Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Movie Poster Image
Dumb '90s comedy full of gross-out humor, profanity, sex.
  • PG-13
  • 1994
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 68 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by[email protected] 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... Continue reading
Adult Written bygreen_goblin November 7, 2008

So funny

I don't think it's OK for kids at all.
Teen, 15 years old Written bySamzhere July 27, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byDeclan1700 January 21, 2018

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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