Brewster's Millions

  • Review Date: December 15, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Tamed Pryor in '80s comedy with some salty language.
  • Review Date: December 15, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Money changes everything -- not so much Brewster as those around him, who swarm and fawn when he's a spend-crazy rich guy and desert him when he isn't (since that's part of Brewster's whole plan anyway, this is not a very pointed lesson). Another minor theme is that poor people are nicer and more honest than snooty rich financeers.

Positive role models

The hero is a decent, slightly rascally guy. Upscale businessmen-types, at least some of them, are treacherous and greedy. NYC local politicians are broad-brushed as gangster-like and unethical.

Violence

Punching in a barroom brawl and one-on-one against a bad guy.

Sex

No action, just talk; Brewster is said to be a womanizer on the road, overnighting in motels with women. He starts putting the moves on a sexy stranger in his penthouse, but is interrupted. Pick-up lines talk about the health benefits of nude massage.

Language

Occasional language including "s--t," "Goddamn," "SOB," "honkie," "crap," "asshole," "balls," and "Christ" used as an exclamation.

Consumerism

Considering how the whole plot is about overspending and conspicuous consumerism, there is little product-placement or brand names (Perry Ellis menswear, basically).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking in bars, restaurants, and in private, including brandishing (and attempted theft of) a valuable bottle of wine. Talk of youthful tobacco-smoking (and the punishment for doing it).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this '80s-era comedy has a fair amount of swearing and drinking. The leading character is supposed to be a womanizer, though no sex is shown onscreen. Even though the plot doesn't exactly endorse greed, it does show Brewster being enormously popular when he has tons of money, a nobody when he doesn't. And he seems to be having more fun with the tons of money.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

The plot of BREWSTER'S MILLIONS is a comedy standard adapted for the stage and screen multiple times since the silent era. In this 1980's revisit, Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a longtime pitcher for a minor-league New Jersey baseball team. About to be cut from the team with his catcher best-pal (John Candy), penniless Brewsterlearns he is the sole heir to an eccentric multi-millionaire, who has left behind $300 million. The catch: Brewster must first wastefully spend $30 million in one month -- averaging to a million a day -- on goods and services and have nothing left in money or property, before he can get the rest. Brewster's crazy, cash-burning schemes include buying his own team to play against a rented New York Yankees, investing in icebergs and running as a joke candidate in the NYC mayoral election. Even so, losing all that money in the time allotted turns out to be more difficult than it seems.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The hard-living Richard Pryor briefly became a Hollywood megastar, his edgy, angry commentaries showcased in a series of live concert stand-up flicks. But later her took on inoffensive good-guy roles like this, making for a much more family-friendly Pryor. Brewster's Millions is an OK time-passer, the star's underdog appeal remains intact  --  but it would've been just the same if supporting John Candy (wasted here in a sidekick bit) had played Brewster instead. Considering the same writers did a sharper (and racier) farce about money, race and class distinction -- Trading Places -- this has to go in the "loss" ledger.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the title character behaves when faced with his challenge. Ask young viewers what they would have done in the same situation. Is there any reason to consider Brewster a role model or not?

  • The money-spending exercise is said to be an elaborate, even cruel lesson in teaching Brewster how to be careful with his inheritance. What are responsible ways to handle money? What kind of money mistakes have kids and parents made and what can be learned from these mistakes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 22, 1985
DVD release date:May 21, 2002
Cast:Hume Cronyn, Jerry Orbach, John Candy, Richard Pryor
Director:Walter Hill
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Brewster's Millions was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay 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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Teen, 17 years old Written byGamer1995 July 21, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Awesome

It swears but it's good
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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