Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Movie Poster Image

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective



Dumb '90s comedy full of gross-out humor, profanity, sex.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The women in the movie serve little purpose beyond sex and cleavage. Lots of tasteless humor: gay jokes, jokes about people with mental illness, bathroom humor.

Positive role models

Characters are one-dimensional, unlikable, and obnoxious. 


A fistfight between a man and a woman with some blood. A man jumps off his penthouse balcony and is killed. People fall off cars and balconies and into shark-infested fish tanks. Several gunshots. A shot of sharks with sharp teeth. A man repeatedly swings a baseball bat at a car. 


Implied oral sex; bed-rattling sex hidden under covers. Lengthy shot of a man's bare bottom. 


Frequent profanity: "rat's ass," "a--hole," "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," "bastard," "pet d--k," and "s--tballs," as well as the exclamation, "holy testicle Tuesday!" Middle-finger gesture. A character remarks that a former Miami Dolphins player should "die of gonorrhea." Occasional strong sexual innuendo. 


The Miami Dolphins are featured prominently. Dan Marino, a former Dolphins quarterback, is shown filming a commercial for Isotoner gloves. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking at a social function.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a 1994 movie in which Jim Carrey plays a strange and obnoxious detective who specializes in cases involving animals. While much of the humor was not that great to begin with, decades later, this movie has not gotten better with age, especially the jokes at the expense of homosexuals and the mentally ill. There is frequent strong sexual innuendo, including a sex scene in which Ace and a woman make the bed shake and bounce as the animals watch. There is also a joke in which a character says that a former Miami Dolphins player who has a brief role in this movie "should die of gonorrhea." Expect frequent profanity, including variations of "s--t." Some toilet humor when Ace emerges from the men's room of a socialite's party drenched in water. A man jumps off his penthouse balcony and is killed. People fall off cars and balconies and into shark-infested fish tanks.

What's the story?

When the Miami Dolphins' mascot is kidnapped one week before the Super Bowl, team assistant Melissa (Courteney Cox) brings in pet detective Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) to solve the case. Sporting a loud shirt and roller coaster hairdo, the wacky detective immediately begins an investigation, eventually unearthing a mystery involving a vengeful football player who once played for the Dolphins. Ace must race the clock when he realizes that star player Dan Marino (as himself) is in danger.

Is it any good?


Without Carrey, this comedy would add up to a perfect zero. Ace revolves around Carrey's talent for contorting his face. On display, he mugs and writhes incessantly, shamelessly, for his audience. Director Tom Shadyac indulges his antics and butt-cheek ventriloquism, mindful not to put anything in the way -- like a plot -- that might distract from his prize performer. Unfortunately, the talents of Sean Young and Courteney Cox are squandered here. Parents might be misled by the seemingly innocent movie title and should be aware that the bathroom humor and sexual content can be offensive. They should be further warned that dramatic kids might spend days imitating Carrey's wildly exaggerated mannerisms.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this kind of "stupid humor" appeals to audiences. Why do different people find different things funny? How does this movie compare to Jim Carrey's other comedies?

  • How are the mentally ill shown in this movie? Do you think it's inappropriate to find humor in exaggerated portrayals of mental illness, or do you think that anyone who finds such portrayals offensive to be overly sensitive? Why?

  • Who are some other examples of actors -- past and present -- who play comedic roles in a style similar to Jim Carrey? 

  • Families can discuss the history of physical comedy. How does this movie's humor differ from that of the Three Stooges, and how is it similar?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 4, 1994
DVD/Streaming release date:August 26, 1997
Cast:Courteney Cox, Jim Carrey, Sean Young
Director:Tom Shadyac
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Horses and farm animals, Misfits and underdogs, Ocean creatures, Wild animals
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:off-color humor and some nudity.

This review of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • The caviar of low-brow, gross-out comedy.
  • Super bawdy, super profane -- and super funny.
  • Lowbrow '90s comedy has raunchy humor, profanity.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bygreen_goblin November 7, 2008

So funny

I don't think it's OK for kids at all.
Parent Written bytennessegirl14 November 27, 2010

Funny Hahahah

I Liked this movie a whole lot! Idk why its gettin such bad reviews!! this is a classic Jim Carrey movie(and i Luvs him so maby that's y) with crude humor yes but still funny! I think they drop the f bomb a few times but but besides that i believe this is an all around FUNNY movie! A must watch for Carrey fans!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bycarolbee1@comca... September 10, 2010
I watched this with my 10 year old son, and I should have turned it off. Instead we fast-forwarded through all the inappropriate scenes. I did not expect the explicit, sexually inappropriate humor in a PG-13 movie. Sorry, call me a prude, but even for teenagers it's just not appropriate. There is one scene where Jim Carrie and Courtney Cox are having rambunctious sex under the covers. There is no skin, but that does not matter (!), the scene is sooo explicit. There is also a scene where a woman asks Ace if she can reward him by pulling down his pants, and she does! I thought this movie should have been rated R.
What other families should know
Too much sex


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?