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"DESPICABLE ME"
(2010) (voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Extreme Moderate Heavy None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Comedy: A super-villain adopts three orphan girls to help in his twisted plan to steal the moon from the sky.
PLOT:
All of his life, Gru (voice of STEVE CARELL) has dreamt of being the world's greatest bad guy. Underneath his suburban home is a secret lair from which he, his army of worker-bee minions, and the mad scientist Dr. Nefario (voice of RUSSELL BRAND) hatch their latest plot: to shrink the moon and steal it from the sky.

Gru's arch rival, Vector (voice of JASON SEGEL), also plans to swipe the moon, and he appears to have what it takes to get the job done. He's already stolen the Pyramids of Egypt and replaced them with inflatable versions. His father, Mr. Perkins (voice of WILL ARNETT), is the president of the Bank of Evil and is willing to bankroll his dastardly deeds. Unlike Gru, he doesn't have a domineering mother (voice of JULIE ANDREWS) who never gives him credit for anything. And, now, he's got his hands on a super-secret shrinking ray that Gru covets.

All of Gru's attempts to get past Vector's heavy security to steal the shrink ray prove fruitless. Then, one day, he notices three orphan girls named Margo, Edith, and Agnes (voices of MIRANDA COSGROVE, DANA GAIER, and ELSIE FISHER) who easily gain entry by selling Vector some cookies. Gru immediately heads to the orphanage, run by the shrewish Miss Hattie (voice of KRISTEN WIIG), and adopts the three girls.

Soon, though, Gru finds that being a dad is just as hard as being a super-villain. Even worse, his growing affection for the girls begins to hamper his and Dr. Nefario's plans for the lunar heist. Eventually, Gru must make a choice.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Absolutely. It's the next must-see animated adventure following "Toy Story 3." It should appeal to a wide range of ages.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For rude humor and mild action.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GRU is a man who dreams of being the world's greatest super-villain and stealing such landmarks as the Times Square Jumbotron and the actual moon. He is intensely competitive with his rival, Vector. Gru has a subterranean lair underneath of his house where he hatches his dastardly plans with a small army of alien-like minions and an elderly mad scientist. Until he is reformed by some orphan girls, Gru has utter contempt for his fellow man. He drives recklessly, is rude to those around him, and he is mean to children in particular. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Gru's mother was very hard on him growing up, rarely giving him any credit or encouragement. This relationship has continued on this level into his adult years.
  • VECTOR is a man who also dreams of being the world's most notorious bad guy, is intensely competitive, and constantly tries to one-up Gru. He lives in a heavily fortified stronghold, loves to play violent video games, keeps killer sharks as pets, and tries mightily to impress his evil banker father.
  • MARGO, EDITH, and AGNES are three sweet, orphaned girls who dream of being adopted by a loving family. They unwittingly become pawns in the ongoing chess game between Gru and Vector. The three can be headstrong and precocious, defying adult authority if it doesn't correspond with what they want. Margo is the oldest and holds herself responsible for the other two. Edith is the middle child and, arguably, the most curious and adventurous. Agnes is the youngest and cutest, but often has problems going to bed at night.
  • DR. NEFARIO is an elderly mad scientist who invents various weapons for Gru and helps him carry out his evil plots and plans. It is Nefario who keeps a cold heart and insists that Gru return Margo, Edith, and Agnes to the orphanage once their part of the plan is completed.
  • GRU'S MOM is depicted as a stern, disapproving elderly woman who has never been there emotionally for her son at any point in his life. She routinely puts him down despite the fact that he has continued to look to her for approval.
  • THE MINIONS are worker-bee, alien-like characters who take orders from Gru, are generally mischievous, and often get into slapstick, physical altercations with each other.
  • MISS HATTIE is the strict head of the orphanage who is constantly threatening to put Margo, Edith, and Agnes in a "box of shame" -- a form of detention/punishment -- if they misbehave or don't sell enough cookies for the orphanage. She takes pleasure in telling the girls that they will likely never be adopted and will continue to serve her.
  • MR. PERKINS is the head of the Bank of Evil, which loans money to various megalomaniacs to carry out their evil deeds worldwide. He is the father of Vector and helps him out when he can to the detriment of Gru.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated comedy that has been rated PG. The film contains no profanity, but there are many colorful phrases uttered throughout. Some computer animated/cartoon bare butts are seen and other nudity is briefly implied but not seen.

    Violence consists of people being shot at and threatened by a number of silly invented weapons like a "piranha gun," a shrink ray, and a freeze ray. The film features dozens of small, alien-like characters known as minions who work for the main anti-hero and routinely hit and push each other around and engage in Three Stooges-style physical hijinks. In addition, the film contains several scenes and moments of potential peril that could prove unsettling and/or suspenseful for some younger viewers.

    Bad attitudes and potentially imitative behavior are a cause for concern throughout as the main character and his archrival relish in living the life of super-villains. The film also features the sad plight of a trio of young sisters who have lost their mom and dad (the movie does not say how) and have been unable to find adoptive parents. Some crude humor is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, the film is being shown in 3-D, and the filmmakers make full use of the technology with everything from an intense aerial chase to a very realistic turn on a roller coaster from the rider's perspective to other sequences in which the animation swoops and moves at various crazy angles and speeds with stuff popping out of the screen.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Gru tells Edith, Margo, and Agnes that he will permit "no burping, farting, crying, or whining."
  • Dr. Nefario invents for Gru a "fart gun" that emits a smelly gas and makes the sound of someone breaking wind.
  • Vector shrinks a toilet, opens it, and the commode shoots toilet water in his face.
  • Agnes gets caught in a spiked coffin that closes on her. From underneath the coffin's door, we then see a red liquid flow out. We briefly think it is blood, but when the coffin swings back open, the girl is fine except one of the spikes has pierced her juice box.
  • Gru gets off a roller-coaster and almost throws up. You see him in the throes and about to vomit, but he doesn't.
  • Edith, Agnes, and Margo sneak a hand-drawn picture of Gru using a toilet into Gru's business proposal to Mr. Perkins.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A tour bus almost runs over a shepherd tending to his flock.
  • A hyper boy named Justin breaks free of his harness and runs away from his parents while getting off a tour bus at the Pyramids.
  • It is revealed that Gru's rival, Vector, has stolen the Egyptian Pyramids and replaced them with inflatable ones.
  • Gru boasts of stealing the fake Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty from the Las Vegas Strip and the real Jumbotron from Times Square. His latest plan is to shrink the moon and steal it from the sky.
  • Gru pops a child's balloon.
  • Gru jokingly threatens to kill a dog.
  • Rather than answer the door, Gru fakes like he's not home and instead mimics a recorded message to turn Margo, Edith, and Agnes away.
  • Gru speeds past neighborhood traffic in his oversized, gas-guzzling vehicle.
  • Edith kicks Gru's door when he won't open it.
  • Miss Hattie threatens Edith, Agnes, and Margo with something called a "box of shame" if they misbehave or don't sell more cookies. The camera then pans over and we see one child inside of a box marked as such, his sad eyes visible through an opening.
  • Miss Hattie also relishes telling the three girls that they will never get adopted.
  • Gru thoughtlessly bangs into two cars as he tries to parallel-park his massive vehicle.
  • Vector's father, Mr. Perkins, runs the so-called "Bank of Evil," which offers loans to various super-villains to carry out their dastardly plans.
  • When Gru as a child tells his mother he wants to be an astronaut, she scoffs and replies, "NASA isn't sending monkeys anymore." Throughout the film, Gru's mother puts him down and never encourages him.
  • Gru breaks into a military installation to steal a top-secret shrink ray, right after the researchers shrink an elephant as a test.
  • After witnessing Vector open up his evil stronghold to Edith, Margo, and Agnes to buy cookies from them, Gru decides to adopt the three girls in order to gain access to the home and steal his shrink ray.
  • Gru insults Miss Hattie in Spanish. I don't know Spanish, but several people in the audience chuckled.
  • Later in the film, Miss Hattie hits Gru with a Spanish-to-English book after she discovers what he specifically said to her.
  • Vector rubs his computer keyboard on his clothed behind.
  • The flames from the afterburner on the back of Gru's massive vehicle pop an orphan boy's balloon.
  • Gru refuses to hold Agnes' hand.
  • Gru lies to Miss Hattie and the three girls that he is a dentist.
  • Gru later lies to the girls that he is a spy.
  • The minions park in a handicapped space at a local big-box store.
  • Gru refuses to read the three girls a bedtime story.
  • When he finally agrees to read the story, he calls it "garbage" and asks the girls if they really like it.
  • Gru tells the three girls, "Good night," then tells them to watch out for bedbugs and warns that there is "something in their closet, too."
  • Edith, Agnes, and Margo defy Gru and go to their dance class instead of selling cookies to Vector.
  • Margo tells Gru, "You're never going to be my dad!"
  • A game operator at the amusement park is disrespectful and sarcastic to Gru and the girls even after one of the girls hits the target and should have won a prize.
  • Gru uses a ray gun to disintegrate nearly the entire game and win the prize.
  • Edith, Agnes, and Margo sneak a hand-drawn picture of Gru using a toilet into Gru's business proposal to Mr. Perkins.
  • Gru makes the girls pancakes in the form of a dead body, a sword, and other inappropriate shapes.
  • Gru's mother tells Margo, Edith, and Agnes that Gru looked like an ugly girl when he was a child.
  • Dr. Nefario convinces Gru to send the girls back to the orphanage because they are a distraction to their evil plan to steal the moon.
  • Upon their return to the orphanage, Miss Hattie puts all three girls in the "Box of Shame."
  • A minion sits atop a copy machine making photocopies of his bare behind as two others cheer him on.
  • Vector kidnaps Agnes, Edith, and Margo and offers their lives in return for the shrunken moon.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • In Egypt, Justin falls a great distance to what would surely be his death. When he lands on a Pyramid, it is revealed that it is an inflatable one and not the real thing. He bounces high in the air and lands safely on his father.
  • An elephant is placed seemingly in harm's way of a giant, imposing gun that fires a beam at him. It is then revealed that the laser is actually a shrink ray and that the animal has only been shrunk down to mouse size.
  • Gru tries to gain access to Vector's house, setting off booby traps that include a giant snapping shark that springs from a manhole cover once removed.
  • Agnes gets caught in a spiked coffin that closes on her. From underneath the coffin's door, we then see a red liquid flow out. We briefly think it is blood and the girl has been skewered, but when the coffin swings back open, the girl is fine except one of the spikes has pierced her juice box.
  • Gru's dog-like creature pet tries to bite the girls on several occasions, but is thwarted each time without the girls even noticing. Still, his snarls and sharp teeth could prove scary to some younger viewers.
  • Some viewers might get scared at the 3-D rendering of Gru and the girls' wild ride on a roller-coaster. It's pretty intense.
  • High in the air, Margo and Gru hang for dear life from a wire connecting two airships. They eventually plunge to their certain death only to be caught by a plethora of minions who have formed a chain.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A random hunter is shown in an opening montage sequence wielding a shotgun and protecting a giant can of beer.
  • Gru carries a freeze gun that turns people into blocks of ice.
  • When the minions assemble for a large group session, several are shown with various weapons like axes, spears, rocket-launchers, and so forth. At one point, a minion accidentally fires a rocket that lands in a crowd of other minions and explodes.
  • Vector shows off his latest invention, a gun that shoots live piranha instead of bullets.
  • Gru uses his freeze gun to freeze Vector's head.
  • A shrink-ray gun becomes a highly coveted item between Gru and Vector.
  • Vector's stronghold features a number of laser guns, rocket launchers, and other weaponry that rise up to take aim at anyone attempting to gain access, most notably Gru.
  • Vector is shown at his evil hideout playing a first-person shooter video game.
  • After adopting Agnes, Edith, and Margo, Gru takes them home and briefly gives them a tour of his main floor, which is complete with such dangerous weapons as a hatchet and a coffin with metal spikes inside.
  • Dr. Nefario invents for Gru a "fart gun" that emits a smelly gas and makes the sound of someone breaking wind. Gru had asked the elderly inventor for a dart gun.
  • Gru fires a ray gun to disintegrate nearly an entire carnival game and win the prize.
  • Another one of Vector's inventions is a "squid launcher," which is a rifle-like gun that literally shoots squids instead of bullets.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I hate that guy," "Curse you, tiny toilet!" "Ha-ha! Suckers!" "Assemble the minions!" "You've got to be pulling my leg," "Why are you so old?" "Boo-yah!" "You done been shrunk!" "Sorry, dude," "You're never going to be my dad," "If I don't get it, I'm gonna die!" "Someone's got a frowny face," "It's so fluffy, I'm gonna die!" "Let's go destroy another game!" "Victor was my nerd name," "This is garbage," "Zip it, Happy Meal!" "You're in for a world of pain," "He's gonna kick your butt," "Are you insane?" and "Oh, poop."
  • The minions often get into slapstick, physical altercations with each other.
  • Other action, stunts and such might also prove enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • A boy named Justin is shown on a vacation in Egypt wearing a T-shirt featuring a skull.
  • Justin runs away from his parents at the Pyramids, out onto a plank, and falls a great distance.
  • Gru speeds past neighborhood traffic in his oversized, gas-guzzling vehicle.
  • Edith sticks out her tongue at her sister.
  • Agnes sings instead of going to sleep.
  • Vector rubs his computer keyboard on his clothed behind.
  • Agnes eats a Cheeto that has clearly been left out of its bag for a long time.
  • Gru lies on several occasions about his profession.
  • Agnes makes a slightly annoying sound with hands and cheeks.
  • Agnes holds her breath to get what she wants from Gru.
  • Gru tells the three girls, "Good night," then tells them to watch out for bedbugs and warns that there is "something in their closet, too."
  • During an unsupervised playtime, the minions and the three girls throw rolls of toilet paper all over one of Gru's rooms, creating a mess.
  • A minion shakes up a bottle of soda pop, opens it, and then flies around a store on it, slamming hard into a display.
  • Agnes tells Gru that if she doesn't win a specific stuffed animal at the amusement park, "I'm gonna die!"
  • After Gru uses his ray gun to disintegrate the game and win the prize, one of the girls shouts, "Let's go destroy another game!"
  • The three girls are shown acting hyper at bedtime.
  • Agnes threatens Gru that she will keep getting up in the night if he doesn't read her a story.
  • Edith, Agnes, and Margo sneak a hand-drawn picture of Gru using a toilet into Gru's business proposal to Mr. Perkins.
  • A minion sits atop a copy machine making photocopies of his bare behind as two others cheer him on.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A shark springs up from underneath a manhole cover that Gru has removed to try and sneak into Vector's house.
  • As Gru hangs upside down over Vector's living room, a shark looks up at him from underneath Vector's glass floor and snaps several times. In 3-D, the effect is he is snapping at the audience.
  • Victor's dog-like monster pet has razor-sharp teeth and snaps several times at the girls from behind without their knowledge, but doesn't connect due to a variety of obstacles that get in his way.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A fairly heavy amount of tense and intense music occurs throughout the film, especially during the action set pieces.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The Bank of Evil features a hall full of statues depicting people as pillars holding up the room. Several of the statues are shown in the background to depict men who are without pants and bare buttocks are noticeable, albeit in stone.
  • Gru hangs upside down over an unaware Vector, and we briefly see Gru's underwear. Once outside Vector's house, Gru is still shown in his underpants.
  • We see a photo of Gru as a baby with his bare buttocks exposed.
  • With the moon stolen, a werewolf howls at the night sky and suddenly turns back into a naked human. He is partially silhouetted, so we don't see anything. But the implication that he is wearing no clothes is clear.
  • A minion sits atop a copy machine making photocopies of his bare behind. We briefly see the printouts with his exposed buns.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Margo, Edith, and Agnes are three sisters who live in an orphanage. It is not revealed what happened to their parents, but it is clear that they have been there for some time and that no one has wanted to adopt them as a trio.
  • It is not revealed why Gru does not have a father, but flashbacks even to when he is a small boy reveal that it has always been him and his domineering mother.
  • Throughout the film, Gru's mother puts him down and never encourages him.
  • Gru adopts Margo, Edith, and Agnes only to help in his nefarious plan. He has no interest in being their father, at least initially. Upon first bringing them home, he basically lets them loose in a house full of weapons and other dangerous things and tells them to leave him alone.
  • Margo angrily tells Gru, "You're never going to be my dad!"
  • Gru refuses to read the girls a story or kiss them good-night.
  • Before bedtime one night, he tells the girls not to let the bed-bugs bite and to watch out for what is inside their closet.
  • Gru sends Margo, Edith, and Agnes back to the orphanage in order to place more emphasis on his evil plans.
  • Gru doesn't return in time to see the girls' dance recital, even though they delayed the performance to wait for him and reserved him a seat.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life in orphanages and the difficulties older kids face in getting adopted.
  • Megalomaniacal personalities.
  • Parents who do not offer their children emotional support.
  • Stealing and other crimes.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A tour bus almost runs over a shepherd tending to his flock.
  • A boy named Justin falls off a scaffolding plank and bounces off an inflatable Pyramid high in the air to land hard atop his father.
  • A Chinese army tank shoots a random bird.
  • To move past people in line at a coffeehouse, Gru uses his freeze gun to turn them each into blocks of ice.
  • Gru has a snarling dog-like creature for a pet that bites one character's hand.
  • One minion hits another minion with a hammer.
  • A minion accidentally fires a rocket that lands in a crowd of other minions and explodes, sending several of the little guys flying through the air. One of the injured minions then walks over and punches the minion who fired the rocket hard in the arm.
  • Edith kicks Gru's front door when he won't open it.
  • While practicing her karate, Gru's elderly mother executes a kick that sends her instructor flying.
  • Gru thoughtlessly bangs into two cars as he tries to parallel-park his massive vehicle.
  • Gru uses his freeze gun to freeze Vector's head.
  • Gru and Vector engage in a spectacular aerial chase. The two exchange gunfire and even rockets. Vector eventually gets the better of Gru and his minion co-pilots by shooting them with his shrink ray. The ship literally shrinks around Gru and the two minions, forcing them to abandon the craft in mid-air.
  • Two minions get into a slap fight that ends with some pushing and shoving and one minion banging the other minion's head on a computer keyboard.
  • In several scenes, we see minions in the background getting into minor tussles and physical altercations.
  • Gru tries to break into Vector's house, but runs afoul of his rival's booby traps. Mechanical boxing gloves come out and hit him hard in the face and torso. Laser beams shoot at him. Blades try and slice him up. A shark even springs up and goes for a bite. Each time, Gru narrowly avoids being maimed.
  • A minion shakes up a bottle of soda pop, opens it, and then flies around a store on top of it, slamming hard into a display.
  • One minion plucks a shrunken minion sending the tiny, little creature flying out of view.
  • Gru fires a ray gun to disintegrate nearly an entire carnival game and win Agnes a prize.
  • One minion punches another minion as they wait for the three girls to dance.
  • Gru shrinks one of the minions who floats up to the ceiling and out an opening. The minion is seen on several occasions later in the film and eventually ends up on the moon.
  • Miss Hattie hits Gru on the head with a book.
  • Vector bangs hard into a tower after being shocked.
  • Gru lands his rocket ship down on a city street, ripping up pavement and destroying several cars, lamp posts, and other objects (but hurting or killing no one).
  • To gain access to Vector's stronghold, Gru punches Vector's attacking shark in the face, hits a TV screen, and evades his rival's rockets.
  • Margo and Gru dangle from a wire between two airships and eventually fall. On his ship, Vector does what he can to prevent Gru from saving Margo. But as the ship rocks back and forth without a pilot, the expanding moon keeps banging into him like a giant bowling ball.



  • Reviewed June 30, 2010 / Posted July 9, 2010

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [Exodus: Gods and Kings] [The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies] [The Imitation Game] [Top Five]

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