The Croods

WRITTEN BY: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
DIRECTED BY: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener
RATING: 3.5 stars
I had a lot of fun with The Croods. More importantly, the cinema full of children appeared to have even more fun. It's probably 10 minutes too long, but it does keep audiences entertained with plenty of action, as well as humour (even the kind that adults will enjoy) and a lot of heart. If you saw Brave last year and it made you want to hug your mum, then The Croods will make you want to do the same for your dad.
The Croods are cave people struggling to survive in a world where all their friends have died. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage) is constantly reminding his family to obey the rules to stay safe, but his daughter Eep (Emma Stone) finds those rules stifling. She wants to go out and enjoy her life, not stay cooped up in a cave. One night, Eep ventures beyond the cave and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who claims the world is ending and they must get to higher ground to survive. When it appears that he is right, the Crood family and Guy join forces to save their lives.
Cage is very good as Grug. His voice works perfectly for the role and it is sort of a return to form for him. Reynolds is also his charming self and Catherine Keener is also good as Eep's mother. But Stone is the real stand-out performer. She's a great heroine for young girls. Cloris Leachman is also a scene stealer as Gran. She's got some great lines. The character Belt (voiced by co-writer/co-director Chris Sanders) is also a cute addition and is sure to be a big winner among children.
What makes the film especially enjoyable though is the comedic violence. It's still appropriate for children, but it will make adults laugh. It's the sort of humour that involves laughing when someone falls over – you know you shouldn't, but it's just too funny. In fact, the film has a lot of slapstick comedy, which is good fun. There aren't really any lame one-liners or cheap laughs. The animation is also to a high standard and is full of bright colours. It is screening in 3D, but it is probably good enough to see it in 2D.
Most importantly for a children's film, The Croods has a good family message. Don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling a little emotional at the end.