The Lego Movie

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Lego Movie Movie Poster Image
Hilarious toy tale plugs product but is nonstop fun.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 100 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 76 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 186 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This is an entertaining film not an educational one, but kids will still learn about various Lego characters, pieces, and instructions.

Positive Messages

Though the message doesn't come until the end, the importance of play, creativity, and parent-child togetherness is a big takeaway. Also, that you can be extraordinary if you believe in yourself and take action. There are some deeper messages about how bland aspects of popular culture are, when everyone sees the same shows, listens to the same songs, and drinks the same expensive coffee. Teamwork is another positive theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vitruvius guides and encourages Emmet and leads all of the Master Builders. Like many other reluctant heroes, Emmet is hesitant to believe he can do anything helpful until he believes in himself (but he's always really positive and upbeat). Wyldstyle learns to have confidence in Emmet and be herself, not just her persona as a tough girl.

Violence & Scariness

Lots and lots of Lego action and peril, including gunfire and explosions, but all are depicted with Lego pieces. Lego characters are "beheaded," erased with nail-polish remover, super-glued in place, kidnapped, captured, and "tortured" (their minds are probed for building instructions).

Sexy Stuff

Emmet has a crush on Wyldstyle, who is dating Batman. Some intense gazes are followed by hand (claw?) holding.

Language

"Dang it," "darn," "rubbish," "what the heck," "stupid," are all said infrequently.

Consumerism

It's a movie about Lego characters, many of which are merchandise tie-ins to movies, comics, and books, like Batman, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Superman, Green Lantern, Han Solo, Lando, and Wonder Woman. All of the new characters are also available in various Lego kits and minifigures.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Just "overpriced coffee."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lego Movie is an action-packed animated family-friendly adventure following original and existing Lego characters. Featuring an all-star voice cast and some of the brand's most popular figures (Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Wonder Woman, etc.), the inventive movie should appeal to all ages, from young Duplo players to teens who consider themselves Master Builders. Although there's nothing overly objectionable (a few mild exclamations like "dang," "heck," "stupid," and "darn"), there's definitely a lot of action and peril, plus quite a bit of violence with the villain's security forces shooting at the good guys, and a character getting "beheaded" (since minifig heads pop off) or erased (with nail polish remover). Kids will love seeing some of their favorite minifigures come to life, but of course they'll probably ask for the tie-in Lego kits after the movie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written byThrillhouse February 8, 2014

A PG-13 action movie masquerading as a kids' film

Common Sense Media gave this thing 1 out of 5 on violence?! It's why I saw this thing, and why I so regret it now. This is a good, entertaining movie for... Continue reading
Parent of an infant, 2, 4, and 6 year old Written bysci-fi-mom February 17, 2014

Great for adults and older kids, scary for 6 and unders

I took my 6-year old and 4-year old boys, both of whom are obsessed with Legos (mostly Lego City sets and their own creations). They are rough and tumble kids,... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 13, 2014

everything is awesome

i definitely recommend this movie for all ages it has no bad words and little violence
Kid, 10 years old March 13, 2014

too violent and humor aimed at adults

this was an action film, pure and simple. incredible animation, but the plot for the first half is just trash. adults will pick up on some of the humor, but... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE LEGO MOVIE opens with the legendary battle between evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and noble Master Builder Lord Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). Lord Business plans to dominate the entire Lego universe with a deadly weapon called the Kragle, but Vitruvius has a vision that a yellow-faced someone, the Special, will defeat the villainous Lord Business with the missing "piece of resistance." Years later, completely ordinary construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) spies a suspicious figure (Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks) on the construction site and, while following her, ends up finding the legendary red piece of resistance. Wyldstyle believes Emmet to be the Special and takes him to Vitruvius, but they soon realize he's more of a nice-guy rule follower than a visionary Master Builder. As Business and his cronies, led by a ruthless Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), attempt to steal the piece of resistance, Emmet must discover whether he has what it takes to be the Special and save Lego kind.

Is it any good?

Movies based on toys aren't ever this good, and it's a testament to the veteran animation filmmakers that this one is so smart, humorous, and visually fun to watch. The perfect cast of voice actors completely embodies their Lego counterparts: Pratt's adorable earnestness is legendary to any Parks and Recreation fan; Banks is a go-to girl-power voice; Arnett sounds exactly like Michael Keaton's Batman; and Freeman, Neeson, and Ferrell are master voice actors. But The Lego Movie is not just your typical animated adventure; there are real messages and sophisticated criticisms of popular culture and consumerism (rather subversive -- or very, very smart -- for a movie tied to a multi-billion-dollar toy company).

Like Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter or Neo, Emmet embarks on the archetypal hero's journey -– complete with his own mystical guide (Vitruvius), intelligent and fierce love interest (Wyldstyle), and larger than life nemesis (Business). Along the way, Emmet bumps into a cadre of hilariously depicted minifigures, from superheroes to historical legends, like Shakespeare and Lincoln. The story contains various brilliant cameos, laugh-aloud one liners, and a live-action interlude that is surprisingly touching. Families with kids of all ages will love this reminder of the joy of playing and laughing together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies based on toys. How does The Lego Movie compare to the others, like Barbie or Transformers films? Does it make you want to get the Lego characters portrayed in the movie?

  • The movie pokes fun at aspects of popular culture, like dumbed-down TV comedies, catchy pop songs, and overpriced coffee. What do you think the filmmakers are trying to say?

  • How can we all apply Vitruvius' lesson that everyone is special if we believe in our own talents and abilities?

  • How do the characters in The Lego Movie demonstrate teamwork? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love LEGOs and superheroes

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