Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud’s Despicable Me is entertaining enough animation, but it was exposed somewhat by the superior Megamind, which did more months later using the exact same supervillain-with-a-heart-of-gold premise. Steve Carell voices Gru, a Dr. Evil-esque loner whose sole companions are his nefarious gadgets; their creaky old inventor (Russell Brand); and a legion of googly-eyed, yellow assistants known as the Minions. After one of his competitors (Jason Segel) steals a vital shrinking ray from him, an ambitious evil scheme inspires Gru to adopt three orphan girls to help him steal it back. Gru is a great character, fitting right into Carell’s pantheon of overbearing dorks, but the film offers no compelling reason for him to adopt three interchangeable ragamuffins instead of just one. There is also too much time spent trying to sell the SpongeBob-ian Minions as adorable, plush profit centers.