It’s a battle between grandfather and grandson in Robert De Niro’s, The War with Grandpa. Touted as a family comedy, is this film truly kid-friendly? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements in my The War with Grandpa Parent Movie Review to help YOU decide if it’s appropriate for kids. As always, no spoilers!
The War with Grandpa Parent Movie Review
I am so excited I can finally share my thoughts on this new movie! I screened The War with Grandpa two weeks ago with my family. Ironically enough, my parents live with us, and this movie focuses on a grandfather moving into his daughters home. As a multi-generational family, it was fun to all sit down together for a few good laughs.
Ed (Robert De Niro) is recently widowed and missing his wife. He’s stuck in a rut of just going through the emotions of life, but not really living. His daughter, Sally (Uma Thurman), is worried about her father and insists he come live with her and her family.
Everything sounds great until sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) learns he must give up his bedroom to his grandfather. Not only will he lose “the best room in the house,” but he is being deported to the attic, aka: “where you put stuff and forget about it.”
The new living arrangements spark the ultimate WAR between grandfather and grandson! Peter is determined to win back his bedroom and pulls out loads of outrageous pranks! While yes, a lot of these pranks are certainly over-the-top, this battle seems to give Grandpa Ed LIFE! He now has a purpose, to defeat his grandson!
Star-Studded Supporting Cast
There are A LOT of big names in The War with Grandpa. While De Niro and Fegley take the lead roles, the supporting actors definitely hold their own. Christopher Walken, as Ed’s longtime friend Jerry, is naturally hysterical. He’s like a big kid. His role is truly “Christopher Walken,” if you get what I mean. Cheech Marin (Danny) is another friend and oh my goodness is he hilarious! Honestly, he’s a bit of a dirty old man! But it’s not too over-the-top. Jane Seymour’s character, Diane, is a feisty character, and fits in with “the boys” well.
When I had the opportunity to interview Cheech Marin and Jane Seymour, I asked them about one of the most iconic scenes in the movie…THE DODGEBALL SCENE!! It was so fun chatting with them and seeing their true personalities and interactions with one another.
Is The War with Grandpa Kid-Friendly?
All jokes aside, is The War with Grandpa appropriate for kids? Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor, and language, this movie clocks in at 1 hour 34 minutes. The length is certainly ideal, however, there might be some things parents will want to watch out for.
Violence: This movie is loaded with TONS of outlandish pranks by both Peter and his grandfather. Think of the film, Home Alone. You’ll be seeing pranks similar to those. Completely over-the-top, yet most kids will know this isn’t something that would happen in real life. I hope. There is the theme of bullying in the school. It could offer teachable moments and conversation starters to have with your kids.
Language: There was definitely some. The opening scene specifically caught my eye as there’s a sign on Peter’s school that says, “Welcome to Hell.” Other words used throughout the movie were: suck, shut-up, idiot, wise ass, and Grandpa Ed makes the comment, “I have one finger that works.” And while the dodgeball scene is one of the best in the movie, there is A LOT of trash talking. But for me, the most disturbing quote came from Peter when he says, “I just want to curl up in a ball and die.” Those are some very strong words, and while Peter was speaking figuratively and not literally, it’s not something I personally like my children to hear.
Adult Themes: Peter’s sister, Mia, is caught multiple times making out with her boyfriend. There are also multiple scenes where Robert De Niro’s character loses his pants. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hysterical, but parents might appreciate the heads-up. I did mention that Cheech Marin’s character, Danny, is a bit of a dirty old man. He is constantly making comments and checking out younger women.
Age Recommendation: I watched this film with my husband, two children (ages 6 & 10), and my parents. We all found this movie enjoyable and fun. I will say that it really didn’t hold my 6 year old’s attention. He liked the pranks, but he wasn’t into the storyline. I’d recommend The War with Grandpa for ages 8 and up.
Robert De Niro and Oakes Fegley are the perfect matchup in The War with Grandpa. Filled with life lessens and heart, this is one laugh-out-loud family film you don’t want to miss!
THE WAR WITH GRANDPA SYNOPSIS
Sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) is pretty much your average kid-he likes gaming, hanging with his friends and his beloved pair of Air Jordans. But when his recently widowed grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with Peter’s family, the boy is forced to give up his most prized possession of all, his bedroom. Unwilling to let such an injustice stand, Peter devises a series of increasingly elaborate pranks to drive out the interloper, but Grandpa Ed won’t go without a fight. Soon, the friendly combatants are engaged in an all-out war with side-splitting consequences.
Based on the award-winning book by Robert Kimmel Smith, The War with Grandpa is a hilarious family comedy featuring an all-star supporting cast: Christopher Walken, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Laura Marano and Jane Seymour.
The War with Grandpa is playing in theaters October 9th!
Want to go behind the scenes with the cast and filmmakers of The War with Grandpa? You’ll enjoy this post!