Lo, another 3-D animated kid movie demonstrates that cartoon storytelling pitched to young people is the last, best refuge of sprightly filmmaking this hard, hot summer.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
So much is going on in this movie that, while there's nothing worth despising, there's not much to remember either.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
A whip-smart family movie that makes inventive use of the summer's ubiquitous 3-D technology is something worth cheering.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
An improbably heartwarming, not to mention visually delightful, diversion.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Despicable Me has enough visual novelty and high spirits to keep the kiddies diverted and just enough wit to placate the parents.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The result is pleasant and diverting, if ultimately forgettable, and it's one of the rare instances in the recent history of 3-D's resurrection as The Savior of Cinema in which the technology doesn't dim the screen or distract the focus.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
Right now, any excuse for air conditioning will do. So it's a happy bonus to find that Despicable Me is more than just a heat-busting baby-sitter.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It looks so stylish that thinking about its plot is strictly optional.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
There's a fine line between gleeful anarchy and wasted energy, and Despicable Me has a wonderful knack for staking out its spot and staying on the right side.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
The movie finishes strong, managing to be sweet without being saccharine. It's no Toy Story 3, but Despicable Me is a solid alternative.
Mary F. Pols - MSN Movies
The film is funny, energetic, teeth-gnashingly venomous and animated with an eye to exploiting the 3-D process with such sure-fire techniques as a visit to an amusement park.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
By taking the "heart" part just seriously enough, and in the nick of time, the movie saves itself from itself.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Like the best kids' entertainment, this creates a daffy little world all its own.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
Short, sweet-and-sour, and amusing rather than funny, Despicable Me can't help but be likable.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
You'll probably leave the theater smiling, but don't expect to be emotionally engaged, Pixar-style. You'll be tickled, not touched.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The result is a sweet and witty bit of animated fun with both eye-popping 3-D effects and a warm heart.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Neither as rich in story nor stunning in animation as Pixar offerings, Despicable Me instead settles for simply being goofy good fun, and it hardly seems like settling at all.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Since villains so often steal the show in animation, Despicable Me smartly turns the whole operation over to megalomaniacal rogue Gru.
Peter Debruge - Variety
Despicable Me may not be the most sophisticated kids movie ever, but it stacks up against recent animated fare like How To Train Your Dragon the way The New York Review of Books compares to USA Today.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Despicable Me is a 3D cartoon comedy of whiplash-quick laughs, funny punch lines and a wickedly gimmicky appreciation for 3D.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
What may be the summer's wittiest kids' flick.
Jason Anderson - Toronto Star
Despicable Me is darned cute. I know cute isn't to the lofty level of "message storytelling" but it can be entertaining to watch when done correctly.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
This animated thing pretty near out-Pixars Pixar.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
This is a smartly written comedy with a soft emotional core.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A fun 3D cartoon about a supervillain who goes up against three young orphans.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Kids will dig it, adults will smile with amusement, and no one will be any different afterward than they were walking into the theater.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
This is an agreeable confection with a few soft spots.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
You don't need to know more except that directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud are expert are springing surprises from the ingenious script by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The film throws so much ersatz cleverness and overdone emotion at the audience that we end up more worn out than entertained.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Lighthearted yet entirely forgettable...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
I expected another short, simple kids' film with a few jokes and maybe a few loud noises to keep the children interested, but to my surprise, it ended up being much more than that.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
A consistent stream of chuckles and a lot of convincing heart.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
A movie that mistakes grotesquery for wit--in other words a perfect vehicle for Steve Carell.
Louis Proyect - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The film benefits immensely from a Carell lead vocal turn that's loopy and droll.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
This breezy movie is more fun when it doesn't worry about saying anything important and lets the zany antics unwind.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Despite its evil theme, Despicable Me is likable and heartwarming family entertainment.
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
The main goal in Despicable Me is to tell this story with as little sap as possible, and on that it fares well.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Guaranteed to keep the kids entertained, but the film shamelessly borrows from far too many other movies to keep the adults happy.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
With no other performance coming close to being as layered as Carell's, the rest... is played for laughs to such an extent that it never reaches Pixar-plotted heights.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
It would be a serious examination of the family in the postmodern age, were it not so laugh-out-loud funny.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
A very likeable 3D animation that combines originality and charm with a pleasing, spiky humour.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
The animation is fine and crisp with some imaginative use of colour, while the 3D really brings the action to life.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
A frenetic 94 minutes of laughter, thrills and heart-warming sentiment.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
Another Pixar-wannabe rolls off the production line, reminding us why we should accept no substitutes.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
There are enough dashes of originality and narrative surprises to keep adults entertained, at least.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
The film is constantly laugh-out-loud funny, and the voice cast (which also includes Julie Andrews as Gru's disapproving mother) is exemplary.
Terry Staunton - Radio Times
Balanced a tad uneasily between action fantasy and redemptive heart-tugger, this frenetic CG animation has an identity crisis as big as its hero's inferiority complex. That said, it'll do until Megamind arrives.
Neil Smith - Total Film
A remarkably effective combination of deranged humour, nutty slapstick and cute sentimentality.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
When an actor has just hit a career low -- as I think Steve Carell did in the desperate Dinner for Schmucks -- it's a relief to see them bounce back with a performance that clicks, in a hit film that really needs their services.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
It is a perfectly agreeable family entertainment, but not exactly original and nowhere near Pixar's great creations.
If you look hard enough, certainly there are problems to find with Despicable Me, but it's an enjoyable and fun Sunday afternoon movie, primed for multiple viewings even if you don't get anything else out of it the second and third times around.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
It's no first-rank CGI cartoon, but shows how Pixar's quality over crass is inspiring the mid-list.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
One of the year's most likeable family entertainments.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
This is a clever, funny, exciting and touching film which looks great in 3D.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Despicable Me just about finds the right balance between heart, humour and whizzbang 3D spectacle.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Throw in a feelgood soundtrack, some effective 3D, and the best slap-headed uber-villain since Dr Evil, and you've got a recipe for worldwide box office domination.
Matt Risley - Sky Movies
Unambitious, surprisingly dull in places, depressingly low on decent laughs and ultimately let down by a lazy central performance from Steve Carell.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
How to Train Your Dragon and the astonishing Toy Story 3 have set the animation bar ridiculously high this year, so it's hardly surprising that this sometimes fun but disposable caper is a bit "meh" by comparison.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Despicable Me, the first 3D 'toon from Illumination Entertainment, doesn't just rip off a Pixar film, oh no. It rips off three of them.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
When the film finally hits its stride around the halfway mark, it's partly because the script has settled into a rhythm and partly thanks to Carell.
Matt Neal - The Standard
While lacking the sophistication of The Incredibles, Despicable Me is still a fun series of throwaway gags and slapstick.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Trying to turn bad into good-bad results in wonky entertainment.
Ben McEachen - Empire Magazine Australasia
Una cinta que le compite con mucha dignidad a las historias de Pixar. Una fabula bien producida, entretenida, divertida e ingeniosa. Una cinta para toda la familia.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
This light-hearted caper is brightly coloured and up-tempo, featuring plenty of cool gadgets and baddie-vs-baddie hijinks.
Andrew Hedley - Flicks.co.nz
The 3D effects are deployed most effectively in a sequence at a theme park, Vector's 'squid gun' and the climactic showdown, but I'm not sure they justify the premium price.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
It's an engaging movie that feels to be aiming for -- and happily gestures towards -- the bright inventiveness of the Pixar studios.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
The French directing team of Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud have some fresh ideas for how 3D can enhance animation artwork, and every one of these concepts is executed wonderfully.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Gru is a wonderful creation, the animation is consistently stylish, and those little Gru helpers provide plenty of amusement as well.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
As a family film, Despicable Me gets full marks -- it's fun for all, and the kids at this screening were charmed. As a piece of animation, however, it has its moments, but it's not the pick of the CGI crop.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
Sweet as a lollipop and scoring high on the cute factor (the Japanese will swoon), Despicable Me is a screaming hoot if you're 8-ish
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
A combo of derivative, innovative and kooky. It's colourful and bright with larger than life characters and a techno-themed plot that counters themes about self-esteem, family and belonging
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
A sharply written and not overly frantic film that seems to have Looney Tunes in its genes and saves its surprisingly touching moments for just the right times.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
High bar stuff for kids, and pleasant enough for adults.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Not as a brilliant as the least of Pixar, but it was a nice surprise.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Apenas razoavel do ponto de vista tecnico e simplesmente reprovavel em seus aspectos criativos, exibindo claramente suas tentativas pateticas de seguir uma cartilha narrativa de sucesso inspirada na magnifica Pixar.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
For whatever imperfections it may have, the combination of Gru, the minions, some cool animation, and a lot of wit make Despicable Me worth taking the whole family to see.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Kiddie-level animated feature with a lot of jokes that hit below the belt, but the characters are lovable and its heart is in the right place.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
You can feel the French sensibility ringing throughout "Despicable Me." There is a cool aloofness to the proceedings that gives the film an edge and helps to make its dark humor something unique and unexpected.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Supervillains exploiting orphan girls is funny! At the inevitable melting of Gru's stony heart, the film turns into something else entirely. That which it turns into is sloppy and a little unsatisfying, but it is still irresistibly sweet, thanks to this
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
Too sweet and not sour enough, Carrell and his mutant Twinkie minions still entertain.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
This film is mildly amusing, but by next week I probably will not remember anything about it.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The whole movie is automatically working against this assault of noise. The decision to give the main characters eastern European accents makes them more annoying too.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
This dark family comedy with its steal-the-moon premise is hilariously over-the-top, yet understandable from a child's perspective.
Thelma Adams - Us Weekly
Despicable buoyed by clever script.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
It's also just silly and funny, and doesn't that warm your cynical heart even just a little bit?
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
As the movie progresses ... it's clear that beyond some mildly clever sight gags, it is content to mine the same middling formulaic territory of so many other kids' films.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
It's perfectly harmless fun, that devolves by inches into perfectly harmless pablum.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Not despicable enough. Not cute enough. Not funny enough. At least they push the 3-D to near absurd levels. Yes, roller coaster, I'm talking about you.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
delivered with an energetic mix of dark humor and emotional genuineness
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Leaves the latest Shrek lying in the dirt like a beat-up has-been.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
After an awful opening, Despicable Me turns into moderately boring fare for about 10 minutes before climbing to the heights of OK-dom with flashes of inspiration.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Despicable Me is hilarious and heart warming. The film makers found a perfect balance between using the 3D as a gimmick and using it for depth of field.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
Despicable Me works as adult comedy in the same intelligent sense as Dr. Seuss rhymes.
Armond White - New York Press
Gru is a lot like "The Grinch" but not so much that you won't be won over by this first cousin.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It's the delightful characters that enchant in this first-rate production
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
a smart, funny, and perceptive animated film that dresses up its unabashed sentimentality with a droll mix of dry humor, deadpan slapstick, and clever writing that is slick, wicked, but never snooty
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Despicable Me is a missed opportunity to do something far more interesting than tell a surprisingly flat, utterly predictable story. Pity the script isn't as sharp as the folks acting it
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
It delivers on the promise: it's simply a fun movie.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
A more lovable animated villain than Gru would be hard to find. It's a treat to watch three adorable orphans draw him into their web.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Even though Universal pillaged and pilfered Pixar's magic set of crayons, at least they made an entertaining flick.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
The story is straight formula: an old curmudgeon's life is forever changed by a) falling in love, b) finding the perfect pet or c) helping some kids. In this case it's kids.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Despicable Me is a true for-all-ages animation but it leans more to us adult than to little kids, though they will like it too, especially Gru's amusing minions.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Despicable Me follows a tried and true formula of good story decent animation = entertaining family film. But it isn't quite up to Pixar quality.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
Lets loose with a volley of inspired sight gags, a smattering of adult-oriented humor, and some screen-pushing innovations to justify the 3-D expense.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Decent movie that falls victim to 5 key flaws: A marketing campaign that gives away all the best parts, I generally don't like Steve Carell, boring minions, bland and lifeless animation and it's in 3D.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
...does what it is supposed to do, is relatively fresh and colorful, and probably won't give anyone bad dreams. It's not a Little Golden Book, but that doesn't mean it won't be remembered with affection.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Every youngster will want their own toy Minion to take home. Parents will appreciate and enjoy this movie on a distinctly higher level. The running time of 95 minutes is perfectly geared to match a
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
A triumph of both story and animation that's thrilling, witty, hilarious, heartfelt and entertaining for kids and adults simultaneously.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Despicable Me is charming, fun and poignant. Maybe Pixar and its minions should be watching their backs.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Despicable Me is Gru'd enough until the next Pixar smash arrives in theaters.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Clever, funny, and sweet villain-with-a-heart-of-gold tale.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
It's certainly possible that yet another summer masterpiece from Pixar has made me cynical about animation from other studios but, to this viewer, Despicable Me doesn't follow through on its clever opening act.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Despicable? Perhaps not the adjective of choice but certainly a stone's throw away from the nearby neighborhood of boring, random and witless.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Weds a Charles Addams drollness to Looney Tunes one-upmanship.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
An animated James Bond film in reverse, this is an imaginative computer-generated comedy that owes a significant debt to the old Chuck Jones Road Runner cartoons.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Despicable Me is one of the better CG efforts in a while. It may tickle your heartstrings more than your funny bone, however.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
So if delicious nastiness isn't Despicable Me's thing, what is? Rampant, merciless cuteness.
Tim Grierson - The Simon
Despicable? Hardly. Oddball fun? Oh, my, yes.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
It's all thoroughly adorable, and with an overlay that's nearly as odd as Carell's accent: Despicable Me looks a lot like other computer-animated pictures...
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
The most fun in Despicable Me comes in the tiny form of Gru's minions.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
With the Russian accent, Carell sounds more like Ivan Drago promising that he "must break you."
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
For all their foiled schemes, super-villains usually win the day with audiences. So is it any wonder actors prefer playing charismatic, fiendish outlaws over leaden, square-jawed do-gooders?
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
A film is only as good as its villain - which is why this succeeds so well - and be sure to stay for the amusing end credits.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
For an animated movie about super villains, 'Despicable Me' is remarkably sweet and warm.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
Despicable Me plays it right down the line, and delivers on that line in a perfect fashion.
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
The storyline gets so bogged down in the minutia of the moon caper, that by the second half of the film, when we finally develop feelings for these characters and things start to improve, we barely care.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Directed by animators Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and featuring the best voice work for an animated character since Robin Williams' in "Aladdin" (1992), the film is a very pleasant Gothic surprise...
James Verniere - Boston Herald
When one can only select a precious few memorable moments from a movie, something is obviously missing from said film. In "Despicable Me", I count two such moments.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
There's always something colorful and beautifully designed to look at, Carell makes his character's transition completely believable and those little girls will melt the heart of even the most despicable viewer.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Come for evil, stay for the cookie robots.
Dave White - Movies.com
- National Post
Unfortunately Despicable Me is just, predictably -- eh. And the one thing the larcenous Gru never steals is our heart.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The film, mirroring its anti-hero, settles on not being despicable by being just good enough.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
Sound silly? It is. It's absolutely giddy with silliness, and that's what makes it so much fun for kids and adults.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
At one point, Gru reads the orphans a children's book, and I couldn't help thinking this whimsical, sentimental tale would be more effective as 12 pasteboard pages than as an elaborate state-of-the-art would-be summer smash.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud should be proud, and parents everywhere should be relieved.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
In its first feature, Illumination proves to be a double threat: an animation house that knows how to tell a story and one that also has the technical proficiency to make it dazzle the eye.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Going up against Toy Story 3 reveals its disposable nature for all to see, and yet it also illustrates how the filmmakers elevated their game to keep up.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A welcome blast of silly string in this time of Quality Animation: a cartoon that never forgets to capitalize on its chosen medium's knack for unreality.
Andrew Wright - Parallax View
Crammed with mixed messages about a creepy adult male figure adopting three little girl orphans, "Despicable Me" is a scattershot attempt at animated comedy that never clicks.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
... basically Date Night for kids: big stars (in this case as voice actors), big budget, lots of recycled ideas and a predictable story arc...
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
Welcome to the on-screen psychoanalysis of Joan Rivers, of which she seems equal parts willing participant and antagonist.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
"Despicable Me" is a pleasure, an entertaining outing that will have youngsters and oldsters alike laughing out loud. It's imaginative, smart and charming.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
If it doesn't hit the great heights of a Pixar film, it's a lighter and zippier concoction than a lot of non-Pixar entities.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Despicable Me is the sort of movie about which it is the most difficult to write. It is not a bad film. On the other hand, it didn't set my heart racing either. It is a sort of lukewarm winner, neither terrific nor terrible.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
The notion of a villain's divided impulses has potential that's plump like Gru's torso, but the payoff's scrawny like his legs.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
A generally okay kiddie picture that lacks the emotional power Toy Story 3 or the witty hijinks of How to Train Your Dragon, but provides some solid laughs for the 8-and-under crowd.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
What sets Despicable Me apart is Gru, with Carell savoring each wickedly wry line, then turning sympathetic on a dime as he does so well.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Most computer-animated movies released in 3-D these days, including Toy Story 3, aren't worth seeing in the format. Despicable Me is one of the happy exceptions.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
As the gentle story of a lost man who finds his humanity at the same time he discovers love can be a reciprocal emotion, Despicable Me has its heart in just the right place.
When compared with the ambition and achievement of recent animated films, such as Coraline and Toy Story 3, Despicable Me hardly seems to have been worth making, and it's barely worth watching.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
There's no reason to actively dislike the film, but that's not enough, not at today's ticket prices.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
A film so ugly in every respect that it should come with a free ticket to a Toy Story 3 screening to follow immediately just so audiences can wash its stink off of them with something truly great.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
A reasonably engaging 'toon that both kids and grownups should enjoy.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Despicable Me appeals both to our innocence and our glee over cartoon anarchy.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
It's a well-worn tale: Irresistible moppets turn a crusty crank's heart to mush and awaken the nurturing dad within. But delightful Despicable freshens this stale family formula with endearing characters, vivid visuals and Looney Tunes-style lunacy.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
...a 3D computer generated tale about a professional villain undone by the love of three orphaned little girls that is witty, funny, visually stylish and heartwarming...Steve Carrell gives an inspired vocal performance as Gru...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Despicable Me may not be up to Pixar's output, but its heart, and Carell's contribution to it, help get the movie into the same league.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It looks like 2010 will go down in history as the year 3D animation kicked the stuffing out of all the live-action releases.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
There are some genuine laughs here, even if much of the material is predictable and a little unoriginal.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
If Despicable Me is any indication of what's to come from Universal and Illumination Entertainment, they could be in a position to challenge Pixar before too long.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Charming CGI toon, that takes a page out of the Pixar playbook.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Despicable Me is a joyously creative, refreshing piece of work, right up until it falls into a hackneyed hole.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Just imagine if Lemony Snicket's Count Olaf actually got hold of the Baudelaire children, and then had to deal with schlepping them to dance practice and escorting them to the amusement park.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
A terrifically smart film that precariously balances sophisticated laughs and inspired visual slapstick.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Despicable is too harsh an evaluation for the animated 3D kid magnet du jour. I'd go with Bland Me or Direct-To-Video-Worthy Me.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
The animation bar has been raised, permanently, and Despicable Me misses it by a mile.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
If computer animation were still an expensive and painstaking process, Despicable Me wouldn't exist. It isn't worth that kind of effort.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
There's little to despise in this quirky, cute, and irresistibly charming tale of a brooding arch-fiend-turned-father of the year.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Despicable Me is exactly the sort of easy-going animated film that you can feel comfortable taking your kids to (although it's clear that they'll ultimately get a whole lot more out of it than you will).
David Nusair - About.com
Despicable Me is a pleasant surprise. It starts slow, and while it seems to have borrowed most of its visual and storytelling ideas, it's also reinvigorated them.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
While it doesn't aim for or reach the kind of emotional highs the good folks at Pixar achieve almost effortlessly these days, it's still a lot of fun and certainly worth your time and money. (Parental Review also Available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
Pixar, of course, remains the gold standard for animated family films, but the Spy vs. Spy-style antics of Despicable Me and those lovable Minions probably guarantee that Despicable Me will produce some progeny.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
"Despicable Me" may not be a great animated film but it will do nicely until the next one does come along.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Steve Carell is convincingly Gru-some as the world's most vulnerable super-villain, and his lovable yellow minions are incorrigible scene-stealers.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
Gru is a bit bland as a baddie.
Mark Dujsik - Sci-Fi Movie Page
No wonder I couldn't tell what Despicable Me was about when I saw its first trailer. The finished movie itself doesn't even know.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Inoffensive and safe without being particularly funny or exciting, Despicable Me would likely earn that description even if some villain went back in time and made sure Pixar never existed.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
For a film that opens with a tiresome, cliched first half, it's a treat to watch the movie transform into something likable and exciting. Perhaps too little too late, but at least the filmmakers ultimately catch on to what's best for their feature.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Limps to a finish without ever finding a distinct identity.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
First-time directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin and the other filmmakers behind this slight but engaging kids' animated comedy have no ambitions to be original, but like their villainous hero, Gru, they insist on stealing only from the best.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
A spunky 3D animated feature that shows how a supervillain can follow his heart and be transformed from within.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
There is a glee to this silliness I haven't seen in an animated feature since Monsters Inc.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
[T]otally fresh and wildly original... [I]t feels like an act of outright anarchy for a film to give us... a story we don't already know the ending of before we even walk into the theater.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The setup is pure Looney Tunes, and indeed, Despicable Me is at its best when trading in the anything-for-a-laugh prankery that was a specialty of the Termite Terrace crowd.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
You get the feeling that a darker and more clever Despicable Me may have existed at some point before the studio defaulted to the safe side.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
An imaginative visual design, compelling characterizations and consistently witty interplay between the two elevate a tale whose component parts are otherwise quite familiar.
Brent Simon - Screen International
The film is a reminder that no single studio has a monopoly on thoughtful animated features.
Simon Abrams - Slant Magazine
A rousingly funny, heartfelt and imaginative 'toon blessed with the vocal talents of Steve Carell and loaded with whimsy and smarts.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Co-directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud understand exactly how to employ the latest 3-D technology in a fashion that the frenetic action keeps you ducking from and reaching out to touch objects as if you're right in the midst of a virtual reality.
Kam Williams - TheLoop21.com
Though it utilizes the latest visual technology, the cartoon comedy sensibility of DESPICABLE ME is old-school all the way
Luke Y. Thompson - Geekweek