In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru is growing up in the suburbs. A fan boy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto–a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please–deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions. When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles Alan Arkin, Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Maica N. comments, “In his world, Gru is the most powerful villain anyone has ever seen. But the question is: how did he become this dominant force? This film shows us the exciting story of 12-year old Gru and the path to his villainous life.” Ava C. adds, “The main message of this movie is that no matter how independent you think you are, everyone can use some help. Even the best supervillain needs help every now and then. We see this message portrayed throughout the entire film.” Miguel wraps it up with, “In this film we see who Gru’s idols are and who he looks up to when becoming a villain. I definitely could not stop laughing while watching this film and I bet you won’t be able to stop, too!” See their full reviews below.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

In his world, Gru is the most powerful villain anyone has ever seen. But the question is: how did he become this dominant force? Minions: The Rise of Gru shows us the exciting story of 12-year old Gru and the path to his villainous life. Both the familiar faces and the new characters come together to make this make this film highly entertaining, yet nostalgic.

Minions: The Rise of Gru provides the backstory for how Gru (Steve Carell) came to be the notorious villain he is today. After being rejected as a replacement for Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin) and failing to earn a much-coveted spot in the supervillain group Vicious 6, Gru unexpectedly finds himself on the run. As fate would have it, Gru’s dream of being mentored by Wild Knuckles soon comes true, but not without Gru having to now lean on Wild Knuckles and his minions to fight back against the Vicious 6.

The three main minions—Kevin, Stuart, and Bob—each have unique character traits that make these films work. In Minions: The Rise of Gru, you can see how each minion plays a different role in how Gru grows as a villain and as a person. Kevin is the smart and responsible leader—he makes sure everything is going according to plan. Stuart is the one who is always in touch with reality, and makes sure the truth is known—he may seem uninterested, but he’s very helpful. Bob is the lighthearted and innocent soul who always tries to make the best out of a situation. Without all three of these characters, this movie wouldn’t be the same. There are many subtle references to the previous movies that add to the comedic tone, as well. For instance, in the scene where Gru and Wild Knuckles attempt to rob the bank, the bank president shows them an image of his grandson, who turns out to be none other than the aspiring villain, Vector. Of course, young Gru isn’t aware that Vector will play a big role in his future, but the audience definitely is. These subtle references are what contribute to the nostalgic feel we get from watching this film. And, of course, we can’t forget about Gru’s iconic wardrobe, which he’s already wearing as a young kid.

The message of Minions: The Rise of Gru is that everyone needs a little help sometimes. Even though he doesn’t realize it right away, Gru eventually recognizes that he needs help in order to be the successful villain he desires to be. 

Minions: The Rise of Gru is such a fun movie to watch. The lovable characters just make the audience continue to yearn for more. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, though anyone can enjoy this movie. Minions: The Rise of Gru releases in theaters on July 1, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

Minions: The Rise of Gru

By Ava C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Minions: The Rise of Gru is exemplary, in that it contains all the wow factors I look for in a movie.  It is funny and intriguing. The animation is amazing.

Minions: The Rise of Gru takes place in the 1970s when Gru (Steve Carell) was a child. The storyline follows his journey of trying to become the most dangerous supervillain. To make his dream come true, he tries to join a group of villains called the Vicious 6. His audition quickly goes downhill and suddenly Gru and his minions are on the run from the Vicious 6 villains.

They’ve come a long way since the original 2015 Minions movie. Gru’s life story is told throughout the Minions and Despicable Me series, however, this addition to the storyline adds more details and fills the gaps of Gru’s life that was missing. Just like the prior films, the minions are so hilarious and never lack for personality. A good thing about the Minions and Despicable Me films is that they are consistent with the character’s personalities. There is the right amount of character development that brings all the characters to life, which gives it a realistic feel. The minion’s language is interesting because it is mostly gibberish, called “minionese,” mixed with a few recognizable Spanish words. Although most times you cannot understand them verbally, you can figure out what they are trying to communicate by their tone and facial expressions. They are just so cute! The minions wear their classic denim overalls, but some wear other outfits that fit their personalities. My favorite part of the movie is seeing the perseverance by the characters. It sends a positive message about not giving up and continuing to reach for your dreams, even when it gets tough.

The main message of this movie is that no matter how independent you think you are, everyone can use some help. Even the best supervillain needs help every now and then. We see this message portrayed throughout the entire film.

I give Minions: The Rise of 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it movie for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is a very funny and adventurous film that kids and adults will enjoy. It opens in theaters July 1, 2022.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru 

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12 1:42 to

The writers of the exciting film Minions: The Rise Of Gru, Matthew Fogel, Brian Lynch, and Matthew Fogel, definitely created a strong storyline. In this film we see who Gru’s idols are and who he looks up to when becoming a villain. I definitely could not stop laughing while watching this film and I bet you won’t be able to stop, too!

The film starts off with an object, which looks like an amulet, being stolen, and we meet the Vicious 6 (Gru’s idols.) They betray their master and kick him off the team. So now Gru has an interview to work alongside the people he looks up to and become a Vicious 6 villain. If you want to see if he joins the team you’re definitely not going to want to miss this film. We also see what things are like at home, school, with his mom and the overall backstory.

This film is definitely a fan favorite and with Steve Carell playing the voice of Gru it will be a crowd-pleaser. There are so many jokes and the things the minions do and say will make you laugh so hard. For example, the way they speak and, especially in this film, the mix of Spanish with “minionese.” Like every previous Minion film, it has such a spark, the kind that truly entertains you and makes you laugh. What is unique in this film is the creation of a storyline that reveals Gru’s childhood. We learn how rough it was for Gru at school and how his relationship with his mom caused him to become the person is in the future. The animation in this film is similar to the previous films, but way better.

The message of this film is to never leave a friend or someone you care about behind because one day they might save your life. There are a lot of action scenes, including ones where they fight and one where they use needles.  So, I would warn parents that this may not be suitable for younger kids.  

I give Minions: The Rise Of Gru 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. You can find it in theaters July 1, 2022. 

Keywords: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Julie Andrews, Russel Brand, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Trejo, Lucy Lawless, Jimmy O. Yang, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio, RZA, Will Arnett, Steve Coogan, Collette Whitaker, Kyle Balda, Brad Abelson, Jonathan del Val, Matthew Fogel, Janet Healy


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