A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not much, unless you consider the movie as some sort of lesson about not eating genetically modified food.
Kids may take away positive ideas about being liked for who you really are and not having to change your appearance just to be cool. There's also a recurring theme about parents needing to have faith in their children, as well as negative consequences for unchecked greed.
Positive Role Models
Flint shows Sam that she's beautiful even when she's "nerdy" and that she shouldn't dumb herself down for anyone. Flint's father learns to be supportive.
Violence & Scariness
A hurricane of food threatens to destroy Chew and Swallow, as well as other major cities around the world. Characters are in danger/peril due to enormous falling food -- and other food mutations (including somewhat creepy headless chickens). The "rat birds" are humorously creepy and pop up again and again -- in one case, a rat bird snatches up the "world's biggest sardine."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sam and Flint flirt with each other on several occasions, and in one sequence it's clear that Flint is "pursuing" Sam to be his girlfriend. After almost kissing a couple of times, they finally do kiss.
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Mild insults and language include "hell hole," "knuckle scrapers," "crazy jerk," "stupid," etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this adaptation of the classic children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is bound to attract the 10-and-under set. While there's nothing overtly age-inappropriate in the movie, expect a bit of salty language along the lines of "hell" and and the occasional mild insult like "stupid" or "knuckle scrapers." The few tense/slightly scary scenes are weather- and giant food-related -- which could upset little kids who are sensitive to fears about natural disasters -- and there's a brewing romance between the main character and a weather reporter. Although no grand life lessons are offered, the movie does center on a son's need for fatherly encouragement and the idea that you shouldn't compromise who you are just to be popular. The movie's plot is very different than the book's, so those expecting a straight adaptation may be disappointed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Once fans of the book reset their expectations, they'll laugh at the sight of a Neapolitan-ice-cream snowfall or a drizzle of steak falling onto diners' plates at a trendy, roofless restaurant. The food in the movie isn't magical like in the book; it's the result of a science experiment that eventually runs amok. But that's fine, because the funny dialogue and the colorful food scenes are entertaining enough to make this breezy, amusing adventure a sweet treat for the whole family.
Sony Pictures Animation may not be Pixar (and, to be fair, no other animation studio is Pixar -- yet), but it previously scored with the fantastically imaginative Monster House, the charming buddy comedy Open Season, and the penguin's paradise Surf's Up. Cloudy is the studio's first foray into the profitable 3-D genre, and thanks to all of the food sequences, it's an ideal choice for the technology. The voice talent is there (Faris, in particular, is an adroit voice actress, and Mr. T is laugh-aloud funny as an overly eager town cop), though the story is so far removed from the book upon which it's supposedly based that it will likely take a moment for admirers of the picture book to see the correlation beyond the fact that there's food falling from the sky.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.