Magic Camp

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Magic Camp Movie Poster Image
Tween-friendly camp-set comedy has positive messages.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about resiliency, self love, and the importance of facing and learning from life's challenges, including the death of a loved one, parental expectations, or a lack of self confidence.

Positive Messages

Kids grow with positive affirmation and affection. They learn to make the most of every situation and to play fairly. Professional fulfillment doesn't always come from the flashiest careers. Rivalries can lead to bad behavior, like name-calling or playing dirty. "Sometimes it takes somebody else to help you see yourself." Teamwork is a theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The diverse group of camp kids supports each other and encourage their unique talents. Though they all feel like misfits, as a group they learn that "being weird" is what makes them "awesome," and they discover their own internal strength. The kids in a rival bunk resort to tricks and traps to win a competition, as well as some bullying behavior, but in the end their leader apologizes. The founder of the camp orchestrates a way for a former camper, now an adult, to put his life back together, including making amends with his past girlfriend. Kids want to make their parents proud, or at least not disappoint them, and they thrive on positive reinforcement.

Violence & Scariness

One camper bullies another by playing tricks on him. While practicing magic tricks, a boy gets a foam ball stuck in his throat, and another falls off a bench while wearing a straitjacket. A boy's father recently died, and the boy is still grappling with grief. A character's father passed away.

Sexy Stuff

It's revealed that two camp counselors were once a couple. The kids tease a boy about liking a girl, chanting "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" out loud. A boy and a girl are about to kiss when they're interrupted. Later she kisses him goodbye on the mouth.

Language

"Geek." "Noob." "Nerd" "Dweeb." "Dork." "Fart." "Dummy." "Lame-O."

Consumerism

Lucky Charms. Uber. The Las Vegas Strip: Caesar's Palace, Treasure Island.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nathan requires medications for his allergies, including Zyrtec and constant use of bug spray.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Magic Camp is a tween-friendly comedy starring Adam Devine that combines two childhood passions -- magic and camp -- in a story about encouraging kids and adults to work as a team and discover and value their unique talents. The kid characters (and some counselors) arrive at camp with baggage -- absent or deceased parents, a bad attitude, hundreds of allergies, frustrated dreams, etc. -- that make them feel like misfits or losers. But they find strength in each other, and that positive reinforcement promotes resiliency and courage. There's some heavier emotion, particularly in the character of camper Theo (Nathaniel Logan McIntyre), whose loving father passed away. But the film's overall tone is light. Violent content is minimal: Expect minor bullying and comedic incidents brought about while practicing magic tricks, such as getting a foam ball stuck in the throat or falling off a bench while wearing a straitjacket. Sexual content is limited to tween flirtation and a single, end-of-camp good-bye kiss. Language includes kids chanting "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" and taunting each other with insults like "geek," "noob," "nerd," "dweeb," "dork," "dummy," and "lame-O."

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySophiefn28 August 26, 2020

A little familiar

I think there are too many movies with this exact plot. It reminds me of Netflix’s
‘feel the beat’ mixed with school of rock

Andy is given the newbie group to... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 16, 2020

Awesome Movie!

Great Movie Disney! Definitely 7 and up. Great messages about if you try a lot more, you will suck a lot less. Not that much violence in the movie so it's... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEntertainment Me September 4, 2020

Good movie

This was a great movie,had a lot of valuable messages too,but they could have improved the comedy in it a little.This is a must watch movie...........Fine for a... Continue reading

What's the story?

Andy (Adam Devine) is a frustrated magician struggling to make a living as a taxi driver when his old mentor, Preston (Jeffrey Tambor), convinces him to spend the summer as a counselor at MAGIC CAMP. In the offer, Andy sees an opportunity for revenge against his former stage partner and girlfriend, celebrity magician Darkwood (Gillian Jacobs), who is on staff as the counselor of a rival bunk. Their cabins will go up against each other in the annual "Top Hat" magic competition at camp's end. The problem is Andy has been assigned a cabin full of new campers with little or no magic skills. It will be up to him to help them discover their unique talents and find the confidence to share those gifts on stage. Along the way, he may make a few of his own discoveries as well.

Is it any good?

If you like actor Adam Devine, you'll like this movie. Magic Camp feels built around him: he's present in just about every scene and playing to type as the sweet and funny underdog (see his previous roles in Modern Family, Pitch Perfect, and Isn't It Romantic, for example). Devine's unthreatening style of self effacing humor is well-matched for a tween movie. Despite being down on his luck and resentful, his character is ultimately generous and optimistic, and Devine does a good job embodying those contradicting traits.

Magic Camp's storyline is predictable and some of its jokes fall a little flat, so it really is up to the actors to make the journey worthwhile. Jeffrey Tambor is entertaining if a bit subdued as the camp founder and magician-in-chief. The filmmakers did a solid job casting the diverse group of kids, whose stories are used to offer a range of valuable life lessons for younger viewers. Worth highlighting especially are Cole Sand as "mathemagician" Nathan and J.J. (Josie) Totah as Judd, the son of a famous magician whose real passion turns out to be costume design.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of camp in Magic Camp. Have you been to camp? If so, how does your experience compare? If not, does it make you want to go?

  • Do you think Andy made the right choices in terms of his career and professional ambitions? Why or why not?

  • The film talks about the different kinds of magic and shows a few examples, but other tricks aren't explained. Do you think magic is always done through tricks that have a logical explanation? Is magic real?

Movie details

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