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Annie Movie Review

Reviewed by on Dec 19, 2014
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the uplifting new film rendition of the famous musical “Annie” starring Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and tween Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie.

By: Lynn Barker

If you were abandoned as a baby by your parents, were living with the foster mom from hell who was just about to pop you into yet another foster home, would you be skipping around New York cheerily declaring that the sun’ll come out “Tomorrow”? Duh, probably not but that’s what makes Annie the feel-good film for the holidays.

Annie and foster girls face the dayAnnie and foster girls face the dayCourtesy of Sony Pictures

‘Lil Foster Kid Annie

Tween Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) is a street-wise foster child who secretly can’t read and delivers her civics report as hip hop performance art. She lives with other foster kids with bitter, hard-drinking Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) and travels each Friday to the restaurant where her parents abandoned her, hoping they’ll return.

Miss Hannigan lectures the girlsMiss Hannigan lectures the girlsCourtesy of Sony Pictures


Mr. Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a rich cellphone mogul, wants to run for mayor but he really doesn’t connect with people and has no clue how to relate to the underprivileged masses. Even his pretty and loving assistant (played by Rose Byrne) can’t soften him up although she is crushin’ on him.

Stacks, Annie and Grace form a new familyStacks, Annie and Grace form a new familyCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Fateful Meeting

When Annie rushes out into the street, it is Stacks who sees a truck coming and rescues her. An idea is launched. What if Stacks used Annie to make people think he was a “regular guy” with a big heart? Savvy Annie knows what’s up but poses for countless pictures around town with Stacks and boosts his ratings in the polls while enjoying herself.

Stacks likes the card Annie made for himStacks likes the card Annie made for himCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Evil Plot

When the Annie/Stacks craze starts slipping, his political assistant (Bobby Cannavale) and Miss Hannigan hatch a plot. They will hire two people to play Annie’s real parents. Stacks will seem to put the family back together. Miss Hannigan will be paid for her efforts. Nobody seems to care how this will affect poor Annie who has, by now, started to bond with Stacks and melt his cold heart.

Stacks and Annie share a giant pretzelStacks and Annie share a giant pretzelCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Discovery

Annie meets the fake parents, is suspicious but goes with them since everyone seems to expect her to. When she is told that Stacks is behind the plot to get rid of her, she is heartbroken and Stacks, having figured out that he actually loves Annie, mounts a huge rescue effort to get Annie back. Will he succeed?

The final musical numberThe final musical numberCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Wrapping Up

Most tweens and teens might have only seen Annie on video as a 1980’s movie or you might have seen or performed in a school musical version of the Broadway “Annie”. This new film version, co-produced by Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, is more upbeat, hip and modern.  Annie isn’t an “orphan” but a foster kid. Daddy Warbucks (a throwback to the Depression era comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”) is now Mr. Stacks, a rich cell phone magnate.

Stacks and Annie have a play dateStacks and Annie have a play dateCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Some of the songs like “Tomorrow”, “Hard Knock Life” and “Easy Street” might be familiar from the old musicals but a lot of new, more relevant-to-today tunes are added. Vocal power among the actors is kind of lacking, with the exception of Jamie Foxx who has musical movie experience. Quvenzhane does better on some songs than others. She’s on key but her voice is a bit weak. However, she has great heart and charisma and will totally win you over.  Cameron Diaz is funny but a little over-the-top, and scenery chewing as the cynical Miss Hannigan and her voice is… well, okay.  

Annie and Grace do a happy danceAnnie and Grace do a happy danceCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Maybe Annie gets too wrapped up in materialism as she dances around Stacks’ ritzy penthouse singing “I’m Gonna Like It Here” but it is love, family creation and bonding that is at the core of the story.

Annie and the girls sing about their tough lifeAnnie and the girls sing about their tough lifeCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Gotta say that, at my screening of the film, a bunch of tweens and teens sitting next to me (Whites, Blacks, American Indians, Asians.. it looked like the junior United Nations) all seemed to really love the movie and root for Annie. They are what it’s all about at Kidzworld so we’d go 3 and a half stars but since we don’t have half-stars, we give Annie 4.

Annie sings at an event for StacksAnnie sings at an event for StacksCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Annie Movie Rating:4

The film's posterThe film's poster

Annie is in theaters now!