Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

  • Review Date: February 17, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Gimmicky comedy is an unoriginal drag for young teens.
  • Review Date: February 17, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 107 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ultimately the movie has some positive messages about why parents should encourage their kids' talent, why college is important (even if you have a dream career you could pursue right after high school), and about just being yourself on a date, not what you assume the other person wants. But the movie also perpetuates several gender stereotypes about high-school girls -- like that they're all obsessed with their weight,  boyfriends, and shopping, and that they all like to prance around in skimpy lingerie in front of each other.

Positive role models

Malcolm is a good role model, for once, to his stepson Trent. He genuinely wants what's best for Trent and wants him to go to college instead of trying to become a rapper. As Big Momma, he also convinces the girls to get rid of boyfriends who don't treat them well, to tell the truth, and to not starve themselves.


A crime lord shoots an informant twice with a handgun -- once from a distance, the other at close range -- but the camera focuses on a witness and not the killing itself. Gun-carrying goons chase after Malcolm and Trent and hold a couple of people hostage. Only one person is killed. A girl slaps a guy in the face.


Two high-schoolers go on a date, hold hands, and kiss a couple of times. The teen girls at the boarding school have a late-night party where they parade around in short pajamas, trying on clothes and waving lingerie around. In one scene, a girl briefly strips down to her bra and underwear to try on a dress, and she gets as far as unhooking her bra. A guy makes the age-old "something came up" joke and vaguely covers up his crotch area, but it's done so quickly that it's not clear whether he does or doesn't have an erection.


Standard fare for a PG-13 comedy, with "ass" and "s--t" being the main offenders. Also, lots and lots of "damn" (or, more precisely, "DAYUM!"), plus "hell" and "oh my God."


Overt product placements include Mac (particularly the MacBook Pro laptop), Mercedes, and Toyota Sequoia. Duke University gets a big plug as well.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the third installment in the Big Momma franchise is less obnoxious than the second, Big Momma's House 2, and considerably tamer in terms of over-the-top, crude jokes. That said, there's still a good bit of sexual innuendo (although it's usually expressed by a teenager's wide-eyed exclamation of "damn!") and language (mostly "ass" and "s--t"). Big Momma is a positive influence on the girls she's in charge of and tries to encourage them to ditch bad boyfriends, eat in a healthy manner, and tell the truth. Still, this isn't exactly a message movie, and most of the comedy is broad and lowbrow.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is having a good day -- his stepson Trent (Brandon T. Jackson) receives an acceptance letter to Duke University, and Canetti (Max Casella), his informant on an important case, is about to wear a wire at a meeting with a crime lord. But things take a wrong turn when Trent shows up at the scene and witnesses Russian mob boss Chirkoff (Tony Curran) kill Canetti. Turner decides to disguise himself once more as Big Momma -- with Trent as his grand-niece, Charmaine -- in order to attend an all-girls school for the performing arts, where Canetti stashed a flash drive containing incriminating evidence against Chirkoff. While undercover, Trent falls for Haley (Jessica Lucas), a beautiful aspiring singer, and Big Momma charms the supersized-woman-loving school security guard (Faizon Love), who may know where the flash drive is hidden.

Is it any good?


There are fewer crude jokes in this threequel, which is obviously aimed at young teens, than there were in Big Momma's House 2. That's the good news. Plus, there are a couple of Glee-meets-Fame moments in which Jackson and the girls break into spontaneous song (and dance). But aside from a silly little scene in which Jackson and Lawrence do a little dance routine to a Temptations song, even the performances fall flat. This is a most unnecessary movie.

It's disappointing, because Jackson -- who's made a living playing the comic-relief in Tropic Thunder, Percy Jackson, The Lottery Ticket, and more -- is a pretty talented young actor, but he needs to show he can do something clever, not this lowbrow comedy. He should be trying to stretch himself, like Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, or even Marlon Wayans (in Requiem for a Dream) did earlier in their careers. Cross-dressing is a tried and true movie staple in comedies, and when it works, it can be amazing (Some Like It Hot, The Birdcage, Mrs. Doubtfire). Unfortunately, this particular series is just a drag.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why cross-dressing comedies are popular. Why are there so many more drag comedies with men dressed up as women instead of the reverse?

  • How does this movie portray teenage girls? Is it that common for girls to have eating disorders and throw lingerie-flaunting pajama parties? What do you think about Trent's comment about shopping being for girls what sports is for guys?

  • What does cross-dressing teach Trent about girls? Does it help him treat girls better?

  • What's the lesson about going to college versus skipping it to pursue your dreams?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 18, 2011
DVD release date:June 14, 2011
Cast:Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas, Martin Lawrence
Director:John Whitesell
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual humor and brief violence

This review of Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son 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

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

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

Teen, 15 years old Written bybananalover March 6, 2011


this movie is stupid!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old February 23, 2011


this film was great, better than the last one but some language and sexual content.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 6, 2013

Really Funny: Rating: 10/10

Best, Better than 1 and 2.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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

Digital Compass