The Pitch

A misunderstood inventor builds a machine that rains food out of the sky. (1 hr 30 min)

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 6+ Common Sense Media: 6+

Content Advisories

Rated PG for brief mild language. The nonstop destruction rained down in the last half hour could be intense for very young viewers. A character’s peanut allergy is played for comedy. “Holy crap balls.”

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02.17.14

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The 2013 sequel is in many ways even more visually imaginative, but not as clever or funny, and suffers from the loss of Mr. T.

So much better than advertised

From its inception, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs represented everything wrong with the Hollywood kid movie machine. The film took its title (and pretty much nothing else) from a beloved if slightly daffy children’s book. It then piled on preposterous scale and spectacle, in ways designed to over-exploit the 3D format in which the film was released. Then a funny thing happened; writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller made a pretty great movie out of it. (They’d later go on to to the same with The LEGO Movie.) Snappily paced and with a surprising amount of genuine heart, the film pops with some fantastic vocal performances—including Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, and James Caan, as a stoic father who can only ever attempt to connect with his son through fishing metaphors. Weather reporting intern Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) starts off apologizing for anything smart she says, and over the course of the movie is encouraged to put on her glasses, tie her hair in a scrunchie, and let her nerd flag fly. —Chris Ereneta

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