Groundhog Day

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Groundhog Day Movie Poster Image
'90s comedy offers witty, sarcastic take on redemption.
  • PG-13
  • 1993
  • 101 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 27 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Phil has a big lesson to learn about what it will take to make it to February 3 -- and get the girl. Through lots of trial and error, including putting others' lives in danger and trying to end his own, he figures out that caring for and helping others is the key to breaking the spell.

Positive role models & representations

While spending most of the movie behaving in a smug and selfish manner, Phil learns the importance of looking out for and caring about others. He learns and demonstrates gratitude and perseverance.

Violence

Phil attempts suicide in a number of ways: electrocution, jumping off buildings, and diving off a cliff in a truck. He keeps coming back to the same day, though. Sad death of a homeless man that Phil tries to revive more than once and takes to the hospital. 

Sex

Phil seduces women, with plenty of pickup lines and kissing on the couch and (clothed) in bed shown. A joke about how a woman sounds like a groundhog when she gets "really excited." Reference made to spending the evening reading the pornographic magazine Hustler. 

Language

"Hell." Use of the middle finger in one scene. 

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Beer and shot drinking in a bowling alley. A character clearly intoxicated tries to drive his car. Cocktail drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray as a smug and selfish weatherman who must live through the same day over and over again until he learns the value of caring about others. Though on the whole a lighthearted comedy, this movie also deals with depression, and Phil undertakes a series of suicide attempts. Characters drink at bars, and in a scene in which three characters are shown getting drunk in a bowling alley, one of the characters attempts to drive a car while clearly drunk. Phil then drives the car, and he realizes he can drive as recklessly as he wants because he's just going to start over repeating the same day as if nothing happened. 

User Reviews

Parent of a 13 year old Written byTsion April 19, 2009

A Moving and Funny Movie...

This is a great movie. It is well-written, well-acted, and very positive and moving. It boasts positive messages about love and redemption, to boot. Sex is r...
Adult Written byAlphaZK93 February 3, 2011

There's just a few iffy things, but it was awesome!

I just watched this today and it was a pretty funny movie. I really liked it and thought it had a great message. The swearing was kept to a nice minimum, but th...
Teen, 15 years old Written byDisneyGirl94 March 29, 2010

Good for younger teens and good also for adults

This is a very good movie. Bill Murry is at his best here. A good movie to sit back and relax and have a good time with lots of laughs. I think that younger tee...
Kid, 12 years old August 14, 2010
Awesome movie overall. I rate it PG-13 for brief sexual content and language.

What's the story?

Cranky TV broadcaster Phil (Bill Murray) and his crew are sent to tiny Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to capture the "thrills" of its annual GROUNDHOG DAY celebration. A snowstorm strands them there overnight, and when he wakes up the next morning, Phil soon realizes that something strange is going on: It's Groundhog Day again. As Phil repeatedly relives the tedium of the same day over and over, he gradually learns to treat people decently. He also falls for producer Rita (Andie MacDowell), working every angle to figure out how to seduce her. Each defeat means a little more information -- and gets him a little closer to winning her over the next time around.

Is it any good?

Bill Murray shines in this good-natured comedy that delivers lots of laughs and some honest sentiment. Funny and uncommonly sweet, Groundhog Day has just the right blend of comedy and romance. Bill Murray is hilarious in his usual role as the detached wiseacre. Remarkably, the movie manages the almost impossible task of making us care about this sarcastic man.

The story is simple but clever and uses repetition to great effect. Director Harold Ramis also uses sound and music to great comic effect. Phil wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. to the ironically cheery Sonny and Cher song "I Got You Babe."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Groundhog Day plays with the concept of time and other movies that do the same, such as It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. What is appealing about this idea?

  • How are the movie's overall themes presented in action, dialogue, and story? 

  • Bill Murray plays the lead character in this movie. How is the character he plays similar to other characters he has played in other movies? How is the character different? 

  • How does Phil learn and demonstrate gratitude and perseverance in Groundhog Day? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

See which skills this movie can help your kid develop.

For kids who love comedies and winter break

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