Parents' Guide to

Malibu's Most Wanted

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dumb movie, but some funny moments for teens.

Movie PG-13 2003 100 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (3 ):

Yes, MALIBU'S MOST WANTED is dumb, and yes, it's a 15-minute skit stretched out to 80 minutes, but it's very funny. Subtle and sophisticated are not terms that belong anywhere near this movie, butcompared to the numbingly formulaic "black people teach white people about how much more there is to life" themes of films like Bringing Down the House and Head of State, this movie is more even-handed and generous-hearted. And unlike those other movies, it has enough confidence and respect for the audience to put some of its best jokes in throwaway lines instead of spotlighting them with everything but a drum roll.

The relationship between Diggs and Anderson's characters is deliciously loopy as they evaluate each others' performances in the midst of complete catastrophe. Snoop Dog makes a surprise appearance that only those who can recognize his voice will catch. And if the movie's final message is, "Be yourself, even if that self is a talentless poser whose appreciation of another culture is all-encompassing," at least that message is kind of sweet.

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