sadden children as well as adults.
It's a good movie with a good message, but because of the sadness that goes along with it (along with some other iffy content), it'd be smart to preview it before letting anyone under the age of 9 see it.