Bedtime Stories

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Bedtime Stories Movie Poster Image
Sandler tames his jokes for family-friendly fantasy flick.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 100 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 41 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 63 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value
Positive messages

Shows the importance of family and working together for a common goal.

Positive role models & representations

Strong family connections: A single man gets closer to his niece and nephew and helps his sister. Characters work together to save a school from closing.

Violence & scariness

Some cartoony gun violence in the "wild, wild West" bedtime story.

Sexy stuff

A couple of kisses and some benign flirting -- including a bedtime-story scene of a man and a woman in a hot tub (clothed). References are made to a Paris Hilton-type heiress' "reputation" for having a "good time" with guys she meets at clubs.

Language

Mild, especially for a movie starring Sandler: "butt kiss," "shoot," "jerk," "shut up," "stink."

Consumerism

Featured brands include Ferrari, Toyota (Prius), Disney (Buzz Lightyear), and Apple (Mac).

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Grown-ups have cocktails and champagne at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, unlike most Adam Sandler movies, this one is actually aimed at kids, so expect a lot of interest from elementary schoolers on up. The good news is that, also unlike most Sandler movies, there aren't any crass jokes, and both language ("butt kiss" is as wild as it gets) and sexuality (a couple of fairy-tale kisses and one brief scene of a clothed man and woman in a hot tub) are mild. The violence is also minor and mostly cartoonish, although there's some gunplay in the Wild West bedtime story.

User Reviews

Adult Written bykrisj May 8, 2009

Upset with Disney

I was very upset to see that this movie had women dressed inappropriately - in bikinis - and the language was often crass. I feel that Disney is showing that w... Continue reading
Parent Written byemadeva January 22, 2012

Nice but not for children.

The story is nice but this film is definitely in the upper PG range. Even though the main characters are young children, this is not a film for children. There... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymsmaecastillo August 6, 2013

WONDERFUL!

A great movie about sticking with family, no matter what, pursuing your dreams, and sticking to what you believe. Skeeter Brunson (Adam Sandler) becomes in char... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byHoldy July 12, 2014

Hilarious movie even now when I'm 16.

I think the only things really inappropriate are the "Sir Buttkiss" and maybe the gun firing, which isn't very bad. Other than that, it's a... Continue reading

What's the story?

Adam Sandler plays Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman who agrees to babysit his newly divorced sister Wendy's (Courteney Cox) two kids -- with the help of Wendy's friend Jill (Kerri Russell) -- while she goes to an out-of-state job interview. While he's taking care of his niece and nephew, Skeeter begins a nightly tradition of telling bedtime stories the children contribute to, only to realize the next day that even outlandish aspects of the story are coming true. Seizing the opportunity, Skeeter uses the magical tales to get a shot at running the hotel his father once owned -- if he can prove himself worthier than the hotel's brown-nosing manager, Kendall (Guy Pearce).

Is it any good?

After a long list of crude movies that have kept Sandler secure in his reign as the king of drunken-frat boy comedies, this is his first real family film, and it's pleasant enough. (His 2002 Hanukkah comedy Eight Crazy Nights is animated, but it's not for kids.) Though not particularly original, it's sure to crack up the kiddies (what other purpose does the bug-eyed guinea pig have?). And die-hard Sandler fans will even find a few of his signature touches -- his goofy scat-talking, a beautiful blond to ogle (Teresa Palmer), a silly sidekick (a scene-stealing Russell Brand), and even a Rob Schneider cameo.

That said, as a fantasy comedy, BEDTIME STORIES falls far short of a family classic. Cute? Yes. But memorable? Not really. It's no Princess Bride. What is remarkable is that, stripped of all his graphic humor, Sandler is capable of starring in a comedy that's appropriate for even young kids. And utlimately, it's hard not to be charmed by the message that you should never stop trying to make your dreams a reality.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this movie is different from most of Sandler's other films. He isn't known for making family-friendly films -- why do you think he decided to make this one? Is it a success without his signature crass jokes?

  • Families can also discuss what makes a good fairy tale. How does the film itself, along with each bedtime story, follow the storyline of a traditional fairy tale?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love fantasies

Our editors recommend

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

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate