A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This film is meant to entertain, not educate.
Cinnamon learns that she should stop being selfish about Madeline's attention and that she shouldn't sabotage her relationship with Kevin, since he makes Madeline happy. Jordan learns to stand up to a bully and be truthful about his feelings for the girl he likes. Potentially blended families are portrayed in a positive manner.
Positive Role Models
Madeline and Kevin are caring, attentive parents and later thoughtful and loving partners to each other. They understand the challenges of dating after divorce/loss, and they work hard to overcome the obstacles they face (mostly from Cinnamon the dog).
Violence & Scariness
Some mild pushing and shoving, and a few dog chase scenes. A dog nips at a man's pant legs to get him away from someone. A couple of characters get into verbal altercations -- like Madeline and her daughter's much older date or Jordan and his bully.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
More kissing and innuendo than usual for a movie aimed at this age group. Cinnamon usually interrupts, but there's plenty of smooching between grown-ups Madeline and Kevin. Madeline stops her teenage daughter from dating an older womanizer. Madeline and her daughter, Chloe, each wear cleavage-bearing outfits, as does Chloe's dad's girlfriend. Madeline mentions that her ex "upgraded" to a much younger model. A girl wears a bikini in an Internet photo. Young Jordan has an obvious crush on his friend.
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"Oh my God" and "geez" a couple of times. Jordan calls a bully's dog a "dog-pound mutt," which hurts the (talking) dog's feelings.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults have wine during dates; a character appears inebriated but doesn't do anything outrageous or inappropriate.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cinnamon -- which is aimed directly at younger kids and tweens -- has a surprising amount of kissing for a movie targeted at that audience, as well as thematic material about divorce and widower-hood relationships, blended families, and the dating life of teenage daughters. But other than a few incidents of pushing and shoving, there's nothing violent, and this dog tale is ultimately about building a new, loving family unit. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Family films require a delicate balance, lest "wholesome" quickly turn into "bland" and "kid friendly" become an adult snoozefest; while CINNAMON isn't completely boring, it's a strange hybrid. It's a mix of post-divorce romance, middle-school puppy love, and talking-dog comedy. The humor is pretty forgettable (mostly slapstick gags), and the story feels overlong for such a paper-thin plot (dog likes being the apple of her owner's eye and attempts to destroy her favorite human's chance at love).
For such a low-budget live-action film, Gibb and Evigan are surprisingly capable actors, but their on-screen kids come off as more annoying than relatable. Plus, let's face it -- there are only so many ways an audience can watch a dog come between her owner on a date before it (quickly) starts to fall flat. Just as Madeline and Kevin deserve their love to grow, families deserve movies that aren't just mediocre. Sadly, Cinnamon isn't nearly as tangy or sweet as the title implies.
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.