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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Brothers are charlatans, until they meet up with a real curse; some arguing, some abuses of authority.
Violence & Scariness
Witches cast spells, magical creatures assault humans, some sword and hand to hand fighting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references, some bawdy drunkenness, a couple of kisses.
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Mild, one use of s-word.
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Products & Purchases
Thematic only: the brothers "market" themselves as curse-banishers.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the film includes some scenes in the dark woods that might be frightening for younger viewers. The brothers argue and sometimes fight physically. Characters drink and behave boisterously (it's 19th-century rural Germany). Language includes German and French versions of "s--t" as well as some slang for "breasts." The brothers' investigation centers on kidnapped girls, producing spooky, sometimes violent images (in particular, a girl is whisked into a well by a black blob and a horse eats a child, in silhouette). Creatures in the forest include tree roots that grab at passers-by and a gigantic wolf. A powerful witch looks alternately ancient and beautiful, casting spells and wreaking havoc. 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 brothers' initial journey is suitably spooky: trees' roots grab at them, a giant wolf shadows them, and a cursed horse literally gulps down a child. The fact that the very land is rising up against invaders is of a piece with the film's thematic interest in occupation, of bodies as well as locations. They eventually do battle with the powerful Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci), by putting their props to practical use.
Sometimes clever, mostly discombobulated, THE BROTHERS GRIMM re-conceives the lives of the storytellers in order to ponder the very nature of storytelling. The film is most effective as an antic meditation on storytelling, a favorite theme of director Terry Gilliam. Ehren Kruger's script teases together any number of references to the Grimm's tales, some obvious fits, more often weird. As he prepares Jake to confront the Queen, with the homemade armor that's not really magic ("It's just shiny," he confesses), Will worries, "Nothing makes sense here, it's like being inside Jake's head." But the broader sense lies in The Brothers Grimm's connections between politics and storytelling, showmanship and survival.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate