A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that they can expect the same kind of slapstick violence in this second Home Alone movie, mostly against the robbers who picked on the wrong precocious kid once again. The main character throws bricks, sets deadly traps, and more in attempts to stop the bumbling duo and is gleefully proud of himself every time they get hurt. Parents should also know that the movie opens with quite a bit of family conflict and that there's fighting -- even some physical violence -- among siblings. There's a sign for adult films.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Here we go again. Kevin McAllister already got left Home Alone one Christmas; now he's on the wrong plane and headed to New York City while his family jets off to Miami for the holiday. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), once again happy to be free of his boisterous family, sets out on an adventure in the big city. His father's credit card rents him a suite at the Plaza Hotel. Slapstick moments are provided by run-ins with the original movie's goofball villains, Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, respectively). The duo has escaped from prison and is planning to rob a toy store on Christmas Eve -- and Kevin's determined to stop them. Finally, Mom (Catherine O'Hara) realizes that her son's missing and frantically tries to find him.
Is it any good?
The early family scenes in Home Alone 2 are some of the movie's funniest moments, as are Kevin's clever survival schemes at the hotel and on the streets of New York. As a sequel, the movie manages to be funny, if predictable, and occasionally borders on heart-warming -- in an odd yet touching moment, Kevin befriends a homeless woman and encourages her to reach out to people more.
It's easy to see why fans took to Culkin's "little big guy" routine in the '90s. He's a charmer. And as Kevin's mom, Catherine O'Hara is a well-wrought mix of funny and sentimental.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about good ways to work out family conflicts. How does Kevin defend himself from his older brother's bullying? Was he right to do that?
Parents can also talk about safety issues, such as what might happen if a kid were accidentally separated from his parents and forced to go it alone in a strange city. What would be the safest way to respond to a mix-up like the one portrayed here?
Parents can also talk about the relationship between Kevin and his parents. Why does it take so long for his family to realize that he's missing?
How does this movie compare to the original? Is it as funny the second time around? Why or why not?
- In theaters: November 15, 1992
- On DVD or streaming: October 5, 1999
- Cast: Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, Macaulay Culkin
- Director: Chris Columbus
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Holidays, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: comic action and mild language.
- Last updated: October 28, 2020
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