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Shorts Review Critics


Dave White Profile

No shortage of booger monsters. 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.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    More like a summer-camp theater project than a studio movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Fast-paced, imaginative and often cute, Shorts is slight but enjoyable family fare.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Adult actors pretty much let the youngsters upstage them. The two leads, Bennett and Vanier, do a nice job holding the center of gravity while the film goes nuts around them. Best of all, Shorts is short, finishing before you can truly get tired of all those wishes gone wrong.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Funny, imaginative fantasy from Spy Kids director.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fantasy adventure from Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez is sure to appeal to kids and tweens. Expect some mild insults -- like "lunkhead" and "this sucks" -- and potty humor, mostly regarding a booger (one entire vignette is devoted to the topic). The violence is generally humorous and fantasy based; most is directly related to characters' wishes (people transforming into animals, the above-mentioned booger becoming a giant menace, etc.). On a more serious note, the movie has several thought-provoking messages about bullying, family relationships, and technology.

  • Families can talk about how the kids (mis)use the power of the magical rock. Which characters used the rock for good, and which used it for selfish reasons? How did possessing the rock change the characters?
  • What's the movie's message about our modern-day obsession with technology and fancy gadgets (like the Black Box)? Do they help us or hurt us in communicating with others?
  • The relationship between a bully and the person she picks on is one of the movie's main themes. How is bullying portrayed? Do most bullies attack kids physically? What are other ways that bullies can attack?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: Kids will definitely remember the message of being careful what you wish for. They'll also pick up on the lessons about how a bully could end up actually being your friend, how greed is bad, and that "green is the new black."

  • message true3

    Messages: Teamwork and overcoming obstacles (usually in the form of the Black family) are key messages, as is the basic idea that you have to be careful what you wish for -- because you never know if you just might get it. There's also a strong message about family life. Many sibling and parent-child relationships are strengthened over the course of the adventure. Toby makes new friends and rediscovers old ones who all work together.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Toby works tirelessly to keep the rocks from falling into the wrong hands. He convinces others to do the same, even when it's against their self interest. Helvetica, although a somewhat negative role model, is a strong female character, and she ultimately redeems herself. Loogie's brothers are the voice of reason, trying to explain to Loogie that he should be wishing for world peace or the end of starvation instead of fortresses and candy bars. Toby's parents are also good role models, prioritizing their marriage and family above career goals.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Cartoonish and fantastical violence includes a booger turning into a giant monster that chases a group of scared people; a person becoming a weaponized, Transformers-like being that wreaks havoc on a town; a kid's "wish" of rattlesnakes and crocodiles coming true (and then attacking him and his brothers); and the like. More realistic incidents include Helvetica's ongoing bullying of Toby, which usually consists of a daily trip, headfirst, into the nearest trash can; kids falling out of a tree; and kids falling out of a window and breaking both arms.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Toby jokes that Helvetica picks on him because she actually likes him; they have a middle-school love/hate relationship. Toby's parents lament their loss of intimacy, and, after a rock literally binds them at the hip, they nearly kiss and eventually fix their relationship. Loogie misguidedly flirts with Toby's older sister, who's in a fight with her boyfriend (they eventually make up with a hug).

  • language false1

    Language: Fairly frequent use of colorful insults like "lunkhead," "hillbilly teeth," "Dr. Dumb Butt," as well as more traditional ones like "you suck," "freak," and "loser." Kids' nicknames can be mean-spirited, such as "Toe" for Toby, "Hell" for Helvetica, and "Nose" for a boy who eats his boogers.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The candy bar Nutrageous is shown many times as part of a running joke (a boy wishes he had an endless supply), and Skittles and IKEA are both mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Glimpses of adults drinking wine/champagne at a fancy costume party in one scene.