Parent reviews for Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Common Sense says

Family-friendly mystery will be most fun for Pokémon fans.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 54 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 52 reviews
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byLiz N. May 12, 2019

not really a kids' movie

We just came back from seeing this with our 6 year old son. I had no expectations going in. For background, I am not very well-versed in Pokémon, other than knowing Pikachu and a couple of other characters from the few cards my son has been given by friends. We have watched a few of the animated television shows at home, and I'm not crazy about the tone of them in general. So I'd say I'm a bit biased. Bias aside though, looking at the film purely as it is, a movie marketed to children, I'd say that it's unnecessarily violent with a sinister (and thin) plot and language/references that are geared toward adults. The theater, of course, was filled with little kids from 3 and up. The average was probably 5 or 6. There are several perilous moments where characters are being restrained, pursued, or attacked. There is a drug-like chemical substance that turns the normally docile Pokémon into drugged-up monsters. There's a creepy genetic experimentation lab and parts of the movie that make it feel like a sci-fi horror thriller. The best part of the movie may have been Pikachu's snarky dialogue, but other than that it was not worth going to see in the theater. And definitely not for kids under 10 (though of course my son liked it and thought it was "cool.").

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 4 and 6-year-old Written byPunksNotDad May 13, 2019

Things left out of the official warnings and recommendations (that are worth mentioning, anyway)

I actually enjoyed the movie a lot more than anticipated. Here are just a few things parents might appreciate knowing about an otherwise very enjoyable and kid-friendly film.
**Minimal spoilers**

-Drug References:
--Tim, after ingesting the "R", makes the correlation between the "R" chemical and his newfound ability to talk to Pikachu and exclaims:
"It must be because of that stuff I put up my nose!"
Prompting weird looks from bystanders, for comic value.
He then shouts: "No not like that!" when he notices the looks he is being given.
The scene is funny and will likely go over most children's heads as a nose-picking joke, but that kind of reference seemed a bit out of place in a kids/family film.

--The "R" is basically a performance-enhancing drug that turns pokemon into mindless, aggressive fighting machines. The ethics of using such chemicals in a sporting event is barely addressed and honestly is left kind of gray in favor of using the drug as a plot device for the film's a very strange way that is ill-defined.

--Pikachu is referred to as a "caffeine addict" and it portrays addiction in a comic and light-hearted fashion that some may find sloppy. The caffeine addiction is referenced in the final scene as having been transferred from pikachu into another character, for comic value.
The pokemon card packs given out opening weekend ALL feature a pikachu card with the special move "coffee-break", again adding humor to his supposed addiction. I feel it is harmless enough, but as a habitual coffee drinker I feel its worth a mention that chemical dependencies are not a joke and are preventable with educational approaches to examining how one manages their life...which a film of this caliber rightfully avoids altogether. Parents, that's totally your job.

-Morbidly Dark and Violent Joke Reference:

--In the scene where Tim and Pikachu are interrogating the informant, a Mr. Mime. Tim decides to pantomime dousing the pokemon in invisible gasoline, locking him in an invisible box, and lighting an invisible match to convince the mime-oriented pokemon to "talk".
Its actually very funny from an adult point of view, but I had to explain the context to my children (4 and 6yos) who thought the pokemon died when Tim forgot what he was doing and "dropped" the invisible match. They were legitimately concerned. So its worth a mention to any parents with small but keen children.
It is pretty funny though;)

--All in all, I liked the movie. It was pretty harmless, and enjoyable to adults as well as children...prior fans of Pokemon and newcomers alike. I hope this information helps.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 8-year-old Written bykpeets May 31, 2019

Too much horror genre

This movie has a genre problem - it is entirely borrowed from movies for adults. The genetic mutation lab may go above kids heads, but it retains the darkness in the feel and that translates even if they don't understand the sinister purpose of the lab. I agree with a lot of what other parents are saying with one addition - in a fight scene a morphing bad-guy Pokemon (poses alternately as villain's son and security woman) removes her glasses to reveal weird beady eyes that are RIGHT out of a horror movie. My 8 year old (whose seen first 2 Harry Potter movies) jumped and recoiled, and it's an hour later and he can't be left in a room alone. This is an entirely missable movie - many better ones out there.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMrsreview May 18, 2019

Language and jokes

The language is what bothered me. It might be considered mild but we don’t allow cursing and these were very loud, meant to stand out curse words. I believe there were 3 with an unfinished “oh Shhhhiii!” When the Aipom are chasing the main character in the beginning.
There were a lot of adult jokes that my kids personally wouldn’t get, one including snorting drugs also during the Aipom scene.
Some parts are boring for smaller kids. My 2 and 4 year old were playing and not paying attention. I’d say it’s definitely aimed toward adult fans and young adult/preteen ages.

As for the rest of the movie, my kids weren’t scared but they’re not too sensitive either. The graphics are beautiful and even though the beginning actors seem lacking, the story picks up as it goes on.

I have a half rating cause it was good once but we won’t watch again.

This title contains:

Adult Written byHolly R. May 8, 2019

Common Sense Reviewer needs to get some things corrected...

The jokes don't really need to be explained to non fans because my non fan husband got the jokes. The legendary Pokemon is called Mewtwo, not Mew 2. You don't have to know how strong it is ahead of time to see that the thing is really strong because again, my non fan husband caught on to the fact that it's strong, just like how you can tell Godzilla is strong by looking at it and the explosions help solidify how strong it is. There's some pervy humor but it will probably go over most kids heads. One reviewer mentioned that this is the first PG rated Pokemon movie, but technically it's not because several of the direct to DVD movies like I Choose You and The Power of Us sport the PG rating on the box and the TV series is sometimes given a TV PG rating. The movie is NOT battle based like the TV series and anime films but there's plenty of action to keep you invested. Consumerism is a pretty big one since there is a card game expansion and give aways of cards at the theaters opening weekend as well as specific Detective Pikachu merchandise. Fortunately the movie is good enough to justify the merch and the hype around it. My almost 2 year old Pikachu obsessed girl had no issue with the scarier characters and has been going on and on about "Pika" all day today after seeing it but I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive children. 2 and up for kids who are really brave and common sense media's range for everyone else. It's a really adorable movie and Mr. Mime is adorable!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byLJC1m0h May 28, 2019
There's nothing but Pikachu to love and for this I'm disappointed. Be mindful of ditto... This creep scared me and I am 21.
Adult Written bysaras09 February 9, 2020

Movie should be banned.

This movie like most being put out today "for kids," is an absolute disgrace to the Pokémon brand and is definitely NOT for children of ANY AGE. Let's be real here. I'm a parent and personally, I would NEVER see it again, alone or with my child. The plot and storyline of the movie lacks depth, is not well thought out, and frankly, is boring. Parents, the sexual innuendos are absolutely horrid and should NEVER be included in a movie that is geared towards very young children--I mean, even teens shouldn't be exposed to that kind of nonsense, again, let's be real! "Pikachu" literally says things that are pornographic with his random and inappropriate comments. The two I stayed around to hear were one about him being penetrated and another about a man's nipples. This is absolutely disgusting to include this type of filth in a children's movie. I'm surprised parents aren't outraged about this craziness....?! I'm glad I didn't waste my money to go to the movies for this and waited until it was out. We turned it off after that second comment, and should have after the 1st. I should've known better than to trust the garbage they put out these days for "kids." Lesson learned. These "children's" movies nowadays are NOT for children and are being created by pedophiles--and that is not an opinion. Who in their right minds would include these types of things in a child's movie but a pedophile? And we as parents just sit there while our children hear and see this type of filth? This is just ignorance and it needs to stop. This is only one in 100s of children's movies today that children watch all the time because their parent's aren't keen enough to see through the deceptive package of a cute furry character who is actually talking and behaving like a pedophile. Despicable Me is another one--absolute filth--I mean it's even in the title--they weren't lying when they called is despicable--it is, but parents just love it and think it's okay for their kids....Wake Up my Parents out there! It's time to open your eyes and ears people. The people making these movies today are not normal....they do not care about your kids.. and frankly, they are criminals. This is OUTRAGEOUS and we should not stand for this for the sake of our children. It's not right and it's only us who can stop this madness by being up front about it. Not once did I see a parent absolutely outraged at the debauchery that is this movie, and that alone says a lot. Adults today are truly asleep and their children are paying for it. I screen everything my child watches and will never just take him to a the movies, trusting these idiots who make them, because of filth like this. Please, open your eyes for the sake of the children, they need us to be vigilant--they don't know what is good for them, only we do.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byHeidiJean August 25, 2019

Can be scary

Not good for sensitive kids as it does have violence that is borderline nightmare material for some kids. Language is borderline with Pikachu using words like hell and damn. I sometimes let my 6 yo watch PG movies and thus movie was closer to a PG13 in reality. It’s a fine movie but is geared towards bigger kids that are aging out of Pokémon, or adults that were interested as kids.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bybrigreen1234 June 5, 2019

Way to scary for kids

From what I saw on the trailer I thought this was going to be a very fun movie about Pokémon, and loving Pokémon since I was a kid, I was very excited. In the beginning of the movie I thought I was going to really like it but about half way through it starts to get way to dark and violent. I would say this movie is not for kids at all. As said in the other reviews there is a drug like substance that makes the Pokémon turn super violent and I really think the CGI is what makes this movie so scary. I think the plot of this movie was unnecessarily dark and would not take kids to watch it.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byBoymum May 12, 2019

Better than expected!

My husband and I took our 5.5 year old pokemon fan to this movie today. I was worried it would be to sad or scary for our son but he was completely unfazed by it. The only way I can see it being scary is if your child doesn't really know the characters or loud noise scares them. The scary parts weren't "scary scary." It's full of action. I was also worried about the "bad language" I honestly didn't notice it, hell and damn aren't bad swear words to me so we had no problem with it.
Adult Written byZsolti-kun August 25, 2019
The Pikachu has lot of violence.
Adult Written byDarthDad88 June 18, 2019

Scary and Dark with Uninteresting Characters

My six year old loves Pikachu, so I thought this would be a good one to take all three kids to see (10 year old boy and 8 and 6 year old girls.) I’m really glad the 6 year old fell asleep before the shape-shifting Pokémon turned into something straight out of a horror film! The jelly-like Pokémon takes the shape of two human characters in the film, but its eyes are just small black circles on its face. It was super creepy. My 8 year old had to look away, and even my 10 yo said it was creepy. When talking about the movie afterwards, the 8 yo said the whole thing was scary and she wished she stayed home. My kids are pretty sensitive when it comes to stuff like that; maybe yours are not.. Wish I would have read these articles before I decided to take them.

The characters on the cartoons seem to have more personality than the Pokémon in this movie, including Pikachu, and they don’t even speak in the cartoons. I like Ryan Reynolds’ work, but I should have known that it wouldn’t be good with him as the voice of Pikachu. A coffee addicted, foul-mouthed, snarky Pikachu? Didn’t make sense. PsyDuck (sp?), who is the female supporting character’s Poke-pal, was probably my favorite character in the film. The thing just kept saying PsyDuck, but they did a good job with him and making his intentions known...funny too.
Adult Written byambc25 May 26, 2019

Scarier than expected

My son (nearly 8) was desperate to see this movie, so I read up, watched the trailer and decided I would take him. The Pokemon characters are cute, as shown in the trailer, but there was a lot more scary / violent scenes than I expected. The car crash scene was replayed several times too throughout the movie. We took a strategic loo break at one point when he was rather scared.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMahnaMahna May 19, 2019

Surprisingly intense

I was shocked at how intense the peril and action were, and how adult the jokes were, for a movie that seemed pitched at young kids. This is definitely 5th grade plus. I wish I hadn’t brought my almost seven year old.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMorgan H. May 12, 2019

Parental Love, don’t have to know Pokémon

No, you don’t have to know Pokémon. Everything is handed to you. It is more fun if you’ve grown up watching Pokémon in the sense that you can now “show” outsiders what you’ve been imagining as you played or read. They did a great job capturing things a simple comic book can’t, like the huge size of some of the Pokémon. Whether a child will be scared or not depends on how they handle characters that aren’t cartoon but aren’t real animals, either. Do they get creeped out, for example, by things with big eyes? Or things with no arms? That kind of thing. There’s also a fire-breathing dragon so if that scares your kids, stay away for a few years. The movie has some implications of tracking down illegal drug trafficking, but only in the same way that Zootopia lightly brushed the subject. Fighting Pokémon — and by implication, to some — animals — is shown as illegal but is slightly glorified in one sequence of an illegal cage fight between Pokémon, if that bothers you. You may be slightly jarred by mild profanity. The plot was slightly tedious but this movie is also an easy contender for the Oscar for best special effects, so it’s worth it. Some reviewers said it could have been 15min shorter and that is true. The film’s primary message is that your parents still love you even if they seem preoccupied or don’t say it enough, which kids really, REALLY need to hear. -M. Hart, LoveGod.Blog

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byMominclt May 11, 2019

Dumb and unnecessary swearing

My husband and I took our 9-year-old son to see this, as he’s a Pokémon fan. Throughout the movie, my husband and I kept commenting that this might be the worst movie we’ve ever seen. We thought it was pretty dumb frankly. My son shrugged and said he liked it pretty well but he wasn’t remotely enthused. The use of a few words like “damn” and “hell” during the movie were pretty direct and easy to hear, and totally unnecessary for this movie marketed to kids. It had a decent amount of peril and sad themes. Found this movie to be a real disappointment.
Adult Written byCommonSenseRevi... August 2, 2020

Great and Funny movie

I watched this with my five year old son and he really enjoyed it and wasn't scared at all! If our child gets a really easy scare then maybe don't watch it with them but any kid should be able to watch it just fine.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 3 and 5-year-old Written byjeanphilt May 2, 2020

Not a fan

I think there is too much violence and the plot is a bit too complex for young kids. This being said, my girls liked it (they like pretty much anything and Pikachu is cute so). I felt like this one was really geared toward kids of 7-13 years old and that's it. After watching the movie about Sonic, I was really not impressed by this one.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 8, 11, and 12-year-old Written byMeagan42 February 23, 2020


Don't go into this movie thinking it's a good fit for your young Pokemon fans. If your kids are currently watching the Pokemon series and animated movies and enjoying them-- they're too young for this movie. I'd say it should be PG-13, at best.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byT J December 10, 2019