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Cars 2 Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Insert recalled-Pinto joke here. Read full review

1.5

Grae Drake Profile

Fails a diagnostic check. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    57

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The movie has its own deficits - a lack of variety, originality, subtlety, clarity and plain old charm.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's not that it's a bad film. But the bar is high, and it's lackluster and predictable, missing that alchemic blend of humor, pathos and indelible characters that give Pixar movies their brilliant shine.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Not to get all Dorothy about it, but when it comes to Cars, there's no place like home. The emotional punch of the original is inextricably rooted in the movie's appreciation of off-the-beaten-track America, and all that homegrown vintage car culture signifies.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Cooler cars and more action follow Lightning and Mater as they mix it up with spies and Formula 1 racers in yet another Pixar winner.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Cars 2 reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 6 & under

Cars sequel revs up action and mixes in spy thrills.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fast-paced sequel to Pixar's hit movie Cars is more like a kid-friendly James Bond action thriller than the original movie's fish-out-of-water adventure. There are more high-speed chases here than in the original and a surprising amount of gun violence; a couple of car characters are even killed, which makes the G rating a bit of a surprise. Expect a bit of mild language, including insults like "idiot" and "fool," as well as tame flirting between smitten cars. The movie's overall message of being true to yourself and loyal to your friends is coupled with an overt call for alternative fuel and environmentalism. Note: The 3-D version of the movie may make certain parts feel even more immediate and intense for some kids.

  • Families can talk about the movie's message about being yourself, dents and all. How does this apply to Mater? Why are underdogs so much more satisfying to root for than characters who always win?
  • The first movie was a "fish out of water" story about a city slicker race car in a sleepy little town; how does the sequel use the same theme but focus on Mater?
  • What made kids want to see this movie -- the story or all the product tie-ins? Do kids want a product because Cars characters are pictured on it?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Although the movie isn't educational at first glance, kids will pick up information about alternative fuel and why you should never underestimate your own knowledge and abilities. They also get an amusing look at Japanese, Italian, and English culture and landmarks.

  • message true3

    Messages: Mater learns to stop doubting himself and his intelligence and have the confidence necessary to help defeat the criminals of the story. Lightning McQueen accepts that Mater doesn't need to change to fit in with Lightning's slick racing buddies.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Mater is a loving, selfless friend. He's willing to put himself at risk even though he's not really a trained spy. Lightning and Mater are wonderful examples of best friends who may not seem like they have a lot in common but love each other just the way they are and always have each other's backs -- or in this case, trunks.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: There's definitely more violence here than in the original -- the evil Professor Z and his henchcars use guns, chase other cars until they crash, and even kill two cars (one with a compactor, leaving him a crumpled square of metal, the other by torturing him with their secret weapon). Several characters get "dents" and other injuries from their run-ins with the villainous vehicles. Voice-commanded technology allows Mater, Holley, and Finn to use sophisticated weapons in their high-speed chases.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Lightning refers to Sally as "his girl," and Mater flirts with Holley. Groupie female cars swirl around the racing cars.

  • language false1

    Language: A few insults like "stupid fool," "shoot," and "idiot."

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Although there are no real "product placements" in the movie (unless you count the car models themselves, like the notorious "lemons" -- the Gremlin and Acer), the Disney merchandise machine has an enormous number of Cars 2 toys and other tie-ins -- from LEGOs and stuffed animals to coloring books and figurines to sippy cups and sleeping bags. The Cars products are even more ubiquitous than the Toy Story ones.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: At a party, various cars drink "cocktails."

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