The LEGO Movie

  • Review Date: February 7, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Hilarious toy tale plugs product but is nonstop fun.
  • Review Date: February 7, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 100 minutes





What parents need to know

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

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.


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


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."

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.

Parents say

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 The LEGO Movie 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 it's 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about movies based on toys. How does this one 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 7, 2014
DVD release date:June 17, 2014
Cast:Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
Directors:Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild action and rude humor

This review of The LEGO Movie was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous April 7, 2014

One of my favorites.

This is one of my favorite movies. It's so funny. Though, there's some scary scenes too. I actually almost cried when Emmett almost died. Overall cool movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Kid, 8 years old April 19, 2015


An awesome movie packed with fun fun fun. I think that kids under five years will feel tense and scared at some of the scenes. A few scary chase scenes, bombs, and a lot of gun shots. Some rude humour and love between Emit (main character) and Lucy/Wildstyle. Of course the whole ninety minutes is packed with lego lego lego. A fun action packed lego animation with a cool song to go with it.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byaidans1 April 11, 2015
Adult Written bybgruener April 9, 2015

Really an action flick

This was a situation where I checked the Common Sense Media review, and later regretted I didn't dig deeper. I took my almost 6-year-old daughter to see the movie and she did not stop gripping me for the duration. The action was nonstop, the mood was dark, and the threat of violence was prevalent. The characters may be plastic Legos, but it was still ominous when they were killed off. The overall message of the film about the blandness of conformity was completely lost on my daughter. This would be a really entertaining movie for a 12-year-old.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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