A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate. References "monsters" as result of children's overactive imagination.
Values promoted: teamwork, standing up for friends, older siblings taking responsibility for younger ones.
Positive Role Models
Three young heroes are portrayed as resourceful, brave, concerned for others, loyal to one another. Female member of team is the scientist. Ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon jeopardy and mild suspense. Action includes: chases, lightning flashes, knockouts, tasers, falls, crashing through trees, and a silly-looking but ultimately harmless monster threatening kids.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Butt," "fart," "nut-buster," "bonehead." Candy-induced extreme gas, pile of monster poop.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monsters at Large is a live-action comedy about three kids who set out to rid their neighborhood of monsters, or at least the monsters that appear in the imaginations of younger children. Made on a shoestring budget, the cartoon action is meant to be more comic than scary. Expect taser action, falls, a haunted house, fireworks, a gizmo that directs punches at crotches, and a large, blue, fanged monster so primitive and benign that only the very youngest kids would find him frightening. There's some mild potty language and insults like "butt," "fart," "nut buster," and "bonehead," along with gas-inducing candy and giant monster poop. The movie is meant for kids who understand the difference between real versus imaginary jeopardy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The filmmakers do an OK job of selling the cut-rate effects and silly-looking monster in this tale, but the many slow, low-energy conversational scenes simply don't serve the story. As it stands, at 98 minutes, Monsters at Large is sluggish and comes alive only when some of the young actors, particularly Auggie Pulliam, hold center stage. It's nice to see a girl in the role of scientific "expert," and the kids give it their all, but they could have done with a little more guidance, some judicious editing, and a more professional production, none of which are dependent upon a hefty budget.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.