THE WAR WITH GRANDPA

"Family Time Is Precious"

Quality:
Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

THE WAR WITH GRANDPA is a family comedy about a boy who is upset when his grandpa takes his room, forcing the boy to move to the attic. Egged on two friends, Peter the boy challenges his grandpa, Ed, to a prank war. They promise not to involve the rest of the family, which includes Peter’s parents and his two sisters. They promise to keep their war secret. Of course, the prank war eventually gets out of hand. So, the question becomes, will Peter and Ed learn their lesson?  

The last two shots in THE WAR WITH GRANDPA are anti-climactic. However, the movie is well acted and consistently funny. There are several hilarious bits, along with many heartwarming moments celebrating family. Despite their war, one day Ed takes his grandson fishing, and Peter has a wonderful time. The movie also has something to say about the costs of war. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children for THE WAR WITH GRANDPA because of the frequent physical, slapstick comedy and several light obscenities and profanities. Also, Peter’s older teenage sister is caught kissing with her boyfriend. 

Content:

(BBB, C, L, V, N, A, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong moral worldview celebrating family and warning about the cost of being angry with your family and the cost of war, plus some positive references to Christmas, and the grandpa in the movie goes to a church to honor a friend who’s passed away

Foul Language:
Five obscenities (one “d” word, three “h” curses and one a** word) and three light profanities (OG and OMG), plus a couple “What the” lines, a woman changes the start of an “f” word into the word “funning,” someone has written “to Hell” on a school welcome sign so that it reads “Welcome to Hell,” four children play a dodgeball game on trampolines with four adults and one of the adults says no hitting the “junk” for no groin shots, a boy says “boobies,” and the words hellbent and hellraiser are each said once

Violence:
Lots of slapstick violence includes a dodgeball game, man slips and falls on some marbles rolling around on the floor, man tries to grab a radio-controlled toy car holding a smartphone playing loud music, a few major pratfalls from high up, woman accidentally spills things on a policeman riding a motorcycle, boy is scared by a flying bat in the attic room he’s occupying, man is scared by a snake in his bed, a chase scene between two people fishing in a small motorboat and a wildlife ranger in another motorboat, bully dumps a plate of food into a boy’s backpack, bully gets a face full of juice when he tries to mess around with the boy’s backpack s second time, boy sits in the school nurse’s office with a bloody nose, adults dump a bully into a trash dumpster to teach him a lesson, a loosened golf club head flies off and smashes a windshield, man accidentally sprays fire extinguisher foam into his face, elderly people throw food at a supermarket worker they corner when they see him struggling with another senior citizen, a drone goes out of control and hits a woman on the head, woman tackles teenage boy for making out with her teenage daughter, but she lets him go and invites him over to the house to help with some chores, and the grandpa accidentally drops his smartphone into the casket of a friend during a funeral service in a Christian church

Sex:
No sex scenes depicted, but two teenagers are caught twice apparently kissing or making out (nothing salacious is shown or implied, however) and a senior citizen tries to engage younger women into conversation, but they ignore him

Nudity:
Upper male nudity in one scene where a man is shaving, and two pranks cause an older man to lose his pajama bottoms (nothing explicit is shown)

Alcohol Use:
Woman spikes two eggnog with a flask that’s apparently holding some alcohol

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Man and boy are unaware they are fishing illegally but they evade the park ranger when they find out, the man renting the boat to them admits he lied to them about the rule against fishing, and a man engages in a prank war with his grandson but eventually learns his lesson, as does the boy.

More Detail:

THE WAR WITH GRANDPA is a family comedy about a boy who’s upset about his grandpa taking his room, forcing the boy to move to the attic, which results in a prank war that gets out of hand. THE WAR WITH GRANDPA is very well acted and consistently funny, with several hilarious bits, along with plenty of heartwarming moments celebrating family, but the slapstick comedy includes several light obscenities and profanities.

The comedy opens with 12-year-old Peter and his friends, Steve and Billy, walking into their first day of middle school. As soon as they get through the door, two eighth grade bullies menace Peter. In the next scene, Peter is telling his friends that his grandpa is coming to live with him because he was arrested by the police.

Cut to the scene where Peter’s grandpa, Ed, played by Robert DeNiro, was arrested. The scene opens with Ed in a large supermarket. He’s trying to find his favorite cashier when an overweight employee tells him she’s been let go because the supermarket has gone to all self-help, computerized cash registers. Ed declines any help, but he can’t get his machine to work on some of the items. So, he simply walks off with his groceries, but this sets off the store’s door alarm. Outside, the overweight employee goes after Ed, but Ed shoves him away. The scuffle that follows knocks Ed to the ground, so he hurts his knee. A bunch of other elderly people show up, surrounding the employee, as a police car blasts its siren, and a policeman walks up to stop the melee.

After the police call her, Peter’s mother, Sally, drives two hours to see her father at his house. Sally tells Ed that she can’t drive two hours every time to help him and tells him he needs to come live at her house. He can take Peter’s room, and Peter can move upstairs into the attic. A retired home builder, Ed is reluctant to go, because he built his house for himself and his late wife. However, Sally is adamant.

Needless to say, Peter isn’t happy about giving up his room, and he makes his feeling known to everyone, including his grandpa. I love you, grandpa, he tells Ed, but you took my room.

The next day after Ed moves into Peter’s room, Peter’s friends at school tell him he should fight back. So, that night, after reading the Declaration of Independence in his new attic room, Peter slips a note under Ed’s new door. He announces a state of war exists between him and Ed. He signs it, “Secret Warrior.”

Ed doesn’t take the note seriously. He tries to reason with Peter after Peter wakes him up in the middle of the night with loud music from a cell phone attached to a radio-controlled toy car. This upsets Peter even more, however.

Meanwhile, Ed’s own two friends, played by Christopher Walken and Ceech Marin, advise Ed to fight back. However, he demurs. After all, he is the oldest adult in his daughter and son-in-law’s house.

Peter keeps pressing the issue, however. Ed changes his mind when Peter glues Ed’s favorite glass jar of marbles that he saved every time he built a house when he was working, and the bottle breaks, sending the marbles flying around the room.

Ed calls for a meeting with Peter. If they’re going to have a war, he tells Peter, they have to have some official “rules of engagement.” They agree to two rules. No one else can know about the war, and the other members of Peter and Ed’s family can’t be caught in the crossfire. Peter signs the Rules of Engagement document with his moniker, Secret Warrior, and Ed sings it with his nickname, Senior Warrior.

Let the War with Grandpa begin!

The last two shots in THE WAR WITH GRANDPA are a little anti-climactic. However, the movie is very well acted and consistently funny. There are several hilarious bits, along with many heartwarming moments celebrating family. Despite their war, one day Ed takes his grandson fishing, and Peter has a wonderful time. By the time the dust has settled, and Peter and his grandpa have made up, everyone in the movie is reminded that the minutes you get to spend with your family are very precious. You can never get them back if you lose them by engaging in silly arguments. The movie also has something to say about the costs of war. Eventually, the prank war between Peter and Ed spills over and hurts the rest of the family, including Peter’s little sister, Jenny, who has a charming, cute obsession with Christmas decorations, Christmas music and Santa Claus.

MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children for THE WAR WITH GRANDPA because of the frequent physical, slapstick comedy and several light obscenities and profanities. The movie does contain some verbal, relationship comedy, however, so the physical comedy isn’t overwhelming.

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