Adventures in Babysitting



Sitter's misadventures are mostly light fun.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: October 19, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overall, the movie's teens and children are portrayed as good, although a babysitter demonstrates rather poor judgment by taking kids into the city. A teen boy repeatedly makes sex jokes; he and a friend also look at a Playboy magazine. Some adult characters are involved in criminal activities, such as car theft. A little girl wanders away in the city and narrowly escapes danger.


Jokes center on the vivid imaginations of kids from the 'burbs. A "stab wound" results in just one stitch; criminals chase the kids through the city, but not for the sinister reason they think. The babysitter's scary story about a murderer with a hook for a hand makes the kids scared stiff of a tow truck driver they meet with a hook for a hand -- he does pull a shot gun, but on his wife's lover as he runs from his house. Men punch each other in various fistfights. A little girl tries to escape a high-rise building by climbing out a window. A man reveals a gun under his coat to a teen girl.


Some kissing, including a teen boy and an older college girl making out at a party. A running gag involves a female character's resemblance to a Playboy centerfold. An exchange between a hot dog vendor and his customer is played for laughs, with the word "wiener" having a sexual connotation. A prostitute propositions a teen boy. A drunk college girl asks a teen boy, "Wanna go to bed?"


Some profanity, such as "f--k," "s--t" "son of a bitch," "goddamn," and "Jesus." A teenage boy refers to a comic book superhero as a "homo."


Visible products include Cap'n Crunch cereal, a Coke machine, and a Nestlé Crunch chocolate bar. References are also made to Häagen-Dazs and Clearasil.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adult characters drink cocktails at a swanky party. College students are shown drinking alcohol and playing drinking games at a frat party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie does include some violent scenes, but they're mostly fodder for jokes that center on the vivid imaginations of kids from the 'burbs. A "stab wound" results in just one stitch; criminals chase the kids through the city, but not for the sinister reason they think. You'll also find some guns, fistfights, and one scary moment where a little girl tries to escape a high-rise building by climbing out a window. The movie is also a little racy, with talk of Playboy magazine and a surprising number of sexual innuendos.

What's the story?

ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING gets rolling when suburban high school senior Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) takes a last-minute babysitting gig. Shortly after the parents leave, Chris gets a frantic call from her best friend, who is stuck at the bus station with no money. Chris loads her young charges into her station wagon and heads for the big city. They quickly get into in one scrape after another, starting with a tire blowout that leaves them stranded on a busy freeway. By the time the car is fixed, they have been held hostage in a chop shop, performed onstage at a blues bar, been pursued by criminals, and narrowly escaped street gangs on the subway. Although they seem to be magnets for mishaps, Chris and the kids manage to keep outwitting the bad guys -- with a little help along the way.

Is it any good?


As perky as its heroine, ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING is a madcap dash through the mean streets of Chicago. This frothy, utterly '80s comedy manages to remain light-hearted and breezy despite several potentially dangerous situations that the main characters face.

Shue is especially fun to watch, and the film features a number of other actors who went on to bigger and better things, including Penelope Ann Miller, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lolita Davidovitch, The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, and red-haired Anthony Rapp of the Broadway and screen versions of Rent.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Chris made the right decision by taking the children into the city. What could she have done differently when her friend calls her from the bus station? What would have been the sensible, "grown-up" thing to do?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 1, 1987
DVD release date:January 18, 2000
Cast:Anthony Rapp, Elisabeth Shue, Penelope Ann Ann Miller
Director:Chris Columbus
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13

This review of Adventures in Babysitting was written by

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK 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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Parent of a 8 year old Written bybobsax April 9, 2008

Really bad Language and sexual themes

The TV version of this is fine to watch with kids as young as 8. I wish that version was available on DVD For some reason movies of this era thought it necessary to include profanity and this one will teach your little ones all the worst ones. I was really shocked and embarrassed when I watched this with my 7 year-old. By the way at the time there was no review on CSM.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bylittleone522 February 6, 2011

Not for kids under 13

I was quite surprised at the language in this movie. All swear words are found in this movie that I thought was "safe" for kids. "son of a b" is found at least five times, "Sh_t" is found at least three times, "as_hole" is found twice and "as_" is also said a couple of times, "bast_rd" is found at least once and the "F" word is used at least twice. Other words that are a concern for younger kids would be "H0m0" found 3 times, "r_pe" found once, "sex fiend" is also mentioned. "Jes_s" and "Chr_st" are also said many times throughout this movie. There are many conversations in this movie that are sex related and not for younger veiwers.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

cool as ice

i haven't watched thi movie for 2 years but i still remember how laugh out loud funny it was and I also remember how confused I was since i was only 9 at the time


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