Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 114 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 10+. The movie is odd: It’s rated PG, which means the film should be acceptable for children, but I’m doubtful that anyone younger than a teenager will care about LIFE magazine or the transforming journalistic landscape (sad but true). Aside from the plot that might register with younger viewers, there’s some cursing; some weird messages about drinking (an extremely drunk pilot somehow manages to successfully fly a helicopter); some kissing; some fighting; and the discussion of the impact of a father’s death.
‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ doesn’t feel like a movie made for 2013 audiences. An extremely loose adaptation of the original short story by James Thurber, the content feels too emotionally manufactured, to the point of irrelevancy—and delivers an extremely trite message about living life to the fullest that lacks any real poignancy.
By Roxana Hadadi
Oh, is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” a weird movie. Director Ben Stiller wants you to live life to the fullest, but he also wants to bombard you with product placement for everyone from eHarmony to Cinnabon. He wants you to respect the mission of Life magazine, but he seems to have very little knowledge of how a newsroom actually works. And he wants you to believe that imagination and adventure and risk-taking are all important, integral ways to live—if only “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” really championed those things. Instead, it’s a ho-hum, faux-life-affirming attempt at a crowd-pleaser, a movie that feels spectacularly disingenuous.