Film review: The Croods (U)


A whizzier version of The Flintstones, this DreamWorks animation concerns a Neanderthal family discovering that there is life beyond their cave.

Father of the Crood brood Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage) believes that fear is the key to survival and that curiosity will bring disaster. His overprotectiveness is driving teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone) to distraction, but with the ground literally crumbling beneath them (volcanoes, landslides) the family has no choice but to seek safety on the road with can-do Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a Stone Age dreamer who introduces them to fire and footwear (Uggs, of course).

The tentative romance between Eep and Guy will be of less interest to the target audience (5-to 9-year-olds) than the frenetic chases, narrow escapes and close encounters with predators – piranhas that fly, dogs with crocodile jaws, and sabre-toothed tigers scared of the dark.

As in the similarly themed Ice Age movies, the non-stop motion is faintly exhausting, and the jokes are hit-and-miss. But it's pleasant enough.