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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is a sensitive portrayal of a family full of individuals who don't really know one another and wouldn't be friends if they weren't related.
Positive Role Models
Every member of this family has issues, but that is their appeal. Since they aren't your family, it's okay to laugh. Just don't attempt to look to them for moral guidance.
Violence & Scariness
Claudia's dad threatens to hit a child, half-jokingly. Tommy, Walter, and Leo get into a fight, and Leo's nose gets broken.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Claudia makes out with her boss and, later, with a man she just met. Aunt Gladys admits a crush on her brother-in-law and kisses him during a crazy Thanksgiving dinner. Lots of sexual innuendo.
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Language includes "dammit," "son of a bitch," "holy s--t," "asshole," etc. Joanne lights into Tommy with an anti-gay tirade.
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Products & Purchases
Jack in the Box gets a shout-out.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Claudia's mom chain-smokes, and Claudia smokes pot. There's considerable fighting fueled by holiday drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids will probably be bored by this movie when they aren't scandalized by its adult themes: It shows families as many of them really are -- filled with people who are struggling to understand their connection to and love for people they don't understand or really like. There's plenty of swearing, and at one point Joanne launches into a tirade about how disgusting and perverted it is that her brother is in love with another man. Claudia kisses her boss after being fired. Claudia's teenage daughter announces that she's going to have sex with her boyfriend while her mother's away for the holiday. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is no A Christmas Story, and it's not Norman Rockwell -- but that's its appeal. Home for the Holidays is an uproarious but also humane look at a family full of strangers. And we're all privileged to watch it. All hail Claudia for attending her mad, dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner so we don't have to!
What director Jodie Foster does brilliantly here is start the story out off-kilter and expertly time it so that the plot lines get more absurd and the dialogue more out of control until you feel like you're on a carnival ride, along for the ups and downs. And of course, since it's not your family, it's funny.
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.