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Movie Review

The LEGO Movie

MPAA Rating: PG for mild action and rude humor.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens Adults
Genre:
Animation Action Adventure Family Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2014
USA Release:
February 7, 2014 (wide—3,650+ theaters)
DVD: June 17, 2014
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

appreciating and celebrating what is special about oneself

being a conformist versus an individualist

PROPHECY and the Bible

Kid Explorers™
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Jonah HillGreen Lantern (voice)
Channing TatumSuperman (voice)
Alison Brie … Uni-Kitty (voice)
Cobie SmuldersWonder Woman (voice)
Elizabeth BanksWyldstyle (voice)
Chris PrattEmmet (voice)
Morgan FreemanVitruvius (voice)
Will FerrellPresident Business (voice)
Liam NeesonBad Cop/Good Cop (voice)
Nick Offerman … Craggy (voice)
Will ArnettBatman (voice)
Will Forte … Abraham Lincoln (voice)
Charlie Day … Spaceman Benny (voice)
Jadon Sand … Finn (voice)
Director: Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Producer: Warner Bros.
Village Roadshow Pictures
more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Meet Emmett. Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), in the world of LEGOs, is nothing special. He, along with his “friends,” work in a construction yard, with everyone getting along and everything going exactly as planned. Emmett has the perfect life.

One day, while he is out working in the yard, he notices some suspicious activity from a female LEGO. Emmett warns her she is trespassing on construction property and needs to leave. When she refuses to listen, he follows her and accidentally falls down a giant hole.

Inside the hole, he discovers a powerful gem buried in the ground. After carelessly touching the gem, he blacks out, only to find himself in a police station, being questioned by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) about why he was down there and what he knows about the gem. Just then, the mysterious girl we met earlier, whose name we learn is Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), rescues him and helps him escape from police custody. She explains that he is the “Special,” the one person who is prophesied to, with the help of the other Master Builders, free the LEGOs from the tyranny of President Business (Will Ferrell), whose goal is to achieve world domination through force of will.

Follow Emmett, Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, and Batman, as they set out to stop the evil, soon to be, LORD Business from taking over all the LEGO worlds, in a journey about discovering who you are and that being special is something that’s already inside you.

I’m sure many of us remember the world of LEGOs growing up. We all remember the excitement we would get when we opened that box, take the pieces out and let our imaginations run wild. In the world of LEGOs, nothing ever needed to make sense. You could create adventures beyond your wildest dreams. Become a pirate, an astronaut, whatever you wanted! This was the source of entertainment, before the era of advanced cell phones, video games, and tablets, that broadened the creativity spectrum, and still does for children around the world even today. Its nostalgic qualities live on.

I’ll be completely honest. I have been excited, like many, for “The LEGO Movie” for quite some time now. Action, adventure, and comedy… this film had promise. Add an all start cast of talented actors (Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and even Will Ferrell) and you have one well developed, brilliantly animated, heartfelt movie that touches every age, from childhood to adulthood. There iss not a single moment in this film where I questioned the filmmaker’s choices. Not one.

The elements surrounding this film are perfect in every category. The animation, intentionally choppy but brilliantly done, give the feeling that I am playing with LEGOs. The story, while heavy with action sequences (none that were overkill or to be taken with caution), is heartfelt, funny, and sentimental to a point (no spoilers, I promise). While the lesson from the film is one to expect from a children’s movie (which, trust, me this movie goes for everyone, not just children), also delivers said message in an appropriate, easy to understand, heartfelt manner. Lastly, but certainly not the least, are the performances. I was expecting a good performance, but not THIS good. Not a single voice is out of place. The humor from all the actors is just right, although there are jokes that are going to go over most children’s heads.

I could easily write a lengthy review of everything that was right in this film, but it would take forever to finish. Directors Lord and Miller are hitting audiences with all the right elements, and their impressive work in this film is nothing short of commendable and appreciative.

Minor Objectionable Content

Violence: Moderate. Most of the violence in the LEGO movie is humorous and comes in the form of LEGO explosions, gunfire and fight sequences, some chase scenes and the death of one character. But, what I really need to stress here is that this violence, while it is present, is not to be taken seriously. Think of a giant game of “pretend.”

Profanity: Mild. I didn’t hear too much that caught me off guard. Language is limited to “butt,” “losers,” “darn” and “gosh.”

Sex/Nudity: Very mild. There are a couple scenes where a television show is promoted, called “Where’s my Pants?”, and we see a pants-less LEGO. Emmett also walks out onto his balcony naked in one scene. One scene is also shown where a LEGO cop photocopies his butt (traditional LEGO bricks).

Other: The Robot army of President Business’ is a little creepy, even for me.

Lesson to Take

The whole theme surrounding the LEGO movie is the idea of being special, and that becoming special means believing that you are special in the first place. Vitruvius speaks to Emmett about how his need to have instructions and to follow them are what make him unique but also give him the ability to blend in with the other LEGOs.

Our Lord God thinks of us in a similar way. Genesis 1:26 reads, “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness.” Later in Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (ESV). God made us both in His image and each unique. That is something, as Christians, we can take pride in and let it drive us to do great things in God’s name.

“The LEGO Movie” brings a sense of nostalgia attached to it. When I walked into the theater this afternoon, the primary audience was children and their parents. During the film, I’m pretty sure that the kids weren’t the ONLY ones laughing and enjoying the movie (I know I was!). I STRONGLY recommend the LEGO film to everyone. I don’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a children’s film this much (perhaps “Despicable Me”). I’m really hoping this is nominated for the Oscars® next year. There is some minor objectionable content to be aware of, but this should be of no great concern to most parents. Bring your children, drag the teenagers, and spend the ticket price on “The LEGO Movie.” It truly is something… SPECIAL.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—My children love Legos, this was a must see for our family. We loved it! Being very conservative, we are always leery of movies. We all thought this film was relatively clean. There is one kind of rude instant when a Lego person sits on a copier to copy his bottom, but we could handle that. He had his “clothes” still on. They referred to the building hand as the “Man upstairs”.

Everything was built from Legos, and it didn’t seem to have any computerized animation which is astonishing. We will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mrs. Baker, age 36 (USA)
Positive—Everything about this movie is awesome from the stylized animation designed to look like stop motion to the voice talents of the actors. The story is simple and the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously which is a refreshing break of the serious tone of many children’s movies today.

That being said the movie was darker than I expected. The stakes are real, characters have their homes destroyed and death is not glossed over. It is by no means overly violent or scary, but worth mentioning for those of you with children who might be frightened.

Overall, the movie was exciting, genuinely funny and well worth a visit or two to the theater.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Richard, age 20 (USA)
Positive—Last week, I was tracking films, and I saw the “Lego Movie” was coming out. I am in my fifties, and I don’t get to kid movies much, but this one looked interesting (in my youth I was a huge Lego fanatic). So I talked to the wife, and we picked up the grandchild and went to see the movie (there are numerous benefits to grandchildren including being able to see kid movies you secretly would like to see yourself).

I can report that the “Lego Movie” is hilariously manic and delightfully twisted. The plot of the movie—if that really matters in something like this—on the surface is somewhat stock but at the same time a little dense. You see the Lego world is run by an evil corporate boss who would like to make everyone conform. He develops a plan to achieve this by freezing all of the Lego characters and buildings in place using something called the “Kragle.” more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bob, age 54 (USA)
Positive—Being from a family of nine kids, eight of us claiming LEGO ownership with one or more LEGO sets, you can imagine we couldn’t wait for this movie. Who doesn’t want to see a movie based off of your favorite childhood toy? The seven month wait we endured from the first time we heard it was coming out was worth it-I kid you not, this was the best children’s movie I’ve seen since “Up,” in fact. I liked it even better than the Pixar hit.

The movie had all the kids and adults roaring with laughter and had such a sweet and cute plot-twist towards the end that really made the film rise above your average “everyone is special” story. Emmett, an extra ordinary LEGO who is proclaimed Extraordinary when he finds the piece of Resistance, is dragged all over the LEGO universe to meet other Master Builders and stop the evil President Business from taking over the world with the ultimate weapon, the KRAGLE! more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Emily Mcc., age 18 (USA)
Positive—Fun film for almost entire family. If you have sensitive younger children the action scenes might be to much. Overall, my teens down to my eight year old all enjoyed the film. Note: I did not bring my five or three year old girls due to action scenes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Rhett, age 43 (USA)
Positive—My 15 year old son and I went to see “The LEGO Movie” and were thoroughly entertained. He is a LEGO lover and got a kick out of so many accurate details (i.e., The space man’s helmet had a crack in it, and my son pointed out that the helmet strap part always cracked easily on those). So many clever little things happened (the Kragel was actually KRAzy GLuE with some of the letters worn off the label), and other every day items that were “non-Lego pieces” were misread or mysterious to the Lego people.

It’s one of those movies that you could watch several times and see things you missed each time. I loved the values and lessons of the movie. SO inspiring and heartwarming. I also loved how it was all brought together in the end (non-animated vs. Animated). So clever!

My advice is to go see it, no matter what your age or stature is. It’s a feel-good movie and so very well done! I wish Hollywood would take notice that a successful movie doesn’t have to be filled with swearing, sex and violence to be a winner! For those who choose to find negative things about the movie, I feel badly for them. It’s a missed opportunity to be a kid again and just enjoy a really well done movie. It reminded me of a storyline I may have seen in a movie as a child, and was a refreshing reprieve from the movies/cartoons of today.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Christianmomma, age 52 (Canada)
Positive—Lego comes from the Danish word “leg godt” which means play well. After watching this movie Lego should be interpreted as, watch well. “The Lego Movie” is, in a word, fun! 1Samuel 16:7 tells us not to look out the outward aperance of a person, and I’m delighted to say “The Lego Movie” follows a similar theam. The movie’s uplifting tone, about everyone being awesome, was enough inspired to build a rocket to Neptune. Just kidding. Still, it is a good move.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Rob Mackay, age 21 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Although the movie had some good themes in it, such as we are all special, one of the themes brought out at the end of the movie was disturbing to me. It is that the character who thought he was special did great things not because he was special, but simply because he thought he was special. Once he realized this, he could continue to do great things just by faith in himself. It seems to promote the lesson that Christians who have done great things for God did them, not because of God’s great power, but simply because of their faith. Therefore, God is not real. All you really need is faith in yourself, and you can do awesome things. This is a subtle attack on faith in God, in my opinion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Rocky, age 64 (USA)
Neutral—Just took my 7 year old son to see the movie. He loved it; I did not. We definitely would not buy the DVD. Just wanted to warn parents about 2 aspects… one is the homosexual innuendo—some places in the movie more obvious than others, but the Star Wars scene was blatant—Batman gives up his girlfriend for the guys, comes back later and says “they were all dudes”—they wanted to make sure all the kids got that one—especially using well known and liked Star Wars characters???

Second is the mild aspect of witchcraft. I don’t know why that aspect doesn’t get addressed for Christians. There is a ghost (albeit hung by a string), a special rock with creepy whispering to draw the main character in, a sorcerer’s staff, glowing eyes, etc. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Deborah, age 43 (USA)
Neutral—“The Lego Movie” is a compelling master builder story, but I cannot ignore what a downer part of the story is—namely when Emmet lets on that he’s really not a master builder. If I were him, I’d be honest and say I’m not certain I really am the most important, most extraordinary person in the universe because I have no master builder skills like Wild-style, so she’s called. I would tell her and her fellow master builders that I was only taken from my hometown on account of a mere coincidence that I’m the one who found the Piece of Resistance. I would apologize to everyone for wasting their time and tell them I’m really an instruction follower.

Even in the Lego world, honesty is the best policy. I would be honest and hope everyone would understand how I feel. And I would tell them that if I could only find a way, somehow, to pry the piece of resistance off my back, I would give it to anyone among the master builders with more experience hands than mine, and then I would get out of the way before I get hurt.

Sure, my version of the story would be a downer, too, but that’s the way it should be in my view, so there would be wisdom in honesty and understanding. The lack of much of this is the only flaw in the story.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Samuel T. Lancaster, age 23 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Sorry, I will have to disagree with those who thought this movie was positive. …I was expecting a good deal of humor tonight, but it was like watching a typical Saturday morning cartoon (as my husband put it). Sadly, very few of the children in the audience let out a laugh. I noticed this early on, and thought instantly that this was not a good sign. I did think the Western scene was clever when a character spit into a spittoon and it made the typical “ping” sound as most cartoons would. However, I was only 1 out of maybe 2 of us who let out a chuckle. Maybe kids haven't had much experience with good ol' westerns anymore, therefore missing the humor?!

The movie was a sleeper. I have never felt compelled to write a review before, but I couldn't wait to share. If you feel you must see it, wait until it comes out on DVD. It is not worth a full priced ticket.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—R., age 53 (USA)
Negative—Why is there no warning about the VERY uncomfortable scene with the Star Wars characters, as in—Lando being very interested in Batman in a VERY homosexual way? It was rather shocking and horrible. Yes, the rest of this movie was fun and awesome, but that one portion was just inappropriate and made the rest of the movie’s awesomeness—not quite so awesome.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jessica, age 37 (USA)
Negative—After watching this movie, I am inclined to say that there was quite a bit of objectionable content to this movie—not only on the surface level (such as mentioned in other reviews) but also in the underlying messages of the movie. One underlying message that runs through this entire movie is that only empty minded individuals “follow instructions” and are happy. Emmet, the main character was very faithful to always follow the instructions he was given, and when his mind was probed, it was found to be empty except for cobwebs. He is pretty much treated as a simpleton through much of the first half of the movie.

As a Christian who values the instructions and guidance in the Bible, I found this disturbing, especially as it portrays trusting authority figures to be wrong, while trusting yourself is right. And in this movie—the authority figures are corrupt—which goes to further emphasize the movie’s point that it’s foolish to trust anyone other than yourself. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—B., age 37 (USA)
Negative—First of all I have watched cartoons that have LEGO characters, and I don't mind them, however this movie, as my wife pointed out, should have been a one hour cartoon on TV, if not just a half hour. My wife sat on one side of our two girls, and I was on the other end. Both of us fell asleep! We usually love animated movies, but this one was one we REALLY didn’t want to go see. Unfortunately I came here for a review and saw the glowing review and thought we were off the mark thinking it would be bad. Next time I think I will go with my gut when I think a movie is going to be really bad because this one sure was! Our girls are 8 and 10 and usually they are both Chatty Cathys coming out from a movie but this one there wasn't hardly a peep.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Tom R., age 54 (USA)
Negative—Parents, my review discusses briefly things occult in nature, please use prayer and discernment if sharing this with your children… I must say that I have taken my family to see this movie twice, and now regret it. The movie was very entertaining, so much so that I only had a minor twinge that something wasn’t sitting right with me regarding the message. The second time I watched more closely.

This movie is beyond anything an anti-God allegory. The “Man Upstairs” is the oppressive creator of everything, who wants to prevent everyone from experiencing anything fun and different, in order to keep his creation static in nature. The “Man Upstairs” is corrected taught and converted by his creation in the end. Most startling, after reading something tonight, I feel that the allegory is not only anti-God and humanist in nature, but actually pro-satan. I hope I haven’t lost you with that statement. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Paul, age 38 (USA)
Positive—In response to Paul and B, I do not understand how some have found this movie to have an occult nature, because that is simply not the case. Nor is this movie anti-God and pro-Satan! That is just not true. Yes, there is some magic, but you do realize most of this movie is from the perspective of the child’s imagination? That is how kids play, they make believe, there’s no sinister underlying message in it. The kid simply wants to play with the Legos and build things, the dad realizes he has taken the toys too seriously and sees how much joy they bring the child when he lets him play with them! That’s it! This movie is about LEGOS!

If you ever played with these kinds of toys you would realize this. When they talk about not following instructions, they are referring to the instructions that come with each LEGO set, not the Bible. Most kids want to take the Lego sets apart and make there own creation! That’s what the movie is talking about! Just being creative and having fun with the toys. There is absolutely no pro-Satan message at all.

I realize a lot of people might not understand the humor if they have never played with these toys, but to say that there is an evil message in this movie is simply not true. In fact the message is pro-family, when the father decides to play with the toys with his son instead of keeping them all to himself. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—James, age 28 (USA)
Negative—I’ll keep this brief and to the point. The Movie was a feature length toy commercial, trying to fit in as many different pieces as possible. My opinion of the “plot” is that it was boring and stupid. My tween son thought so too.

To agree with Paul and disagree with James, there were heavily occultic elements to this film. To name only one instance of many, Emmet opens his mind to the mystical bearded guy, and it is an empty plain. This is transcendental meditation. Very occultic.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Laura, age 45 (USA)
Negative—We enjoy watching movies with our 4 children, but this movie has caused me to write a review warning. Some funny parts, but that is overshadowed by homosexual undertones found in the movie. Not sure if they were injected for adult humor. As a Christian for 20+ years, I have not seen such subtlety in a children’s movie. Would strongly suggest watching first before allowing your children. If you enjoy male characters acting effeminate, you may like this. Very disappointing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Lewie, age 40 (USA)
Negative—I have to say I am extremely surprised that so few Christians are offended by this movie!! It is not a movie that I would allow my children to see, and, in fact, we turned it off and explained to our son that God calls us to keep our hearts and minds pure, and that goes for entertainment, as well.

Here is a review that lays it out perfectly in one sentence… “After it seems a Christian worldview is [intentionally] constructed, it appears to be as intentionally deconstructed.” I am saddened by how many will allow themselves and their children to watch this movie because it’s so well made. It is. It’s a great movie, as long as you are not a Christian… but the road to Christ is narrow… and this movie (as well as MOST) are not on that narrow road. I’m equally surprised and saddened that the reviewer of this movie had nothing negative to say. As Christians, if we knew our Bible, we couldn’t possibly give this movie a thumbs up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Karan Simone, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I too agree with the above reviewers about the mystical, or even occultic, content in the film. The first time I watched the movie, I became aware of a few negative aspects; however, I initially laid them aside, as I thought the ending had a good message about the relationship between the father and the son. The other night, my two boys were watching the movie in the other room, and I could hear the movie sound effects and voices quite clearly. It was then that I picked up on what I believe are subliminal messages. I heard the words “sex, sex, sex” during a part of the movie where a viewer would probably have heard a different, yet phonetically similar sounding word, because their eyes were focused on the action in the movie. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Josie, age 37 (Canada)
Comments from young people
LEGO Movie, The (2014)
Positive—I honestly don’t know why people are saying this movie goes against the Bible and God and the instructions. For one, President Business, for me at least, represents Satan’s hold on the world’s point of view and culture. He’s brainwashed us with sin and worldly views, not godly views. Trying to instill morals we think is good, but don’t agree with the Bible. The Master Builders I believe are the Christians, the people who rebel against the culture and the worldly views and actually take action against Satan’s effort. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brandon, age 17 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I have no intention of seeing The Lego Movie and I cannot understand the hype about this movie. It’s just basically a movie about some characters… and they’re LEGOS! I’m hopeful this movie portrays good and bad in a Biblical manner. I just think this movie has a dumb set-up, hopefully there’s little immorality; if it has good lessons, repentance, or other forms of goodness in it, I’m OK with it. It doesn’t even sound like a movie, it sounds like something a child would think of as a movie: The Lincoln Logs movie or The FisherPrice movie being two other ideas of what it sounds like. Enjoy your LEGO Movie if you wish to and God Bless.
—Peter, age 23 (USA)
Positive—This comment goes to the Non-Viewer PETER. Peter, I just don't understand your comment. I don't get why you'd take the time to write something you don't understand (you said it yourself!). It isn't necessary to let others know what you think of the setup when you haven't seen the movie yourself. Plus, it is a movie for kids and you also are clearly 23 years old. I have been interested in LEGO since I was very young, and that is why people think the movie would be good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Nic, age 29 (USA)
Negative—Just based on the commercials, I was curious about this movie. I never got around to it. So I asked my 29 year old and 39 year old what they thought about it. I was told, “That movie is not for you,” amid giggles. When asked why, “It’s offensive to Christians, it’s not a “Kid’s movie. It disrespects God all over the place.” The negative comments I read here seem to support what my nephews (atheists) said. It’s scary when Christians don’t have a Christian worldview.
—Pamela, age 59 (USA)

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO