The Grinch (2018)


Critic Consensus: The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that's solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story's legacy.


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Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas. To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh. Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who-a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer-plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother. As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheme threatens to collide with the Grinch's more nefarious one. Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus? Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos' holiday cheer once and for all?


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Critic Reviews for The Grinch

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (22)

It's best for kids and adults who just can't handle the angry, diabolical monster of films past.

Nov 20, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

The latest animated iteration of Christmas' most famous nemesis might not be strictly necessary, but it's still pretty fun - and revamped just enough to feel fresh.

Nov 18, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

"The Grinch" is a respectable, if safe, retelling of Dr. Seuss' holiday classic.

Nov 9, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

You're a Mediocre One, Mr. Grinch. Those expecting Cumberbatch to add a little Dr. Strange to his take on Dr. Seuss will be sorely disappointed as this animated take on the Grinch buries its kid audience under a blanket of bland..

Nov 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

From time to time you'll laugh and maybe shed a tear, but this isn't the kind of Grinch you'll want to see each year.

Nov 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It does not surpass the Chuck Jones version (or having the book read aloud by a parent, which is still ideal) but it is far superior to the Carrey film and should become a welcome family tradition.

Nov 9, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Grinch

The obvious, conflicting idea here is that 2018's The Grinch has been crafted purely as a cash grab for Illumination, but preaches a message of the holiday season being more about selflessness and giving than receiving and indulging. I was thirteen in 2000 when the Jim Carrey-fronted and Ron Howard-directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas barreled its way into theaters. I vividly remember being excited to finally be able to see the movie on the big screen and to experience this thing that had been so discussed and so built-up that it truly felt like an event. Remember, these are the days when you had to see movies to be able to see movie trailers and there was always a hope I'd get to catch a glimpse of Carrey as the titular Grinch every time I went to the cinema (which was far less back then). Needless to say, Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas swept me up and delivered a sense of wonder I could only dream of, but that they had fully realized. And though I only return to the film once every three or so years around the holiday season it still holds something of special place in my heart despite the growing number of detractors over the years. And so, walking into what felt like a somewhat unnecessary, but completely logical (from a financial perspective) re-telling of the story via the studio that brought us the minions and The Secret Life of Pets there was no reason to expect 2018's The Grinch to be anything other than what it so obviously was intended to be: that aforementioned cash grab. Alas, that's mostly what this 90-minute exercise in "cinematic candy floss" is, but dammit if, by the end of the film, I wasn't wrapped up in the emotional beats of the story that has the viewer feeling sympathy for the grouchy Grinch (I rather liked Cumberbatch's take on the guy-appropriately irritated, but not evil or scary). The film also overcomes the biggest obstacle Howard's feature-length version had trouble with and that was stretching the narrative to such a length without feeling like much of it was padded. While this newest version is a cool fifteen minutes shorter than the live-action version, the pacing (sans a short section in the middle) is consistently even and always manages to be entertaining in more intriguing ways than I might want to give the studio credit for. Each of the characters are immensely likable-Max, new reindeer friend, Fred, along with the crew of town's children led by Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely) each offer something that counters the Grinch's dismissive attitude so as to make him more mindful, if not necessarily more tender towards the many Christmas-themed circumstances he encounters. This is all to try and say without spoiling too much that the two main story strands resolve themselves perfectly and in a heartwarming enough way that it would seem impossible to stay mad at the movie for being one thing and teaching another; at the very least, it offers the value of keeping your children hooked for 90-minutes while conveying an earnest sense of gratitude to the parents willing to spend money on something they've seen before. Who knows, some of the older generations may even be as surprised by 2018's The Grinch as the Grinch was by the true meaning of Christmas.

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer


A Feel good adaptation bright and cheery and full of Christmas spirit. Cumberbatch is quite good as the Grinch and the other voice work is enjoyable. You feel good when its over and what more can you ask for! 11-23-2018

Christopher Oakley
Christopher Oakley

Super Reviewer

The second go at a twenty-first century feature-length Grinch movie is a thoroughly, spectacularly bland movie. This mediocre enterprise barely stretches to feature length at 86 minutes and it lacks the charm of the original Dr. Seuss cartoon. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the green recluse with his three-sizes-too-small heart set on stealing the Christmas celebration of others. That's great casting, but why is he settling for his Doctor Strange-style American voice? The man has such a natural, rich, velvety voice. Another miscue is the fact that this Grinch isn't really feared by the people of Whoville. He lives just outside of ton and isn't really that mean. He's less a villain and more just a grumpy sad guy who has to over explain everything for the audience to understand ("I thought stealing Christmas would make me feel better, but really I was running from myself..."). This movie is brightly colored and nicely animated but it's strictly just for little kids. The lessons are pretty simplistic. The characters are mostly annoying, precocious, or mute. The humor is mostly slapstick. There is nothing to engage bigger thinkers. This Grinch movie actually made me start re-evaluating the 2000 Ron Howard version, which at least tried something and had an enjoyably hammy Jim Carrey performance with some creepy good makeup prosthetics, and I didn't even like that movie. The new animated Grinch film is inoffensively lackluster. At best it's a disposable 90 minutes to distract easily distractible children and give mom and dad time for a nap. Nate's Grade: C

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Liked it

Bradley Wright
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

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