The Secret Life of Pets


by Tarnem Afify

The Secret Life of Pets is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy film about the lives of pets lead after their owners leave for work or school each day. The film is directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, starring Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart, and is rated PG. It premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 16, 2016 in the UK, and was theatrically released in Canada on July 8, 2016. It received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $147 million worldwide.

Inside of a Manhattan apartment building, a quick-witted terrier named Max lives a pampered life with his owner Katie and hangs out with other pets like Chloe, Mel, Buddy, and Sweet Pea. Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down when his owner brings home Duke, a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy-yet-cunning bunny named Snowball, who is building an army of Ex-Pets abandoned by their owners and out to turn the tables on humanity.

What I like the most about the movie is the creative imagination involved in making it and its special way of picturing how pets may behave while you are away. As much as the creativity impressed me, the movie’s story disappointed me. I was excepting a deeper conflict to be presented and greater lessons to be taught. However, I highly recommend the movie to all pets’ lovers.


The secret Life of Pets is a smoke free movie. In fact, it does not include tobacco use at all in any of its forms. The absence of tobacco does not affect the quality of the movie or make the characters appear less believable. Instead, it leaves a good impression about the movie and its ability to illustrate that there is no need to use tobacco if one is feeling depressed and lost. The Secret Life of Pets is a great movie that can bring the family together.

X-Men Apocalypse Movie Review



Reviewer: Matthew Gardiner

Opening date: May 16th 2016

Ontario Rating: PG

Director: Bryan Singer

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman

General age of those in theatre: 20+

Tobacco use: One extra smoking a cigarette in an Egyptian market while selling carpets

tobacco impressions

Summary: Thousands of years ago the first and most powerful Mutant, En Sabah Nur or Apocalypse, was worshipped as a god in Ancient Egypt before being trapped underground. In 1983 he rises again to reclaim his former empire, by destroying everything built over the last several thousand years. The new X-Men must stand up against a god in order to save the world yet again.

Review: I liked this film because it furthered the story that began in Days of Future Past and showed new and old characters in new lights. However, this movie took a long time to get to the actual plot and went into a lot of detail on the lives of the major characters while not going into detail on the newer characters. I would recommend this film to others who have followed the X-Men franchise, but not those who have not seen any of the other movies because they will get lost in the complex story without having seen the backstory.

Tobacco Presence: One middle-aged man in an Egyptian market stall selling his wares while a main character makes their way through to a secret location. The smoking was not necessary for the character because he lasted seconds on-screen, and nobody would notice if the character was not smoking because, again, he lasted a few seconds on screen. Since the extra had no role later in the movie, the effect of smoking was not shown. The absence of smoking from the movie had no effect on the plot or the characters. If anything the characters were more believable because most of them were teenagers and were not of age to smoke.

Now You See Me 2



Movie Critic: Tirthesha Pandya
Movie title: Now you see me 2
Movie genre: Mystery & Suspense
Ontario Movie Rating (PG, PG14 etc.): PG13
Director: Jon M. Chu
General age of people in the theatre: All ages
Tobacco use (How often throughout the movie?): NO TOBACCO USE

In this sequel, the illusionists known as the Four Horsemen return from their escape ending from Now you see me and obviously return with a jaw dropping performance mixed with spectacular stunts and antagonists who force them to use their talents for bad. The horsemen set off on a mission in hopes of clearing their names and exposing the corrupt behavior a man named Marby. The horsemen who are led by Dylan Rhodes face many challenges and hurdles which really reduce the success of their plans. Will they succeed? Watch the movie to find out, it’s totally worth the mind games!

I really enjoyed this movie because I personally love being fooled and mind blown but I also love discovering the logic or the truth behind the tricks and illusions. This movie blows your mind with the ”magic” then blows your mind even more after explaining the behind the scenes of the magic. I loved the engaging aspect of the film and the twists. I would hands down recommend both the films to anyone who is okay with feeling a little confused throughout the film. I do highly recommend watching the first film before the second as it builds the plot and it’s basically a continuation of the Horsemen’s journey.

One of the best thing about the film was the absence of tobacco. The lack of tobacco did not affect the plot or the quality of the movie. The characters did not seem less believable because there was no tobacco use. The no tobacco part of the movie is great as this movie attracts the teen audience which can affect them in a negative way. Most daily smoker’s start as teens so not having the tobacco influence on them through smoking on screen is always a thumbs up from me.



Movie Critic: Vlad
Movie title: The Divergent Series : Allegiant
Movie genre: Action
Ontario Movie Rating (PG, PG14 etc.): PG
Opening date: March 9th 2016
Starring: Shailene Woodley Theo James and Jeff Daniels
Director: Robert Schwentke
General age of people in the theatre: 16-20

Tobacco use (How often throughout the movie?): None


The City of Chicago find out that there are more people living beyond the walls of their city and the two lovers, Tris’ brother and their friends. They escape the city walls and find the other people to discover they have far superior technology. At the end they figure out that those people aren’t really who they describe themselves and they must stop the plans of those people before they destroy the way that the citizens of Chicago lived.
In the movie “The Divergent Series – Allegiant” the movie had great prop effects as well as the actors were spot on in their acting. From a downside perspective the movie was an inaccurate version of the book, so if you have read the book previously the movie may be a slight disappointment. But in the end I would recommend this movie to others as the positives of this movie overrules by far the negatives.

In the Movie “The Divergent Series – Allegiant” there was no tobacco in the film. In movies, the tobacco industry will pay movie productions to implement their products in their for advertisement as they need new customers. In the movie the lack of tobacco did not affect the plot or the quality of the movie. You would probably need a new scene or two with tobacco use in it to affect the plot or quality. The characters appeared much more believable as they were constantly doing activities without running out of breath, with the tobacco use it would make them seem like superman was not getting tired quickly with the use of tobacco. When speaking of benefits of not having any of the tobacco on the screen it made the characters seem a thousand times more realistic than if they would have not been a smoker. Continuing on with this I feel like the movie-makers chose to keep the use of tobacco out of the movie to simply keep the quality of the movie at a high standard and gain a higher rating instead of reducing the quality of the movie but gaining a higher budget through the tobacco companies paying them for the implementation of tobacco products.



How to Be Single


Movie Critic: Myla
Movie Genre: Comedy
Opening date: February 12, 2016
Director: Christian Ditter
Movie Title: How To Be Single
Ontario Movie Rating: 14a
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann
General age of people in the theatre: 12-40 year olds, more teens


There was no tobacco use throughout the movie. There was a rolled up joint in the scene where it was in Rebel Wilson’s hair. They did not smoke throughout the movie though.

How To Be Single is about 3 girls who haven’t met each other, they are all single. The girls become friends they party, talk and have sleepovers. One girl is trying to find love and has many relationships trying to find it. The other girl just cares about her social life and partying. The last girl just cares about her job and wants a baby but not a man. I really enjoyed the film because of the actors, the name of the film, and the lesson of the movie. I did not like the part how the one girl doesn’t marry the guy I wanted her to marry. Yes I would recommend this film to people.

No, the absence of tobacco did not affect the plot or quality of the movie. The characters did not seem less believable because there was no tobacco use. The benefits of having no tobacco on screen is that teens will not start smoking because they see their favourite actor or actress smoking. I think that the movie-makers chose to keep tobacco out of this movie because there was no need for it because there was already drinking influence.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review


Critics: Brodie Ricker & Maggie Stoyles
Genre: Sci-Fi
Opening Date: December 18th, 2015
Director: JJ Abrams
Ontario Movie Rating: PG
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, etc.
General Admission Age: Families; young and old.
Tobacco Use: None


Plot Summary: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is the long-awaited sequel to the original Star Wars Trilogy. It follows the story of Finn (John Boyega), a former stormtrooper, who escapes the First Order with an alliance pilot (Oscar Isaac) and comes across a young scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who has been awaiting her family for years. These characters, recently introduced into the Star Wars Universe, begin an exciting adventure through space and become acquainted with classic characters from previous films while fleeing the First Order.

Critical Review: In The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams manages to successfully uphold his statement that “everything old is new again”, which carries out as the theme of the movie. A lot of the plot, and even specific lines, were reused from the old movies, but in a well thought-out, original way, as to not completely remake the original trilogy. Sitting in the audience, you can’t help but feel at home as you watch the fast-paced adventure, because it fits in so well with the original trilogy.

BR: I think the scenes were all very good, they flowed well together without inconsistencies. Well thought out, well planned.
MS: The movie manages to create a fast-pace and introduce so many memorable moments without losing the main plot or confusing their viewers.
BR: The characters are well explained in a way that isn’t annoying, they managed to avoid too many flashback cliches.
MS: As the film goes on, the character connections to the original cast make star wars fans smile as they learn what has become of their favourite characters. As far as the new ones go, you can’t help but like them all, whether it’s the puppy-like new robot, or the emotionally distressed new villain.
BR: I mean, they got it dead on. There isn’t another person I thought would be better for a particular role, they got the casting perfect. Except maybe a villain with a more imposing face. Although, he does have the “emotionally distressed” down perfect.
MS: I liked how the directing team didn’t go for “big stars” or huge celebrities, and instead found actors who are really great and played the roles as they should be. They avoided “type casting” and running on the fame of the actors instead of the quality of the film.
BR: The inside jokes in reference to the old trilogy fit in really well with the newer characters and humour.
MS: I think that a lot of the humour was directed towards star wars fans who had seen previous movies, yet the film still managed to incorporate new jokes for those who were watching their first Star Wars.

Overall, the film was wonderful. Everything was well done, although everyone does have their own pet peeves, whether it be the new villain’s weak performance, the 20-minute (or what seemed like it) panorama at the end, or a dependency on the old films. We would definitely recommend this movie to anyone of any age, along with a recommendation to watch the originals first.

There was no tobacco used in this film, which went unnoticed to most viewers. It didn’t effect the plot or the quality of the movie at all, and therefore benefited the younger part of the audience. Kids get see their favourite heroes on the screen without being influenced by tobacco companies. The characters appeared as realistic as possible in a sci-fi movie, and a choice to add tobacco wouldn’t have supported their personalities or traits. Tobacco was chosen to be excluded from the movie because really, it just wasn’t necessary.

Star Wars – The Force Awakens


Movie Critic: Adenla Adeniji
Movie genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Opening Date: December 18, 2015
Director: J.J Abrams
Movie title: Star Wars VII- The Force Awakens
Ontario Movie Rating : PG
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
General age of people in theatre: ages 5 to 55


The Force Awakens, the latest release of the Star Wars series had no presence of Tobacco.

Plot Summary:

The movie takes place 30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire. Rey a scavenger on the planet Jakku happens to find a BB-8 droid carrying vital information on the whereabouts of long lost Master Luke. With the help of an ex-Stormtrooper Fin, legendary Han Solo and his companion Chewy they make their way through the galaxy in order to safely deliver the droid to the Resistance. However on their way are faced with a series of challenges enforced by the First Order and their Leader Kylo Ken.


As an individual who had never watched any of the star wars movies prior to episode VII, I must say going to see this movie has encouraged me to watch the entire Star Wars saga. The movie was filled with non-stop action leaving you at the edge of your seat on countless occasions. It was comprehendible and enjoyable even for someone like myself with very little knowledge of the main characters. I cannot pinpoint any aspect of the movie that I did not like and would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who loves science fiction, adventure and action films.

Despite the fact that previous movies had scenes displaying tobacco use (Episode IV for instance), there was no presence of tobacco in latest movie. The lack of tobacco use did not affect the plot nor did it make the characters appear less believable or realistic which allowed the film to maintain high standards. In fact, not having tobacco present was a form of action taken by Disney against the tobacco industry. Accepting the direct influence smoking has on youth through popular media, tv shows and movies, Disney has prohibited their youth-targeted movies from depicting characters who smoke. Today, the affirmative action against the tobacco industry in shielding children (replacement smokers) from tobacco exposure extends across the board of Marvel, Pixar and all Lucas films.


Ride Along 2


Movie Critic: Tirthesha Pandya

Movie title: Ride Along 2

Movie genre: Action/ Comedy Ontario

Movie Rating: Pg-13

Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart

Director: Tim Story

General age of people in the theater: 14-25

Tobacco use (How often throughout the movie?): NO TOBACCO USE


Ride along 2 continues on the story of the first movie Ride Along with the same duo, Kevin Hart and Ice cube. Kevin Hart as Rookie lawman Ben Barber aka Black Hammer is picked by Ice Cube as James to take a trip to Miami and catch the Pope who does illegal trading of weapons and drugs. The movie is based around a crazy rollercoaster journey as Black Hammer tries to prove himself and his detective abilities to his soon to be brother-in-law.

I really enjoyed both movies but in particular Ride along 2 took me on a hilarious journey as well as an action filled adventure. The actors did an incredible job and what I liked most about the movie was how the action and comedy were tied together and mixed instead of distinct scenes. What I did not enjoy about the movie was the frequent use of alcohol by all characters. It gives off a wrong image to the audience and sends a false positive image about the substance and its requirement to have fun.

There is no tobacco content in the movie although many scenes contain drug and alcohol “abuse”. The no tobacco part of the movie is great as this movie attracts the teen audience which can affect them in a negative way. Most daily smoker’s start as teens so not having the tobacco influence on them through smoking on screen is always a positive thing. An actor like Ice Cube does not need a cigarette to look strong and bold as his amazing acting skills take control of his dominant character. Overall, this was a great movie with many incredible laughs and action filled scenes.

The Big Short



Movie Title: The Big Short
Critic Name: Rana Jazar
Movie Genre: Mix of Comedy, Drama and Biographical
Ontario Movie Rating: 14A
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale & Steve Carell
Director: Adam McKay
General Age of People in the Theater: 20s – 30s
Tobacco Use: Three instances throughout the movie (once with a cigar, twice with cigarettes)

tobacco impressions

The Big Short is a biographical depiction of those who were able to predict (and cash in on) the housing market crash of 2008, including high ranking men in the finance world, such as Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), and Mark Baum (Steve Carell), as well as some fresh college graduates looking to strike gold (played by John Magaro and Finn Wittrock). I’d spoil the ending for you, but chances are that, if you’re old enough to read this review, you’re probably also old enough to remember the 2008 economy. Even if you weren’t old enough to understand why a housing market crash mattered, you probably remember your parents and people on the news simultaneously freaking out about it. For this reason, this movie is pretty close to being the perfect movie for millennials. The humour is wonderfully dark and the soundtrack uses early-2000s gangster rap in ways that are so perfect, yet unexpected, that it gets you a little excited.
Aside from this, there is a certain characteristic about millennials that the creators of this film clearly understood: we’re a lot smarter than many people understand. Being submerged in media, we have access to a lot of information – sometimes more than we can handle. We understand that market crashes occur, but we’re fuzzy on the details and because of that we’re often afraid of conspiracy-esque theories and occurrences. Thus, the film went about explaining the issue in a way that we could understand – by watching Margot Robbie drink champagne in a bathtub and Selena Gomez play blackjack as they explain the concept behind subprime mortgages and synthetic CDOs, respectively. Although it may sound ridiculous, it does appeal to a certain intellect unique to the generation. Accordingly, they made no attempt to sugar coat or glamorize any of the actual story. Unlike in The Wolf of Wall Street, the characters weren’t consistently smoking or doing drugs to make themselves look especially suave, sophisticated or rebellious. Even the scenes where sexuality was present were characteristically lacking a sexual element (Steve Carell has an entire conversation with a topless dancer about what she should do about her current loans). They were far more realistic about it: they were a bunch of nerds crunching numbers in their office who didn’t smoke because it was the early 2000s and smoking rates were significantly down by that point.
There were, however three instances in the film where tobacco was present. Once at the beginning during a flashback to the 1980s, when the scheming loophole in the mortgage system was created and (to signify all the money the banks were now all rolling in) the scene is of an unknown bank executive in a strip club, throwing around money and smoking a cigar. The second instance was in a casino in Las Vegas where a man in the background is smoking a cigarette while playing on a slot machine. The third instance was in a pub in England where a random drunk man yelled profanities at Brad Pitt while smoking and drinking. This ties into my point about lacking glamorization – while tobacco was present, it wasn’t being used by any of the main characters (in fact these characters didn’t even have names or get more than 20-30 seconds of screen time), there weren’t any particular brands being pushed, and none of them were youth. Furthermore, the only real point the presence of tobacco served in this movie (especially in regards to the first and third instances) was to accentuate that these minor characters were unlikeable and nothing to aspire to. The tobacco was in no way necessary for this point to be made (throwing money at an exotic dancer and yelling profanities at a stranger are pretty bad in themselves), although I don’t believe they are significant – or even attractive – enough to push youth to want to smoke. Let’s be honest: we’re smarter than that.