Parent reviews for Despicable Me

Common Sense says

Clever, funny, and sweet villain-with-a-heart-of-gold tale.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 120 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 219 reviews
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 9-year-old Written byChrisG July 10, 2010
The orphanage/adoption storyline is VERY scary and unrealistic to adoptive kids.
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.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byPens April 18, 2014

To much hurting

People shoot guns at each other. Scary scenes like a shark attack.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent Written byIzzymama January 22, 2014

Not good for adoptive families!!!

This otherwise good movie should come with a huge warning label for adoptive families - in the first half-hour, there is a disturbing exchange where the three girls have an extensive exchange with the orphanage director along the lines of "will someone adopt me? did anyone come to adopt me?" and "No one will ever adopt you!" etc. Huge kudos to CSM for flagging this which is the only reason my husband and I previewed this before watching with our 5-year old adopted son. We could barely stomach it ourselves - it's supremely insensitive - and unfortunate. Despicable Me 2, by contrast, which we've all seen together and enjoyed, is just fine.
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.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
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.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 4 and 8-year-old Written bymyboys48 March 12, 2011

Not for under 8 years

Cute movie, but not appropriate for under 8 years. The themes are too old and include behavior and words that the younger children shouldn't be exposed to or repeat.
Adult Written byChrishansongaming November 29, 2018

it was alright

This movie was inappropriate, as the underlying themes of slavery went too far!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byIRO July 10, 2010
Adult Written byLegendiarre September 2, 2020
Adult Written byEpicReviews August 31, 2020
Adult Written byShrek_boy August 9, 2020

Pretty alright

Nothing specifically wrong about this film and also those people that get offended about the adoption stuff. IT IS FICTION. Not much scary violence or language just a harmless
Little children’s film.
Overall I think this film is alright for ages 4 and up
Adult Written byKarentroll May 28, 2020


My 13-year-old and nine-year-old recently watched this movie and we’re scarred. This movie was absolutely disgusting. I am so glad I didn’t let my seven-year-old son Tyler watch this movie because this movie encourages lying and secrets.
This movie also has tiny yellow slaves which is completely inappropriate. Please don’t watch if you’re under 18.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byAt123123 May 5, 2020

My son loves this movie!

My son (age 5) thought the minions were absolutely hilarious! A lot of the plot (orphanage/adopted children) seemed to go over his head. We've enjoyed watching it together a couple times now. Good movie overall!
Adult Written byLebron12James3 March 28, 2020

This part of my next review will be a note from me

And this one will be the actual review.
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byMarion J. February 14, 2020

Kind of violent

We only got through the first 30 min. In that time there was a lot of violence, sort of the focus. We had to stop when *spoiler* one of the orphans goes into a coffin of spikes & something red oozes out. It’s her juice box but... really?!? Is that necessary. Morbid for kids.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 3 and 6-year-old Written byWhitman818 April 27, 2019
Adult Written byqueencat April 24, 2019

Cute movie

There are weapons but not anything scary. Mostly silly like a freeze ray. No one ever gets seriously hurt. Gru comes from a family of villains and tries to be mean and steals things. However, when he adopts three sweet girls he has a turn of heart and becomes good. The three sweet little girls are what I think really make the movie. The youngest girl is too cute!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 5, 8, and 11-year-old Written byMrsAshley09 January 25, 2019

Really awesome!

This movie was really funny! Most of it came from potty humor (which it has a lot of) !

This title contains:

Positive role models