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The Addams Family

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Addams Family Movie Poster Image
So-so adaptation isn't spooky, kooky enough; a few scares.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Promotes accepting those who are different from you and not forcing conformity and assimilation on everyone. Parker and Wednesday each rebel in their own way but want to feel loved unconditionally and be accepted as they test their boundaries. Character strengths such as teamwork and empathy are important to the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gomez and Morticia love each other and their kids. Wednesday wants to see what's beyond her family's mansion. Parker doesn't want to go along with everyone else like her mother wants. Not a lot of cultural inclusion, but there is equal focus on girl and boy characters.

Violence & Scariness

Townsfolk with pitchforks, torches drive Addams family out of the Old Country (Eastern Europe). They respond by using swords; instead of injuring people, they slice open their trousers (which fall and reveal underwear). People hurl and catapult fiery rocks/boulders that cause lots of property damage. A character is struck by a car but survives. Wednesday's braids end in the form of a noose. Wednesday and Pugsley often fight with weapons and explosives, and it's common for Wednesday to shoot an arrow at Fester. An Addams rite of passage requires each Addams to do a choreographed dance with a special sword. At school, Wednesday shocks the dissection frogs back to life. A climactic confrontation between the Addams and the Assimilation town causes property damage, minor injuries. The house itself yells "Get out!" in a spooky voice. A girl is an overt bully at school. Most of the dark/violent content is intended to be funny.

Sexy Stuff

As always, Gomez and Morticia are deeply in love and passionate -- kissing, embracing, slow-dancing. Thing is caught scrolling through internet images of bejeweled and manicured hands that are clearly implied to be "hand" pornography. Man in bath without his shirt on.

Language

Insults include "freak," "weirdo," "monsters," "ghoul," "lemmings," and lyric "pimp" (in the edited Snoop Dogg song that plays as Cousin It rolls up to the house).

Consumerism

Nothing on-screen, but off-screen merchandise includes apparel, gifts, and toys.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A wedding tradition includes putting a lime in a coconut drink and then drinking it, but it's not clear whether there's alcohol in the drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Addams Family is the latest take on the popular characters who've already been the subject of cartoons, a classic TV show, and two early '90s movies. It's not quite as macabre as its live-action predecessors, but there's still plenty of dark humor, an emphasis on violence and weapons, and incidents when townsfolk raise arms against the eerie Addamses. Insult language includes words like "freaks," "monsters," and "lemmings," as well as a few Addams family spins on endearments or encouragements (like "do your worst" and "kick your father goodnight"). As always, Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) are presented as caring parents who are very much in love; the movie also promotes acceptance, teamwork, and empathy. Chloe Grace Moretz and Finn Wolfhard co-star as Addams children Wednesday and Pugsley.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byobubbleo October 19, 2019

Horrible animation, okay message

Sat in a full theater with a variety of age ranges. Even the adults felt unsettled at times in regards to the things the characters were doing and how they look... Continue reading
Adult Written bymarie1234 October 14, 2019

What a waste

I grew up with the Addams family and was excited when I saw the ads for another movie coming out. I was looking to see a fun halloween movie with some family-bu... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKatelyn Smith October 28, 2019

Waste of Money and Time

The Addams family has always been one of my favorite Halloween movies so when I saw they were coming out with an animated version, I was excited. Me and my litt... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old October 14, 2019

9+

This movie is for older kids who don’t get frightened by scary effects which is probably 9+

What's the story?

THE ADDAMS FAMILY begins with a young Morticia (voiced by Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac) getting married in the Old Country in front of friends and family. But an angry mob of villagers interrupts, driving the clan out of what's presumably Eastern Europe. The newlyweds and their servant, Thing (a sentient severed hand), decide to flee to New Jersey and take up residence in an abandoned asylum for the criminally insane. Gomez and Morticia proceed to raise their two children, Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard). As a family rite of passage approaches for Pugsley, the Addamses -- who are quite secluded in their mansion -- must deal with their neighbors down the hill, where home improvement guru Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) has designed a planned community called "Assimilation." She wants the creepy family to redecorate or vacate.

Is it any good?

With its star-studded voice cast and name recognition, audiences will expect more laughs -- or frights -- from this unremarkable reboot of the legendary macabre comedy. Unfortunately, The Addams Family's storyline about obsessively controlling home-improvement Margaux creating a cookie-cutter community is bland and underwhelming. Wednesday's foray into junior high, where she befriends Margaux's daughter, Parker (Elsie Fisher), starts off promisingly but quickly falls flat with predictable antics. Yes, there are a few laughs, mostly involving the extended family -- including Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) and Grandma (Bette Midler) -- and the requisite New Jersey jokes, which kids might not even get. Moretz and Wolfhard are good at their bored, disaffected voices, while Isaac and Theron seem to pay tribute to the famous actors who previously portrayed Gomez and Morticia, particularly Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston.

There's a special place in pop culture history for The Addams Family, although it's possible younger viewers may not know much more than summer-camp spoofs of the legendary theme song. It's too bad this Halloween-timed incarnation is only decent enough to get families (particularly those with nostalgic parents) into theaters for a seasonal screening, rather than to rebuild a franchise. It would be far better to simply stream, rent, or buy the previous versions of the Addams Family than to make this serviceable but unremarkable adaptation the definitive depiction of the blissfully creepy family.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Addams Family. Is it necessary to the story? How does the movie's comic tone affect the impact of the violent moments?

  • Are animated movies less frightening than live-action movies? Why or why not? Do they impact younger viewers differently? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • The movie deals with the conflict between assimilation/conformity and individuality/eccentricity. How do the Addamses stand apart from their neighbors? Why are people who rebel against social standards often seen as threatening?

  • Do you consider anyone in the movie a role model? What character strengths do they display? Why is family so important to the Addamses?

Movie details

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