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Parents' Guide to

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Animated comedy is forgettable but promotes teamwork.

Movie PG 2017 91 minutes
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 18+

Foul-mouthed Ferrell comedy isn't very funny. No kids.

There are an incredible number of things wrong here, starting with the fact that the filmmakers seem all too content to let Reilly and Ferrell's antics stand in for any plot logic or sense. Within five minutes of the film's start, you're wondering why exactly Robert and Janet have put up with their crazed slacker sons for so long. But if they hadn't, you wouldn't have a plot for your movie. Of course, you still don't have much of one, but director Adam McKay seems remarkably content to let Ferrell and Reilly scream, shout, and flail their way through every scene, assuming that the audience will find their antics hilarious. Produced by Judd Apatow, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature has the raunchy rawness of his other comedies, but none of the sweetness or structure. Overall, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature feels more like a marketing plan than a movie and more like a poster than a plot. Ferrell repeats his overly familiar wailing buffoon character, and Reilly matches him (shouted) note for (shouted) note. It's as if everyone involved was so sure that what they were doing was comedy gold that they didn't bother making an effort to create fully drawn characters or an actual plot; instead, we get two stars in thinly drawn parts that are entirely too similar to what we've seen them do many times before, drifting lazily from scene to scene with no real direction. What might have looked like a winning plan on paper -- more hilarity from the stars, folks behind hits like Anchorman and Talladega Nights! -- ends up playing out as a shabby, self-indulgent mess.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 5+

The Nut Job Review

A. (Age 8): My favorite part was the Gangum Style song. There was friendship, sharing, hope, teamwork and leadership. E. (Age 8): My favorite buddy, the mouse, just said two words! I love all of the characters.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (10 ):

It's not particularly memorable, but this animated sequel will still appeal to younger viewers who have a low bar for entertainment: talking animals, silly jokes, and sight gags. The plot of The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is slim and unoriginal (and, for that matter, not entirely consistent with the original's ending), but at the very least, there are continued positive themes about teamwork and friendship. Home, these animals believe, isn't about biological instincts to be out in the woods, but rather their commitment to be with one another.

The only good parts are a sweet flashback to how Surly and Buddy became friends and the fact that Jackie Chan voices the leader of a huge crew of adorable white mice with amazing kung fu skills. They're cuddly and wide-eyed -- but never call them "cute," or they will hurt you. Other than that part of the story, when the mice martial artists make themselves known, there's just not a lot to propel the movie beyond the level of mediocrity that parents willingly endure to make their kids happy. But parents -- and kids -- deserve more from family-friendly movies than unnecessary sequels with nothing substantive to contribute or say.

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