Sonic the Hedgehog

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Carrey lights up video game movie; peril, some drinking.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 34 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 133 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Messages about the value of friendship: It's how we survive. Treat others like you'd like to be treated. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Deputy Tom Wachowski is the reliable rock of Green Hills but feels he could be of greater value in a big city -- he wants to help people facing life-or-death situations. His wife, Maddie, is the town veterinarian and has a big, kind, understanding heart. Their relationship is depicted as aspirational, supportive, loving and offers positive representation. Dr. Robotnik is a cartoonishly evil villain.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish fantasy violence includes drones that shoot lasers, bullets, and some type of explosive device. Punches are thrown both as a means of escape for main characters (they brag about it) and as a means of aggression for rough bikers. Two people fall off a building but are saved. A tranquilizer gun is used.

Sexy Stuff

Language is more rude than profane -- words include "butt," "fart," "hell," and "freak." A couple of times, a profane expression is started, but the strongest word gets cut off/out (e.g., "son of a ..." and "what the ... ").


Pop culture references fly; some mentions of brands like Mello Yello and Amazon feel like they're meant as easy jokes; others feel more like product placement. Recurring joke about Olive Garden involves characters saying the restaurant's catchphrase, mentioning a promotional dish, talking about how much they love it. A Toyota Tacoma is also shown in a light that seems like it could be advertising. Other brands mentioned/seen include Volvo, Invisalign. And, of course, the film serves as a long commercial for Sonic video games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sonic and Tom go into a bar where Tom drinks what appears to be beer; he drives soon after (without incident).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sonic the Hedgehog is a kid-targeted action/adventure movie starring the iconic Sega video game character. The famous blue hedgehog is also an alien with special powers that put him in danger in his world. While he's being pursued, his mama bird is shot with an arrow (she seems OK). For Sonic's safety, she pushes him through a portal to Earth with a warning that he must hide and stay on the run. Sonic never feels abandoned, but he is lonely. And the movie's messages, such as they are, revolve around the importance of companionship. Language is mostly mild ("hell"); it's more jokes about "butts" and "farts" than any actual swearing. One scene may raise eyebrows: Sonic and human hero Tom (James Marsden) stop at a roadside bar/restaurant where they get into a brawl (mostly punches), and Tom is seen drinking a beer and driving soon afterward, without incident. In general, the movie's violence is cartoonishly explosive, like an unrealistic video game: It's mostly drones shooting fireballs, lasers, and bullets. There are some moments of peril, but the audience is never in doubt that everyone will be OK -- even hysterically evil villain Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous February 16, 2020

Loved it

Great family movie. No underlying agenda. Grew up playing Sonic the video games loves seeing my kids enjoy something I enjoyed at their age. Plus the directors... Continue reading
Adult Written byNewMommy2020 February 19, 2020

Overall Impressed, but saw it with low expectations overall

I think it was a fun video game themed movie. The trailers made it seem a little less interesting than the actual movie. James Marsden did a great job and reall... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 16, 2020

Cute movie but some content is not for kids

This movie was really cute and Jim Carrey was hilarious especially in his dance scene. However, there were a few things in the movie that seemed inappropriate f... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySpeedyFAST2006 August 5, 2020

Eh it was alright

It was alright, but it bored me most of the parts in this movie. Parents pls watch out at some scenes because it has drunk, violence, and cussing part in some p... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, iconic Sega video game character Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is on the run in rural Montana from Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey -- how you've been missed!). Robotnik wants to steal Sonic's supersonic speed powers to take over the world. With the help of local cop Tom "Donut Lord" Wachowski (James Marsden, who interacts with a CGI figure with ease and charm), Sonic takes off to evade his captor. Naturally, he gets into plenty of mischief along the way.

Is it any good?

Watching Carrey is an absolute delight; his comedic genius exudes more wattage than Sonic's moments of heated emotion -- and Sonic's outbursts cause power outages. Why did it take Hollywood so long to make Carrey a handlebar-mustachioed villain? His Dr. Robotnik is reminiscent of the over-the-top silly characters he famously created in movies like The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Carrey's performance helps take Sonic the Hedgehog to levels of laughing you never expected. The best moment of all is when Robotnik does his Dance of Anarchy. Please, sir, may I have some more?

But as great as Carrey is, this is the story of Sonic, an animated alien hedgehog who's sent to Earth alone for his own safety. He's warned that if anyone sees him, they'll try to capture him for his special powers. So he settles in Green Hills, Montana, and watches those in the small town from the shadows with a wistfulness. Really, Sonic is like a little kid: He loves fart jokes, he can't keep quiet, he's (literally) bouncing off the walls, and he just wants a friend. It's a theme every kid can appreciate. Even if they don't relate to being alone, they can relate to being bored. As Tom, Marsden is a perfect companion to Sonic, popping off "dad jokes" and expressing his love for Olive Garden (the latter screams "product placement," but at least it's funny). The duo's evolving dynamic -- buddies, but really best friends, but really guardian and child, but really father and son -- make Sonic the Hedgehog a laugh-until-you-turn-blue fun film for the family to enjoy together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about loneliness. Have you ever felt left out? Has anyone ever told you that you made them feel left out? Why is inclusion so important?

  • Dr. Robotnik says he was bullied as a child. Do you think he's now a bully? What should you do if you're being bullied or see someone else being bullied?

  • Talk about how drinking is portrayed in the movie. Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Did you recognize product placement in the movie? If so, did you find yourself thinking about that item or brand? What's the impact of advertising on kids?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation and video games

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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