Film: The Bad Guys
Plot: Several reformed yet misunderstood criminal animals attempt to become good, with some disastrous results along the way.
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, and Zazie Beetz
Director: Pierre Perifel
Release Date: April 22, 2022
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
HCA Overall Grade: B+

Tessa Smith says, “The Bad Guys is full of humor that the whole family will enjoy. From physical antics to fart and butt jokes, there is truly something for everyone. But it isn’t all fun and games. There is a whole ton of heart too, which is perhaps the very best part. The Bad Guys teaches kids that not only can they change their ways and turn their lives around if they are going down the wrong path, but that they should never just because of how they look. The Bad Guys is packed with action, humor, and heart, but it is the stunning visuals, unique animation style, and stellar voice acting that raise it to a whole new level.”

Grade: A-

Chauncey K. Robinson says, “Adults shouldn’t dismiss this new animated movie from Dreamworks. It’s fun for all ages. A heist movie with fun characters, a smart script, and laugh-out-loud comedy. The voice acting brings it all to life with non-stop action. There’s even a message in the midst of all the fun regarding stereotypes and prejudice. It’s not the deepest new movie in the world, but it’s a good time.”

Grade: A

Rob Licuria says, “The Bad Guys is an engaging, refreshingly original spectacle with heart. The painterly animation is stunningly beautiful and immersive. Fantastic voice work across the board, particularly Sam Rockwell as the wolf leader of the pack.”

Grade: B+

Peggy Marie says, “Vibrant visuals and stylistic animation that is beautifully done. The Bad Guys is just a good, fun time. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this one – a true film for the whole family!”

Grade: B

Terence Johnson says, “The Bad Guys is an incredibly fun movie that is just brimming with style and great character voice work. Writer Etan Cohen and Director Pierre Perifel, and a wonderful cast of voice actors team up to put their spin on the crime caper that makes for a great time at the movies.”

Grade: A-

Zofia Wijaszka says, “The Bad Guys is a delightful animation from DreamWorks for the whole family. While the youngsters will love each well-crafted character, the adults will appreciate the feeling of the ‘90s LA crime film that this one has — believe me.”

Grade: A-

Maggie Lovitt says, “I am convinced that the pitch for this film was, ‘Let’s do Ocean’s Eleven but make it appeal to the furries,’ and honestly, it kind of works. On the Ocean’s Eleven front, that is. The jury’s still out on whether or not there has been enough time between Sonic 2 and this one to recharge the non-family-centric audience goers.”

Grade: C+

Demetri Panos says, “The Bad Guys isn’t bad…It’s just not that good. You’ve seen it all before; characters that have a reputation for being bad but inside they’re good. It’s a ‘never judge a book by its cover’ fable. It fails to try to be as clever as Zootopia and ends up being more like Fruitopia – no substance, sugary, with empty calories.”

Grade: B-

Michael Lee says, “The Bad Guys is a deceptively cool and stylish animated film that is fast-paced, witty, and very funny. The Looney Tunes visual gags and illustrative animation blend well with the 3D animation. And the Quentin Tarantino-inspired dialogue – sans the profanity, of course – and an Ocean’s 11-esque heist add an unexpected layer of fun.”

Grade: B+

John Nguyen says, “The Bad Guys is an enjoyable, feel-good animated film with lovable characters. It’s a gratifying redemption story of reputation and friendship. The voice actors are all a joy to experience, with Anthony Ramos really turning it up as the voice of Piranha. It could still benefit from having an even more emotional arc or tense sequences.”

Grade: B-

Alexander Robinson says, “A new era for DreamWorks Animation is here with the release of The Bad Guys. The animation studio behind films like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon gives us a movie that is unlike anything they have put out before – at least from an animation perspective. The art style gives the movie its fast, fun, and energetic tone, while the voice cast ranging from Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Richard Ayoade, and Zazie Beetz help give the film its charming personality. Yes, the script is fairly predictable and adapts elements from the Ocean’s franchise and the films of Quentin Tarantino in order to make it more family-friendly. However, it’s the unique art style and fun characters that help carry this movie to make it DreamWorks’ best in a decade. The bar for animation in 2022 has been raised and it makes me excited for the future of DreamWorks Animation.”

Grade: A

Joel D. Amos says, “The idea of redemption is a powerful one with children. Informing the younger generation that despite your present or your past, your future is unwritten. That is a powerful message. It is one not to be taken likely, even though it comes from a light-hearted animated film. Never doubt how much these movies resonate with children. They may struggle with academics until they learn their way, but one thing that hits them right in the gut is the difference between being good and bad. The lesson here is that no matter your circumstances or your actions, it is never too late to turn the leaf. It is never too late to at least try to be a better soul and the act of the effort is what counts. It is powerful, impeccably important and kudos to filmmakers for making it the crux of The Bad Guys.”

Grade: B+

Aaron Neuwirth says, “Opening with a heist and a car chase that show off the intentions of this film, there’s a clear desire to blend elements of Looney Tunes, Reservoir Dogs, and Oceans Eleven. It all works out quite well.”

Grade: B

Stacey Yvonne says, “A group of petty criminals have made it their mission to wreak havoc all over their fair city. The crew have resigned themselves to their lot in life as villains. They’re always cast as the bad guys, so it’s a part they’ll play. Though not all of them may be as fulfilled as they’d like.”

Grade: B

Yael Tygiel says, “The Bad Guys, which feels like it’s set in a world somewhere between Zootopia and Despicable Me, was made for people like me who love pretty much every heist movie ever. Is the twist predictable? Absolutely! It’s a children’s movie. Could it have cut a fart joke or two? Depends on who you ask. But was it a fun, action-packed ride, with a solid handful of heart? You bet!”

Grade: B+

The Bad Guys is now playing exclusively in theaters

 

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