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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 Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
WHAT’S THE GRINCH ABOUT?
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss, in this adaptation the Grinch lives a happily solitary life in his mountain home with his dog Max, wreaking passive aggressive havoc on the people of Whoville. When Christmas comes once again and the holiday cheer becomes too much for him to handle, he 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. Seuss’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 is highly recommended watching for families with children of all ages. The best example of this is Cindy Lou, who becomes this amazingly fun character, whose only Christmas wish is that Santa can grant her single working mother a bit of a break.
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 that 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” and the resulting 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 your child 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. Ashton, 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.)
Watch-at-Home Pick: looking for another great animated holiday movie? Arthur Christmas is truly fantastic, underrated, and underseen. Watch above to learn why, then rent or buy it here.
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 paddle-boarding, 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.