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 10+
Based on 56 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 84 reviews
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).
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 byWaltron June 18, 2020

Too much swearing

Too much swearing. Boring storyline.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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 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 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 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 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
Adult Written bywatchout April 9, 2008

Plot was good, language was horrible

Not suitable for children at all.
Adult Written byFredGifford70 December 5, 2020

Great movie for 13 and up!

I've read a lot of unhappy reviews this year and here's my take:

1)I fully agree that CommonSense's rating of 8 is too young. I watched this movie when I was 13 and loved it so much. Decades later it is STILL A GREAT MOVIE and I would say 13-year-olds these days are the youngest to watch it. As others have said, there's a few not-so-nice words in the movie and a little bullying as well as some topics/jokes that an 8 year old simply would not get.

2)There is no racism in this movie. Others have said there is a Chinese restaurant scene. Yes, the last 2 minutes of the movie and it is clearly not racist. Maybe it's stereotypical, but stereotypes are not the same as racism.

3)Building on #1, based on the CS age recommendation of 8, I let my almost-11-year-old watch the first 1/2 of the movie with me and he didn't quite get the humor or the bad words.

4)The movie isn't aimed at an audience of kids under 13. It's aimed at teens and adults who will flashback to their years of Santa and Christmas and being a 9-year old.

With the above said, it's truly a great movie for teens and adults. Lots of great humor about a kid who wants a BB gun for Christmas but is having a hard time convincing his teacher, parents, and even Santa that it is safe for him to own it! The movie also has a lot of humor about being a 9-year old in school such as making dares, daydreaming about the teacher's love for his schoolwork, and standing up to bullies.
Adult Written byAp07635 March 4, 2020

Cute premise, but not appropriate for children

I think this movie could’ve been really cute, but even as an adult, I was disappointed with all the swearing. It could’ve been a good family movie without it. I also didn’t think the adults were good role models at all.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written bySwayne December 22, 2019

Screen the language first

There is a ton of cussing.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byAmanda N. December 3, 2019

Fine for adults. Not for children.

Lots of swearing, the son swears (wonder why...hears it from his dad) the son says the lamp which is a leg in fishnet stockings is electrified sex and runs his hand up and down it. We don’t use that language, especially wouldn't in front of any children and therefore don’t want our children hearing it for entertainment purposes either. The dad isn’t a great role model.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byVohaul February 27, 2019

A classic

A classic Christmas film but definitely not for kids. Dismissing the "F--- word" joke, there is actually some heard language. Some mild violence, including Ralph beating up a bully. The infamous leg lamp is a suggestive and cheezy joke even described as "electric sex" by Ralph.
Written byAnonymous December 22, 2018

The butt review

Great movie, a little action where the main character Ralphie beats up the bully Scott fargus showing the bully with a bloody face, bloody nose. Some swearing with son of a b*tch, ass, sh*t, godd*mn, and a short scene with the boy saying fudge but with the narrorating adult Ralphie talking, you can clearly tell he said the F word. Movie has no sex or nudity.
Adult Written byHolly R. November 25, 2018

It's really funny but has iffy parts. The dogs steal the turkey.

It's about a kid who desperately wants a Red Rider B B gun for Christmas but keeps getting told that "you'll shoot your eye out". It's funny and there's quite a few inappropriate parts that will make older viewers chuckle but that you probably shouldn't let the youngest kids see. There's the "leg lamp" and it's pretty funny, the pole licking part, the pink bunny onesie that Ralphie must endure and other things that might offend some people. At one point dogs get into the house and gobble up the turkey (see what I did there?) so the family has Chinese duck instead except the dad can't eat it at first because "it's smiling at him" so the Chinese cook chops the head of the duck on spot for them.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byLongoria January 27, 2021

CSM needs to review their review

I registered just to write about this movie since it really is not what CSM claims it is, at least in the 2020s

My 9yo daughter had a BAD time watching this supposedly "funny" and "family" movie. This is really not for kids at all. Anyone watching this movie has to understand very well the context of 1940s US and why the way things were in schools and homes were by no means what they are today.

There´s lots of violence (physical, racism and psicological), lots of consumerism, lots of drinking...

If you watch it even with a 12yo kid, you'll have to do lots of explaining on why those things are not acceptable or even funny these days.

Please CSM, review your review. Thanks.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byMelissa42 December 27, 2020

Racist and weird

I know it’s dated which I expected but it was so boring for our 10 and 15 year olds, as well as lots of inappropriate language/innuendo and a racist restaurant scene.
Adult Written byDocent Z December 25, 2020
Adult Written byLebron12James3 December 20, 2020

Yass

Best movie swearing

Pages