All parent member reviews for Matilda

Parents say

(out of 36 reviews)
age 8+
Review this title!
Adult Written bywonder dove May 24, 2012

Beautifully crafted film!

One of my all-time favorite movies - even as an adult! This film is amazing, which is why it may not be suitable to some families. It's very magical and fun with a very good message and positive role models! Matilda grows up in a bad environment, with her mother obsessed with her own self image and her father dealing in illegal activities (taking advantage of others and selling fake car parts) and a very annoying brother who bullies her - she takes on a natural magical ability that helps her through it. It has lots of kiddy scares, some very mean characters (which is why some people are put off by it (hey, it's a movie! and it's supposed to have a villain..or two!) Matilda's character is very gentle, sweet and caring...as is her teacher who finally adopts her from her terrible family. A great ending will have you smiling.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byTwin_mom February 5, 2010
We love many of Roald Dahl's stories and some of the movie adaptations, but both of my children and I hated it and turned it off after about 45 minutes. (Later I watched the end by myself.) My 7-year-olds said they were scared by the hateful parents and violent teacher, even though they realized that it was all exaggerated and supposed to be humorous They also disliked the bleakness of the surroundings. The movie is so dark and depressing in the depiction of the adults who are all either clueless, indifferent or outright abusive that the positive message about a child's self-determination gets lost. Too much focus is on the violence and abuse perpetrated by adults who are supposed to love and protect Matilda. Also, it begs the question: How would Matilda fare without her exceptional powers and abilities? Where does it leave a regular kid in a terrible situation? Hopeless.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 7 year old Written bySealrockpoet October 21, 2010

Over the top violence could reinforce child's dislike of school authority

This movie is over the top, when it comes to violence. Too much, too extreme, and each incident of violence goes on and on. True, it's fantasy, and true, it's cartoon-like, but does this mean that cartoon violence is okay? The heroine is cute, and winsome, and brave ... but her solutions to the problems aren't realistic. Also, if a young viewer already has issues with school and/or authority, this film would reinforce a dislike of both school AND authority.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bygreenafy June 1, 2011

Loved this movie as a kid, still do now

I remember watching this movie when I was in first grade and I remember loving it, as I still do now. As a kid, I never followed the bad examples of this movie as other people say there are in it (ex. too much violence, drinking, lying and cheating, etc). It was a cute and inspiring film and I was never scared by it at all. Now that I'm older, I do notice a lot of those things in Matilda that parents notice when they watch it, but it's not an issue because they're not influenced by it. I think all kids should watch it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bytriplets April 9, 2008

Disturbing Meanness

Frequently reassuring my nearly 10 year old kids that parents and principals would never act so meanly to kids, this movie was darker than I had imagined it would be. I wish I would have previewed it in its entirety first. Leather whips, children hurled across schoolyards, a closet full of knives that children are forced into, and children having to hide in fear while no adult seems to care enough to protect them seems over the top. Although Matilda perseveres in the end, it is through magical powers that are used to frighten mean adults into submission. Other adults in the story could not stand up to bullying adults, or didn't care enough to pay attention... and Matilda used her powers to get even, to humiliate, and bully back. The parents give Matilda up for adoption at the end, as they are being sought by police for theft. The humor of just rewards was there, but overshadowed, I felt by the darkness of the movie.
Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byUrania8 April 26, 2010

Scary adults rein this cute flick

It's a cute movie and Dahl is always awesome but this was just too scary and intense for our 5 (almost 6 year old). Allot of shouting and grown ups abusing children. Even though we are quite liberal with what we let her watch (Nightmare Before Christmas) she asked us to turn it off.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educator and Parent Written byMamaSzrama July 18, 2015

One of the BEST Movie-from-Book Adaptations

A wonderfully fun movie that will show them that, no matter what, their life is not so bad... that books are one way to find friends and hope when none seems apparent... and that, as every child LONGS to know, there is ALWAYS the triumph of goodness over badness. Those who claim this could incite kids against authority or school are clearly delusional. I can confidently say that I struggled with both as a kid, and never once associated this movie with either struggle. Instead my family found this movie delightful and we still quote it often 15 years later. It was great-- pure, hilarious fun, with one of the best villains to ever step straight from pen to screen. Ms. Trunchball looks exactly as Dahl described her. As for the "over-the-top" violence and "unrealistic" solutions, guys, it's A KID'S MOVIE. The violence is never "realistic." In the second Curious George the Man with the Yellow Hat falls out of a moving train and is totally unhurt (just like all the kids in this book). Dahl's books are all over-the-top, it's what makes kids able to relate to them in delight. As for realism... no, you're right, I don't know anyone who can move things telekinetically... sooo....
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byp1xelpush3r June 7, 2012

Surreal Work of Art

What a great, dark, insightful, tender, adventurous movie. It is such a fun ride, and depending on the kid, they will be into it and talking about it for days. My 4 year old watched it before I checked it out on here, and I was apprehensive, but she understood the fairytale nature and made associations with the feelings and frustrations of the characters. It's very Tim Burton-esque in that sense and even though it can be dark, the surrealism allows some kids to understand the satire. All the characters and actors have depth and are superbly executed. The movie is not for everyone, but my little one thoroughly enjoyed it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 1 and 6 year old Written bybrettyd December 30, 2012

nice film, sweet

a cute film, a feel good film, but unfortunately there were a few tiny errors, booze, and a couple of swear words, most of the violence is comical though, the pretence of a ghost through here telekinetic powers, but other than that this is a fine film for children, teens and adults alike, my boy saw this film when he was 5 and does enjoy it, but now hes 6 its all about action now
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byMI Mom of 2 February 5, 2011
Although my children (ages 7 &; 9) found parts funny, my husband and I found the entire movie dreadful. First off, it is really dark - the parents are constantly calling the children terrible names and drinking beer, watching tv and glorifying that lifestyle. I understand that it is funny in a dark way, but considering this is a movie "for children" it is very inappropriate. Also, if you have adoptive children - the end is just shocking. The first thing out of my daughter's mouth was "why is her parents giving her away? They don't like her?" Being an adoptive family, I felt the message they send on how the parents just shrug their shoulders and give their child away is very dark and sad. And we haven't even tapped into the principal of the school who is physically violent with the children - which is intended to be laughable but just came off as making you uncomfortable to watch it. I give this movie a big fat ZERO. Read the book instead and use your own imagination because this is just not worth it and most of the main characters are terrible role models.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written bygotcommonsense February 13, 2014

ridiculous and disturbing

I found almost everything in this movie ridiculous or disturbing or both. Not a bit funny. Too many bad and stupid scenes to list them all. Really bad messages throughout. Was painful to watch the poor fat boy being forced to eat a humongous chocolate cake until he was about to pass out. Not one parent believed their child enough to look into what they said about the principal -- even when they came home from school after dark? The wonderful teacher stood by while the principal abuse the children and told no one? NO ONE, including billliant Matilda had the sense to report this insane principal to the authorities -- even when they came to her house? Instead she used her superpowers to rescue her theiving dad from being arrested. But she also used her powers to get back at her parents, and engaged in dangerous vigilantiasm, almost getting herself and the teacher killed. Horrible movie for kids of any age! My son saw it at school and found it upsetting! So I watched the entire movie to see if it had any redeeming qualities in the end, but there were none. And neither the abusive, neglectful parents who are also theives nor the evil, abusive principal, who also seems to have murdered the teacher's father, ever had to pay for their crimes.
Parent Written bynmheller November 6, 2013
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bymem933 December 13, 2015

its good

It is a very good movie .I think anyone could watch it!even a 1year old can watch it
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byLil Lizzie January 4, 2012

Nice work!

Good movie and good actors and speacial effects!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bycookbooknic April 11, 2011

Great story for kids 6 and up

A gem of a book, made fairly faithfully into a very entertaining film
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byenise111@aol.com April 9, 2008

I think it is a little too boring.

I liked the beggining when Matilda was shown growing up and making pancakes,however I do not like how the father sold stolen car parts and how they both ignored Matilda.
Parent Written byElizabeth94 May 8, 2016

Some Great Lessons but a Word of Caution

This movie comes with all kinds of great lessons for children that I would like to list: 1. It shows that bullies come in all shapes and sizes 2. It teaches bravery in standing up to bullies. Although the way Matilda stands up for herself and others isn't realistic, it can start a thought process in children in which they begin to think how they can stand up against bullying 3. It promotes reading and learning! 4. For children with negative familial situations or no families at all, it shows that love can be found and nurtured outside the home A word of caution: This movie does have some "cartoonish" violent scenes, especially performed by the bullying characters as well as some prankster acts by Matilda herself. If you show this movie to your child, caution to discuss that violence is wrong. Talk about other ways in which a child can defend him/herself as well as others. Talk about how often bullies are often bullied themselves, and what can be done to stop this cycle (i.e. being assertive but compassionate at the same time).
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Parent of a 2, 8, 10, and 11 year old Written byHMK April 20, 2016

Bad example

While there's a positive message, Matilda is something of a bad role model for children in how she treats her parents and teachers - despite their blaring flaws.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bysimpsonsfan22 December 4, 2015

To scary for children and people with disabilities or asburges

Movie is scary to children and people with a disability or asburges or mental illness don't put this movie on early on tv it needs to put on at 9pm. My friend Jackson is 21 has a disability is completely scared of this stupid bloody f$$$$ng movie. Also drugs alcohol voilence very violent movie Evan blood in it wtf is pg should be rated m
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent Written byCommonSenseChristian September 5, 2015

A Compelling Fantasy About a Bright Little Girl in a Dark World

Most children grow up to be reasonably bright. Matilda is a genius from day one. Most parents think their children are wonderful miracles. Harry and Zinnia Wormwood think Matilda is a real wart. Matilda doesn't fit into her family at all. Her father sells used cars for exorbitant prices, unrepentantly cheating customers and, the film hints, running afoul of the FBI. Her mother is obsessed with bingo, and her older brother Michael, like the rest of the family, is a verbally abusive twit obsessed with TV. Matilda is left to raise herself and to nurture her own mind, which she does through a great love of books. She can't wait to go to school, but when she finally does, she faces her greatest challenges yet. Matilda is a positive role model, not only because she's a reader and a smart kid, but also because she has a kind heart and a strong spirit that has withstood her family's neglect and abuse. Her teacher, Miss Honey, is the epitome of what an educator should be--patient, creative, kind, and nurturing. On the other hand, the antagonist, Ms. Trunchbull, is over-the-top nasty. This school principal throws kids out the window, locks them in horrible dungeon-like cupboards, and force-feeds them mass quantities of food as punishment for small or imagined misdeeds. She is in fact so abusive that no one's parents, especially Matilda's, believe an adult could be that cruel. Her attitude and behavior is a real turnoff, especially for younger kids who will find her frightening. The other caveat in Matilda exists in the Wormwoods. As noted, they care nothing for their daughter, so much that they sign her over to an adopted guardian without a thought. Parents may find this disturbing because it seems to indicate that an adoptive guardian is always better than your nuclear family or will understand you better. Matilda also "punishes" her parents; while quite understandable in context, this is not acceptable for real-life children in stable homes. There are brief scenes of drinking and cleavage, and while no profanity is used, heavy, disturbing name-calling is the norm. Be prepared for family discussion when you watch with older children.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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