A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn the value of friendship, siblings, and families -- and that not all families are alike.
Not all families are alike, and that's OK/great. You might think you're "useless" or a "loser," but that's not true, and there are people who will appreciate, encourage, and support you. Strong themes about sibling and parent-child relationships, as well as teamwork, communication, and the idea that if you pay attention and work hard, you can accomplish something (even though that something might be stealing -- albeit from a thief). Some crude humor.
Positive Role Models
Gru is a great dad: He's protective, compassionate, and sweet and will stop at nothing to make sure that his girls are safe. Lucy is trying to be a good mother to the girls, and she's brave and capable (even more so than Dru and Gru). The sisters adore their dad and are good to one another and Lucy. Dru and Gru develop a strong brotherly bond. Even though they fight, they love and defend each other. Dru does encourage Gru to return to his villainous ways, which isn't role model behavior. The cast isn't particularly diverse.
Violence & Scariness
A villain uses multiple '80s-themed weapons, including robotic action figures, enlarged chewing gum that can incapacitate people, and aircraft. Lots of action, chases, and explosions. In one scene, it looks like Dru will fall on spikes surrounding the villain's lair. Many people are in danger in Hollywood when the villain unleashes his anger.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Gru and Lucy are married and affectionate with each other. Margo unknowingly participates in an engagement ceremony in a foreign country, and the boy wants to date his "future bride." A weapon causes Gru's -- and, much later, the villain's -- clothes to fall off; they're naked, but viewers only see skin in a blur, and then their bodies are partly covered by chewing gum. A few minions show parts of their butts. In one jokey scene, a minion is wearing a Hawaiian coconut bikini top, which pops off. It reveals nothing but smooth yellow skin, but the minion next to him covers the skin anyhow.
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A few insults -- "loser," "failure," "screw up" -- plus "boobs" in minion-ese.
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Products & Purchases
No product placements in the movie, but Despicable Me (especially the minions) has plenty of merchandise tie-ins -- toys, games, apparel, accessories, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dru, Gru, and Lucy have wine glasses in front of them at dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Despicable Me 3 is the third installment in the hit Despicable Me franchise about reformed supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his new wife, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), who are both Anti-Villain League agents. This time around, Gru, Lucy and their three girls are invited to Freedonia to meet Gru's long-lost twin brother, Dru (also Carrell). While the violence is mostly cartoonish and silly (think super-sized, sticky chewing gum; violent action figures, and dart guns), it does include high-tech weapons and a destructive super-sized robot with lasers. There are plenty of chases and explosions, and generally it feels a bit heavier on action than the previous movies. Language is mild ("loser," "failure," and "screw up," plus "boobs" in Minion-ese), but the minions occasionally look partially nude (buttocks, etc.), as do Gru and the movie's villain after a weapon blows off their clothes, leaving them strategically covered in pink bubble gum. As with all the Despicable Me films, you can expect strong messages about the power of family and friendship, as well as teamwork and communication. Lucy is a positive female role model, but the cast isn't particularly diverse otherwise. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Predictable but fun, this "threequel" is an amusing, kid-friendly mix of sibling interaction, '80s humor, and irresistibly silly minion jokes. The double dose of Carell -- one dark and bald (Gru), one with a head full of blond hair and a different accent (Dru) -- is hilarious, if formulaic. The twin material (they try to "trade" places for a dinner, fooling absolutely no one but remaining endearing all the same) is funny and easy for even the youngest audiences to understand. The subplot in which Lucy attempts to rise to the occasion as a mother is also quite sweet; watching her go into "mama bear" mode is one of the movie's highlights. And Pharrell Williams' score is enhanced by '80s hits from the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Nena, as well as one showstopping minionese version of Gilbert and Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General."
As for the villain, Parker's Bratt is definitely more memorable than the antagonist of the second movie, and his voice is perfectly suited to play a resentful middle-aged man who never came to terms with his fall from celebrity. The '80s jokes and sight gags should appeal to Gen X/Y parents, and Parker's costume itself is worth several laughs. The filmmakers have toned down the extreme minion focus since the second film, which is for the greater good, as a little bit of minion humor goes a long way. But there's still something lacking in this film, which can't quite meet the standards set by the first. Still, while this isn't the best of the Despicable Me movies, it at least promotes positive messages about families, siblings, and loyal friends.
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.