The War with Grandpa Parent Guide
At least it's harmless, because it sure isn't interesting.
Parent Movie Review
Ed (Robert De Niro) has been independent his whole life and sees no reason to give that up. His daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) has other ideas, and Ed’s increasing inability to fend for himself only increases Sally’s determination to have Ed move in with her family. The only problem with that plan (other than Ed’s stubbornness) is that Sally’s home doesn’t have a guest room. For Ed to have a room, 12-year-old Peter (Oakes Fegley) is going to have to move into the attic. For any kid his age, this would not be a welcome change. Although Peter loves his grandpa, this is a bridge too far. This means war. But as the prank war escalates, both Peter and Ed begin to wonder if it’s time to call a truce…
I have a lot of questions for Robert De Niro about his career choices of late. I understand that actors don’t want to get pigeonholed into a specific role, and De Niro has certainly played enough grizzled gangsters for a lifetime – but why switch to playing crotchety old men in bland comedies? Surely the man could get his pick of roles? Why is he slumming it in the boring family comedy genre? Did he forget his reading glasses when this script passed his desk?
And this is perhaps the most stereotypical boring family comedy you could imagine. You’ve got relationship drama, the hormonal teenage sister, the intensely aggravating younger sibling, the over-the-top slapstick, the grossly underused cast… If you read a vague plot outline, you could probably confuse this for Daddy’s Home 2. This film’s biggest advantage is that it’s almost completely innocuous. You could comfortably watch this with just about anyone, if you don’t mind being lulled into a state of near-comatose boredom by the raw predictability of the plot.
I’m sure your 6 to 12-year-old will get a kick out of the slapstick goofiness of the film, and it does have some positive messages about family and the consequences of our actions. If you don’t mind taking a 90 minute nap, this might be a good choice. Or you can just sit there, as I did, and wonder why on earth Christopher Walken and Uma Thurman are here. This is the definition of a safe bet. You’re not going to be scandalized or horrified – you’re also probably not going to be terribly entertained. Just count your blessings: it gets a lot worse than this. At least this franchise doesn’t have Mel Gibson lurking around.Directed by Tim Hill. Starring Robert DeNiro, Uma Thurman, and Christopher Walken. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release October 9, 2020. Updated October 9, 2020
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The War with Grandpa
Rating & Content Info
Why is The War with Grandpa rated PG? The War with Grandpa is rated PG by the MPAA for rude humor, language, and some thematic elements
Violence: There are repeated instances of slapstick violence in which no one is seriously injured. An individual is beaten up off-screen and is later shown with a bloody nose.
Sexual Content: There is a brief, non-sexual scene of posterior nudity. There is another scene of implied nudity with no on-camera content.
Profanity: Occasional terms of deity and several uses of mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown adding the presumably alcoholic contents of a hip flask to their eggnog.
Page last updated October 9, 2020
Loved this movie? Try these books…
For a sweet book about the love between grandparents and grandchildren, you can read comedian Billy Crystal’s I Already Know I Love You.
A grandmother gives a girl a gift that blesses her entire life in When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan.
A grandma helps a child who’s jealous of an older sibling in Stardust by Jeanne Willis.
When a grandfather and his grandson don’t share the same language, they learn to communicate through art in Drawn Together by Minh Le.
A girl learns about her grandfather’s story of emigrating from Italy in The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman. Phoebe Gilman goes back to the Old Country to tell a sweet story about a young boy who’s grandfather is a tailor. Carefully recycling scraps, the grandfather is able to make Something from Nothing.
Ilse Koehn shares her memories of her brisk, seemingly unemotional grandmother. When the Nazis put Ilse’s half-Jewish father’s life in peril, Ilse and her mother went back to live with her maternal grandparents. Their story is told in Mischling, Second Degree.
Genie and Ernie spend a month with their grandparents in rural Virginia – without WiFi – in As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds.
A young girl goes to live with her grandfather in the Alps in Heidi by Johanna Spyri.
Joey and Mary Alice are scared to death to stay with their Grandma Dowdel but they learn some remarkable (and hysterical) lessons when they stay with her. Their adventures are chronicled in A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck.
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Other insipid family comedies include Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2, and Daddy Day Care. A more heartwarming family option (which somehow also involves Mark Wahlberg and an attendant jump in profanity) is Instant Family.
Grandparents often play positive roles in films. Moana features a girl whose independent spirit and curiosity are validated by her grandmother. A boy has good relationships with his grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A teenage girl meets her grandmother, only to discover that grandma is a queen…and she’s a princess in The Princess Diaries.