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'Minors' takes off after a short delay

Five strangers come together and use their differences to have a good time, sort of like the teenagers in the '80s movie The Breakfast Club.

But the setting is not a school or detention this time. Instead, the kids are running free in an airport in Unaccompanied Minors, the story of five kids who bond while they are snowed in on Christmas Eve.

Spencer Davenport (Dyllan Christopher) is from a divorced family who feels obligated to give his little sister Katherine (Dominique Saldana) the best Christmas ever. He is sometimes stereotyped as a geek, but always tries to get people to like him.

While in the airport, Spencer meets Grace Conrad (Gina Mantegna), a "rich girl'' who attends a boarding school; Charlie Goldfinch (Tyler James Williams of Everybody Hates Chris), "the brainy kid,'' also from a divorced family; Donna Malone (Quinn Shephard), a tough girl from a divorced family; and Timothy "Beef" Wellington (Brett Kelly), a chubby 12-year-old boy whose favorite toy is an Aquaman doll.

They plan to have fun even if they are stuck inside an airport on Christmas Eve. They take crazy rides on golf carts, canoe down a snowy hill; and stay just one step ahead of airport officials.

When all the fun dies down, the kids decide they have learned an important lesson - it is better to give than to receive. And although they were unhappy, they decide that Christmas isn't about where you are, but who you're with and finding acceptance in yourself.

My favorite character in this movie was Charlie. I thought that he was really funny and he had the most Christmas spirit even when things got a little tough. He was a big part of the movie's comedy.

Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama also appear as airport officials who try to spoil the kids' fun.

I found the beginning to be very slow and I even became distracted at times. The beginning was disjointed and some of the scenes didn't fit together right. But the ending was definitely rewarding.

I would recommend this movie to kids for the message you get out of it. Many kids of all ages are stereotyped; what they want most is to be accepted for who they are. I think the movie does a good job of getting that message across.

Kelsey Gemmill, 12, is in sixth grade at Williams Middle Magnet School in Tampa and is a member of the 2006-07 X-Team.


Unaccompanied Minors

Grade: B-

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, Dyllan Christopher, Gina Mantegna, Tyler James Williams, Quinn Shephard, Brett Kelly

Rating: PG

Running time: 100 min.