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How can you not love a kid who defangs the bully of his junior high with a giant Scottish frog? Max Keeble (shock-haired Alex D. Linz) may not be the biggest seventh-grader, but he certainly knows how to exact revenge on everyone who’s been making his life miserable—a decision spurred by his parents’ announcement that the Keeble family will be moving out of town at the end of Max’s horrible, no good, very bad week. Though Max is a target for torment because of both his size and his friendship with a kid whose everyday uniform is a bathrobe (Josh Peck, simply called Robe), he’s also confident enough to flirt with the blond ninth-grader on his paper route and smart enough to remember what used to scare the bejesus out of McGinty (Noel Fisher), his former-friend-turned-bully (priceless flashback: a birthday party, a parent disguised as a dancing frog, and a 4-year-old sobbing, “I don’t like McGoogals! McGoogals isn’t Max’s daddy!”). After Max is through taunting unreasonable teachers; foiling his out-of-school nemesis, the ice cream man; and forgetting about the going-away party thrown by his geeky friends as he dances with the blonde in post-milkshake-bender celebration, his parents break the news that they’re not moving after all. Although the kiddies provide their share of zaniness—a pigtailed little girl yelling “Fartknocker!” after receiving a half-melted Fudgsicle is a highlight—the best laughs come from Larry Miller as the oddball Principal Jindraike, who’s alternately silly (“You’re a smart little boy, but so am I!”), Seussian (“their pimples and their braces and their rickets and their lice!”), and just plain mean (“Oh, stop smiling! This is not a happy place!”). A couple of Max’s more elaborate ploys may go on a little too long to hold the target audience’s interest, but overall Max Keeble’s Big Move is a pretty good one. —Tricia Olszewski