Parent reviews for A Christmas Story

Common Sense says

Wonderful antidote to cutesy holiday tales; some swearing.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 64 reviews
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byJazzerGyrl December 16, 2009

Screen it before your kids do

I know my husband loves this movie, but I can't stand it at all. As a parent, I like it even less. The language is terrible for kids to see, it makes children think Santa does not get you what you want-and he is portrayed as being really nasty in this movie at the mall. The father feeling up a sexy leg lamp is something little ones just simply would not get. All in all, I think that you have to decide on how mature your child is before you watch this movie. It also is really watered down when they run it on television, so if you buy it on DVD, make sure you screen it before showing your kids, I think you will be shocked at the content the networks leave out.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byjeannehayes December 25, 2009

Parents beware, preview this one first

I have never been so incented to post a review a movie until we turned this one off half way through. The CSM reviewer was so off on this one, it's shameful. The language is completely inappropriate, and the sexual innuendos were offensive for a supposed "classic" Christmas holiday movie. I don't think I could in good conscience recommend this movie even for older children as I feel it a waste of time, the material is so poorly treated.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written bySallyP December 30, 2008

Funny for adults and teens, but language is terrible for younger kids

I have watched this movie many times, and think it's really funny. I thought my 9-year old would like it this year, so we started to watch it, and I had apparently forgotten how bad the language is! MUCH more swearing that you would typically see in a PG or even PG13 movie these days... My daughter also really hated the bullying. We didn't finish watching the movie... we'll probably try again when she's about 12!
Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written byjadashef December 3, 2012

Cute, fun movie, but not for younger kids.

It is a fun movie that provides me a trip down memory lane. However, I have an 11 year old son and we won't let him watch it yet due to the language and the leg lamp scene. I just can't justify my son watching another boy caress the lamp and talk about the "glowing sex" coming from the window. I don't see the need for that. I would consider letting him watch it if we could skip that particular part. Plus, I'm also not a fan of this being yet another movie that paints the father in the home as an idiot. Maybe I'm asking for too much, but if I'm going to bring entertainment into my home for my children, I want something that is a bit more tolerable.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Parent Written bysevendad December 12, 2011

Come on people.......

It popped in to my head to watch it as a family so I watched it, then came here as I always do to see what others are thinking. Here's my thought, this movie is awesome, there are some swears, and some things happen that are rough. Here's the deal though, bullying happens and will always happen as long as anyone is different from someone else, coddling all kids isn't the answer. If kids can't tell the difference between the words they should use and not, how will they ever make a real Judgement call. The leg lamp, really....its a lamp made of a mannequin leg. I feel like sometimes people helicopter parent too much, and things like this movie will help the softer kids if there parents would be good enough to stop cementing them fromm everything.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written bysss April 9, 2008

ok for 12&up

although I grew up with this movie (it's on tv every year at Christmas time), I was in shock over the language in the movie as I watched it with my kids. the unedited version of the movie on tv contains the words "son of a bit--". it's too bad, words are not bleeped out anymore.
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byMattmchugh November 17, 2011

Too sophisticated for little kids, but perfect for tweens

Some reviewers here have noted the few mild profanities and hint of sexuality as making this film inappropriate for young children. Well, that's your call, but what really makes this film off limits for the pre-school set is its sophistication. This is not a children's movie. It's a movie about childhood for adults. It's full of nostalgia and the little traumas that shake a pre-teen's world to its foundation yet are barely noticed by adults. Watching this movie will make you remember what it was like to be a kid. If your kids -- say, smart 8-year-olds and up -- watch this movie, it will make them realize childhood is a universal, and temporary, condition. That's a bit of jolt to any kid, but this movie, with its subtle wisdom, eases that message in gently between the laughs. -- mm

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... December 10, 2009

Not for children

I rented the movie so it was not edited by cable. The language used by the children were very bad one would call his friend Ralphie a smart ass, a few times and Ralphie said he used the F word instead of the Fuuu that replaced it. Not really for children and too much innuendo for tweens. Watch it on cable not rented version. But most children don't get the humor so they don't really like it anyway.

This title contains:

Language
Parent Written byLulu D. December 30, 2016

funny with a side of racism

this is an american classic in more ways than one. it's not a terrible movie and has many funny moments, but please CSM should have their official reviews screened for just skipping over racist crap. The scene in the Chinese restaurant is not something to watch with your kids without pausing and explaining why it is offensive. Kids today STILL make fun of Asian people. including many native-born Asian-Americans by using fake Chinese accents. It is hurtful and Common Sense Media should note this stuff-- if they are going to note cursing or kissing, they should at least note the racism as well--i find that way more offensive than the cursing in this movie. CSM needs to add an icon for stereotyping/racism in movies--doesn't mean you shouldn't watch movies with those issues, but be aware of them and point them out to your kids and tell them it is not ok to do that out there in the real world (or online).
Adult Written byrationalmind December 8, 2011

Skip this classic

CSM review is off. I usually am right with them but not on this one. Just because it's an older movie and a holiday classic doesn't mean we should sit our 7 and 8 year olds down to watch. If this movie would have come out this year I think parents would be outraged with the lamp and the swearing. Oh and the parenting is so crazy. My husband didn't share my views on this classic and felt as though we were depriving our boys so we put it on and even he was shocked at how horrible the movie was we didn't get to far with the kids in the room.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written byBa movie girl April 2, 2011

its a great family movie

i love a christmas story it has a couple of scary scenes and it has just a little to much violence for kids to watch i love this movie though and it is funny and hilarious and Melinda Dillion did a great job as playing the mom and so did Darren Mcgavin playing as the dad and the leg lamp part was hilarious so was the part when santa pushed ralphie down the slide backwards and when flick put his tongue on the flag pole and when ralphie was inside the pink bunny suit to me i think the movie was very good the movie is a classic and it does have a lot of profanity i would recommened a christmas movie if u are looking for a great christmas movie then watch a chritsmas story and the movie it self is a defiently family movie to watch over and over again it just had some language

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written byjordynannee February 21, 2015
It's a tradition in my to watch A Christmas Story on Christmas or Christmas break.There is some swearing.I think it would be fine for any child to watch it if they know not to repeat it.
Parent of a 10 year old Written bymaddox121 August 7, 2015

Rated R for Moderate Language and Violence

Messages-none Role Models-none Violence-"Shoot yer eye out,Kid" Languages-a--,bi---,Fudge Sex-Leg Lamp and Naked kids consumerism-Toys (Pretend its Talking "Ted" from the R rated movie of the same name) and ovaltene Drugs-The Mildest part only 1 Beer no people get drunk THAT MOVIE IS INNAPROPITE

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byrunner26 December 20, 2010

Wait for your teenager.

A great movie. Not appropriate for kids. CSM reviewer is off: Consumerism includes, Ovaltine and many other items Lots of sexual stuff Parents are portraied as idiots and use bad language that gets beeped out.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written byKate D October 23, 2016

I love this movie.

I have considered this movie to be a Christmas classic for many years now. It is hilarious, has wonderful messages about family and Christmas, and has loveable and relatable characters. Generally, I would consider this movie perfectly appropriate for children (having experienced watching it with my own daughter and sons) and it is definitely something that they enjoy. I've noticed many reviewers commenting about the "swearing," "violence," and the "lamp scene," saying that these are reasons that they deem this movie inappropriate for children. I disagree with these reviewers. There is very limited swearing, and nothing even remotely PG-13; I would guess that most parents would be completely fine with their kids hearing it and even saying what is said in the movie in front of their children. It really is harmless. About the supposed "violence," there is a bully but the amount of violence is probably the same as what is shown in kids cartoons/shows. There is nothing even close to the amount of violence that is found in movies like "Star Wars," "Divergent" or any other movies/tv shows that many young teens might be interested in. As for the famous "leg lamp," many reviewers seem to have made it into something that it really is not. It is simply a lamp in the shape of a leg, yes someone TOUCHES it with their hand, really, how HORRIBLY inappropriate, but other than that it is literally just sitting in a window. It's just a leg. Everyone, including kids who can't talk, sees legs. Anyway, I think that the movie is most loved for it's innocent funny scenes and family feel. I am always excited to watch this with my family every Christmas and it is definitely a family favorite.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written bytildahat December 14, 2014

Not for kids

I think the review who said this is not a movie for kids, it's an adult movie about childhood got it right. My 8 and 10 year old were quite disturbed by it. Ralphie imagines shooting and killing "bad guys", the scene where Ralphie beats up the bully was very upsetting to them, and also the scene with the mean department store elves and Santa. My kids are both sensitive and one has some developmental issues, so other kids might handle it better, but watch it first if you haven't seen it in a while to make your own judgment. Also, I had only seen in on TV, edited. The language is not really appropriate for younger kids.
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byKirk H. April 21, 2017

Would have been more of a classic if....

....it didn't include 'Son of a bitch'. I find it disheartening that some parents are cool with their <10 yo kids being exposed to words/phrases like these, and the movie could have made the same impact without the 'SOB'. I hadn't seen this in some years and forgot about some of the swearing and innuendos projected in the film. Watched it tonight with my 7 yo - big mistake. I'm not a prude - quite the opposite - but I draw the line with expletives. It ruined an otherwise funny and engaging film.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byLowe's man June 23, 2014

universal childhood themes

Many people will recall their own childhoods, when there was one thing that they wanted for Christmas more than anything else, hence making them identify with Ralphie. They will also identify with Ralphie in the scene on Christmas morning, when he was embarassed to be seen in the Easter bunny outfit that Aunt Clara gave him, as we've all gotten gifts that we not only disliked but were embarassed to be seen with. Viewers will guess that Aunt Clara was out of touch. Many of us have just such a relative somewhere in our families. If you think about it, the mother was out of touch too, especially with the way she bundled Randy up. The father was more in tune to the wants and needs of his boys. Most viewers, if asked who the better parent was in the movie, will say the father. The only drawback for younger children, aside from the sanitized language, is the Higbee's Santa Claus and one of the elves, who both provided poor customer service. (Hopefully management eventually found out and fired them.)
Adult Written bywatchout April 9, 2008

Plot was good, language was horrible

Not suitable for children at all.
Adult Written byLeslie T. December 9, 2017

No longer seems the classic I once considered it to be

This is not a cute classic for kids and I regret sharing it with mine. While the language was offensive, it was the violence of Ralphie bloodying up another kids face (and then continuing to bludgeon him for several more minutes) that really bothered me. It was not funny, or in self defense, it was over the top and disturbing. You also hear a Mom beating her child while on the phone, which I found disturbing. Kids are no longer commonly spanked so when they hear that it is scary. The Dad is weird and gross, but just not funny like I remember. Times have changed and A Christmas Story is no longer seen with fond nostalgia of good old days.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language

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