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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Through Nanny McPhee's lessons to the children, young viewers will learn the importance of working with others, following their instincts, and standing up for what they believe and the people they love.
Nanny McPhee's charges learn to work together, share, act courageously, be selfless, never lose faith, and love each other. It's a strongly positive message for all kids.
Positive Role Models
Although the two uncles aren't positive role models (nor are they intended to be), the women (save for the missing aunt) all are: Mrs. Green is patient, kind, and loving, always going out of her way to help Mrs. Docherty and please her children and niece and nephew. Nanny McPhee herself proves that beauty isn't dictated physically, but rather by what your character has to offer those around you.
Violence & Scariness
Comic violence includes people getting swept up by a sudden gust of wind; a bird expanding and looking like he's about to burst (but he doesn't); kids pushing, shoving, and fighting with each other; and a man being told that he's going to be "stuffed" as penalty for not repaying a loan.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two kisses between a married couple, and some comic flirting between the hit-women and their target.
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Very infrequent use of "hell" and "oh my God." Also, the cousins call each other names like "savages," " "awful," and the like. Other insults include "weak-willed," "cock and bull," "wicked," and "rotten."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fantasy sequel is a great choice for families. The on-screen kids fight and misbehave a lot until Nanny McPhee disciplines them; ultimately, they learn important lessons about being helpful, selfless, and brave. Violence is limited to physical comedy gags like a bird that nearly explodes and two women who look harmless but are actually hit-women. One of the subplots involves a relative who's in the hole for so much money that he tries to bully his sister-in-law to sell her share of the farm. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Because the story is so predictable, there's not much mystery as to how things will turn out, but kids won't care because they'll be too busy enjoying it. They'll be laughing at the flying and swimming piglets, the animal sleepover, and the kids hitting themselves comically until they stop fighting with each other. The magic of the NANNY McPHEE tale is that it's completely derivative (in an endearing way!) of childhood favorites like Mary Poppins and Babe, with a little bit of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang thrown in for extra flying-vehicle fun. Thompson, who also wrote and produced the movie, is obviously comfortable in the governess role and working with children, and her scenes with the kids are amusing. Gyllenhaal -- whose accent is surprisingly pleasant -- is no Colin Firth, but she's lovely and sweet, and you can't help but cheer for her and her friend, the forgetful Mrs. Docherty (Maggie Smith).
Other aspects of the movie, however, fall flat -- like the window putty-eating bird, the sweet-but-creepy hit-women, and the annoying Uncle Phil (Ifans), who keeps popping up again and again. But there are a couple of fantastic cameos from men who are no doubt Thompson's friends (McGregor and Ralph Fiennes). Their mere presence in the movie is a delight, especially the great Fiennes as a stiff War Office VIP who's the stand-offish father to the London cousins. Speaking of the cousins, they're appropriately naughty at first and then adorably friendly with each other. The end is particularly sentimental, because there's a tie-in to the first film, leaving open the possibility that Nanny McPhee will strike yet again.
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Our Editors Recommend
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