The Pacifier

  • Review Date: June 26, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005

Common Sense Media says

A crass, crude, and overly-familiar comedy.
  • Review Date: June 26, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some stereotypes and cliches.

Violence & scariness

Characters in peril, kick-boxing and off-screen shooting, cartoonish and action-style violence.

Sexy stuff

A lot of diaper humor.


Some crude schoolyard language.


Intrusive product placement for Costco and other brands.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is at the PG-13 edge of PG. It has a lot of cartoon-ish "action violence:" no blood and no on-screen shooting but an exploding helicopter, a glimpse of a dead body, a lot of kicking and hitting. A parent is killed (off-screen). There's a lot of potty humor including many diaper jokes and a character covered with sewage. There's also some crude schoolyard language including "bite me," "boobs," "spaz," "skanky." One daughter wears a crucifix, though there is no further evidence of any religious faith. The portrayal of the bad guys has some unpleasantly racist overtones, and some of the "humorous" insults are sexist and homophobic. And there's intrusive product placement for Costco and other brands.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE PACIFIER stars Vin Diesel as Shane Wolf, an all-business Navy Seal who's all about securing perimeters and drop-and-give-me-twenty. Shane is sent to rescue a computer whiz who has been kidnapped by the Serbs because they want who has created his super-secret "ghost" program. The whiz is killed by the bad guys (off screen), and after Shane recovers from being shot, he is sent to the suburbs to protect the whiz's five kids while his widow attempts to retrieve the program from a safe deposit box in a Swiss bank. The kids are undisciplined and acting out following the loss of their father, but they know how to love. Result of this meeting of opposites: development of mutual admiration through comic and heart-warming incidents and some cartoon-y stunts.

Is it any good?


The Pacifier might manage to qualify as mindlessly enjoyable pap if it was not so insincere, littered with gross-out jokes, and, with a tin ear for its target audience. Once he gets to know the kids he helps each one in predictable ways. Meanwhile, the bad guys are trying to get the Ghost program so everyone has to learn to work together and rely on one another, yadda yadda. This is all shown through crude humor, uncomfortably stereotyped bad guys, and a plot twist involving a swastika that few in the target age group will understand or relate to.

This crass, crude, and overly familiar formula comedy has material that is inappropriate for younger kids and jokes that are too immature for the older ones.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different people respond differently to loss and pain. What examples did we see in this story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 4, 2005
DVD release date:June 28, 2005
Cast:Brittany Snow, Lauren Graham, Vin Diesel
Director:Adam Shankman
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:action violence, language and rude humor

This review of The Pacifier was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byPlague March 15, 2010

The Pacifier

I did not laugh once. Vin Diesel just cant do kid movies.

Teen, 16 years old Written April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

it was great

the pacifier was such a good movie, i saw it with my friends meghan, joey, and nicky. It was very funny, interesting. I laughed. I also loved the peter pan dance wich the mjor person in the movie useses to get a secret code thing. I would recomend this movie to everyone. dont listen to the other people that say the movie stinks cause it was great!

Parent of a 4, 7, 8, and 10 year old Written byJaded July 29, 2009

Fun, but also showing importance of respect for parent/parent figure

My kids (ages 7-10) and I enjoyed this movie. It was a bit unrealistic & farfetched in some parts, which can sometimes give the wrong impression to kids - eg when 2 martial art "ninjas" broke into the home when all the kids were home and Vin Diesel knocked them around over & over, with the younger daughter (maybe 9?) helping by handing him a broom to fight with. I didn't like giving kids the impression that a home break-in by thugs was "funny" or "exciting" in any way and that they should come out & help!

I liked the way the kids were portrayed as somewhat typical, if a bit disrespectful; it worked for this movie bc Vin Diesel came in & insisted they follow rules no matter the kids' desires, and bc the kids finally realized he was right & he was setting those rules for their best interest. At the same time that he was a tough disciplinarian making them follow rules & do chores etc (which they obviously weren't used to) , they showed him as being compassionate & caring, spending lots of time working with the kids on things the kids cared about.

I wasn't crazy about a part in the first third of the film, where they show a scene with the teenage girl's boyfriend trying to climb up to her 2nd story window -- but in context it worked out okay bc it shows him being "caught" & scared off (by Vin Diesel who thinks he is an intruder).

In the last few minutes of the film there is a kissing scene, which is easy to skip past.

The storyline is a bit scary bc it's all about a secret agent who is killed by people who are after software he created, and those people are still after it, putting the man's wife & children at risk.

Younger kids will enjoy the fun scenes, while the scarier stuff will be above their heads; older kids may understand the scary storyline but hopefully will understand the fictional nature, plus that this was about a "secret agent" which would separate this from most kids' daily lives.


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