Daddy's Home

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Daddy's Home Movie Poster Image
A few laughs can't save crass Ferrell/Wahlberg comedy.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 83 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid the over-the-top humor are positive messages about blended families, the benefits of biological and stepparents getting along, and the fact that jealousy, while understandable, is toxic to healthy relationships. Brad promotes the idea of nonviolent confrontation and active parental and stepparental involvement in children's lives. On the downside, the movie plays to the stereotypical notion that kind, nice guys aren't manly and that exciting guys must be macho, motorcycle-riding bad boys.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even though Brad seems unexciting compared to Dusty (and gives in to some of his anxieties, acting out as a result), he's dependable, loving, and involved as a husband and stepfather. He loves his wife and her children and wants to be the best stepfather and role model he can be to them. Dusty is strong and handy, but he's also unreliable and actively trying to sabotage his ex's marriage ... until he redeems himself.

Violence

Slapstick and physical comedy. Brad has a motorcycle accident that leaves him literally stuck in a wall of his house. In another scene, a character is injured during an elaborate skateboarding trick. A man is infertile because an X-ray machine was knocked out of place at the dentist's office and irradiated his groin instead of his mouth. Men push and shove each other at a dance. A boy hits a girl who was bullying him. A man throws a basketball that hits and injures a cheerleader and another that hits and injures a wheelchair-bound boy. 

Sex

Drunken jokes about making love to "our wife"; recurring jokes about Dusty's penis, scrotum size, and virility (with a doctor actually making two men undress so a woman can see which is healthy and which is not). Allusions to the size of a man's "sword."

Language

Frequent cursing, including "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "s--thead," etc. A few uses "Jesus Christ" and "goddammit" (as exclamations).

Consumerism

Ford Flex, Apple products, Indian Motorcycle.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink -- in one case to the point of public intoxication that leads to inappropriate comments/behavior and getting thrown out of a sports venue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Daddy's Home could easily have been a family-friendly film if there had been fewer crass jokes and obscenities -- but as it is, while it features elementary-aged children, it's definitely not for them. There's quite a lot of swearing (including "s--t" and more), plus recurring jokes about sex, penis size, and virility. The movie trades in outdated stereotypes: that kind, nice guys aren't manly and that exciting guys must be macho, motorcycle-riding bad boys. There's some adult drinking and drunkenness, accidental violence and physical comedy, and generally cringe-inducing gags. Although there are ultimately positive messages about blended families and the toxic nature of jealousy, they don't outweigh this Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg vehicle's unnecessarily crass humor.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by24ktb December 25, 2015

Not a kids movie!

We had seen this movie as a preview in a kids movie, so thought it would be mostly ok, but it is not a kids movie at all! There is excessive swearing, multiple... Continue reading
Adult Written byLaylaO December 29, 2015

Not a PG Movie

I wish I would of read the reviews on here as I normally do. This was not a PG. movie. The language is crass and I'm sure my tweens have heard it before bu... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJflores14 December 29, 2015

hilarious comedy will be loved by teens; plenty of edgy content though

this film is absolutely hilarious and I laughed out loud many many times throughout the film. There was a lot of edgy content though that parents need to consid... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrafewdido December 26, 2015

Pretty good

I think the movie was not as hilarious as it had the potential to be. Some curses though, and trash entertainment meant to provide a good time exclusively.

What's the story?

DADDY'S HOME stars Will Ferrell as Brad, a devoted stepfather to his new wife, Sarah's (Linda Cardellini), two young kids, Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) and Megan (Scarlett Estevez). Brad volunteers at school, church, and scouts and generally loves being a stepdad, even though young Megan draws pictures of him either dead or covered in poop. But when the kids' dad, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), calls for the first time in months and discovers that Sarah has remarried, he hops on a flight to visit the new man in Dylan and Megan's life. From the moment Dusty arrives, with his cool motorcycle and perfect abs, he and Brad engage in a not-so-subtle competition for who should be king of the castle. At first Brad is cordial, but as the visit drags on, he grows insecure and thinks he just can't compete with Dusty's manliness.

Is it any good?

Another case of the best bits showing up in the trailer, this is a comedy that doesn't have much more to offer than predictable (and literal) comparisons of manhood. Since Ferrell and Wahlberg were considerably funnier foils and partners in The Other Guys, it's obvious why they'd team up for another buddy comedy. And given the set up, there was so much room for family shenanigans -- but instead the movie devolves into crass, unfunny jokes, like a recurring gag about Brad's shrunken and barren testicles. In most comedies, there's just a figurative, Freudian competition between men, but in this case, the two men actually drop their pants and submit to inspection by a reproductive endocrinologist (and, far worse, their former/current wife).

Despite Daddy's Home's many flaws, there are a few laugh-aloud scenes, particularly if you appreciate Ferrell's talent for physical comedy. There are also a couple of unexpectedly sweet moments when Brad demonstrates why it's better to show and not tell as a parent. Thomas Haden Church looks like he's having fun playing Brad's womanizing boss at a smooth jaz radio station, while Cardellini has little more to do than look pretty and warn Brad that Dusty is a master manipulator. A true family comedy this is not, and if you're looking for a better Ferrell/Wahlberg film, skip this and check out The Other Guys instead.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about crass comedies and why they appeal to so many viewers. Could Daddy's Home still have been funny with fewer raunchy jokes? Although there are kids at the heart of this story, is the movie appropriate for kids? Why or why not?

  • What does the movie have to say about blended families? Is it possible to find positive take-aways within over-the-top antics?

  • How do Brad and Dusty depict different kinds of men and fatherhood? Are they portrayed in a stereotypical way?

  • Discuss the way that sexuality and attractiveness are portrayed in the movie. Why is it important to the story that Dusty is so in shape and handsome? Can that kind of thing impact kids' body image?

  • What role does drinking play in the story? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences?

Movie details

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