Look, The Emoji Movie didn't even need to be good. It simply had to have talking, running, jumping emojis in it. And it does. This whole thing was presold last year to a young audience obsessed with digital culture. Still, we grown-ups are lying if we try to pretend that this one's not on us. Young kids can be easily distracted and entertained for a couple of hours by something like this, and even at its worst the thing is mostly harmless. But kids didn't create the pixelated and thoroughly dumbed-down society this movie has been introduced into, like some sort of trippy, multicolored cinematic virus. Even if you keep your own offspring away from smartphones and screens, they still live in a world where everyone else is glued to such things. The crisis of language and truth cannot be laid at the feet of tykes and teens. That a movie like this doesn't interrogate itself is a given. That the rest of us probably won’t interrogate ourselves in its wake is a tragedy.
Anthony LeondisAnna Faris, T.J. Miller, Sofía Vergara, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer CoolidgeEric SiegelMichelle Raimo KouyateSony Pictures