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Parent reviews for Instant Family

Common Sense says

Heartwarming family dramedy has some mature moments.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 60 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 42 reviews
Parent of a 10 year old Written byfunfunfun November 17, 2018

Great movie with a great message-but parents beware of language/content

This movie was spot on in a lot of ways! I think the message behind foster care was very true to life in many ways although I think the movie would have been just as great (and could have been a good family movie for kids) without all the language or the way they went about the sexual content. Also, we personally did not care for the way the "Christian mom & dad" wanting to foster were displayed. They came across being very cheesy & you could almost "hear" the eye roll when they said their reason for fostering was because they felt called. The movie kind of made the gay couple & the main characters look like the only "good" foster parents who were doing it for the "right" reasons. As for the warning for kids ***SPOILER ALERT***** I did not care for the OVER use of the word "Dick pic" when talking about the teenage daughter sending nudes to an older male, or the references to his being "hung like a trout." A lot of the clothing the teenage girls, including main character, wore in the movie were very revealing. I think it's a judgement call as to whether you would bring your kids to this movie, but my 4 star rating still stands for adults. I think with all the junk they throw in movies these days, this movie's message was the real take-away & I honestly think it's potential for bringing more people to consider fostering would be worth a 5-star rating alone!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byYcl November 19, 2018

Warm, funny, but not for preteen

This was the first time my 11-year old son wanted to see a movie that wasn’t PG. I checked the rating, saw PG-13 and thought it’d be ok. The movie has a very heart warming story and is really funny. At times I cried and laughed at the same time. My son liked it a lot too. However it wasn’t appropriate for his age. There were a lot of curses and a few references to body parts and sexual activities. I wish I had checked on this site before taking him.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Adult Written byHoodtj75 November 15, 2018

Great story LOTS of language!!

Unless you cuss like a sailor around your kids and they are used to hearing just about every cuss word that is out there multiple times I would not bring a child to this movie. The story line was great and it was funny and emotional at times but definitely not family friendly.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 14 year old Written byLori S. November 19, 2018

WHOA, watch your language.

Nice story overall but the inappropriate language is highly unnecessary and ruined it for me. (I'm looking at you Sean Anders.) Language from the parents in the movie, which made it slightly worse. A tad shocked it was PG-13. The write up indicates "occasional strong language" but it's more like "frequent enough to make you think twice about this one if you don't curse a lot in your family." Would've been much more enjoyable without the language because it added nothing and the storyline is much more important than gratuitous curse words vying for a laugh.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bySamantha D. November 18, 2018

Just okay...but lots of language

For a family movie, I was shocked by the amount of language. The story line was okay. It has a feel good message but is slow at times. There are sections about masterbation and dick pics so be aware before taking kids. I can’t even list all the curse words, there were so many.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Adult Written bymtaej November 23, 2018

Walked out

Could only get through an hour of this movie, until we finally walked out. It was full of bad language, yelling, and fighting. Kept waiting to see if it would get better. It didn’t. Was looking for an entertaining movie that would at least make us laugh. It was uncomfortable to watch.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byJmcstay November 18, 2018

We are in a war against CPS and family court for stealing our children.

This glorifies the removal of children from good parents! Parents commit suicide every day because CPS and family court are ripping their children from their loving arms!
Adult Written byDunkiebutt1985 November 18, 2018

Shameful

I find it absolutely disgusting...filled with lies....as a former foster child...i can actually confirm this movie is filled with lies.....the things I have seen, endured, witnessed and survived in fostercare are horrors beyond ur wildest dreams and imaginations....some of these things include, but are not limited to... forced drugging, physical, mental, verbal, emotional & sexual abuse....oh and if we dared said a word about it.....we got abused and drugged up even more.....but u dont see that horrid truth about fostercare in this movie...at all....this movie potrays foster care like its a good thing when truthfully foster care has permanently damaged hundreds of thousands of children across the united states as a result of the severe abuse they have done upon us foster kids since the late 70s.
Adult Written byMilledev November 17, 2018

Heartfelt drama comedy

For once, a movie that shines light on a real issue in feel good way. I throughly enjoyed the realistic hurdles and relationships portrayed and loved the emotion! It's rated PG-13 for a reason though...there is inappropriate language from time to time so I wouldn't reccomend taking your kids if you're uncomfortable with that. Definitely a great 'feel good' movie, that may even get you a bit weepy eyed from time to time!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written by3kiddos November 19, 2018

Great movie....go with spouse, girlfriend or older kids

I really liked this movie but would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t with my tween child. We have allowed our kids to see other PG-13 movies with mild cussing (as long as no nudity and adult content) but this one has cussing through out with S**t said countless times and f**k said once. Also lots of inappropriate slang references about people and body parts were used (luckily most went over my daughters head because she kept asking me what things meant). Mature content as well as social workers talk about why children are removed from their homes. Also had a scene implying a teen was taking nude photos of herself because a boy (actually ends up being an adult) sent her a “[email protected]*k pic.” I used this as an opportunity to talk about social media. Anyway.....super cute, funny, moving movie that made me laugh and cry. My daughter loved it and so did I, but would have enjoyed it more with my girlfriends!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Adult Written byFelix33 November 25, 2018

This is the biggest insult

600,000 fit parents/kin to these children are forced away from each other as these adopters are told lies upon lies, unless they too are a part of the biggest human trafficking and money laundering scheme ever known- this movie shows the complete opposite of what really is going on!!!

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byFosterkid November 18, 2018

Triggered

I was in the system and ward of the state until 3 days old until I was 21 and I have seen corruption and have worked years fighting the corruption but this movie doesn’t - tell the full truth
Adult Written byDricaowens November 16, 2018
The movie was right on! As a foster parent, it felt like it was our life.A lot of people do not understand the option of adoption instead of having your biological child and this movie show the true meaning of fostering/ adoption a child. Thank you!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byEm K December 5, 2018

A lot of fun for adoptive parents, not kids

This is definitely an adult movie. Do not recommend it for children who are adopted until they are more mature. There are many potentially triggering moments for adopted children. My 11 year old was extremely uncomfortable, said she didn't like it while we were watching it, and asked several times to leave. A few examples of difficult moments for adoptees are when the foster parents discuss giving back the kids because they are too difficult, when the birthmother comes to take back the children and the little ones are crying, and insensitive things said by other adults about adoption and foster kids. Perhaps this wouldn't faze non-adopted kids. For adults who have adopted children, this film is a lot of fun, and very funny. There's a lot to relate to. Acting is wonderful.
Adult Written byBergerMom November 24, 2018

Good movie but not for children

The movie in the message are worth seeing. The language and the sexual references are not appropriate for children. The movie would have been just as good at those items been left out. Do not take your children or let them see it.
Adult Written byDcriswell November 19, 2018

Wonderful movie

I took my Wife to see this movie yesterday, its wonderful. My Brother is a Foster parent & has also adopted many children from foster care. My Wife & I will become Foster parents in 2019 & are so excited to help as many children as we can. Don't pay attention to the bad reviews that are given from people. They are against Foster care. Many of them because they lost their children for abuse & neglect.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byResponsible1 January 18, 2019

Highly inappropriate for kids!

Swearing was full on all the way through, A$$hole, $hit, b!tch, whore. One scene goes all out about dick pics and nude selfies.. another talks of masturbation. Lots of drug talk, when talking about what homes kids have been pulled out of - meth labs and a few times crack pipe is mentioned. I can not believe this is not rated M. I definitely would not have taken my 12 year old to this had I known this prior. I had a few cringy moments in cinema feeling like a bad mum for exposing him to this. On the upside, nice story line and super funny.. if you are an adult.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byEFulford November 27, 2018

Not for young teens in my view

I would be wary to take a child under 15 to this movie due to the language and reference to sexting. Albeit I’m sure our children hear much worse at school, I don’t see the need to willfully subject them to it. That said it was hilarious and heartwarming in many ways...will watch it again

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written bySRyan819 November 24, 2018

Damaging narratives (spoilers)

I saw Instant Family at a screening last Tuesday night. I am a transracial, transnational adoptive parent. I am also a scholar and have done some studying of adoption from a critical perspective. That means that I try to spend more time listening to the stories and voices of adopted people than speaking about adoption myself. I believe the least told stories are the ones everyone needs to hear most, and that I can use my voice to point in that direction. This film will be released tomorrow and I am writing to offer adoptive parents a different lens through which to view this adoption story. For better and for worse, this movie is about us. I enjoyed watching it. I felt affirmed by seeing much of my experience reflected back in the story on the screen. So many parts of this movie reflected my own experiences as an adoptive parent. The initial hope and terror of considering adoption. Being supported but misunderstood by friends and family at first. Meeting a child who already had a history, a personality, and preferences that I needed to learn. Bumbling through the inevitable clashes and behaviors. Big hits and big misses. Feeling elated one minute and totally incompetent the next. Dark times of wondering if I’d be able to carry on. Joyful, connected, loving, and thankful times together. My feelings, my process, my experiences, my struggles, my joys, my fears, my foibles, my successes, and my interpretations about adoption. They were all on the screen before me in living color with all the feels and a happy ending. This movie was made by adoptive parents for adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are the center of the whole story. All the other characters in the story serve as foils to spotlight the goodness of the parents in various ways. The kid’s foster parents are cruel, neglectful, and in it for the money. Several of the other adoptive parents at the agency trainings have significant flaws making Pete and Ellie look amazing. The young adult adoptee who tells her story to the prospective adoptive parents makes them feel good about helping other kids and being loved like she loves her parents. Her adoptive parents, later, provide a pivotal pep talk for Pete and Ellie when they are at their most discouraged. Pete and Ellie’s extended families make insensitive comments and are awkward around the kids, which appears intended to make them look solid and racially competent in comparison. The kid’s mom has few, if any lines, and is depicted as being not only silent but unable and unwilling to parent them. The social workers, while not afraid to tell Pete and Ellie the hard truth (often hilariously) also provide a kind of official endorsement of their success as parents. The adoptive parents are the heroes of this film. This is something that most of the people I talk to have never really questioned. Adoptive parents are considered heroes, saints, and saviors in our culture. When someone praises us directly we say, “oh, no, they saved us.” Or, “ten loads of laundry a week sure doesn’t feel heroic.” A reader might question the claim that Pete and Ellie were portrayed as saints, since they clearly struggled, made mistakes, sought help, and tried again throughout the movie. I would argue, however, that the parent’s struggles portrayed in the movie were due to the difficulty of parenting the (troubled, difficult, vulnerable) children, and that once they met the children’s needs and overcame the challenges, the perception of their parental heroism and saintliness was even greater. The movie tells the white parent’s story of adoption. It’s the white parent’s story of adoption that gets told over and over and over and over and over again. Another way of saying this is that it is the adoptive parents and professionals whose voices are privileged in the cultural conversation about adoption. The story about adoption that is told in the movie centers around the white adoptive parent’s needs, desires, and fulfillment. While it adds some real life struggle and pain, it still significantly reinforces the already blaring single story about adoption in our culture. Sure, there are many and various stories about adoption and this is just one of them. But this one is the loudest and it drowns out all the rest. What is a white adoptive parent to do? How can we learn to see perspectives and realities besides our own? It helps to acknowledge that being favored by the loudest story creates deafness to all the other stories. Believe what people say about their own lives, especially when it differs from our perceptions and expectations. Take turns focusing on the different characters in the film, and imagining how the movie might be different if it had focused specifically on their experiences. Lizzie? Juan? Lita? Their mom Carla? Would the movie still be in contention for heartwarming holiday comedy of the year? Early in the film, Pete draws this analogy to foster/adopt: “We flip houses. This is what we do. We find things that need fixing and we fix them.” Look and listen for lines and scenes that reinforce Pete and Ellie as hero saints and the children as damaged. Look for places in the film where minorities perform a nearly magical service for Pete and Ellie. Notice Karen the social worker and Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez who provide the random pep talk. Why are their only roles in service to the white adoptive parents? Lastly, resist the temptation to villainize anyone who says anything “bad” about adoption. Truly hearing voices and stories that challenge our perceptions takes conscious effort, repeatedly, over time. Cultivate humility, determination, and tolerance for discomfort.
Adult Written byMustsee November 22, 2018

BEST MOVIE EVER!!!

Ok, we’ll there might be a little too much cussing but to me this is a MUST WATCH movie. It has some of the best and most valuable lessons about family, siblings and social media. This is Marc Wahlberg and Rose Byrne’s best movie yet!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language

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