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Parents' Guide to


By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Witless slapstick with leering, obnoxious man-child.

Movie PG 1994 90 minutes
Clifford Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

Very Funny, For Preteens and up

A cult comedy classic where the whole plot is that of a ten year old boy making his Uncle's life miserable when his parents leave him behind with the Uncle for a visit. So be forewarned that the whole point of the movie is a kid getting revenge on his Uncle for not giving into his demands and make sure that your kids dont get the wrong messages from that. Martin Short although miscast as a ten year old boy (he was 40 when the film was made mind you) still gives his unique brand of genuinely funny comedy to this performance. Charles Grodin as his uncle actually provides the movie with the biggest laughs in my opinion, Mary Steenburgen as his fiancee is also fine. Aside from the revenge plot there is typical PG-level swearing 3 uses of "s--t", one "g-----n", one use of Jesus and a few hells and damns. There are also a couple adult jokes and a scene where Martin Short watches a video at his Uncle's House of an African tribe dancing naked. You can see brief female nudity in this clip but it is not in any way vulgar or sexual as the video is presented in the form of him watching a documentary. There is also a brief scene of Grodin and Steenburgen's boss played by Dabney Coleman in another performance similar to that of his in 9 to 5 and Tootsie trying to hit on Steenburgen. It looks like he might even attempt to rape her in the back of a limo at one point but Steenburgen hits him and makes him pay for it. 10 and up should be able to handle this just fine and might even find the story funnier than adults. I dont recommend this film to children with lots of behavioral problems or who disrespect their parents because most of the movie can give them ideas of how to get even with their parents when they dont get their way. However this story is told in flashback with Martin Short as an elderly priest in the mid-21st century whose telling a child a story of how he changed from being the worst child in the world to a decent human being, and the character does indeed learn his lesson and redeems himself as an adult so it does teach good messages about redemption and that revenge is a thing in life that is harmful to you and others. So while this may not be the best choice for problem behavior children it is important to emphasize to your kids the message that comes at the conclusion of the movie and discuss how the worst of people can change and become decent human beings. I mark good role models only because Clifford as a child is the kind of kid that makes Bart Simpson look like an angel in comparison, but in the end he becomes a very kind, inspirational loving Priest, so he becomes a good role model through character development. Overall a funny movie, with some inappropriate themes and content, but also has a good message at the end.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 10+

So funny its crazy.

funny movie if you can handle Martin Short as an 10 year old pest driving his folks crazy then his uncle. many laughs to.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The few laughs for grownups aren't nearly enough to make this movie bearable. And kids can find a lot more genuine laughs in movies with clever writing, warm-hearted pratfalls, and at least one likeable person. It's true that kids often find the exaggerated antics of naughty children funny on film; after all, those mischief-makers get away with what real kids only dream about. In this case, however, despite the frantically-sustained comic efforts of Martin Short and the slow-burn excellence of Charles Grodin, the weak story, mean-spirited characters, and a genuine lack of timing, pace, and wit defeat everyone involved.

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