Curly Sue

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Curly Sue Movie Poster Image
Edgy material isn't a great fit for youngest viewers.
  • PG
  • 1991
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Misbehavior abounds with no real consequences.


Curly Sue whacks her father in the head with a stick. Three people repeatedly punch a man in the face. A man is deliberately thrown face-first from a car into a cement girder. These examples are indicative of the senseless violence that occurs throughout the movie.


The little girl knows way too much about sex and boasts about it. The lawyer talks about photographs of a client in a compromising situation.


The child heroine swears often and with wide variety. The adults offer no example.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film deals with the loss of a parent, presents a child heroine with the mouth of a sailor, incompetent adult protectors, rampant, senseless violence and a message that women should stay home with children rather than work in the outside world. Curly Sue and her dad have little respect for the law; they pick and choose which rules they follow.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byM T February 18, 2018
Used GD word
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byerik h. August 26, 2016


Way too much gratuitous language. GD about 10 times, and lots of others, typical Hollywood immoral crap. Totally unnecessary. This is not a war movie and it... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 20, 2017

Fun movie

The movie is absolutely funny and fun but not for the whole family. Under 9 it is inappropriate for. There is a lot of bad language in the movie. Definitely NOT... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byonthewaytothere September 20, 2013

Heartwarming and Funny For The Whole Family.

I absolutely LOVED this movie! It is an easy going slap stick comedy with a deep meaning that shouts love is what really matters in life. Not to mention the ado... Continue reading

What's the story?

Bill (James Belushi) and his daughter Curly Sue arrive in Detroit, broke and homeless. The two immediately set out to scam for food and lodging. Their first target is Grey (Kelly Lynch), a cruel lawyer who isn't married and has no children. When Bill gets himself bumped by Grey's car, the con artists are invited into the lawyer's fabulous home, where they quickly set up a con. Grey discovers that Curly Sue can't read and takes the girl under her wing. When Grey's boyfriend calls social services, Bill and Sue's plan is put in jeopardy.

Is it any good?

Writer/director John Hughes hits a new low with this movie apparently aimed at the preteen set. Filled with superfluous profanity and gratuitous violence, there is little to redeem this exercise in vulgarity. One 11-year-old boy found CURLY SUE annoying, especially the filler scenes made necessary by the lack of significant plot. Case in point: Curly Sue performs the National Anthem by obnoxiously braying all of the lyrics. However, the 11-year-old did laugh at the innumerable punches in the face. Adults and older kids, though, will find such slapstick ridiculous, even offensive.

The young viewer also thought the little girl "needed a swat," which was his impolite way of saying the precocious child will drive you up a wall with her feigned cuteness. And the same young fellow could easily predict the outcome of the incredibly obvious story. The female lawyer character is also problematic -- she is a single, childless woman who, according to the movie, only needs a man and child to make her less nasty, and more human. Kelly Lynch's inability to play comedy doesn't help the situation. The mawkish scenes between the little girl and Lynch are especially irksome.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Curly Sue's and her father's behavior. What different choices would you make if faced with the same situations?

Movie details

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