Christian Living


'Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made' Movie Review

Timmy Failure movie
Star Rating

Movie Info


(for thematic elements, some language, and mild action)


Action & Adventure, Kids & Family


Februrary 7, 2020


Winslow Fegley, Wallace Shawn, Craig Robinson, Ophelia Lovibond, Kyle Bornheimer


Tom McCarthy


Disney+ / Walt Disney Company

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

TIMMY FAILURE: MISTAKES WERE MADE follows an 11-year-old named Timmy Failure as he seeks to fight evil with his detective agency alongside his imaginary polar bear pal named Total. TIMMY FAILURE is an endearing comedy that has a strong faith friendly, morally uplifting worldview stressing helping others, respect, accountability, and forgiveness. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children for TIMMY FAILURE: MISTAKES WERE MADE.

Set in Portland, Oregon, the movie begins with a voiceover narration by the movie’s protagonist, Timmy Failure. Timmy is an 11-year-old boy with a passion for his detective agency, Total Failure, which he runs from his home office upstairs in his house. Timmy’s coworker is a polar bear named Total (hence the name of the agency), who found his way to Portland from the Arctic. Although it appears only Timmy can see Total, the filmmakers play around with his existence.

One day, while Timmy is out using his mother’s Segway without her permission, the Segway goes missing. Timmy believes that the culprit of the heist are the “Russians” who are actually just normal Portlanders who look somewhat menacing because of their tattoos and everyday dress. Eventually, Timmy comes to believe that “The Nameless One,” a girl in his class, is working with the “Russians.”

Timmy calls upon his friend Rollo to help determine if “The Nameless One’s” dad, who’s in charge of a local bank, is helping her. Rollo reluctantly agrees to help Timmy, but things go sideways when their diversion at the bank fails.

Meanwhile, Timmy’s grades tank because he’s more interested in his agency than schoolwork and doesn’t want to go to middle school. Timmy’s classroom teacher, Mr. Crocus, takes on the villain role in Timmy’s mind. On the flip side, Timmy seems to enjoy talking to his school counselor (played by the comedian Craig Robinson). The counselor acts as a soundboard to Timmy’s ideas but also keeps a close eye on him.

Timmy’s mother Patty works multiple jobs as a single mother. One day, Timmy learns his mother is dating a parking meter patrol officer named Crispin. Crispin, like Timmy’s school counselor, indulges his imagination, but his mother eventually insists Timmy give up his agency in hopes that he will “grow up.”

While on a field trip to a historic dam, Timmy, Rollo and Total hatch a plan to make sure “The Nameless One” won’t cut the power to the entire city. Timmy breaks free of his classmates to see if indeed the “Nameless One” is enacting her plan. Mr. Crocus literally goes out on a ledge to save Timmy but thankfully, their peril is only for a brief minute.

With so many loose ends to tie up, how will Timmy go forward?

Based on a series of popular children’s books, TIMMY FALIURE: MISTAKES WERE MADE is a fun watch. Breaks between reality and Timmy’s imagination along with swipes in the editing make TIMMY FAILURE unique. The dialogue of TIMMY FAILURE is positively witty and engaging and will have audiences of all ages laughing frequently.

TIMMY FAILURE: MISTAKES WERE MADE follows a predominant moral worldview with emphasis on helping others, responsibility, the need for accountability as children grow up, and the importance of saying “I’m sorry.” Positively, church is mentioned a couple of times and a character says, “God bless.” There are some light environmentalist, politically correct elements attributed to Portland’s liberal culture, such as fifth grade students participating in “Animal Awareness Month,” signs that mention peace and the image of a rainbow stick. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for young children because of this, some light action violence, and some lying and disobedience.

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