Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Predictable slapstick comedy still delivers the laughs.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is meant to entertain rather than to educate.
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
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).
Violence & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A girl calls her brother an "idiot" and says her parents' rules "suck." "Hell" is used once.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
At a party, grown-ups drink "adult egg nog," and one man in particular shows signs of being drunk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist
Based on 10 parent reviews
I love home alone
Report this review
Report this review
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?
- On DVD or streaming: October 29, 2013
- Cast: Christian Martyn, Ellie Harvie, Jodelle Ferland
- Director: Peter Hewitt
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Holidays
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: October 28, 2020
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Holiday Movies for Kids
Best Holiday TV Specials
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate