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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Believing in yourself; loyalty; family unity; moving beyond grief.
Positive Role Models
Dad is hardworking and devoted to holding the family together after the mother's death. The kids are sensitive, caring, and polite. Grandma is a solid presence and backbone of the family.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick, cartoonish pratfall violence in a number of scenes, such as when an elf falls off a roof but isn't hurt; a kid hits an elf with a baseball bat; elf crashes into the Christmas tree; elf is hit in the face with a frying pan, falls down stairs; a man and elf wrestle in the sky and fall to the ground; and a woman waves a meat cleaver at a man.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman giggles and flirts with a man in a bar, putting whipped cream on his nose; a man asks a woman out on a date.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some people sit at a bar with drinks in front of them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Elf-Man is a middling holiday adventure featuring a single dad whose wife died (death is referred to but not shown). The children are sad at Christmastime because they miss their mother, and a girl cries at night thinking about her. In one brief scene, she discusses with her grandmother that her mother is never coming back. Elsewhere, the movie features light, slapstick violence centered on an elf getting knocked around in a few scenes and some crude humor with a scene involving reindeer flatulence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
ELF-MAN is not entirely without entertainment value. There's a kooky grandma, bumbling thieves, and some elf slapstick that likely will get laughs from kids. But the steam runs out quickly on this poor man's Home Alone, and the movie feels like a watered-down version of the many better adventures that have come before it. Long stretches of plot involve an elf pretending to take a shower so Dad's new girlfriend doesn't notice he hasn't come home yet. Major plot turns revolve around getting the elf to believe in himself so he can become the superhero he's destined to be. Even though there are some sweet messages about moving past grief and welcoming new family members and a few laughs, they wear thin, and no one is likely to feel deeply moved or entertained in the end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.