Despicable Me 4 parents guide and review: The movie delivers on high expectations

A parents guide and review of this family favorite franchise's newest addition. Despicable Me 4 brings more of the characters we love to this summer movie!
Despicable Me 4 key art - credit: Illumination
Despicable Me 4 key art - credit: Illumination /

I was so excited when I found out that there is a new Despicable Me movie coming out. This franchise has been a favorite of mine and my kids since the first one came out in 2013. Last week I shared my ranking of the Despicable Me moviesDespicable Me 4 hit theaters on July 3rd! My kids and I reserved our seats, front and center to dive into the latest of this family favorite! Illumination, Gru, Minions, The Girls, and some villains are all present and accounted for. With the help of amazing music, some Minion shenanigans, and a few new additions, Despicable Me 4 feels like it was always meant to be part of this story. 

Without giving too much away, Despicable Me 4 picks up with Gru and his lady love Lucy, the three girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, and a new baby named Junior. All is not as it seems and after a threat from a villain, Gru and his crew must go into hiding. Moving into a new community can be difficult. Throw in the awkwardness of Gru in a pink polo shirt, three lovable but weird minions in tow, and a nosy new neighbor, all is not simple and easy to blend in. 

As the movie unfolds we get to see Gru and his crew trying and failing to fit into this new community. All while trying to bring down the new villain, who has his own small and loyal army. In an adorable and funny side plot, Gru's son Junior has a strong dislike for Gru. Which I’m sure you can guess he handles horribly and is constantly trying to win over his little guy's love. I also love that the dynamic between the three girls and Lucy appears to be strong and happy, they continue to call her Mom. I love the continuation of these relationships within the higher-octane action, fights, and secret agent action. 

Despicable Me 4 has all of the expected and favorite parts. There are adorable Minions doing random, cute, and funny things. They take over the AVL headquarters and become the craziest coworkers to ever exist. In a bid to help 5 Minions become super Minions and “help” (Yes, that word being in quotes was intentional. Their help left a lot to be desired in the funniest of ways). The Despicable Me 4 soundtrack has music that keeps you bouncing in your seat. This movie has fights with bad guys and even some secret sleuthing. One of the highlights came when the previous villains made an appearance. It was unexpected and wonderful to see these former villains. It felt like the gang was back together and was a true highlight for my kids who gasped excitedly when this moment happened on screen. 

I went into this movie with a lot of expectations and Despicable Me 4 delivered!  Now, let's break down this movie from a parent perspective. 

Despicable Me 4 parents guide: Explaining the PG age rating

At this point, I typically expect some jokes in kids' movies that will go over the heads of kids but provide some entertainment to the older crowds also watching. Despicable Me 4 had none of these. This didn't make it boring at all, it was very much geared towards kids while still keeping the adults entertained. It was an extremely funny and entertaining movie with not one inappropriate joke or insinuation. I’m sure as a parent that will be appreciated. 

Violence - There is some fighting in this. There is villain fighting and some general threats are made which causes Gru’s family to go into hiding, but nothing is even remotely scary about this scenario, and it is explained in a fun and easy-going way to move the plot along. 

Language - There were no curse words in Despicable Me 4. At least that I could tell. The Minions do speak in their own little language, which I am not fluent in. But, the English language was all appropriate. 

Sex & nudity - Despicable Me 4 keeps things very clean with no nudity or even a slight hint of sex. 

What age is Despicable Me 4 for?

Despicable Me 4 is a great movie for all ages! Myself, my husband, and our three teens loved it. In the theater, we saw elderly people, teens, tweens, elementary-aged kids all the way down to preschool-aged kids. Everyone laughed at the right times, enjoyed the action, oohed and ahhed in the best parts, and giggled uncontrollably with the Minion's cuteness. This movie is one for all ages and an amazing addition to the Despicable Me franchise! 

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