Movie Critic Kid, 11, Already Emmy-Winning Reviewer

Filed under: In The News, Amazing Kids, Movies

Jackson Murphy, 11, may be the next Roger Ebert

Jackson Murphy, 11, may be the next Roger Ebert. Credit: Castle Photography


At age 11, Jackson Murphy has become one of the country's youngest movie critics.


An only child from upstate New York, Murphy is known as Lights Camera Jackson and does movie reviews for CBS's "The Early Show," plus a newspaper and radio station in New York state. In April, Murphy became the youngest recipient ever to win an Emmy Award in the category "On Camera Talent: Commentator/Editorialist." ParentDish caught up with the busy tween to discuss.

ParentDish: We love the name Movie Critic Kid.
Jackson Murphy:
It was essentially the job I got after I created Lights Camera Jackson.

PD: How did you get started?
JM:
I had been going to local radio Disney events and since I loved it, my dad and I got to talking and came up with the idea to do movie reviews. I was 7 years old when I started doing radio, building my website and landing a local TV gig.

PD: What piqued your interest in becoming a movie critic?
JM:
I had been loving watching and going to the movies, even the local drive-in.

PD: What was the first movie you ever saw in a theater?
JM:
"The Lizzie McGuire Movie." I was so fascinated I didn't even sit in my chair. Instead, I stood behind my seat with my hands on my face staring at the screen in amazement.

PD: What was your review?
JM:
I love it, but then again, I loved the series growing up.

PD: You are so well spoken and animated. Do you study with a professional to really hone in on your talent?
JM:
No. I watch people on TV like Roger Ebert and Regis Philbin. They are my idols. I don't know how I got so energized, maybe just doing this now for a few years?

PD: Have you ever met your idols?
JM:
Yes. I have met Regis a few times and we are best friends now. I was even really star struck the first time I met him. I am still waiting to meet Roger. They both inspire me.

PD: When you met Regis, did he give you any advice?
JM:
Yes. He told me keep doing what you are doing because you are doing great.

PD: Having been a critic for a few years now, do you see yourself still doing reviewing movies as an adult?
JM:
I would like to pursue it and be a talk show host or a game show host, as well. I would love to stay in the entertainment field.

PD: What do your friends at school and camp think of your celebrity status?
JM:
They think it is great. Some kids even recognize me and appreciate what I do. I even brought my Emmy in to show them, so that was cool.

PD: When do you have time to see all of these movies, since you are in school and have homework?
JM:
Friday nights during the school year, and during the summer I can go during the week and see even more stuff.

PD: You are only 11 years old, so what happens when you have to see an R-rated movie?
JM:
I don't do R-rated movies. I only rate G, PG and appropriate PG-13 movies.

PD: You also won an Emmy. Tell us about that.
JM:
I was holding my parents' hands as they read through the names and then when they announced my name I zoomed right up to the stage. I was even plotting my path up to the stage before they announced the winner. I was so surprised when I won I even held a note card to thank everyone who helped me get there. It was the greatest experience I ever had.

PD: Does winning an Emmy make you want to work even harder?
JM:
Yes. I am now really trying to step up to the plate even more.

PD: Where do you keep the Emmy?
JM:
In my bedroom on my dresser.

PD: What is your favorite movie?
JM:
"Beauty and the Beast." It is a perfect movie because it is emotional, sweet, funny and a true classic.

PD: And the worst movie you ever saw was ...
JM:
"Shorts." It was a family film that came out last year. It was gross. This year, "Clash of the Titans" has been the worst movie of 2010.

PD: Who is your favorite actor or actress?
JM:
Kelsey Grammer. I even got to meet him while I was in New York City.

PD: Have you interviewed a lot of celebrities?
JM:
Yes. Larry the Cable Guy, Jane Lynch and Goldie Hawn. I even give them my business card so they can check out my website.

PD: Do people stop you on the street and ask you what they should and should not see?
JM:
(Laughs.) Yes, I get a lot of that.

PD: How do you rate a movie?
JM:
I do a grade system like A-plus, A, B-plus, B, all the way down to F.

PD: So what should we keep an eye on this summer?
JM:
"The Other Guys" with Will Ferrell. It has a big star-studded cast. ... "Nanny McPhee Returns" doesn't look that good. They are also re-releasing "Avatar" in 3D.

Related: 12-Year-Old Publisher's Newspaper Thrives in Illinois

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.