Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House Movie Poster Image
Recycled gags with none of the original's charm.
  • NR
  • 2003
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though the moral of this story ends up pointing to the joys of homey family life, the excesses of extreme wealth are so prevalent that the humble life seems absolutely bland by comparison.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kevin's mom and dad try to explain why parents get divorced, but Kevin seems to know more about the psychology than they do. Kevin fights back against the bad guys in self defense.

Violence

Slapstick violence and perilous scenes: a mansion gets flooded and trashed, the bad guys fall through a window, feet get stomped on, boiling buckets of fondue drop on heads. Kevin's brother bullies him, while their mom does nothing about it.

Sex

Kevin's dad and his girlfriend share long, sensual kisses.

Language

Bullying language between siblings: "lame brain," "cheese face," "wedgie," etc. Bad guys tell Kevin to shut up and call him a moron.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine and champagne at dinner and parties. Kevin's dad's girlfriend "goes out" every night.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the young child in this slapstick comedy has to face adult burglars by himself because nobody believes that he's telling the truth. The kid's attempts at fighting back include lots of slapstick violence and comedic peril (falls, injuries, hot fondue incidents) ... just like in the rest of the Home Alone movies. There are also clumsy attempts at coping with the issues of divorce and adult relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJessicaF 15 January 27, 2018

FANTASTIC MOVIE!

I read the reviews of this movie prior to purchasing it on Skystore and I am SO glad I decided to buy this because its truly an amazing movie I think its the be... Continue reading
Parent of a 5, 6, 7, 10, 10, and 17 year old Written byCharlie The Cat December 18, 2011
Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2011

worst movie in the series

worst movie in the franchise! and that's saying a lot, considering if you watched the third movie. the slapstick is terrible (no traps are even set up), th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysneeze2much April 24, 2011

2 Thumbs Down

This movie is so so boring i really would actually give it a .5 star. It's like someone was trying to remake a movie with the theme of home alone and they... Continue reading

What's the story?

Kevin (Mike Weinberg) is caught in the middle of his parents' divorce ... and it's Christmas. He goes to his dad's (Jason Beghe) girlfriend's (Clare Carey) house and helps foil a plot by bad guy Marv (French Stewart) and his girlfriend (Missi Pyle) to kidnap a member of the visiting royal family.

Is it any good?

The jokes fall flat, and the smart observations sound like they're being read off a cue card. In the HOME ALONE franchise, so much hangs on the little hero, Kevin. Macaulay Culkin's comedic timing and precocious remarks made for great entertainment, but Weinberg just doesn't have the chops to carry this movie's weak script.

The supporting cast isn't as lame: The bad guys are pretty amusing, though they get beaten to a pulp. But serious subjects like divorce and parenting get thrown around too lightly -- and lamely -- to make this good kids' entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the high-priced toys and gadgets seen in this movie. What's your reaction to seeing so many fancy gifts and toys? Does it make you want them or feel dissatisfied with what you have? Here are some ways to talk about material excess in movies like this one.

  • How is the topic of divorce handled in this movie? Does it seem realistic? Do you have any personal experience with divorce? How is your experience different from what happened in this movie? What are some ways adults can reassure kids affected by divorce?

  • How does slapstick violence affect kids? Does the comedy make it less realistic? Check out this article for more information.

Movie details

For kids who love to laugh

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