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Mr. Popper's Penguins Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Crappy Feet Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Mr. Predictable's Poppycock 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.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    My heart was warmed by gratuitous moments when Mr. Carrey clowns for clowning's sake - in the best of them, he makes a slo-mo entrance to a press conference, even though the camera is running at normal speed.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Predictable, but well-intentioned fun.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The six penguins cast in this amiable family comedy steal the movie -- along with any fish they can find -- although the film's star, Jim Carrey, does manage to hold his own. Barely.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    If you can watch Popper's most trusted penguin finally get to fly and feel like you're soaring right up there with her, then you may just let this likable trifle whisk you back to childhood.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Mr. Popper's Penguins reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Carrey's penguin antics are predictable but still funny.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this live-action comedy was inspired by the classic Newbery Award-winning children's book Mr. Popper's Penguins. Like the book, the movie is fine for early elementary-schoolers, who will giggle at Jim Carrey's slapstick antics and all the messes the penguins make. Language is tame -- with the occasional "butt," "poo," "pee," and "stupid" thrown into the dialogue -- and there's some flirting/kissing, as well as one joke with a Viagra reference. Kids may pick up a thing or two about how to care for penguins, but this movie is ultimately about learning to put family first ... and laughing at sight gags.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of animal movies. Why are we so entertained by human-acting animals who are lovable but wreak comedic havoc?
  • How is the movie different than the book? Is it important for movies to be faithful to their source stories, or is OK for them be "loosely adapted" or "inspired by," like this movie? What are your favorite books-turned-movies?
  • How does taking care of the penguins change Mr. Popper? Kids: How have your pets changed you?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about the way Mr. Popper reacts to his father's death. Do they understand why Mr. Popper was mad at his dad? How does the movie demonstrate that there are better ways for families to behave?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: This isn't an educational movie, but there are incidental lessons about penguins -- their habitats, how they stay imprinted on mates, their loyalty, and their flightless nature.

  • message true2

    Messages: Mr. Popper develops from a manipulative real-estate developer into a hands-on father who puts family first.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Although at first he's considered the kind of father who often disappoints his kids, Mr. Popper eventually learns to make them the top priority in his life. Although he's not perfect, he's there for his kids, and he learns from his own father's mistakes.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: As in every Jim Carrey movie, slapstick humor and physical comedy are on full display. But there's no actual violence, except that a zoo keeper is hit in the face ... with his own hand. A penguin's beloved egg is deemed unviable by a zoologist. Depictions of a busy but absentee father and how casually his death is received by his grown-up son may be confusing or upsetting to sensitive kids.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: A former husband and wife go on a date and eventually kiss; meanwhile, the ex-wife has a boyfriend. A joke includes a Viagra reference (Popper proclaims his vigor and "Viagra-tality"). A teen girl pines over a boy whom she hopes will ask her to a school dance. A man and a woman flirt after they discover a mutual idiosyncrasy. A penguin called Lovey is accused of fathering the eggs of three different penguins.

  • language false1

    Language: Mild insults include "butt," "stupid," "crazy," "dumb," "poo," "pee," and the like. Also "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Product placement includes MacBook Pro. Many New York landmarks/teams are mentioned/featured prominently.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Champagne at a fancy party; dinner reception has alcohol.