Deck the Halls

  • Review Date: November 5, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Makes us miss those Home Alone days...
  • Review Date: November 5, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 99 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

Rivalry between neighbors completely negates the spirit of the season. A dad enlists his son's help to sabotage the neighbors' display; a teenage daughter is rebellious.

Violence & scariness

Rife with mean-spirited slapstick humor: an older woman gets hit with a snowball, knocking her over; a rocket backfires, setting a Christmas tree on fire in a living room; a gas can tips over and sets a Christmas tree lot on fire; a sleigh crashes through an ice-covered pond.

Sexy stuff

Women dressed in skimpy elf costumes shake their booties (one ends up being Steve's daughter -- which he finds out after he yells a sexually tinged remark at her); a 10-year-old boy ogles his sexy teen neighbors; two naked men end up in a sleeping bag together.

Language

Pretty mild: "Ass," "damn."

Consumerism

Chrysler, Troy-Bilt chain saw.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids may actually be the only ones interested in seeing this predictable, mean-spirited, slapstick-heavy Christmas movie. It's filled with sexual innuendo, bad behavior, and grown-ups acting like kids (worse than kids, actually). With so many other, better options out there, don't bother.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) is a nice-guy optometrist, living in the picturesque town of Cloverdale, Mass., with his loving wife Kelly (Kristin Davis), rebellious teen daughter Madison (Alia Shawkat), and 10-year-old son, Carter (Dylan Blue). Steve's known as "The Christmas Guy". He loves the holiday and goes all out every year -- decorating, caroling, tree-trimming, and organizing the annual family photo (with matching sweaters, of course). Everything is peachy-keen in Steve's neat, organized world, complete with a wall calendar to keep things on track. Then Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) moves into the house across the street with his lovely wife Tia (Kristin Chenoweth) and shapely daughters Ashley and Emily (real-life twins Sabrina and Kelly Aldridge of 8th and Ocean). Buddy's a likeable guy, but he feels invisible, which makes him want to put up a mammoth Christmas display bright enough to see from outer space. It's his chance to be somebody. So up go thousands of lights, giant Santas, snowmen, synchronized music, and even live animals -- including a donkey, camel, cow, and sheep. It's all too much for Steve, who feels threatened and fights back, enlisting help from his son to thwart Buddy's efforts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's no doubt that Broderick and DeVito are formidable actors, but they aren't given much to work with here. The movie deteriorates into a farce of slapstick humor and crude humor, as Steve and Buddy's competitive nature comes to a head in a predictable finale about discovering the true meaning of Christmas, blah blah blah. On the "why bother?" holiday movie scale, it ranks right down there with Surviving Christmas.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what's important during the holidays -- spending time with friends and family, or trying to outdo the neighbors. If Buddy felt "invisible," what could Steve have done to make him feel better? Likewise, what better choice could Buddy have made to be "somebody"? Who are the real grown-ups in this movie? Why do so many Christmas movies focus on themes like competition and materialism? Does that accurately reflect society's perspective on the holiday?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 21, 2006
DVD release date:November 6, 2007
Cast:Danny DeVito, Kristin Davis, Matthew Broderick
Director:John Whitesell
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Holidays
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some crude and suggestive humor, and for language.

This review of Deck the Halls was written by

About our rating system

  • 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

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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; OK 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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byon-the-go-mom April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Not what I want the kids to see

One of my biggest issues with this movie was the treatment of the women. I'm bringing up a teeenage boy and trying to teach him that women are not objects. This movie did not help. Cleavage is shown frequently and at one point the dad's are cat-calling towards 3 of Santa's dancing helpers, who are swinging their backsides to the crowd. Imagine the surprise when the girls turn around and see their Dads! So you have men in the movie making sexual comments towards under age girls, despite being married. This alone should make you stop and reconsider this movie.
Adult Written bymmh April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Very degrading image of women.

Not a family movie at all! Very degrading image of women. If the sexual things were ommitted it could have been good a good family movie. NOT a PG movie at all- BAD rating. I did like how they included the parts of the real meaning of Christmas, however it didn't really fit with the rest of the movie.
Kid, 10 years old December 10, 2014
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Fun Neighbourhood Christmas Conflict

Fun family fun I think this is for all ages. Can't say that there is anything inappropriate or anything parents would be concerned about this film other than a bundle of laughs.

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