I don't know about you, but I certainly would not want to declare war on Robert De Niro. But that's just what Oakes Fegley does in The War With Grandpa. In this no-spoilers review I'm sharing my thoughts on the plot, the language used and the PG rating. Is this move for the entire family or do some children need to be in bed before you sit down to watch it?
Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of The War with Grandpa in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The War With Grandpa Spoiler Free Movie Review + Inspired Treat
The War with Grandpa: Movie Synopsis
Sixth-grader Peter (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 (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.
Related: The War With Grandpa New on Digital & Blu-Ray
The War with Grandpa: Parent Review
It's The Wise Guy vs. The Small Fry in an epic prank battle over a bedroom.
After a deceleration of war is signed between the Secret Warrior and the Senior Solider, IT IS ON. Peter and Ed show no mercy as they go tit for tat in pranks. All Peter wants is to get out of the attic and get his room back and all Ed wants is some peace and quiet (preferably, I'd guess, in his own house).
Prank battles, dodgeball tournaments and chase scenes. It is fair to say The War With Grandpa has it all.
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For all of the laughs, The War With Grandpa is also packed with a lot of heart. There are tender family moments and lessons learned amongst all of the hijinks.
The core of the plot is relatable, an aging parent is deemed (by their adult children) unfit to live alone and soon there are three generations under one roof trying to navigate close quarters.
A tween who wants his own space (and his room back) and a grandpa who wants his old house back - they might just have more in common than they realize.
Is there anything more relatable than Robert De Niro arguing with a self check out register in a grocery store? Answer, no. Until you get to the scene of De Niro trying to learn how to fly a drone, that is.
The cast list is stacked with A listers; De Niro, Christopher Walken, Uma Thurman, Cheech Marin, and Jane Seymour are all featured in this family comedy. The star is 100% De Niro here as he does a great job at blending together his no-nonsense tough guy roles of the past with a turn as a lovable (and loving) Grandpa.
Within 60 seconds of the film starting you hear one of the kids say "suck" as they enter school. A little later on the word "crap" is said and I also heard "stupid".
These are certainly mild and are not piled on one on top of the other. They are spread out throughout the film and it does not feel like an onslaught of foul language.
The PG Rating
The War With Grandpa is rated PG for "Rude humor, language, and some thematic elements".
I previously mentioned the language used and it is also worth noting that on more than one occasion De Niro finds himself in a compromising position with his pants down.
Nothing is seen of course, but a bare chest in one scene and the back of his bare legs in another, but just something to keep in mind.
I think the PG rating is fair for this film, most of the peril that Peter and Ed find themselves in due to their pranks is not life threatening or scary.
Jenny's Christmas birthday party is the scene for the most danger any one character faces in the film and for a few spilt seconds, Santa appears to be in some serious trouble, but alls well that ends well.
The War With Grandpa: My Final Thoughts
Let me start by saying Jenny (the youngest member of the clan) is a girl after my own heart. She keeps the Christmas spirit alive all movie long, wanting to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, sining Jingle Bells, dressing in holiday themed outfits and she even picks Christmas as the theme for her birthday party (in September) - I feel ya girl, I feel ya.
While the movie originally was out in theaters back in October, it graced us with its presence on digital and Blu-ray just before Christmas!
During a recent Twitter Watch Party there was talk on if The War with Grandpa is a Christmas movie or not, and while I didn't think about it at first, I'd say it qualifies to be a film that is watched during the holiday season.
The family element of being a film that multiple generations can watch together makes this a perfect holiday time movie for me.
This is an epic prank battle and while young Peter is most definitely serious about his declaration of war, I did enjoy that they still had Peter and Ed exchange "I love you"s proving you can still love someone and be in a prank war.
This may be a small detail in the grand scheme of things but it was something that stood out to me. I think it is important for kids (who fair warning, will be getting a lot of prank ideas from this film) to notice that the pranks were not mean-spirited and while intentions were to annoy someone no one was ever meant to get truly hurt.
Age Recommendation: 6+
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There are jokes that will go over younger children's heads (De Niro quips "I've got one finger that works" after Peter characterizes him as being old with fingers that don't work).
In the film, Peter and his friends are 12 but I think some of the slap-stick comedy will make kids as young as 6 laugh and I'm sure they'll think some of the pranks are cool.
As a mom with two under the age of 4, I opted to watch this one on my own. I don't believe this film will keep preschoolers' attention; there are no animated elements and no song & dance scenes.
I laughed out loud multiple times throughout this film, it was cast so well with so many heavy hitters, everyone is on their A game here.
No spoilers but, if I was a betting woman I'd say there is bound to be a War With Grandpa 2.
The War With Grandpa is out on Digital * Blu-ray NOW!
The War with Grandpa Inspired Cake Pops
These fun and festive cake pops inspired by The War with Grandpa will make the perfect movie night treat!
By now you know I am team: The War with Grandpa is a Christmas movie and these cake pops totally tie in the Christmas element while also looking super yummy!
They were crafted and created by over at PopcornerReviews.com. Follow these step by step instructions and enjoy your next family movie night!