CTR Movies Review: What Parents Need to Know About "The Grinch" Before Seeing It with Their Family

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Video Companion
THE GRINCH Trailer 2 (2018)

CTR Movies (formerly Mormon Moviegoers) is a conglomerate of Latter-day Saint film critics looking for gospel messages in Hollywood films. We also review movies and give you a heads up about content so you can make an informed decision. It was founded by Jonathan Decker, author of 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families. For more of this sort of thing, join our Facebook group and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube

What's The Grinch About?

In this cinematic adaptation of the book by Dr. Suess, the Grinch lives a happily solitary life in his mountain home with his dog, Max, and wreaks passive-aggressive havoc on the people of Whoville. When Christmas comes once again and the holiday cheer becomes too much for him to handle, the Grinch concocts a plan to take Christmas away for good. 

Is It Any Good? (Grade: B+)

A surprisingly entertaining and touching story about change and forgiveness, this iteration of Dr. Suess’s famous Christmas story gives us a new take on a very familiar story in a way that is both fun and fresh. Using old characters and new, this movie is highly recommended for families with children of all ages. 

The Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (whose voice, by the way, is nearly unrecognizable), stays the same curmudgeonly scrooge but with a different motivation (that I don’t want to spoil for you) which provides us with a better understanding of him and a bigger love as a whole character. Cindy Lou also receives a character update, becoming a smart, strong, feisty, and wonderful character whose selfless Christmas wish ultimately provides the Grinch with the needed push from the dark side to the light.

Add in a new cast of secondary characters we’ve never seen before, such as the aforementioned single mother of Cindy Lou and an incredibly jolly neighbor who proclaims himself the Grinch’s “best friend,” the movie is a surprisingly fresh and funny take on an old story.

Is It Okay for Your Kids?

Rated PG for brief rude humor, I think you’ll have a hard time finding something that would stop you from taking children of any age to this movie. However, the small things I noticed are these: the words “stupid” and “dumb” are used once or twice, and characters get injured for comedic purposes. All in all, this is a feel-good family Christmas movie suitable for everyone.

Any Worthwhile Messages?

People can change for the better (“Progress Through Change”, Marvin J. Aston, Oct 1979 General Conference). “For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (3 Ne. 13:14–15).

Lead image from CTR Movies


 Lindsi currently works for BYU in the Theatre and Media Arts department and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time, she loves photography, stand-up paddleboarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing, visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.


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