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Despicable Me 2 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

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Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This shallow sequel to 2010's much cleverer Despicable Me — the 10th-biggest animated movie in U.S. history — seems to be merely going through the motions.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    By the end, every child in the audience will want his or her own monster-minion toy. Adults will just regret the way that Despicable Me 2 betrays the original film’s devotion to bad-guy gaiety.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It's a reasonably efficient baby sitter, done up in 3-D computer-generated animation of no special distinction. But the first one's weird mixture of James Bond bombast and hyperactive pill-shaped Minions (the protagonist Gru's goggle-clad helpers) had the element of surprise in its favor.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    While not quite as charming or unique as the original, Despicable Me 2 comes awfully close.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The script — by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul — is erratic, to put it generously. Yet the 3-D animation is so stylish and, from time to time, so downright beautiful, that you hardly notice when the storytelling loses track of itself.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    While the new edition doesn’t quite catch that inspired spark, there’s still plenty to enjoy here courtesy of those zippy visuals and a pitch-perfect voice cast led by the innately animated Steve Carell.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Despicable Me 2 provides a good bonding opportunity for parents and children with enough palatable elements to please members of both generations.

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  • See all Despicable Me 2 reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

More minions and romance make for a sweet, silly sequel.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Despicable Me 2, the sequel to 2010's hit supervillain adventure Despicable Me, features gadgets and weapons like the original, but now with the aim of stopping "evil" instead of perpetrating it. There's a romantic subplot between Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig), an Anti-Villain League agent. Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) has her first crush and boyfriend as well, although both couples mostly flirt and stare at each other (the adults do kiss). Language is mild ("nutjob," "sheep's butt"), and the violence is cartoonish and silly but does include biological weapons and a taser gun. Mexican restaurant owner Eduardo is depicted somewhat stereotypically (his restaurant is Salsa and Salsa, he has a pet chicken he calls el pollito, and he throws a lavish Cinco de Mayo party). Otherwise, this is a minions-filled animated adventure for the entire family.

  • Families can talk about how sequels typically compare to the original movies. Do you think Despicable Me 2 is as good as Despicable Me? What other sequels live up to their predecessors?
  • How does the cartoon action in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does this kind of media violence have more or less impact than what's in live-action movies? Why?
  • Some critics have called the depiction of restaurant owner Eduardo stereotypical. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • Why are the minions so lovable? How is their humor aimed at both kids and adults?
  • How do the two romances in the movie compare to each other? In what ways does Gru's experience with Lucy help him understand Margo's situation with Antonio?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: As with the first movie, kids will learn that all families aren't alike and that even if you think you're ugly and undesirable, that's not true, and there are people who will appreciate and love you.

  • message true1

    Messages: The strong bond between fathers and daughters is stressed, as is the importance of open communication between parents and children, as well as romantic partners. Gru's love story shows that even people who consider themselves unlovable can find love. That said, some have criticized the way that Gru's potential dates are depicted (either unattractive or plastic surgery-enhanced) and how the movie makes it seem that Gru and the girls need a wife/mother to complete their family. But Gru was actually perfectly happy raising the girls with just his minions as helpers and wasn't "looking" for a wife. And Lucy is a remarkable woman who fits in with the family because she and Gru respect each other, not "just" because she's a woman.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Gru is a great dad: He's protective and sweet and will stop at nothing to make sure that his girls are safe. Dr. Nefario redeems himself by making it clear that Gru and the girls are his family. The sisters adore their dad and are good to each other. Lucy sees past Gru's aloof exterior to the kind of father he is to the girls. With teamwork and smarts, Gru and the girls save the world from an army of mutated minions. The owner of a Mexican restaurant is depicted somewhat stereotypically.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Because Gru is happy and no longer a supervillain, there's not as much violence this time around. There are cartoonish scenes in which Gru and his minions are tasered, but the only "real" violence is near the end, when (possible spoiler alert!) the minions are transformed into purple killing machines (although strangely still cute) that can destroy everything around them. Lucy is taken hostage. The minions become weapons, and Gru and the girls must use antidote-filled guns to turn them back into the harmless yellow creatures we all love. The bad guy threatens Gru with knives. A chicken has a vendetta against Gru and Lucy.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Gru goes on a date. Gru and Lucy fall in love and kiss. Young Margo falls for Antonio, and the two dance and hold hands.

  • language false0

    Language: Mild insults like "nutjob," "sheep's butt," and "Gruties" (a mix of "Gru" and "cooties").

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: No product placement in the movie, but Despicable Me (especially the minions) has plenty of merchandise tie-ins and even a big ride at Universal Studios Orlando.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable