Mirror Mirror

  • Review Date: March 30, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Visually appealing fairy tale lacks oomph but fine for kids.
  • Review Date: March 30, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Prominent messages about the importance of selflessness, kindness, and not basing your assessment of someone on their looks or height or wealth. The evil queen (who's clearly a villainess) is portrayed as power-hungry, uncaring, narcissistic, and uninterested in anyone but herself, while Snow's journey shows young girls that they need to stand up for themselves and what's right, even if it's a scary thing to do.

Positive role models

Snow White does eventually learn to stand up to the queen and fight for what's right, but she's a fairly passive character for most of the movie. The dwarfs are intelligent and skilled, but they've been forced to live in exile and steal from rich travelers. The prince is brave and confident, as princes tend to be in stories. On the other hand, the queen is unmitigatedly mean, resentful, and jealous.

Violence & scariness

Some sword fighting (no one is seriously injured) and a sequence in which two giant marionettes try to kill Snow White and destroy the dwarfs' home. Toward the end of the movie, the queen unleashes her pet beast (a flying mythical creature) which nearly kills Snow and the prince. The king dies in the beginning of the movie, but it's not shown. Some threats.

Sexy stuff

A few suggestive jokes. Half-Pint keeps flirting with Snow White, with whom he's clearly smitten. The queen makes several comments about how distractingly attractive the prince is, and Snow White and the prince share a kiss. In one scene, a bespelled prince licks the queen's face. The prince and Snow White have a sword fight in which he "spanks" her with his sword. The prince's shirt is stripped from him, and the queen reacts to his physique.

Language

The most commonly uttered insult is "idiot," with a "stupid" and some euphemisms for "short" thrown in aimed at the dwarfs.

Consumerism

No product placements, but the movie does have tie-ins like a novelization and chapter book, apparel, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking by grown-ups at parties and receptions. A dwarf behaves in a drunken manner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mirror Mirror is a kid-friendly take on the Snow White fairy tale. Expect a few (bloodless) sword fights and some suggestive jokes that may go over kids' head (including references to a "May-December" romance and a quick reference to being "taken advantage of"). There's also a chaste kiss, a few longing looks, and a couple of dog-like licks on the queen's face while the prince is under a spell. In addition to the sword fights, the Mirror casts some malicious spells, and there are two killer, giant marionettes that try to destroy Snow White and the dwarfs. Unlike Disney's Snow White, Lily Collins' princess ends up learning how to stand up for herself and fights the queen's (Julia Roberts) evil beast alongside the prince.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Snow White (Lily Collins) has spent the years since her father the king's disappearance imprisoned in the castle, while her greedy stepmother the queen (Julia Roberts) ruthlessly rules over the kingdom. The day of her 18th birthday, Snow escapes to the village and witnesses its poverty. On the way, she encounters two half-dressed men tied upside down to a tree. She frees the men -- who turn out to be Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) and his valet -- and is instantly attracted to the tall and handsome royal hero. The two reunite at a castle ball, but the queen has set her sights on marrying the prince to have access to even more wealth, so she commands her aide (Nathan Lane) to kill Snow White. As she runs through the woods, Snow stumbles into a tiny abode, which is the home of the seven dwarfs (though unlike the Disney dwarfs, these seven guys are marauding thieves who teach Snow their warrior ways). With the queen still determined to marry the prince, Snow White is in grave danger when it's revealed she wasn't murdered after all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Roberts obviously had a ball playing the Evil Queen. Dressed in sumptuous, over-the-top gowns and spewing incessantly cruel comments, she's the kind of deliciously evil villain audiences love to hate. Her vanity and self-aggrandizing comments provide some of the movie's biggest laughs -- especially as she attempts to woo the much younger Prince Alcott. The Academy Award winner is funny and charming, even as she's hateful and uncaring. Snow White, on the other hand -- or, more specifically, ingenue Collins -- is quite the opposite. Instead of being adorably innocent like Amy Adams or Anne Hathaway, Collins is beautiful but boring.

Hammer, who was excellent in The Social Network, was born to play handsome princes. He's all broad shoulders, twinkly eyes, and gleaming teeth, but even he can't elicit much chemistry with Collins. To say their romance is underwhelming is an understatement. The only redeeming scene is when the two have a brief sword fight with some zippy dialogue. Otherwise, it's really the queen and the prince who have better rapport. And as for the dwarfs, they're probably the coolest part of the movie, because they're nothing like you'd expect. They're rogueish stick-up artists who've been forced out of the village to live on their own in the woods. They teach Snow White how to be more assertive and confident, and she encourages them to stop their thievery. This Snow White is dazzling to watch from an art direction and costume perspective (with the bonus Roberts' villainy), but the princess' personality is as flat as her skin color is fair.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this take on Snow White compares to other versions of the beloved fairy tale. In what ways is this Snow White more assertive than other representations of her? How are the dwarfs a bigger part of the story?

  • What does Mirror Mirror have to say about vanity? What are the literal and figurative costs of the queen's vanity? Should it matter if you're the most beautiful person around?

  • Why are princess tales so popular? Does this spin on the princess story have a more progressive message for girls than previous versions?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 30, 2012
DVD release date:June 26, 2012
Cast:Armie Hammer, Julia Roberts, Lily Collins
Director:Tarsem Singh
Studio:Relativity Media
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Great girl role models
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some fantasy action and mild rude rumor

This review of Mirror Mirror was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byluv2shop2112 March 30, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Classic Fairytale for the whole family!

This is a wonderful movie. A classic fairy tale but with a twist.
This movie takes place from the queen's point of view :)
It is a wonderful movie for the whole family to see.

Snow White is a really good role model, showing how stealing is bad and how to give to the poor.
Great Movie!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 and 8 year old Written bymom2twins March 30, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Upon reflection, it was pretty good

I've seen some of the mixed reviews of this movie, but I have to say that I and my 8-year-old daughters enjoyed this film. I'm always sensitive to the messages that a movie sends to girls, and I'm pleased that "Mirror Mirror" has a strong heroine, one who rises above adversity to become a wise leader. (The fact that she can hold her own in a sword fight is a plus.) I also was happy to see that there was a diverse cast (e.g. among the villagers and even with the "dwarves.") And while it may not be for all adults, the broad humor did elicit a fair amount of chuckles from the grown-ups with us in the theater.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bymrbookworm01 March 30, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Good movie, but a few scary scenes

I went to see this movie for our school's AR field trip and it was really good. It has some potentially scary scenes, mainly towards the end, but nothing too bad for young kids. Plus, Snow White is a great role model, as she's nice, brave, and selflessly helps others. OK for kids 8+. Violence: Some small battles, including a scene towards the end where Snow White and the prince take on the queen's dragon, but nobody gets hurt. One scene shows evil marionettes trying to destroy Snow White and the dwarfs, but nobody is hurt. The dragon could be very frightening to younger kids. At the end, the queen tries to give Snow White a poisoned apple, but she doesn't eat it. Sex: Some sexual jokes that will probably go over kids' heads. One dwarf falls for Snow White and lightly flirts with her. The prince is shown shirtless twice, but nothing too graphic. The prince and Snow White kiss in some scenes. Drinking: Adult drinking at parties, but no excessive drinking.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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