Who's In It: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, Ophelia Lovibond, Madeline Carroll, Clark Gregg, Jeffrey Tambor, David Krumholtz, Philip Baker Hall
The Basics: In this innocuous, sweet-natured and terrible movie about a semi-absent father who finds himself raising a brood of penguins and who then, in turn, gifts those penguins to his spoiled kids as a way to win their affection, the digital penguins fart and poop all over the place. A lot. A lot a lot a lot. So much poop it's like a parody of kid movies where there's a lot of cute animals that poop. After the pooping, everyone learns a lesson about family and how it's the most important thing of all. Then there's more poop. Like Jim Carrey picks up birds and squeezes them and poop comes out. Tons of it. I'm not kidding. This movie might actually be made entirely of poop.
What's The Deal: If you happen to be a six-year-old kid, you're not reading this review. You just want to see the movie with the penguins. If you're the parent of that six-year-old kid, you might be reading this review to help you decide which parent is going to lose the chaperon coin toss. And when you lose, and when your child winds up loving this movie, please try to remember that it happened. Later, one sweet day, 20 years from now, when your child is 26, they will watch this movie again on whatever Internet-like cloud of data exists in that moment, and they will come back to you and say, "Hey remember that penguin movie you took me to see that I loved so much when I was six? Turns out it was awful! Weird, right?" At that point you will say to them, "I know."
Bad News For Parents: When you take your child to see this movie--and you will take your child to see this movie--you will faced with the inevitable "I WANT A PENGUIN!" conversation on your way home. It will be in that moment that you lose your status as Awesome Person Who Takes the Kids to the Movies and Buys Them Candy because it is then that you will have to explain to your child that, in real life, Jim Carrey's character would be considered a delusional pet hoarder endangering the lives of creatures that need special care and that the mean zookeeper is the good guy and not some kind of animal prison warden kidnapper. Good luck!
Extra Bad News For Dads: It follows what is now a trend among "family" films, in line with soul-crushing experiences like Imagine That and Old Dogs, of casting the Breadwinner Father in the role of emotionally inept dumbass who needs to learn to nurture something or be threatened with losing everything that really matters. It doesn't matter that you are, by all outward appearances, a decent parent on most fronts. You'd better learn to delicately sit on a penguin egg and develop really strong feelings for it or you're a failure as a father.
The Parts Of This Film That Don't Feel Like They're Made Entirely Of Poop: A rollicking penguins-sliding-on-their-bellies moment that takes place on the spiraling floor of the Guggenheim Museum and the presence of British actress Ophelia Lovibond as Jim Carrey's peculiar personal assistant with a particular penchant for pronouncing words that begin with the letter "P."