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Despicable Me 3

also known as “Mi villano favorito 3,” “Bjaurusis As 3,” “Cattivissimo me 3,” “Dumma mej 3,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for action and rude humor.

reviewed by: Keith Soencksen

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Kids Teens Family
Genre: Animation Adventure Comedy Family Sequel 3D
Length: 1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release: 2017
USA Release: June 30, 2017 (wide—4,529 theaters)
DVD: December 5, 2017
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Relevant Issues

Sibling rivalry

About stealing in 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.
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Featuring Kristen WiigLucy Wilde (voice)
Steve CarellGru / Dru (voice)
Julie AndrewsGru's Mom (voice)
Steve CooganSilas (voice)
Russell BrandDr. Nefario (voice)
Jenny Slate … Valerie Da Vinci (voice)
Miranda Cosgrove … Margo (voice)
See all »
Director Kyle Balda
Pierre Coffin
Producer Illumination Entertainment
Janet Healy
See all »

If you had told me back in 2010 that my family and I would enjoy the Despicable Me franchise, I would’ve said you’re crazy. When the first one came out that year, I recall wondering why any self-respecting Christian would waste time and money on a kids’ film with such a self-deprecating title. True, American society has gone way overboard with the self-esteem movement, but this seemed to be like sliding into the opposite ditch. But eventually we saw it and liked it. We found the humor very good, and the story of a bumbling, amateur “villain” (Gru) becoming a loving father was surprisingly heart-warming. We enjoyed the second installment too, although we had perhaps set our expectations a little too high based on the first one.

The third film in the series starts with the same basic cast of characters, this time battling new villain Balthazar Bratt. Another new addition is Gru’s twin brother Dru (could his name be anything else?), both voiced by the very talented Steve Carell.

The plot begins with Gru and Lucy as special agents working for the Anti-Villain League (AVL), which is trying to bring down Balthazar. As a villain, Balthazar is far more goofy and odd than he is scary or evil. When Gru and Lucy fail, they are fired by the AVL’s new head, and they come home jobless.

Soon thereafter, Gru becomes aware of a twin brother that he never knew he had. Dru brings Gru and Lucy to his lavish pig farm, which we learn is merely a front for underground villainy. Dru’s character is purposely ostentatious and obnoxious, , and he initially tries to recruit Gru back into being a villain. Before long however, the brothers and Lucy are fighting to bring down Balthazar Bratt, who is intent on stealing the world’s largest diamond.

Content Cautions

Nothing about DM3 is overly concerning, especially if you are familiar with the first two DM movies. The violence is all of the cartoon variety and pretty tame by today’s standards. In fact, when the main characters face off, it is done in the form of a “dance fight” set to music. Nothing graphic or scary.

Like most kids’ movies these days, there is a fair amount of potty humor to wade through. There are farts, burps, joking references to private parts, peeing one’s pants, and the like. Though unnecessary, it has become standard fare. Although there’s no shortage of it here, I wouldn’t say it was overdone or shockingly inappropriate. But viewers who find this offensive should be aware.

Sexually, while there’s nothing suggestive or seductive, there is definitely some borderline cartoon nudity in one part. Gru has his clothes ripped off in one scene and winds up covered in bubble gum. The problem is that he’s about 75% naked, with the bubble gum barely covering his private areas. Honestly, it was more gross than anything else. Aside from this, when Gru’s girls surprise he and Lucy with a dinner party, the minions are shown wearing coconut shell bras. When one minion’s shell unexpectedly falls off, a minion standing nearby rushes to cover the exposed spot (but since the minions are not anatomically human, there is nothing behind the shell).

Language in the movie is clean except when Balthazar angrily uses a term that’s intended to sound similar to “son of a b”, but he of course changes the offensive b-word to something else that begins with ‘b’.

There is no spiritual or religious content aside from one brief and very subtle reference to the “yin and yang” symbol commonly associated with the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Few people will notice this and there is no dialog about it.

One last caution is a reference to divorce. When Gru is stunned to learn that he has a twin brother, he also learns why he was never told: When his parents divorced, his mother took Gru, his father took his brother, and the parents vowed never to see one another again. It’s a sad commentary on an all too real experience for some kids, and it could be disturbing for kids whose parents have divorced.


In summary, there is neither any significant concern nor any redeeming value to DM3. If you’re looking for a slapstick, action-packed, animated flick that pits a villain against a hero, with (occasionally rude) humor sprinkled liberally throughout, then you probably won’t be disappointed. If you liked the first two, you’ll probably like this one about the same. It’s not the kind of movie that’s worth dissecting or thinking too deeply about. It’s really pretty surface level—again, standard fare nowadays, and about what I would’ve expected for the third in the series.

While the “Despicable Me” movies have been generally enjoyable, I kind of hope that ticket sales are not enough to support a fourth installment.

Violence: Moderate / Language: Mild—“b**bs” / Sex/Nudity: Mild

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

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
  • Positive
  • Positive
    Positive—I really enjoyed this movie! For some odd reason, it received a plethora of negative comments, but I actually found it about as good as those that preceded it. Many people have complained about the negative aspects of the film, but since I thoroughly enjoyed it, I would like to briefly point out some positive elements.

    Firstly, there is a great deal of emphasis on family, as Gru and especially Lucy interact with the girls, and later with Dru (Gru’s brother). Also, gender roles seem to be more traditional in the film than in many others movies I’ve seen (I’m not talking about the “Minions” here): Gru concentrates on defeating the villain and obtaining the item he (the Villain) stole, while Lucy tries to focus on her new role as a mother. See all »
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
    Esther, age 22 (USA)
    Neutral—There is one scene where the littlest girl is praying (maybe to find a unicorn), but she does imply praying to a higher authority. Just a thought, the rest of your review is spot on.
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
    Jim, age 56 (USA)
    Negative—Excellent animation and characters. Awful story, sexual innuendos, and frequent bodily and bathroom humor. They were handing out surveys for the movie as we went in. There were only a handful of people in the largest theater on opening weekend—now we know why.

    • The story promotes bad/criminal behavior, including an extended prison scene in which the minions seem to glorify Gangsta culture.
    • It often resorts to crude humor, such as men’s clothes being blown off and the naked men ending up in something resembling a pink thong—happens twice.
    • Getting kicked in the privates.
    • Two men shown in 69 position.
    • Two characters in underwear rubbing their butts together.
    • A line about a man peeing himself. On and on.

    Universal /Illumination is no Pixar. With this movie, not so hidden things/images are being slipped in. Recognize the underlying agenda? Too bad, because Gru as adopted father, and his wife trying hard to be good parents, Gru resisting temptation to returning to being an evil villain, the girls trying to help their patents in many ways was all great, and Agnes” obsession with unicorns (“Was it FLUFFY?!!”) was heartwarming and funny.

    But I wouldn’t recommend DM3 because of the unfunny crude humor, sexual innuendos, and promotion of bad behavior. The message seems to be: criminals are very successful, criminals are cool, and “even committing a crime is okay if done for the right reasons.” Evil/sin packaged to look good. And the animation is outstanding.
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
    Tori, age 40+ (USA)
    Negative—This movie was so bad that I even heard small children telling their parents that this movie was not very good. It rarely was funny. The villain was silly. The fairness is to judge this movie against the first two and even by that standard it is sorely lacking. Waste of time.
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
    —Tom, age 57 (USA)
    Negative—This movie was so disconnected and boring. It was like watching different movies, the opening did not move into the second part of the story easily, nor relate to the family issue Gru faced. I fell asleep about ¼ of the way in, it was so disinteresting, and then I left at ¾ of the way, when I woke up. Anyone expecting the charm and comedy of the first 2 movies will surely be disappointed. Do not waste your money!
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
    Prusci, age 57 (USA)
    Negative—This was a real disappointment. We waited until it hit the “second run” theater and paid $3.50 each—and boy, we were overcharged. What could have been a cute movie about a new family—both Gru/Lucy and the girls and Gru / Drew—was boring and didn’t explore anything deeper than getting to the next rude joke.

    The scene with Gru and bubblegum—really, how is that defensible for our eyes? How is that defensible for the little eyes in the theater? The constant rude jokes surrounding the Minions—enough is enough. If you’re not honoring God—there is no neutral ground—you are dishonoring Him with your time and money.

    Skip the Despicable Me series—they’ve proven they’re not worthy or our time or funds.
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
    Casey, age 52 (USA)

    PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

    Comments from non-viewers
    Negative—My family enjoyed the first and second “Despicable Me” films. We hesitated regarding the “Minions” film, given the previews showing a minion in a thong swimsuit romancing fire hydrants in a bathtub. DM3, however, will not be on our list of films to ever see, given the previews. Two things in particular stood out: Gru being stripped naked, and a minion commenting about a statue’s bust size.

    These are marketed as children’s films, but those things are definitely not child-friendly material.
    My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
    Jason H., age 45 (USA)
    Negative—Am I the only one who saw the part where the villain got his clothes blown off naked. And the hung by his privates????? Seriously??? No one else saw that????? Talk about shock and aww and inappropriate for a PG rating. But hey… I guess that’s potty humor now days?
    My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
    K, age 39 ()