Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Movie review by Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Sweet book-based comedy has great family messages.

PG 2014 81 minutes

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 42 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 60 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Stands out for .

Community Reviews

age 8+

Fun family film, includes some great conversation starters on important topics

I was unaware this film existed and when we started watching it was surprised to see actual Hollywood talent in it, as I assumed this was something much lower in budget. As other reviewers comment it does derive comedic value from some risqué themes, but does so in a suitable way and one you can build important conversations on easily. The only three problems for us were the endorsement of women as objects in the “app photo editing” scene (brief, implied more than shown); the joke for the adults about Australian cowboys (it’s an odd choice but they remain clothed and it should fly right over the kids heads); and the big one: the comedic abuse of over the counter medicine. It has real consequences was funny. My kids - like a lot of kids - have lost family members to the opioid crisis. While I think it’s very weird someone approved this for a family movie it created a good platform for us to talk about the issues which, to me, is important to start young and do often. Honestly the only real problematic issue we actually had was the bar it sets on what a birthday party could look like and can they have a crocodile at their next birthday. Characters do make choices that would be dangerous if imitated - so if your kids like to copy (mine don’t) you might want to look elsewhere. With the backbone of some really wholesome messages, as long as you can stand your kids hearing the word “penis” you’ll have a good time.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
2 people found this helpful.
age 5+

This was a really fun family movie!

I thought this was a really fun movie! I watch with a five and six year-old and they really enjoyed it. The scenes complained about in other reviews went right over their heads. They understood the main lessons of importance of family and making the best out of even the worst situations.

This title has:

Great messages

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Child cross country skiing
    See all
  • Hands together
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a book
    Book Characters
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of the side profile of a boy
    Great Boy Role Models
    See all

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

See how we rate