Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The effect is Chaplinesque if Chaplin had the latest in gadgetry, because the entire picture is also shot in 3-D that, for once, puts all 3 of the Ds to imaginative use.
  2. 100
    Like the best kids' entertainment, this creates a daffy little world all its own.
  3. 95
    To hell with that childlike sense-of-wonder crap: Despicable Me, instead of trying to return adults to a false state of innocence, reminds us that we all started out as ill-mannered little savages.
  4. Another 3-D animated kid movie demonstrates that cartoon storytelling pitched to young people is the last, best refuge of sprightly filmmaking this hard, hot summer.
  5. A rousingly funny, heartfelt and imaginative 'toon blessed with the vocal talents of Steve Carell and loaded with whimsy and smarts.
  6. 90
    Coffin and Renaud's execution is fresh, sincere, often lovely and a great deal of fun -- and in this kind of movie, and this kind of movie summer, execution is everything.
  7. This is a self-contained story that stands nicely on its own. How novel.
  8. Despicable doesn't measure up to Pixar at its best. Nonetheless, it's funny, clever and warmly animated with memorable characters.
  9. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    80
    It's all thoroughly adorable, and with an overlay that's nearly as odd as Carell's accent.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    80
    There's nothing like a little world domination to melt the most dastardly evildoer's heart. Since villains so often steal the show in animation, Despicable Me smartly turns the whole operation over to megalomaniacal rogue Gru.
  11. 75
    Carell's genius for loading a comic line with mirth and malice is on joyous display.
  12. 75
    The film is funny, energetic, teeth-gnashingly venomous and animated with an eye to exploiting the 3-D process with such sure-fire techniques as a visit to an amusement park. The sad thing, I am forced to report, is that the 3-D process produces a picture more dim than it should be.
  13. 75
    Though Despicable Me is a little ragged on story, it's got a lot of imagination and a heart as warm as a fluffy kitty.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    This fun-filled adventure avoids formula with a whimsical story and terrific voice casting.
  15. 75
    Hang in there and Despicable Me turns into an improbably heartwarming, not to mention visually delightful, diversion.
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Despicable Me has enough visual novelty and high spirits to keep the kiddies diverted and just enough wit to placate the parents.
  17. 75
    Perhaps best of all, this is a rare instance in which the 3-D, while not an asset, is at least not a detriment.
  18. 75
    This is dizzy diverting fun, from it's first Carell one-liner to the 3D gimmick gags stuffed into the closing credits.
  19. It's not exactly aiming for the moon, but in a marketplace where surpassed expectations are as rare as unicorns, Despicable Me is delightful.
  20. 75
    Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud craft a fun stretch run, wrapping the story with warm, fuzzy funnies and nothing to suggest a sequel, which is probably wise.
  21. 75
    Until the "creep + orphans = happy family" formula starts demanding abrupt, unconvincing character mutations, Despicable Me is a giddy joy.
  22. Carrell has stated in interviews that his accent "falls someplace between Bela Lugosi and Ricardo Montalban," and that's about right.
  23. Settles for simply being goofy good fun.
  24. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    70
    So, yes, kiddies--it's funny. Silly. Slight. Though, grown-ups, be warned: I had more fun watching the kid giggle through the screening than I did watching the movie itself. It's no "Toy Story 3."
  25. Everyone knows that the villains are usually the most interesting characters in any movie. So the makers of Despicable Me were wise to cut to the chase and make the megalomaniacal Gru (voiced by Carell) the central character in this animated film.
  26. Is the movie itself good? Half-good, I'd say - the second, more openly sentimental half.
  27. Short, sweet-and-sour, and amusing rather than funny, Despicable Me can't help but be likable.
  28. Granted, it's a far cry from the Pixar classics. But Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's nicely quirky, animated comedy has just enough edge to entertain every member of the family.
  29. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    It's no first-rank CGI cartoon, but shows how Pixar's quality over crass is inspiring the mid-list. Fun, with teary bits, for kids; fresh and smart for adults.
  30. The setup is pure Looney Tunes, and indeed, Despicable Me is at its best when trading in the anything-for-a-laugh prankery that was a specialty of the Termite Terrace crowd.
  31. It looks so stylish that thinking about its plot is strictly optional.
  32. 58
    There's no reason to actively dislike the film, but that's not enough, not at today's ticket prices. Just because you're not despicable, after all, doesn't mean you're the pick of the litter.
  33. When compared with the ambition and achievement of recent animated films, such as "Coraline" and "Toy Story 3," Despicable Me hardly seems to have been worth making, and it's barely worth watching.
  34. The film throws so much ersatz cleverness and overdone emotion at the audience that we end up more worn out than entertained.
  35. 50
    Despicable Me cannot be faulted for lack of trying. If anything, it tries much too hard, stuffing great gobs of second-rate action, secondhand humor and warmed-over sentiment into every nook and cranny of its relentlessly busy 3-D frames.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 400 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 100
  2. Negative: 5 out of 100
  1. Oct 6, 2011
    6
    The puerile movie takes its chances on the comedy and humor rather than the story and characters. As a result "Despicable Me" may sometimes be overly reactive to such preposterous comedies they create, but at least succeeds in making a mark in the innocent hearts of the young ones with its mellifluous tone. Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    9
    Despicable Me has dazzling animation, lots of laughs, originality, cute little characters (the minions), and just a heartwarming story , backed by solid voice acting make for an ideal family film. I give this movie 89%. Full Review »
  3. Dec 1, 2010
    2
    You are led to believe that this is about a bad guy who because of some adorable kids, becomes a good guy. In fact, it really a story about some terrible animation (from a much overused style) about a guy who isn't really that bad (he has minions that he does care about - knows their names, asks how they're doing...), isn't very good at pulling off bad pranks (steals the Statue of Liberty - the small one from Las Vegas), and is just focused on the moon from a childhood experience. The movie handles the 'adoption' terribly - I mean can you really walk into an orphanage and bring home 3 kids in a day on the basis of some obviously made up references? There are just so many things wrong with the plot it's just ridiculous, but even if you want to give it a pass because it's a "kid's movie" and you have to pretend to be stupid for those types of movies, then fine let's focus on the animation. Somewhere between Shrek and The Incredibles, it became "the thing" to do a certain type of animation that got just enough realism to do people correctly, but not too much to be freaky. Since then, this and every other animated movie that comes has to follow this style. The problem is that the style is a compromise, that only works so-so. Just like this movie. Full Review »