Minions: The Rise of Gru Movie Review

You couldn't turn on the news a few weeks back without seeing the TikTok trend of "gentleminions," where kids dressed up to see the new movie Minions: The Rise of Gru. While no one was getting their debate suits out of the closet for this home screening, we did pop some popcorn and settle in for a family movie night with all five of our boys (several of them teens) and both parents. 

No one was going to miss this epic and long-awaited movie title!

Minions: The Rise of Gru is just as charming as its predecessors, even though it's a prequel to the Despicable Me films. Those who are familiar with the Minions lore will love that it's situated after the Minions first find Gru, but before he becomes an accomplished villain. 

The story follows an 11.5-year-old Gru as he navigates school, family life, and teen fandom, which includes obsessing over the "Vicious 6" -- a gang of supervillains with their own posters, lunchboxes, and more. When young Gru receives an invitation to try out for the gang with a full "The Voice" style audition, he is disappointed to learn they didn't know he was a child, and he resorts to drastic measures to get their attention and that long-awaited invitation to join the gang.

At the same time Gru is testing his villain skills, the Minions are learning new moves of their own, in the form of martial arts through a plucky, middle-aged woman they find in San Francisco's Chinatown. This may be one of the more comical story arcs offered in the film, with plenty of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" moves all done with the laughable incompetence that only a wide-eyed minion can provide. This was the part of the film that got the most laughs from all of our family members.

Other story details include a reconnection with an almost-retired superhero, some creepy mystical powers that turn the supervillains into animals, and music -- so. much. music. The 70's funky soundtrack is just too delightful to miss, with the minions even doing their own rendition of  the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What you Want." 

This movie has enough silliness with sight gags and fart guns to keep the little ones roaring, but contains that same heart and message of belonging we've come to expect from the Illumination Studios franchise. If other movies released this season have you doubting the future of family films, consider renewing your hope with this refreshingly honest and innocent flick.

Voice talent includes: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Andrews, and Alan Arkin.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is available on digital, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD now from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. (Be sure to check out the bonus features included on select formats.)

*screener provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Opinions are our own.