(Photo by Illumination / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Illumination Movies Ranked

It’s not easy to break into the major American animation scene when it’s already dominated by the likes of Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Laika, and more — but Illumination found a way. Founded just over a decade ago in 2007, the studio stole hearts from the get-go with Despicable Me, which has spawned an entertainment empire including two movie sequels and a Minions spin-off for its ubiquitous endearing/annoying yellow boys. Meanwhile, films like The Grinch and Sing have solidified Illumination’s game plan of making upper mid-budget films with global appeal, which means the studio has yet to have a commercial dud. Minions: The Rise of Gru is out, and they’ve got a Mario movie in the works for 2022. With that, we’re ranking every Illumination movie by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Despicable Me (2010)
81%

#1
Adjusted Score: 88013%
Critics Consensus: Borrowing heavily (and intelligently) from Pixar and Looney Tunes, Despicable Me is a surprisingly thoughtful, family-friendly treat with a few surprises of its own.
Synopsis: Supervillain Gru, a man who delights in all things wicked, hatches a plan to steal the moon. Surrounded by an... [More]

#2

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
75%

#2
Adjusted Score: 82682%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs.
Synopsis: Now that Gru has forsaken a life of crime to raise Margo, Agnes and Edith, he's trying to figure out... [More]

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 86121%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Synopsis: Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#4

Sing (2016)
71%

#4
Adjusted Score: 82845%
Critics Consensus: Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title.
Synopsis: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. An eternal optimist, and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#5

Sing 2 (2021)
71%

#5
Adjusted Score: 77610%
Critics Consensus: Second verse, same as the first: For audiences that enjoyed the first installment, Sing 2 should prove another endearing diversion.
Synopsis: This holiday season, the new chapter in Illumination's smash animated franchise arrives with big dreams and spectacular hit songs as... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 78890%
Critics Consensus: The Minions' antic shenanigans are beginning to grate despite this sequel's injection of retro chic, although this loony marathon of gags will still delight young children.
Synopsis: In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell)... [More]
Directed By: Kyle Balda

#7
Adjusted Score: 69934%
Critics Consensus: The Secret Life of Pets 2 doesn't teach its animated stars any new narrative tricks -- but for fans of the original, this funny, energetic sequel should still satisfy.
Synopsis: Explore the emotional lives of pets and the deep bond between them and the families that love them as Max,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#8

Despicable Me 3 (2017)
59%

#8
Adjusted Score: 70526%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 3 should keep fans of the franchise consistently entertained with another round of colorful animation and zany -- albeit somewhat scattershot -- humor.
Synopsis: The mischievous Minions hope that Gru will return to a life of crime after the new boss of the Anti-Villain... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 70616%
Critics Consensus: The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that's solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story's legacy.
Synopsis: The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. His main source... [More]

#10

Minions (2015)
55%

#10
Adjusted Score: 63244%
Critics Consensus: The Minions' brightly colored brand of gibberish-fueled insanity stretches to feature length in their self-titled Despicable Me spinoff, with uneven but often hilarious results.
Synopsis: Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 59672%
Critics Consensus: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is cute and funny enough but the moral simplicity of the book gets lost with the zany Hollywood production values.
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) lives in a place virtually devoid of nature; no flowers or trees grow in the town... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#12

Hop (2011)
24%

#12
Adjusted Score: 29321%
Critics Consensus: It's impressively animated, but Hop's script is so uninspired that not even James Marsden's frantic mugging can give it any bounce.
Synopsis: Beneath Easter Island, in a giant factory that manufactures the world's Easter candy, the popular rabbit is preparing to pass... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hill