Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist Movie Poster Image
Predictable slapstick comedy still delivers the laughs.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 16 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Faced with the dangerous situation of a home invasion, Finn opts to handle it himself rather than calling for help. His only outside help comes from a man he met through online gaming who contacts Finn's mom once he realizes the severity of the situation. Though the entire set-up is pretty unrealistic, it does come with some strong messages about family and healthy relationships in the characters' journey to reconnect with each other. Both kids defy their parents and at times speak disrespectfully to them, but their experiences bring them closer together and celebrate the unmaterialistic gifts of the holiday.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Finn's parents love their kids enough to move across the country for a more wholesome upbringing for them, and they battle familiar foes like the media and video games for time with their kids. Their absence during the burglars' heist is coincidental rather than intentional, and they do their best to keep in touch and to return home when they sense danger. Finn and Alexis show coolness under pressure when the bad guys arrive (although the best thing would have been to call for help right away).


Predictably, there's a heap of slapstick violence that would cause serious harm in the real world, but the victims keep on kicking on screen after being pelted with marbles, trapped in a window frame, kicked in the face, and pushed down the stairs. Police draw guns on a suspect and subdue him with pepper spray, and a man verbally threatens a teen's life.


A girl calls her brother an "idiot" and says her parents' rules "suck." "Hell" is used once.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At a party, grown-ups drink "adult egg nog," and one man in particular shows signs of being drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist delivers the franchise's expected punch of slapstick violence aimed at a team of inept burglars who break into a boy's home while he and his sister are unsupervised. As in the first four movies bearing this title, the showdown between the grown-ups and the crafty kids is as funny as it is unrealistic, but it's important to remind your own kids that this doesn't represent how a real-life scenario would play out. Despite the premise, you'll find the story rich in themes that celebrate family bonds and even raise relevant issues like monitoring screen time and staying safe online.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDorixom April 26, 2021

Very funny for kids

There is some funny violence (unrealistic and slapstick-like pains)
There isn't really cursing They just use crap and screw (any word to not swear)
Adult Written bychocolatecake123 December 14, 2020


Why does this even exist? Who asked for this? Seriously... just stick to the first two movies.
Teen, 13 years old Written byZOEBOERNE December 20, 2017


It's really good, it's not inappropriate and although it is not as great at the first two it's really not as bad as people are making it. I said... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old August 16, 2013

best not counting the first 2

this isnt a tv show its a movie and so good the best not counting the first two very funny and is violent like all the home alone movies and has a ghost legend... Continue reading

What's the story?

Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn) is less than thrilled about his family's move from California to Maine, and he doesn't feel any better after laying eyes on their new home, which he fears might be haunted. Despite his parents' assurances that nothing's awry, Finn assumes the worst when he finds a secret room in the basement and discovers that his self-designed ghost trap has been tripped. So when his parents leave him and his older sister, Alexis (Jodelle Ferland), home alone while they attend a Christmas party -- and a band of thieves breaks in to steal a treasure hidden inside -- Finn rigs the house to deter them.

Is it any good?

HOME ALONE 5: THE HOLIDAY HEIST is a fairly formulaic reworking of the plots of the previous four Home Alone movies. Boy's parents leave him at home by himself, bad guys break in, boy nearly destroys the house in an attempt to foil their plans. A few things change here, like the presence of Finn's sister and the outside help he gets from a man he met through online gaming, but it's not hard to figure where the story is going or how it will work out in the end. Of course, if kids haven't seen any of its predecessors, then they'll take particular delight in Finn's underdog story.

If you tune in with your kids, you'll be surprisingly entertained throughout, thanks to an excellent cast (including a small role for Edward Asner) and the antics of the inept crooks. You'll also notice aspects of the story that might escape your kids' attention but that offer great conversation starters about issues like balancing screen time with family time, protecting your privacy online, and, of course, staying true to the spirit of the holiday.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the media. How much time do you spend looking at screens in a day? A week? How much of your information do you get that way? In what way are computers or cell phones superior to traditional means of news? What, if any, are their drawbacks?

  • Kids: Is Finn responsible with his gaming habit? Why are his parents concerned about this hobby? Have you ever found that an interest of yours keeps you from being involved in other activities? Why is it important to strike a balance among all of your activities?

  • Do the characters always make smart decisions? What might Finn have done differently when he realized he was in real danger? Do you think his parents would have believed him if he'd told them what was going on? What are some of your family's plans for emergencies like fire, storms, or a home invasion? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holidays

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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