IMDb rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%
Billy Batson is a teenage foster kid with a track record for running away and looking out for himself, until he takes a stand against the school bully for his foster sibling Freddy, an act that leads to a strange encounter with an ancient wizard and some er… unexpected physical changes. Like turning into grown-up superhero Shazam, and discovering he now comes with an a la carte menu of superpowers. Of course, with great power comes the inevitable great enemy, and Billy, aka Shazam, needs to get a handle on his abilities ASAP if he’s to fight the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana.
Asher Angel was nominated for a Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Saturn Award as Billy, while Zachary Levi (Chuck in Chuck, Flynn Rider in Tangled, Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and Benjamin in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) was nominated for MTV and Teen Choice awards as his superhero upgrade.
Jack Dylan Grazer (It) was also up for a Saturn Award as Freddy, with Teen Choice winner Adam Brody (The O.C.) as his alter-ego. Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the wizard, while Mark Strong (1917) was nominated for a Teen Choice Villain Award as Dr Sivana.
“An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfillment,” says Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus.
It’s a four-star Common Sense Media Selection, rated 12+ (with a warning for some scary and violent scenes). “This refreshingly delightful, lighthearted entry in the DC Extended Universe has enough charm for the whole family thanks to standout performances, broad humor, and positive messages,” they say. “Considering the angst of most previous DC-based thrillers, this one is downright adorable, despite occasional moments of darkness. … Billy and Freddy learn … why a supportive family is the most valuable superpower of all. When the foster siblings unite to take on bullies, they can’t be defeated, and that’s a happy message indeed.”
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