Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Overproduced and essentially charmless.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    If anything, the real surprise here is how affecting he makes the Grinch's ultimate big hearted turnaround, as Carrey the actor sneaks up on Carrey the wild man dervish. In whichever mode, he carreys the movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Opulence almost interferes with the movie, weighing it down when it should seem lighter than air, surrounding the inarguably brilliant Carrey with too much frosting and frou-frou.

  • See all Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Live-action version of classic has crude, scary moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this imaginative version of Dr. Seuss' beloved classic may be too intense and scary for the youngest or most sensitive kids. Ominous music accompanies the Grinch and his cartoon trouble making in multiple scenes. Jim Carrey, behind a rubbery green face, is the master of cackles and distorted facial expressions. A heroic little girl is in danger more than once. Kids who understand the difference between the real and the fantastical will delight in the chaotic, very funny mayhem. So will grown-ups. There are a few moments of crude humor along the way (i.e., the Grinch sticks his butt out and says, "Pucker up and kiss it," and several males ogle a buxom woman). 

  • Families can talk about how this live-action movie differs from the beloved animated version made for TV. Which do you like better? Which seems truer to the original Dr. Seuss book? 
  • Families can also talk about why it's so easy to forget the simple pleasures of the winter holidays, and how damaging it can be to peoples' feelings to tease them about being different. 
  • The Grinch often does things that he thinks will make him feel better, but they don't seems to work or help help him forget his loneliness. Why doesn't being bad feel as good as you might think it will?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: Encourages kids to further explore the world of Dr. Seuss and promotes solid values in an engaging way.

  • message true3

    Messages: In addition to its message about rejecting the commercialization of Christmas and celebrating love, family, and gratefulness, the film also shows how even the smallest kindness can change the hardest heart. The Grinch's behavior and hatred of Christmas is revealed to be the result of childhood bullying and cruelty.   

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Cindy Lou, the very young heroine, is willing to face the hostility of all in Whoville in order to stand up for what is right; she teaches everyone about generosity, kindness, and compassion. Her parents, embarrassed at first, later risk censure to support her. The town mayor is bumbling and wrong-headed. There is only a sprinkling of villagers of color. 

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Continuous accelerated, cartoon action. There are fires (one started by a flame-thrower), explosions, falls, many wild rides, crashes, and characters (particularly a little girl) teetering on the brink of disaster. No one is injured or killed. In numerous scenes the Grinch is menacing, contorting his face and body (one shot shows insects crawling between his teeth), cackling, chewing glass, and wreaking havoc on the town of Whoville.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: A married couple exchange a comic, exaggerated kiss. Innuendo regarding a woman with cleavage. 

  • language false1

    Language: A few curses: "hell," "bitchin'." The Grinch angrily turns his butt to camera and says, "Pucker up and kiss it, Whoville." 

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue