Gulliver's Travels

  • Review Date: December 19, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Amusing adventure for fans of Jack Black and silly jokes.
  • Review Date: December 19, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Messages about honesty, teamwork, and seeing people for their potential and not just their social status/job title are all positive. That said, there's also some potty humor: In one scene, Gulliver pees on a fire to put it out, and viewers see people who are covered in urine. And another scene shows a bit of Jack Black's "plumber's butt."

Positive role models

Despite the fact that Gulliver has the propensity to lie -- he plagiarizes his article and then tells a bunch of lies about himself to the Lilliputians -- he redeems himself with his last-minute plan to rescue them from their enemies. Darcy learns to see Gulliver's potential and not just to consider him "the mailroom guy." Horatio and Darcy discover that love is more about honestly knowing and loving someone for who they are rather than their title or status.

Violence

Cartoonish violence in Lilliput, where the Lilliputians often have skirmishes with a neighboring kingdom. Gulliver fights one-on-one with an entire armada that fires at him, but his huge belly repels the bombs, and they charge right back at the enemy ships. Soldiers are shown jumping into the water (comic scene). In one scene, a soldier is accidentally crushed, but it's handled humorously. Gulliver surrenders after receiving a horrible "wedgie" from an oversized robot soldier he fights.

Sex

A couple of sweet kisses between two different couples in the story. Also some innuendo and references to romantic relationships and flirting techniques. For example, when Princess Mary asks her fiance what he likes about her, he points at her breasts, and she says "inappropriate." Gulliver convinces Horatio to woo Princess Mary by quoting Prince's song "Kiss." Gulliver refers to women as "stone cold foxes" and "babes."

Language

Insults like "lame ass," "loser," and "stupid."

Consumerism

Products and brands represented or mentioned include Apple (the iPhone especially, but also MacBook and iTunes), Guitar Hero video game, and Mr. Coffee.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Grown-ups drink at dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this modernization of Jonathan Swift's classic satire features everything audiences expect from family-targeted Jack Black movies: physical (including potty) comedy, minor language, and lots of references to popular culture -- particularly movies and music. The sexuality is mostly tame, but there are references to a woman's breasts (as reason enough to marry her), some innuendo, and a few brief kisses. Language includes insults like "stupid" and "lame ass" (repeated several times in one scene). Expect several mentions of/allusions to Mac products, among other brand names. On the bright side, kids should learn about the value of honesty, believing in yourself, and looking beyond someone's status.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic satire, Jack Black stars as Lemuel Gulliver, a mailroom clerk at a New York City newspaper, where he's worked for years nursing a crush on travel editor Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet). When an ambitious new mailroom employee (T.J. Miller) is hired one day and promoted the next, Gulliver decides to approach Darcy for a date -- but instead he makes her think he's interested in becoming a travel writer. After he turns in a plagiarized writing sample, Darcy assigns Gulliver a feature story about the Bermuda Triangle, where he sails into a storm that lands him on the diminutive island kingdom of Lilliput. There, he proves himself a hero, befriends Horatio (Jason Segel) -- a commoner who's in love with Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) -- and proceeds to lie spectacularly about himself to the everyone, since, for once in his life, he's beloved. But everything's in jeopardy when the princess' betrothed, General Edward (Chris O'Dowd), starts to feel threatened.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Whether you'll enjoy GULLIVER'S TRAVELS or not all boils down to how much you enjoy Black's brand of humor. For those who consider him an irresistible jokester, this is a slightly better-than-average comedy with loads of pop culture references and that signature Black comedy. Audiences who are lukewarm on Black's charm may be less amused by this adaptation, but there are enough silly laughs, talented supporting actors, and broad sight gags (such as the diminutive, fully made-up KISS band) to make this a decent family pick.

Even taking the scenery-chewing Black out of the picture, the Lilliputian cast is good, with Billy Connolly as the always entertaining king, Blunt as the beautiful princess who yearns for more than her status allows, and Segel as the commoner who yearns to woo her. But the stand-out performer is O'Dowd, an Irish actor best known for his work on British television (The IT Crowd). His uptight, self-righteous General Edward is just the right mix of pompous and insecure for what's otherwise a caricaturish character. This fish-out-of-water fantasy isn't necessarily a must-see film, but for Black devotees, it's yet another example of the comedian's Adam Sandler-like ability to remain essentially himself in every movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the movie is saying about believing in yourself. What finally makes Gulliver do the right thing? Why is it easier for him lie about himself than admit the truth?

  • What do you expect from a Jack Black movie? Is it a given that you'll see him sing, dance, and make fun of his own body? What other film stars use a similar brand of comedy?

  • Who do you think this movie is meant to appeal to most? Does it succeed? Have you seen any other versions of this story? How does this one compare?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2010
DVD release date:April 19, 2011
Cast:Amanda Peet, Emily Blunt, Jack Black, Jason Segel
Director:Rob Letterman
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Adventures, Book characters
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:brief rude humor, mild language and action

This review of Gulliver's Travels was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous December 27, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Yes 14+ should see it. 9 Year olds shouldn't see this movie and the 1 Year old should never see this movie by itself.

The Sexual Content isn't that bad. ...and they are only kissing in it. But there is more than just that. Prince's Song Kiss is used so I'm saying that 14+ should see this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 7 year old Written byshakesmcgillicutty January 2, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Very Funny! Not for kids under 12

This movie is way better than the original, much funnier and very clever. As an adult I liked it very much and found myself laughing out loud. However, Gulliver's Travel is for the 12+ crowd. I brought my 7 yr old son and found myself wishing I hadn't.. Although I'm sure he didn't learn anything new, I cringed several times at what he was hearing. The humor was a bit crass, with language such as, "I'm a big lame ass", "It blows", "Wanna shoot some poos, go for some brews?", "Hey sexy", "Stone cold fox" and "I find you incredibly sexy". There's also a boat named "Ship Happens." In one scene the princess asks her fiancee what he likes about her and he points to her breasts. When Gulliver falls on the ground, he lands on an unfortunate Lilliputian. It's apparent that the little man goes inside Gulliver's bottom (gross!). There's also a scene where Gulliver puts out a fire by urinating on a building and several people. Overall, I liked the movie for me and would have no problem taking my 12 year old niece, but NOT my 7 yr old.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Adult Written byvery fun movie December 10, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good movie for 12 and up

there is a lot of ads like coca-cola and stuff, also there is words like stupid, idiot, fat.... gulliver is a very good role motel at the and where he is humiliated and comes back to say sorry....
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written byErin_aimeee March 9, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

This movie was honestly awful

never see this movie it was beyond bad. I left with my friend in the middle of the movie. In one scene gulliver pees to put out a fire. I mean that's gross I don't want to see that. Also there are a lot of disgusting, crass jokes in this movie. I was disturbed. I saw this movie when I was in 6th grade and like i said before left in the middle of the movie. It was that BAD. Don't bother parents its not worth your time or money. My friend's mom didn't even like it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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