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Review – The Lego Movie

With the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson. Written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. Rated PG for mild action and rude humor. 101 minutes.

THE LEGO MOVIE is a novelty film that will score with some people and will play like a YouTube short bloated to 101 minutes for others. This reviewer is in the latter category. However let’s be fair and talk about its virtues first.

With the exception of a live action sequence late in the film, this is an animated movie done entirely with Lego blocks. There may be some computer animation involved. Certainly the movement on the character faces is separate from moving the physical pieces. In that sense it is very impressive, whether it’s watching a Lego city come to life or a Lego boat move across a Lego ocean, the effort and detail involved is mind-blowing. This was obviously a labor of love to the people who made it.

If you are a Lego devotee, and are familiar with their many sets and variations and products, this is a film for you. As the characters move from space to space, or as characters from DC Comics and “Star Wars” make their appearances, there are continuous shout-outs to the Lego fan base. If you’re one of their number, then there the numerous in-jokes and references will make perfect sense.

And then there’s the rest of us. The story involves Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt), who is just another worker doing his job and following the rules. President Business (Will Ferrell) does not feel there’s enough conformity and perfection and has a plan to make everyone in the Lego universe permanently posed in the ideal manner. Emmet inadvertently discovers something that can foil his plan, and so President Business sends out Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) to prevent that from happening.

The not-very-clever names already reveal a big part of the problem. The jokes are lame and rarely rise above the predictable. A “Star Wars” gag–not be to be spoiled here–is more impressive for the animation than for the actual joke. Meanwhile, Emmet is rescued by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and brought to Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) who has foreseen a savior to defeat the evil Business. Emmet isn’t sure he’s The One, but he is attracted to Wyldstyle who, alas, already has a boyfriend: Batman (Will Arnett).

The story continues to run along the various Lego play sets as Emmet and the rebels try to foil President Business’s nefarious plans. The problem is that the plot is simplistic, the jokes aren’t very funny, and if you’re not a Lego aficionado you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. Clearly inspired by a number of short films made with Legos (this is one of the best), it failed to pick up the most important lesson from them–you need to have a funny script first.

If you can tell the Lego Wild West town from its pirate ship from its spaceman set and are intimately familiar with them, then no doubt you will have a great time at “The Lego Movie.” If all you know about Legos is that they’re plastic pieces that snap together and that you or your kids played with a long time ago, it will feel like a very long 101 minutes.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 2 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His first novel, Shh! It’s A Secret: A Novel About Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide has just been released. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.


About Daniel M. Kimmel

Film critic, author, lecturer.

104 responses »

  1. wow…out of 91 reviews so far on rottentomatoes, you are one of 2 you didn’t like the movie. hey at least you will get people to read your review just to see what an idiot you are.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Ah, so your theory is that the job of the critic is to run with the pack and not express their own opinions. Interesting. You must be constantly disappointed.

      • Hamilton Whitney

        Here, I’ve fixed it for you: “THE LEGO MOVIE is a imaginative film that will score with most people and will confuse and bore people like me with no soul”

        Jabs aside, to say that it will score with “some” people when obviously the overwhelming majority enjoys it rings a bit false.

        I see absolutely no reason why you have to be a LEGO aficionado to find enjoyment and humor here. Is LEGO knowledge required to understand the difference between pirate ships and the wild west? To chuckle at the jokes at the expense of a brooding dark knight? I don’t see how most of the various are shout outs to a LEGO fanbase, but shout outs to pop culture and people with a sense of humor.

        This is a movie celebrating imagination and creativity and “If all you know about Legos [sic] is that they’re plastic pieces that snap together and that you or your kids played with a long time ago” then you have a very sad existence indeed. This movie and the bricks that inspired it are both truly for all ages.

      • Haha! Love that reply.

        You seem to have a rather interesting sense of humour. Not to be rude, but giving The Lego Movie, a film who’s 30-second trailer made me laugh aloud several times, the same score as The Nut Job is just little insulting to The Lego Movie’s writing staff.

        I guess you’re just not one for dry humour?

      • You gave 3/4 to I, Frankenstein but a 2/5 to The LEGO Movie? Sounds like you intentionally go against the pack. I wonder what you would have scored it as if nobody else had reviewed it yet

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        Look at my ten best list and tell me I go against the pack.

      • I do think that your job as columnist is to say, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” and yes, I do think that you are doing that here. How often do you mention that other people will like it in your reviews.

      • I’m sorry for that guy dude. Write however you want. Ignore the Internet.

      • Chris White (@neolego)

        I have to partially agree with Bill here. It’s not so much about going with the pack, but it just feels like you are forcing yourself to find fault with the movie just to be critical.

        I haven’t seen the movie yet (tickets are purchased though!) so I won’t say you are right or wrong. But I do feel like being a critic doesn’t mean you have to be a cynic. Unless of course you truly are only after clicks, in which case I read your review so mission accomplished.

        P.S. I do plan to be back once I watch the film. 🙂

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        Such cynicism. I give my honest opinion. I’m with the majority on RT 73% of the time. I was bored with this supposed “children’s film” that’s filled with supposedly “clever” jokes meant to appeal to the adults in the audience and which fell flat again and again.

      • I’m OK with this review, because you didn’t give away important plot points like that other guy who disliked it.
        Still… wouldn’t you say it’s a cut above most children’s animated films?

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        No. I’d rather see “Frozen” or “Despicable Me 2” or even the disappointing “Monsters University” any day.

      • Sheep will be sheep. I’m really looking forward to this movie and, while I’m saddened that the movie isn’t going to get a full 100% on RT, I’m not going to whine and cry about it. I can’t criticize your review either because you do bring up valid points; personally, I wouldn’t enjoy a movie either if I wasn’t able to relate to it on some level. At least you didn’t hand out any spoilers like the other rotten review. No movie is ever going to appeal to the masses – it’s just not possible. Cheers.

      • Ignore the idiotic hate you’re getting for having an unpopular opinion.

    • That’s how I got here.

  2. Did you even laugh at all throughout the film?

  3. THE LEGO MOVIE is a novelty film that will score with some people and will play like a YouTube short bloated to 101 minutes for one other person.

  4. This is the sort of movie I didn’t give two cares about until I saw the overwhelming critical praise. Even after all that I’m still only interested enough to give it a rental down the line. You’re review makes me all the more curious because you say anyone who doesn’t deeply know legos will have a hard time caring and that seems like an odd and unlikely statement; I can’t imagine the 90 other reviewers are all lego obsessed.
    What sort of lego “shout-outs” are there other than the overall look/setting? I have some nostalgia for the actual toys but that’s not enough for me to care deeply about seeing this movie.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if it was the pop culture references like both Michelangelo the artist and the Ninja Turtles, and the DC comic characters like Flash and Green Lantern.

  5. I’m not sure how you can give the LEGO movie a negative review because the “plot is simplistic” yet give ‘I, Frankenstein’ a positive review for being “fast-paced and slickly made”. Maybe these reviews accidentally got switched?

  6. I don’t think its actually necessary for critics to follow other critics, it just says your taste is out of line with the majority of other people, so why would the general population follow your recommendations if the general population of critics thinks this movie is worthwhile?

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      At RT at 4 pm EST more than 33,000 non-reviewers (i.e., audience members) have rated it. It’s at 91% which is very impressive. But that also means almost one in ten views DIDN’T like it. Are are you going to tell those 3300 or so people they’re wrong and their opinions should be ignored? Why is it so important to you to have YOUR opinion validated? I don’t care if people agree or disagree with my views on a given film. It’s part of the discussion. However the notion that the job of the reviewer is not give an honest personal opinion but, instead, to hold a finger to the wind to see which way it is blowing is ludicrous. There are reviewers like that. They are not worth following.

      • David Von Bostaph

        You do realize that those “reviews” start even before people have seen the film. Lots of films get hate even before they are released. But that aside, I think you missed the point of the film.

      • And the hate for critics that “ruin” a 100% rating starts before any of the commenters have seen the film.

      • But there are parts of your review that show that you did not get the message of the film. For example, you say the “not-very-clever names already reveal a big part of the problem. ” The naming concept is explained during the live action sequence.

        And you keep saying that the jokes were not funny. They were VERY funny. I also have not played with Legos much since the 70’s and I got references pretty well. I want to see it again to see what I missed.

  7. It looks like there aren’t as many people in your ‘rest of us’ group as you think. Sorry you guys missed the boat.

  8. Fess up, Daniel. You’re bitter ’cause your parents only let you play with Mega Bloks as a kid. I truly hope I disagree with you after seeing the movie. Based on the trailers, clips, and the other reviews, I doubt I’ll be disappointed. “Everything is AWESOME” is my current favorite song!

  9. Was this review aimed at informing adults about the lack of fulfillment they can expect to be provided from a movie designed for children? Brilliant!

  10. I think the job of a critic is ultimately to tell us if a movie is worthy of spending money and time to see it, and not to push biases. i.e. is it a “genuinely” bad movie? It’s easy (and lazy) to say: “well if you know lego then it’s a good movie for you… I don’t, so there, it’s a bad movie…” . That’s the definition of bias in my book, one way or the other (like bill above who probably has a definite penchant for lego).

  11. Do you think going in with a clear mind and disassociating it with the popular toy product would assist here? Maybe attempting to view the movie as it’s own piece rather than it’s association with the product many grew up with as a child.

    If not, then to each his own. I have not viewed the movie yet, but a part of me is worried simply from the trailer alone, as it seems to have the potential of simply trying too hard.

  12. sure is a good way to get people to read your review…

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      No I’m not that cynical. I write my honest reaction to the film. Sometimes I’m with the crowd, sometimes not. FWIW, my reviews follow the “Tomatometer” 73% of the time. Some are whining because it’s not 100%. As a side note, of the three negative reviews currently there, one of them is by Wesley Morris, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his film criticism.

      • Mr. Wesley Morris gave away the 3rd act of the movie…he should have alerted readers for spoilers…I don’t know if there is a rule regarding alerting readers for spoilers among critics writing reviews. I am just saying it would be nice if he did alert readers.

        I had watched the movie with low expectations and to my surprise, it really is a great movie. Mr. Kimmel is entitled to his own opinion. He did his duty as a critic. Every review is subjective and I have learned to see a movie and rate it myself despite good or bad reviews by critics. We are all different. We don’t like the same things or movies. So, Mr. Kimmel is just writing his honest review here. And I thank you for doing your job. Keep on writing!

  13. Franklin Kendrick

    The film is certainly geared to young kids and those who are Lego enthusiasts, so those concerns that a lot of the humor will go over the heads of the casual viewer are legitimate. I grew up with the toys, so some of the visual gags with the characters/pieces were jokes that I would laugh at and others unfamiliar would not. I work a theater that is showing this, and it will be interesting to see the opinions of the parents vs. the kids. Thanks for this review, Mr. Kimmel!

  14. I feel like this review doesn’t take in the fact that this was made for a younger audience. Sure, you as an adult may not get or like the jokes, but reviewing it based upon how it doesn’t apply to your adult humor for a movie so obviously meant for a younger audience….is a bit disappointing.

    That and looking at your comments it looks like you take things personally as well.
    (though I don’t know if “not conforming” is the wisest response to criticism).

    It seems to me like your review is too subjective. I mean the movie is called “the lego movie” yet most of the problems you seem to have are:
    1. no interest or interaction with legos in an enjoyable setting
    2. an adult mindset going into a kid movie.
    3. You have a rating system that doesn’t seem appropriate. A 2/5(rating) for what is mostly complaining about how you don’t get the jokes and how it’s irrelevant to you. The rest is a simple summary of the movie.

    I feel X/5 or X/10, percentage based reviews for what you are writing is a bad idea given the subjective nature of your reviews. Do you really like a movie 20% more than another? How do you justify that?

    It would seem wiser to make your grading system “Did not entertain me” or “was entertained”. Some variant of that would better apply to your type of reviews and let your readers know quickly and with more certainty what you thought about the movie.

  15. Daniel, you said the movie would score with SOME people. No, it scored with ALL people, except you. Could not care less about the movie but cynical hacks like you do irritate me.

    • “ALL” people? What a lousy attitude. Don’t use absolutes please >_> I personally saw and frankly hated this movie, and some other people also disliked it. Notice “some”. People like you just make me hate its fanbase.

  16. wow, any reviewer that thinks this was a stop motion film lost me…… time for a new job

  17. I dont think you should have to make your review positive just because the majority of other critics did. That ruins the whole point of reviews. However the one flaw I can see is that you are saying the glaring flaw in the movie is that it will be enjoyed by young LEGO, which is the exact demographic they are going for. A strong critic can put themselves in the heads of the target audience and not just say weather the movie was for themselves or not.

  18. It’s funny how the movie has a strong anti-conformist message, yet many of its fans can’t accept a different opinion.

  19. It was his opinion and he did not like it that dose not mean he is wrong. Every person likes some movies but dislikes others. I don’t feel any film should be 100% on rotten tomatos because no movie every person is going to like if anything sometimes to good of reviews it could raise expectations too much. I disliked 2001 a Space Odyssey but I can still see why others like it. Also a couple years ago I saw Piranha 3-D with some of my friends and my expectations went up when it was in the 70’s on rotten tomatos since that seem high for this type of horror film and came out later trying to figure out why it had such a high score. I am just saying just because someone dose not like a film doesn’t mean they are wrong. I am not a huge Lego person and only had a few sets as a kid. I saw the Lego movie last night with my friends since they wanted to see it and loved it but I can see where people might not enjoy it as much as I did. He is a critic and did not like the film. It is better that he gave his honest opinion on the film which is better then him writing a lie.

  20. “What all the fuss is about”
    aaaaand here’s your proof the critic only gave it a rotten review because he saw how well it was doing with other critics and wanted to be different.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Sorry, sport, my review was written and posted before I saw any other reviews.

      • Your opinion is dead on. I would add that I think this was more of a movie for boys (which is fine) than for daughters. My 3 daughters laughed once and one fell asleep for 45 mins. I was extremely jealous of the latter. I also didn’t see the wow factor of the dad hugging son at the end. But I did cry when Anna saved Elsa in Frozen, so I guess I must be a dad with 3 daughters.

  21. Michael A. Burstein

    This is a very well-done negative review of the film, in which the reviewer understands that the film might appeal to an audience of which he is not, and then even says that for them, it would be a good film. (I’d even take a review that says this film is meant to appeal to the Lego audience, but won’t for the following reasons.)

    Daniel M. Kimmel’s opinions are valuable, even when I disagree with him completely, because he understands the job of the film critic. And responding to his opinions, even if just in my own mind, makes me understand where my own opinions of these films come from.

  22. The plot of kids movie is simplistic. Wow that’s a shocker.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Compare with “Toy Story 3,” “Bambi,” “Shrek,” “Beauty and the Beast,” many others. Animated features made for children (and adults) do not have to be simplistic.

      • That’s true, although Shrek is not the best example.
        Nevertheless, great films have been made for all audiences with simple stories. Look at King Kong, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings. All had simple, straightforward plots, but they were so rich and well-executed that it didn’t matter.

  23. I always say what makes America great is expressing one’s opinion. Obviously a lot of you have missed that memo. He didn’t like it, that doesn’t mean everyone is going to agree. If you like the movie, more power to you. I have yet to see it myself and I probably won’t see it until it hits cable.

    Not everyone has to go with the other critics and say they like it just to keep the peace or to fit in. You have to have a mind of your own and judge objectively based on your own observations. The review was fine and well written. Accept that he didn’t like it and go read the review of someone who did.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Thank you. For the record I have said many times that my standard for reviewing is that a person should be able to read my review, disagree with it, and yet still get enough information to help them decide if he or she would like it.

      • Still, the opening and closing statements feel a bit inappropriate. They imply that non-LEGOhead readers are liable to hate the movie, when in fact it is earning universal acclaim (I didn’t make that up, Metacritic uses those exact two words).
        Also, it’s primarily computer-animated, not mostly real LEGO.
        Yeah, LEGO, not “Legos”. That’s a mistake and should be fixed.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        Well if Metacritic (gasp!) says it’s “universal” then how dare anyone dissent!

      • “Universal acclaim” means that an overwhelming majority of critics were positive, which is true. Metacritic assigns that label based on statistics, it’s not like the Consensus on RT which is written by some guy.
        Universal acclaim is a fact.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        “Universal” does not mean “majority” or even “overwhelming majority.” All you’re saying is that a lot of critics liked the film. We know that. It doesn’t make it a “fact” that it’s a good film, only that a number of critics hold that opinion. Critics — including myself — are not infallible. Just look at how rarely a film gets 0% or 100%.

      • Also, you still seem to be arguing against the idea that you’re not allowed to dislike it. You’re totally allowed, I’m not going to question that. Hold what opinion you will. However, it’s not right, as a critic, to project your own feelings onto other people. If the evidence shows that the film is widely acclaimed, it is illogical to predict that many will agree with your marginal (and again, totally valid) position.

      • BTW, I posted that last comment before you posted yours.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        It seems to upset you that I am not the only one who disliked the film. RT reports among AUDIENCE members — not reviewers — that nearly one in ten do NOT like it. That’s a pretty strong favoriability, but it is NOT “universal.”

      • The projections you are making about whether or not I am upset are irrelevant.
        I don’t see your “one in ten” figure… Are you referring to the 8.2/10 average rating? Are you viewing additional data as an RT user?

      • Also, there is no objective definition for a “good film”, since that is by definition opinion-based. Acclaim provides a measure of perceived quality.
        I never said it was good as a fact. I said it was acclaimed as a fact.
        If the term “universal” seems exaggerated to you, then I’ll go with “very wide acclaim”. The point still stands.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        RT lists a collective rating for critics and for audience. It is currently at 97% among reviewers (all 106 of us) and 91% among audience members (out of 33,455 voting). That’s nearly one out of ten audience members voting on RT who did NOT like it.

        And, there are many terrible films that have been “acclaimed” and good films that have not. Acclaim, like awards, are nice, but they are not proof of quality. BTW, it’s worth noting that I was with the majority 83% who rated “Ride Along” as “Rotten.” It is the OPPOSITE of “acclaimed.” It has also been the number one movie in the country for three weeks running.

      • There must be some catching on my end, because I still see a 96% rating for the audience. I’ll take your word for the 91%. I am a bit surprised to see it that low, since those ratings are usually higher than the critics’. Of course, it may well increase over time.
        Your notion of “quality” is flawed, because a film cannot objectively be called good or terrible. It’s ALL opinion. I glean from your “Ride Along” quote that you think “good” is interchangeable with “financially successful”. Is that really how you see it?

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        Look all the way to the right of the page. It has critics at 97% and audience at 91%. As for your wild misreading of what I said about “Ride Along,” your conclusion is the exact opposite of what I was saying. Critical raves or pans are not the only measure of a film, and a film can be reviled and still be popular with audiences. That doesn’t make it “good.”

      • I know, but it still displays 96% on my end.
        But tell me now, HOW can you say a film is “good” as a fact, when that is by definition a matter of opinion?

      • In fact, you’ve been dodging that question for a couple of comments now. So please explain: how do you objectively define a “good film”, independent of popular or critical opinion?
        And yeah, “LEGO” not “Legos”.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        “Objectively define a ‘good film’ independent of popular or critical opinion?”

        Do you even understand just how absurd that question is?

      • You seem to be under the misapprehension that I think the film is good.
        I never said that. I never meant it.
        I only meant that people at large seemed to like it better than you were implying.

      • Hang on, let me quote you: “And, there are many terrible films that have been “acclaimed” and good films that have not.”
        This statement proves that you believe in an absolute standard for quality.

      • See, the absurdity is the point. YOU’RE the one who believes in absolute quality.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        I think it’s time to give this a rest. You are no longer arguing with me. You are arguing with some imaginary person saying things that I never did.

      • You said that. In reply to me. Don’t deny it. Just press Ctrl-F and search for those exact words.

      • Press Ctrl-F from the top of the page, too, otherwise it may default to my own citation. Press Enter if it does anyway.

      • Oh, and don’t even think of editing your comment, because this page has been archived and your comment screen-capped.

      • I mean, I understand what you mean by good films not getting acclaim (like an independent film that gets overlooked because of limited release), but “terrible” films being acclaimed? THAT is subjective.

    • Bravo! Well said. Everybody chill out and leave Daniel alone.y

  24. Roger Ebert’s gone against the pack on more than a couple of occasions, e.g. giving negative reviews to ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘The Elephant Man’… but at least he explained himself (to be honest, much as I liked ‘Clockwork Orange’, the last third DID feel like the last half).

    I scratch my head at what being a Lego aficionado has to do with anything, but people feel how they feel about movies, and compared to a few disingenuous reviews I’ve seen on Rotten Tomatoes, who give positive reviews to e3verything except what’s universally panned, your review is a fair one (I just came out of said film about twenty minutes ago… I didn’t find it the laugh riot your colleagues had built it up to be, but maybe it was because I was largely surrounded by preoccupied tykes and their exhausted parents).

    P.S. You’re REALLY going to dislike the inevitable Playmobil movie (I hear it’s a German art house film about the doldrums of factory work and unrequited love).

  25. Just so wrong, it upsets me.

  26. The commentators have raised valid points, but you haven’t listened. Let me recap them:
    _LEGO/Lego not “Legos”. Fact.
    _The film should please most, not “some” people, and they will not necessarily be LEGO aficionados. You seem to think this is a matter of opinion, even though it’s backed by statistics: most=majority, some=half or less.
    _It is not stop-motion. Fact.

  27. Nicholas Stedmon

    While I am sure I personally will like the film, I would just like to comment supporting your review, as I think it was well-written without being disparaging, as so often must be the temptation for critics to do on children’s movies. While RottenTomatoes is an excellent resource, it can lead to people jumping down critics throats for being the blemish on an otherwise perfect score, even though the review merely expressed there opinion.

  28. Thanks for your honest review Daniel! 🙂 I don’t think there’s ever been a movie that’s been loved by absolutely everybody, so I don’t understand why people are determined to get so hysterical about one review.

  29. Yann is a boring obsessive. Fact.

  30. Wow…did you watch the same movie? I think maybe you should give it another chance. We went to a packed theater and there were points where people were laughing so hard we couldn’t hear the next joke. It is very rare that you can go to a true-honest-to-God-family movie and have as much if not more fun (because you get more of the jokes) then your kids. You should honestly watch it again with a more open heart and mind.

  31. You are entitled to your opinion, but right away you make it clear that you completely missed a huge part of the heart of this movie. The so called “not very clever names” are not very clever on purpose. The entire movie is (spoiler alert) a kid’s playtime. Those are the kind of names kids come up with when they play. When you view the movie through that lens, you see just how clever and magical a lot of those little details are.

  32. First of all, I’m not one of those obsessives whose life falls apart when “their” movie doesn’t score 100% because some evil critic gave it a negative review. And I do find, somewhat frequently, that the one (or 10) critics who did not like a movie do, in fact, touch upon something that I probably wouldn’t like about it, either. So, those critics can’t be dismissed.

    That said, I loved this movie. I’m not a Lego devotee, and I’m not a part of their fan base. Yes, as the father of a 10-year old son, I’m familiar with the sets (and am not impressed), but I am not emotionally attached to any of them, not even the Legos of my childhood.

    What I take issue with in your review, Daniel, is the repeated idea that “if you’re a devotee, if you are a part of the fanbase, if you can tell the playsets apart and you’re intimately familiar with them, if you’re an aficionado” THEN this movie is for you, you’ll have a great time, etc.

    But if you’re not, then you won’t.

    First of all, just who out there isn’t familiar (on some level) with Batman, Superman, Abraham Lincoln, basketball players, cops, cowboys, spacemen, Star Wars, or MIchaelangelo, etc.? No one has to know anything about their Lego versions to get a joke about any of them, because the jokes in this film are not, for example, about Lego Batman playsets, they’re about Batman.

    Secondly, who exactly cannot tell the difference between a Lego Wild West town and a Lego pirate ship? Virtually no one. I’m sure you can, Daniel. And what led you to believe an intimate knowledge of said playsets was the key to enjoying this movie? Once again, the jokes weren’t about the playsets, but the themes.

    Your job as a critic is to tell your readers what YOU think about a certain film, and to give support for your opinion. Your job is not to tell others if they’ll like it or not, because you have no idea whether they’ll like it or not. And yet, again and again in this review, you claimed to be able to get into the heads of your readers and assert that, if they meet your rather meaningless criteria, then they’ll like it. And if they don’t (like yourself) then they won’t.

    Your review can be summed up this way: The Lego movie is great, it scores, it’s a film for you, and it makes sense. It’s also a bloated youtube short, you won’t know what the fuss is all about, and it will feel like a very long 101 minutes. So, you said it was great and it wasn’t great at all. It all depends which (extremely) narrow group you fall into.

    You can’t say with any authority that a movie is funny AND it isn’t funny. It cannot be both. You found it unfunny. Now, THAT’S your job and, believe it or not, I respect your opinion.

    But you cannot know with any certainty if anyone else will find it funny.

    To assert that some will really like a movie that’s unfunny, bloated, and a slog just because they know the difference between a spaceman and a cowboy or have a soft spot in their heart for the titular building block is condescending. And that’s what you did, Daniel.

  33. My ten year old son laughed throughout the movie as a true LEGO fan who loves to use his imagination with the building blocks for his own creations (which are quite good artistically and in design).

    The scene which got to him the most was between Will Ferrell’s father and son HUG. That’s not a LEGO ploy to sell merchandise. It was really the meaning of the movie. SOME WANNBE CRITICS MISS THAT.

    At the end my son applauded, and slowly the rest of the theater applauded, too. Those people, too, gave their humble review.

    I doubt if he will ever grow up to have the qualifications or desire to ever be a critic

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Actually most real movie critics knew not to ruin the movie for viewers by discussing that scene in their reviews.

      • He doesn’t have the “qualifications or desire to ever be a critic”, and the meaning of a movie is the whole purpose of a review.

        Otherwise, the review means nothing.

        A review such as yours means some children will never see the movie because their ‘adult’ parents won’t take them based on your poor 2/5 rating.

      • Daniel M. Kimmel

        Explaining the “meaning” of a movie is not at all the purpose of a review.

        And any adult who has basic reading comprehension skills should be able to read my review and decide if it is appropriate for their children.

  34. Some of you really need to find more worthwhile things to do other than complaining about people having a different opinion than you. Grow up.

    I was a huge LEGO fan when I was younger, but I didn’t really care for the movie much. The visuals were fantastic, and I liked the basic story, but a lot of the jokes just didn’t work for me.

  35. The reviews don’t make me think that the lego movie it’s good. Makes me think that it’s just another overrated movie about toys. Just like Toy Story franchise.

  36. I liked the movie, but seems to me many people are on here to just give a guy who had a different opinion than most a hard time. His job is to give HIS opinion, which he did. So what if you don’t agree. I don’t agree but I’m not on here attacking him for it. You guys are making yourselves look like asses.

  37. Just figured I’d mention one thing that jumped out to me in your review.

    “With the exception of a live action sequence late in the film, this is an animated movie done entirely with Lego blocks. There may be some computer animation involved.”

    It might surprise you to know that almost all of the movie was done using CGI. Aside from the Lego blocks you mentioned in the live action sequence and a few specific sets/backgrounds, almost everything you see is computer animated. In most cases, I’d simply be my usual disappointed self about the overuse of computer animation in a movie, but the fact that people are still mistaking it for “the real thing” even after seeing the movie makes what was accomplished all the more impressive. Yeah, they’re still just supposed to be blocks, but this movie achieves one of the closest things to photorealism that I’ve ever seen done with CGI. Despite being a (mostly) animated movie, I feel like it’d be a travesty if this didn’t at least get a nomination for Best Visual Effects at next year’s Oscars. Seems unusual to suggest that an “animated film” could be up for such an award, but in this case, I feel it would be well-earned.

  38. If you did use a 10/10 rating system, what would you have given this film? Just curious! 🙂 Also, did you review ‘Gravity’? If not, I’m curious about your personal views on that movie.

  39. Daniel,

    I disagree with your opinion, but I felt obligated to pause for a minute and congratulate you for posting the only honest negative review I’ve stumbled across thus far.

    You highlighted what you liked before delving into what you did not, and even then were tactful in your criticism.

    I did want to point out that the film does take a moment to establish for the audience that all of what is being seen, save for Batman and the various cameos, is new to the LEGO brand. If you’ll remember, Unikitty explains that, while there are many different worlds within the LEGO brand, the focus of the story is only on a handful introduced in the film.

    They flash past LEGO Friends, Technic Bionicle, and a few others before establishing that Cloud Cuckoo Land, Bricksville, Middle Zealand, and the rest are new. Granted, without prior knowledge as to what the various LEGO worlds are it’s a moot point, but the film does pause to cover that detail.

    Thank you for your honest review, and for putting thought into your words before fishing for hits.
    — Jake

  40. I am a true die-hard lego fan, and I got all the subtle inside jokes. That said, I kept thinking throughout the movie, “Lego casuals aren’t going to get a lot of this”. I noticed the girls in front of me weren’t laughing when I was. People will enjoy the eye-candy factor, but if that’s all you get out of it, it’s a long movie. You are spot-on with your review.

  41. devilsmountainlodge

    When I read through your review, the one part that really jumped out as odd was:
    “[If you are]… intimately familiar with them [the Lego sets], then no doubt you will have a great time at “The Lego Movie.”

    I thought “what the heck would that matter?”

    But then I thought about the part that made the laugh the most…
    The part at the master builders meeting when they first refer to the “1980 something” spaceman.

    If I had NOT had that very “1980 something” Lego figure when I was a kid…
    Would I too have thought that joke to be lame and not above above the predictable?

  42. I was looking for a reviewer that agreed with me on this movie. In my opinion 2.5 out of 5 at best. I took my 3 daughters to see it. One fell asleep, other two thought Frozen was a lot better. I agreed with all 3 girls and was struggling to stay awake. It had a handful of funny parts/lines and if whole movie was about Batman or Ferrell’s lines regarding gadgets, probably would be 4 out of 5. If all about Batman and gadgets, and not a spoon fed ending of a parent should really let their kids be a kid and take time to be with them (what a novel idea), then 5 out of 5. I guess I am in the minority as I also didn’t really like Cloudy With Meatballs 2 or Monsters Inc 2, but really liked croods, despicable me 2, Frozen and wreck it ralph. But to each his own and perhaps Lego was more of a sons movie, and with me playing barbies, dolls, and dress up with my girls, I couldn’t relate and would rather have watched Frozen for a 4th time.

  43. I enjoyed the movie and I never played with Legos, and neither did my two girls.

  44. Dan, a tip for the future: when you find a film to be unfunny, and you have any reason to suspect that your response might be personal and not universal, try to describe the style of the humor. I thought it was hilarious, but I’ll admit that most of what was funny was self-referential. You know that I love that, and I know that you’re very lukewarm to it, at best. (I also loved that the film ultimately provided a reason why the film characters knew that they were part of a story that called for certain tropes). When you describe a film’s style of humor and admit that you personally are not fond of that style, it allows readers to determine whether they might in fact have the opposite reaction. And I think that more readers will understand that you’re just giving an honest reaction rather than trying to be contrary.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      The only problem with your analysis is that I didn’t dislike the film’s humor because it was self-referential. I disliked it because it didn’t make me laugh. I found the jokes lame.

  45. texassinkholefan226

    I didn’t find the film even remotely entertaining, and I enjoy many animated features. I am even quite nostalgic for the toy itself, as it was my favorite as a child. This was just one throwaway pop reference after another with barely any plot. Much rather have seen something timeless, with a more interesting premise done with it. I honestly don’t understand why this got the love that it has. Give me Totoro any day.

  46. I like how the lego movie , a ” work of art ” (imdb reviews) got a higher score on rotten tomatoes than pulp fiction. I mean the clever jokes like the scene where batman throws the batarangs a few times missing his target and then finally declaring how he got it right on the first attempt ? Wow comedic genuis. Was carrot top a writer of the script ? Even for a childrens movie these jokes where horrible. The supressed anger in unikitty bursting out in the final fight ? Never seen that before. This and frozen was by far the most over hyped movies of all time.

  47. Sometimes when I have a long day, I like to look for negative reviews of popular children’s movies written by adults. You sir, came through in spades for me. Both my kids love this movie, and all their friends as well. Perhaps you were forced to review this movie? At any length, this was a joy to read and I thank you. Monday doesn’t feel so bad when I know there’s a guy out there who has to live your life.

    “The plot is simplistic, the jokes aren’t very funny”. Granted it wasn’t Inception or Momento, but let’s be honest, the movie was made for kids.

    Can you review Seseme Street next?

    Gold. Honest to goodness gold. Thanks again.

    • Daniel M. Kimmel

      Very droll. Of course when the children’s movies are good, I say so. And when they are middling but I think kids will like them, I say so as well. Nonetheless, it’s a pleasure to be tolerated by you.


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