Common Sense Media says

Clever, funny, and sweet villain-with-a-heart-of-gold tale.

Users say

(out of 315 reviews)
age 6+
Review this title!
Parent of a 7 year old Written byjencat1969 July 11, 2010

Please do not take adopted children to this movie!!!!

This movie, sadly, depicts adoption and "unwanted" children in in very negative way. The little girls in the movies pray for a forever family are finally "taken " by a creepy man and then given back !!!!!!!!! All the while being abused by their "guardian" in the orphanage while waiting to be "wanted" by a family. I was horrified as I sat next to my precious 7 yr.old adopted child. I wanted to cover his ears and remind him that no matter how poorly Hollywood depicts adoptive children that adoption is forever and parent's don't return children like they are expired groceries. I would have never taken my baby to this movie if I had known what depressing, damaging and incorrect information he would have been exposed to.
Parent of a 3 year old Written bywayfine July 15, 2010

Good movie for the young ones!

Don't dismiss it based on the PG rating. I personally loved this movie. I didn't bring my son since I'd made that mistake with Toy Story 3, which was too dark and scary for him (and it was rated G ! ) But I wish I'd taken him to this one instead. Ok, so there is some shooting (no one gets hurt), and a butt and fart joke, and then there's the hole in the juicebox issue (looks like blood), but overall, the mood is MUCH lighter than Toy Story 3, and it isn't mean, no one actually gets hurt, in fact the main character, an evil villain, ends up a single dad with his heart warmed by 3 orphans. And the minions are funny! So if you feel your child is ready for a big kid movie, I'd suggest this one over Toy Story 3. I'm going to bring my 3 year old back to see it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byDulcie March 7, 2011

Excellent for all ages!

I loved this movie and so did my kids. That said, there were a few moments that made us uncomfortable. My children are adopted and the early views of the Girls Home and the horrible woman who puts them in a cardboard box for not selling enough cookies or some other infraction was a bit gut wrenching. That said - the rest of the movie is wonderful. It shows a family coming together, love blooming and friends pulling together toward a common goal all with a lot of laughter to tie it all together. We will definitely be adding this to our DVD collection.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 9 year old Written byChrisG July 10, 2010
The orphanage/adoption storyline is VERY scary and unrealistic to adoptive kids.
Parent Written byLinVA July 23, 2010
Weird story about a man who was ridiculed as a child by his mom, and thus became a villian. He adopts 3 young girls to help in his schemes. He ends up loving them, but the pre-adoption scenes with the girls are painful, and the adoption itself is bad, too. I know the movie isn't supposed to be real life, but this is not something I'd want my kids to see.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written byhipocampus girl July 17, 2010


It is a great movie and is very really shows that the creator had a great imagination and did not want to copy same plots of other movies.such a good movie!!!!!
Parent of a 2 and 6 year old Written byLovemyboyz October 16, 2010

Not for kids under 10 or that have family issues

I was not happy with the negative message that a guy adopts kids to use them, then tries to return them and is "stuck" with them...etc. It's not something I want my boys to learn. He was mean to the little girls at different points and they were wandering off alone without adult supervision a lot. We saw it in the theaters thinking it would be okay and I think most the adults in the theater were upset over it more than the kids that were too young to understand what exactly was going on (all they seemed to get was "haha funny little yellow guy made silly noises").
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent Written byPens April 18, 2014

To much hurting

People shoot guns at each other. Scary scenes like a shark attack.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byBurton21 April 15, 2011

Definitely not for little ones

This movie has strong violent imagery including a girl getting suggestively impaled by spikes and what looks like blood oozing out. The opening scene shows a boy falling a long distance as onlookers watch in horror. He just happens to land safely. That is the problem with this movie for younger viewers. Yes, it all turns out okay, but for those few moments children are manipulated into thinking the girl has been killed, or that the boy will fall and hit the stone below and be harmed.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 year old Written byZenMama September 29, 2010

Intelligent and funny, a bit complex for young ones

entertaining for an adult. the 3 sisters in the movie are good role models - they show how a family should love and care for each other. i tried to prepare my 5yo for the orphanage scenes, but i didn't realize there was another part that would upset her. spoiler... the main character returns the girls to the orphanage, and this made my daughter cry. i think she might have handled this better at age 6 or 7.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byMI Mom of 2 August 11, 2010

Adoptive Families Caution - Clever & Cute, but Poor Use of Adoption

I typically review EVERYTHING before we go see a film with our children, but this time I and didn't check. I listened to friends and relatives who said it was great. If you have adopted children as I do, you may be more sensitive to the way adoption is treated in the film. The story has a happy ending, but the messages about adopted children is twisted (supposed to be funny). Children waiting to be adopted were to perform the duties required of their overseer or be punished inside a Shame Box. The girls are adopted not out of love but out of selfishness of the villain, although they do end up changing his heart. The hardest part was watching the girls be RETURNED by the main character at one point in the movie because they were a distraction and no longer of use to him. I am sure there could have been another way to thicken the plot. I wondered what my children thought as they watched it. Even children who have not been adopted, but even those from a blended family or who may be separated from parent, may be extra-sensitive to this portion of the film. I did not have any objection to the slapstick humor, the not so villianous-villian, and the ever-happy minions, but it is very sad how the issue of adoption was treated in the film. My daughter found it funny and enjoyed the film and found the little girls endearing. My son, on the other hand said it was okay, and really did not care to discuss the details, so I am concerned that he had a better understanding of the adoptive situation. Although I found many parts to be cute and the good message of a change of heart positive, I am not sure I would have taken my children at their age due to the treatment of adoption in the film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 6 year old Written byvinniebarbarino July 25, 2010

Adoption material senseless and disturbing. Avoid if you are adoptive parent!

My five year old son, who is not adopted, found the material about the box of shame and the way the girls were returned very disturbing. We know adopted children and he was also very sad as he assumed they might be returned, too.
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byb080170e July 12, 2010
We are an adoptive family with both bio and adopted children. Luckily, my adopted daughter is not old enough (IMHO) to see the movie yet, but I was very disappointed in the way adoption was handled (everything from the way someone would be able to adopt, to the director being such an ugly person, to the actual ability to "return" the children. It was very uncomfortable for me as an adoptive parent. On the brighter side, otherwise, the movie is very cute and the overall message is touching. I talked to my child prior to seeing the movie and after the movie about the adoption theme that I was concerned about. But I liked the movie very well overall.
Parent of a 10 year old Written byRefLibMom February 13, 2011

Funny but with thoughtful message

I loved it; very creative and very funny in a quirky way. The characters were well-developed, often over-the-top, and in general maintained their natures throughout the movie. It's the "despicable"main character who changes slowly over the course of the movie, and finally overcomes his miserable childhood to return to his "real" self. I was mostly troubled by the horrible, horrible orphanage, the cruelty of the matron (?), and the kids' uncertainty about ever being adopted. It made ME feel anxious and abandoned and trapped (and I had a very happy childhood and supportive family). For younger children or those in foster care or unhappy family situations, it may be just too much, even though the extended feel-good ending tries to balance it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Parent Written byaskyourmother January 28, 2013

Dark, cruel and scary!

The dark and cruel depiction of orphans, adoption, and villians was too, too much for our daughter (who is adopted). She said the movie would give her nightmares and asked to turn it off .... Just before I reached the point of turning it off myself. This is not an appropriate movie for any family with adopted kids, particularly kids who were adopted at older ages. It's hard to imagine how some of these themes are created and packaged as "family" or "kid" movies. Boggles the mind. The first day into the adopted home, one girl is apparently "killed" by being squeezed in an ancient torture device ... yes, really. But then she is magically ok. Not cute for youngsters. Pretty graphic with "blood" running out onto the floor ... although it later turned out to be grape juice. My advice, "Just say no" to despicable me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bybigmacattack9 July 16, 2011

Despicable Me

I took my kids to see this movie they were laughing at every joke. This movie has absolutely no bad things in it and kids of all ages and for adults too. The minions and the "dog" were HILARIOUS. If you're worried about your kids seeing it it's fine! Don't know what people were thinking
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byloisj April 29, 2011

questionable lessons, cheap laughs

i hated this movie. i thought there was not one positive message in it. three little girls, who live in an orphanage with a cruel woman, are "adopted" way too easily by a villain. the girls are called from their bedroom and told they are being adopted, and they are just sent home with this strange man. he takes them to his house, where the girls are kind of freaked out at how scary it is, and all the while he wants to use them to get to another villain and then ditch them. of course the point is that they end up melting his heart and he wants to keep them, but the whole premise and the message that kids should go with strangers, even when the suspect these strangers have bad intentions, is a dangerous one to send. It's like romanticizing kidnapping. Aside from the problematic messages, the film is flat and goes for really cheap laughs. there are some gratuitous comic scenes when the little aliens (comic relief) have to go to a toy store and cause all kinds of mayhem. ditto for the disco scenes. They don't fit with the story, but kids will laugh at the antics (and the potty humor, of which there is plenty). The movie also contains cheap laughs for adults (nothing like the clever innuendos in Shrek or Tangled, for example). This movie relies on the daily struggles of parenting to appeal to the adults, but it doesn't apply to the story. For example, the kids whine and beg until he gives in, they manipulate him in other ways, too, and say the same things your kids will say, like "will you play with us?" and "I hope his house is made of gummy bears." furthermore, the movie uses the old adult-single-man-has-no-idea-how-to-deal-with-children trope, which can be entertaining (ex, Kindergarten Cop), but here it is shallow and predictable. all in all, a simplistic story with cheap laughs that promotes dubious understanding of how much children shoudl trust adults.
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 12 years old November 11, 2010

Really funny movie!

I loved the movie Despicable Me. There's only one big concerns that I have. A few little ones though. LANGUAGE Butt, fart, poop & sucker were all used, "butt" especially. VIOLENCE Some of Gru's gadgets would be considered dangerous in the real world such as a freeze-ray, shrink-ray and another weapon which blows stuff up. PRODUCT PLACEMENT One. The NBC logo. But, it's not really "in your face" and it only shows for a few seconds. BAD ROLE MODELS Both Gru & Vector are bad role models for stealing and using weapons. No highlights unfortunatly. However, if you enjoy a really funny movie, this is great!
Educator and Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written bykmillsma April 17, 2011

very funny!

very funny for adults and still appropriate for kids, actually has a few plot twists and isn't just the same old plot line
Parent of a 8 year old Written bycone March 12, 2011