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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Even your kids will be bored. Read full 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    There’s also a sense of ineptness in a script that constantly reaches, with only modest success, for amusing things that the mammoths and their friends can do.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Once fresh, the story is now buried under a hoary coating.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Pretty much any sign of creative life gets left out in the cold in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the monotonous, strictly by-the-numbers third edition of the wildly lucrative digitally animated franchise.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie settles into a mode of nice, sweet, safe, and -- sorry, I have to say it -- slightly dull family fun.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It involves some of the best use of 3-D I've seen in an animated feature. It also introduces a masterstroke that essentially allows the series to take place anywhere: There is this land beneath the surface of the earth, you see...

    Read Full Review

  • See all Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

3-D sequel is fun but also more intense than past films.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the third installment in the Ice Age franchise is likely to appeal to kids (even the preschool set) as much as the first two. That said, it's the first one in 3-D, so some scenes -- especially the ones featuring dinosaurs -- may be a bit more intense. There's lots of cartoonish violence, mostly involving Scrat and his new female friend (they also flirt and kiss, which is the extent of the movie's romance). Language is mild, but there's some scatological humor ("barf" and "poop"), as well as suspense concerning the main characters' ability to get out of harm's way.

  • Famiies can talk about the movie's central message about having an unconventional herd/family. What defines a family? And should it matter what a person looks like in order to be their friend?
  • Families can also discuss how the violence compares to that of other movies meant for young kids. Was the 3-D too intense?
  • Also, how did some of the characters act differently than you expected, like the weasel Buck and the mama dinosaur? And even Ellie, though she's pregnant, is no weakling. How does her character portray females?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: The movie may spark a real interest in prehistoric animals, particularly dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and sloths.

  • message true3

    Messages: The movie offers a positive message about what it takes to be a "herd" or family -- no one gets left behind, new members are welcome, and everyone has a place.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Ellie -- a strong female character who knows when to assert herself despite protestations from her male partner and friends that she's not capable of defending herself -- is a lovely role model. Buck, although a loner, sacrifices a future with friends to defend them. A dinosaur and a sloth learn to care for each other, showing that affection doesn't depend on what you look like on the outside.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Lots of cartoonish violence -- some humorous (all of the acorn antics with Scrat, the baby T-Rexes swallowing their friends, etc.) and some potentially frightening (various dinosaurs chase the protagonists, threatening to injure them). For the most part, the dinosaurs don't do any damage except to Buck, who lost an eye to Rudy, the meanest, biggest dinosaur in the movie. The audience doesn't actually see Buck lose his eye, but Rudy is a scary-looking dinosaur, and the raptors are intense as well. The characters deal with several close calls.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: The male and female Scrat flirt with each other and eventually pair off. Manny and Ellie, now mates, are expecting a baby and are quite sweet to each other, hugging and locking trunks. A couple of jokes involving Sid mistaking an animal's gender -- in one case he tries to "milk" an animal that turns out to be male; in another, he thinks a baby mammoth is a boy until Diego points out that "that's a tail."

  • language false1

    Language: Mild insults (usually directed at Sid) and some scatological jokes about the dinosaurs ("poop," "barf," etc.).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable