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Movie Review

The Adventures of Tintin also known as “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”

MPAA Rating: PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking.

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens Adults
Genre:
Family Animation Mystery Adventure 3D Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
December 21, 2011 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: March 13, 2012
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation

ships in the Bible

treasure hunt (see: treasure houses, treasure cities, treasury

dog

mouse

bird

hawk

secret scroll

drunkard

sword

cross

desert

parchment

kidnapping

good versus evil

friendship

pickpocket

pirate

Kid Explorers
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Featuring: Daniel CraigIvanovich Sakharine/Red Rackham
Jamie BellTintin
Simon PeggInspector Thompson
Andy SerkisCaptain Haddock/Sir Francis Haddock
Cary ElwesPilot
Toby JonesSilk
more »
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Columbia Pictures
Paramount Pictures
more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation

“This year, discover how far adventure will take you.”

“The Adventures of Tintin” is based on the comic books by Belgium creator Hergé. It has been brought to life on the screen by director Steven Spielberg. Tintin (Jamie Bell) is a young reporter with an adorable dog, Snowy. Tintin purchases a ship model, The Unicorn, and is placed in the center of mystery that he attempts to solve. Immediately after purchasing the ship, he is approached by a man wanting to buy it and warning him about the dangers of having it. He then is approached by another man, Sakharine (Daniel Craigs) who tells him to name his price. Tintin refuses to sell. He wants to know more about this Unicorn and visits the library to research.

Tintin finds that The Unicorn had belonged to Sir Francis, hundreds of years ago. When he returns home, the ship is missing, and his home is ransacked. However, the burglar hasn’t found what he was looking for and kidnaps Tintin. Tintin is placed in a crate on a ship, and he encounters Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Captain Haddock has ties to The Unicorn and can help Tintin unravel this dangerous mystery if he can only get sober long enough to remember anything. As Tintin and Captain Haddock get closer to solving the mystery of the ship, the danger escalates and the adventure continues in far off lands. Adding to the mystery are two bumbling Interpol detectives Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg) who even when in the house of a criminal continue to overlook the obvious.

Objectionable content

Language-wise, this movie is pretty clean. One character says “swear to God”. D-mned and hell are used. There is plenty of violence. There is slapstick violence, shooting, sword fighting and numerous chase scenes. A man is shot, and before he dies, he uses his blood to spell out a message. There is a pickpocket who is seen stealing wallets throughout the city. Tintin is almost hit by cars. Snowy is running through a cattle bin and bumps into cow udders. There is a plane crash, car chase, pirate fight and a unique “sword fight” with cranes. There is also a huge dog that when it appeared on the screen made me jump and might be scary for some children.

Captain Haddock is a drunk. He is shown drinking numerous times. He talks about drinking almost constantly. Tintin does tell Haddock that there are worse things than sobering up. When Haddock is finally sober, he remembers stories his grandfather told him which lead to solving the mystery.

Tintin doesn’t appear to have any parents. He is shown living alone.

Positive content

Faced with having his crew killed or giving up the treasure, Sir Francis gives up the treasure. The often misquoted Bible verse, 1 Timothy 6:10 says,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with grief”. This movie exemplifies this verse.

Sakharine continues a feud over gold with roots of evil spanning generations. He is so consumed with finding a treasure that he will steal, kill and destroy anything that gets in his way. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. Only through following Jesus can we really have an abundant life.

I highly recommend this movie. It is a wonderful, fast-paced, action-packed movie. My 9 year old son loved it; my 21 year old son loved it, and I loved it. I felt at times it was like watching a young Indiana Jones. There are some scary scenes that might be a concern for younger children. The action is so intense, at times, that you might want to pre-screen this movie, if you feel your child might be afraid or anxious. Overall, this is a great movie to see, and I hope to see more of Tintin and Snowy in the future!

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive“The Adventures of Tintin” is one great roilicking adventure from beginning to end. After a few minutes, I forgot the characters were animated and was drawn into the world of Tintin. I loved how the story centered on Tintin, his unnaturally smart dog, Snowy, and Captain Haddock. I enjoyed the introduction of Haddock and grinned at how snoopy and fearless Tintin was. The animation and scenery, the lighting and mood… I enjoyed it all.

And I was pleasently surprised by how funny “Tintin” was. Quite a few scenes had me laughing out loud, then laughing again as the scene continued to unfold. Snowy stole many scenes with his antics. Haddock was just hilarious. And Tintin was the perfect adventurer. Upon leaving the theater, I wanted to ship out on my own adventure. I was not in complete awe of the film, but yet I just could not wipe the goofy grin off my face. I forgot who I was sitting next to in the theater, forgot to eat my movie snacks. I was taken on an adventure from beginning to end.

I would recommend this film for a family outing (I do not remember any particularly frightening scenes. There was no language, but some alcohol and comic style violence) or a group of friends. I believe it is appropriate for all ages. I am an avid Tintin fan, thus if there are holes in the movie, I could have unknowingly filled them in with my knowledge of the characters. But as a fan, I was surprised at how well they stuck to the heart of Tintin. Hergé, his creator, would have been proud. Great Snakes! Which Tintin book will they pick next?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hannah, age 25 (USA)
Positive—I loved this movie! It was extremely entertaining, very funny and just delightful to watch. It is a rare movie that I may go to see again. We have all 21 Tin Tin stories and have waited a long time to see it. It combines three different stories, adds and changes a few things, but it is so well done, and so fun to watch, I don’t think anyone who knows the stories will mind. It is not for very young children, there is a lot of cartoon action and violence, and Captain Haddock is a drunk. My youngest, an eight year old, loved it, but again, we know the stories. It was one of the best movie I’ve seen this year. Very fun.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kathleen, age 48 (USA)
Positive—This is a beautifully made movie. The animation is spectacular—totally genial work. However, I do think there is content that would be either scary or boring for young children. Otherwise, the movie is quite entertaining and reminded me of good old Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys” mysteries in its tone and storyline.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Halyna, age 65 (USA)
Positive—We caught this classic cartoon on digital 3D. The digital creation is a testimony to the incredible tools and artistry available today. This movie gives me the idea that one day we’ll watch a movie and wonder if “is it real, or is it Memorex,” or are these real actors or generated ones? The story is as great as the cartoons, but be aware this is a “guy flick” to the max, in my wife’s opinion. But she and our 5 year old daughter enjoyed it, though they were somewhat exhausted be the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Todd, age 48 (USA)
Positive—I loved it. The animation is amazing. I thought Tintin would be a kid, but he is more like a 20-something—and takes on a kind of Sherlock Holmes role in analyzing clues. It’s not an overly sophisticated plot, but still moves along nicely. It is a shorter movie, and that aids the plot.

I would think 10+ year olds would handle the movie. There is one scene where a guy is killed by a machine gun; I thought that was unnecessary. The drunken sea captain is more comedic relief than anything, but if you don’t like this kind of thing, then be cautious. I’m looking forward to the next two movies. I don’t think this movie promotes any particular worldview. BTW, I went to see it by myself.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joe, age 63 (USA)
Positive—…WOW! No words can express what I truly feel about this amazing and awesome movie. The CGI blew me away, by how real the characters and everything else looked. When I first saw it, the intent I looked at the people, I thought I was watching a live people movie. The hair moved, and I could see veins on the arms of the people.

I say for Christians, what I learned from this movie is “Never give up hope.” Sometimes life gets bad, and we just can’t do it on our own. God is always there to help us. At one point in the movie TinTin gives up hope. The Captain encourages him to fight for what he believes in. I recommend this movies for ages: 9 and up; I believe younger kids, as in babies and 8 years old, shouldn’t see movies like this. Side note: Parents are so selfish to take their children to see a PG-13 movie. A. your putting bad things in their minds which they can’t comprehend between what’s real or fantasy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Whitney, age 23 (USA)
Positive—Due to circumstances, I ended up seeing this movie twice in one weekend. After the second showing, there was a little boy sitting a few rows in front of me that kept shouting, “That was AWESOME!”. I agree with him wholeheartedly! I think I could even say that this was the best movie of the year, including the Harry Potter finale! I wasn’t bored at all watching it twice in a row… it just gave me more opportunities to marvel at the motion capture effects. Those of you who were turned off of this form of animation, after seeing the soulless characters in “Polar Express” and “A Christmas Carol”… I highly recommend giving it one more try. These characters’ faces were full of life, and the voice acting was incredible, to boot!

Andy Serkis does not win enough awards. The storyline was fun and full of twists, the action scenes towards the end took my breath away… I think it a very sad and tragic thing that something as unintelligent as Chipwrecked is winning bigger audiences than Tintin. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kadie Jo, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Entertainment Rating: 2.5/5 The movie is not boring at all. The story, though sometimes hard to follow, has enough detail, complexity, and excitement to hold one’s attention . The characterizations, however, lack depth and development, and the movie does not convey a message that provides unique insights. Moral rating: Offensive I personally did not feel offended by the movie as a whole, but objectively speaking, it is more than “somewhat offensive” due to the prevalence of animated violence, drunken behavior, and comic mischief.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Samuel, age 20 (USA)
Negative
Negative—…It’s clearly a kids movie, but, as I watched it, I thought, were it not a cartoon, it would never have passed as a kids movie. There was a lot of violence. Granted, many cartoons have violence, but this was not slap stick. I was surprised by handguns in the movie. Not some bizarre gun like a squid launcher in “Despicable Me,” but handguns.

Tin Tin’s age was so vague, I thought, in the beginning, he must be a teenager, but, as he lived alone, he must have been a young adult. But right off, he gets his hands on a gun. A man is shot right at Tin Tin’s front door, and, as mentioned, uses his own blood to spell out a message. A bit… much for a kids movie.

The ship captain is such a drunk. Not your odd little cupid type man who hiccups like in “Tangled,” but a character whose drunkenness is repeatedly referenced. It was in your face, not something kids wouldn’t get. At one point in the movie, a bottle of whiskey is nearby, and you can tell he is debating, drink it or smash it over the other guy’s head. He smashes it over a guy’s head. He is shown drinking rubbing alcohol. In a scene where he is sober and can’t remember what is going on, the dog gives him more rubbing alcohol, and it apparently rejuvenates the captain.

I see mostly positive reviews here, and the reviewer saying it was like a Young Indiana Jones, but this movie is a cartoon marketed towards kids. The violence was excessive, as was the drunkenness. The captain being drunk was part of the storyline, the plot, not just a passing reference. The violence started right off in the movie and was not your usual cartoon violence, but looked like what you would see in a live action movie for adults or young adults, not for kids.

I took my 3 kids, aged 4, 6 and 10, and 3 other kids aged 10. I did feel I needed to let each parent know the content of the movie, because I didn’t feel right having let their kids watch a movie with such drunkenness in it. I’m not easily offended in movies and watch plenty of them, but kids movies—well I like them to BE kids movies and let our kids stay kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrea, age 39 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This was a great movie you should see it with the whole family
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ali, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This movie had nothing wrong with it. For a while, it was boring, and they didn’t have to end it with another story/adventure. Great Graphics. A little slow, but overall good. Excellent Quality, but boring, unless, you love a good cartoon.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—anonymous, age 13 (USA)
Positive—“The Adventures of Tintin” is action-packed, exhilarating, and extremely exciting. It has many invigorating scenes and visuals. In this adventure, Tintin has to find the three ships and scrolls, to figure out the secret of the Unicorn. Soon, Tintin gets captured on a ship and meets Haddock, who is the captain of the ship. They both escape together and go on a wild adventure followed by Sakharine.

Sakharine is the main bad guy in this movie, though there are others. This movie is really great, but if you didn’t read the book you wouldn’t understand the plot. I think that the coolest scene in the movie is when they are escaping the ship through a hail of gunfire, outrunning murderous sailors, and continuing with their swashbuckling and rip roaring adventure.

Even though the movie is a little violent, it is magnificent for adventure-loving kids. I loved the mocap—the realism was amazing. It is mind capturing, and I think this is the best animation I ever saw! It makes me want to read all of the Tintin books.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jeremy, age 8 (USA)
—This movie was great. My grandma took me to see it. I did not see it in 3-D, but it was 3-D enough, because the movie making quality was excellent. But beware moms and grandmas who might take little kids to see it. This is not despicable to me with the cute little squid launchers. They do use handguns, and this movie is rated PG for some drunkenness. Without this, the movie would be to difficult for small children to follow, anyway.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sophia, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This movie is so cool!!! They were not constantly using bad words and it was really funny.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—The Kid Next Door, age 10 (USA)
Positive—I went to see this film with my dad and two of my brothers (age 8 and 20), and all four of us LOVED it. This film gave me renewed hope in Hollywood, that they can make good wholesome family films without sexual references, innuendo, or ridiculous amounts of potty humor. Aside from being a funny movie, this film actually kept me on the edge of my seat, for almost all of it. Despite the fact that Tintin’s newly acquired best friend is a slobbering drunk for the majority of the film, he does eventually overcome his addiction and become a contributing member of society (so to speak).

There are a few scenes I would not recommend for younger children, such as the death of a certain investigator, but, overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone with children over the age of 6 or 7.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mitchell, age 17 (USA)
Positive—Awesome movie! Pure good fun! I just bought it on Blu-Ray today! A Must-See!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Andre, age 15 (Canada)
Positive—…I thought this movie was going to be the same old thing that was filmed by MadMan Entertainment, but I was wrong… The movie is three Tintin movie squished together. The plot is so easy to understand, and let’s face it, if it’s going to be a Tintin movie then it is going to have butt kicking punches and violence. Let me give you an example. Sir. Frances Haddock (who am I talking about, about but Captain Haddock’s great grandfather’s father) sinks his own ship with a lot of pirates on board. Well the most offensive bit is this pirate with only ONE eyelid, that is the scary!

No sex or nudity in the full film, nor bad language. For the amount of violence, I would just recommend this film for kids six and up (I went to the watch this movie with my brothers 6 and 8), but do see it, you’ll love it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hannah, age 11 (Australia)
Movie Critics

“…‘The Adventures of Tintin’ is a virtual non-stop scramble of running, jumping, swinging, dangling, plunging, and flying.…”
—David Denby, The New Yorker

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