Jingle All the Way

 
Ahnold terminates the holiday spirit.
  • Review Date: November 22, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Harold yells at his son and neglects him but eventually redeems himself by dressing up like a superhero and procuring the prized holiday gift. Jamie learns that the gift is less important than the love of his father, but only after parents and kids obsess over getting the gift.

Violence & scariness

Lots of punching, kicking, threats, and one explosion. While pervasive, the violence is comic, and no one actually gets hurt.

Sexy stuff

Some brief kissing between parents. Ted is constantly hitting on Liz. Some unwitting double entendre by Jamie.

Language

Liz utters "damn" once, but other than that, it's mostly clean.

Consumerism

Gumby, the Cat in the Hat, and Crayola are all prominently displayed during a holiday parade. Two dads go to extremes for a toy.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Harold and Myron sneak liquor into their coffee after a long day of toy hunting. In a fantasy sequence, Jamie drinks liquor from the bottle.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film offers nothing in the way of genuine family fun. Young kids may enjoy the action, car chases, and explosions, but they aren't worth it for the miserable messages about consumerism and buying your child's love.

What's the story?

Harold Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic dad who doesn't spend enough time with his son, Jamie. In order to win back Jamie's love, Harold offers to buy him anything he wants for Christmas. Jamie knows what he wants immediately. In an excited voice, he recites the TV ad for the new TurboMan toy. Just days before Christmas, Harold sets out to find the toy, but it's sold out everywhere. He roams from store to store, chases ping pong balls for toy lotteries, visits a creepy shop of stolen and broken gifts, and rushes to a radio station to try to win a TurboMan contest. Along the way, he becomes rivals with a mail carrier dad, Myron (Sinbad), who quite literally goes postal. In an even ickier subplot, a womanizing next door neighbor (Phil Hartman) uses his good-dad persona to try to seduce Harold's wife, Liz (Rita Wilson).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you don't have to watch Jingle All the Way, don't. It's everything that's wrong with the holiday season: It's competitive, it's stressful, it's desperate, and it's all about consumerism. In short, there's no one in this movie for kids to look up to. And what that means is that, despite being about getting toys, this is a movie for adults who've been in Harold's position and who desperately want to be their sons' heroes. But it's not fun to watch for anyone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. Is Christmas really all about getting THE toy? How do parents make time for their kids and show their love without gifts? What are your favorite things to do, especially during the holidays, that don't require spending money?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 21, 1996
DVD release date:October 12, 2004
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson
Director:Brian Levant
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Holidays
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:action violence, mild language and some thematic elements

This review of Jingle All the Way was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviefan115 April 10, 2012
age 8+
 

The Worst Christmas Movie Ever

When I was younger, I liked this movie. But, I saw it again, and thanks to bad acting, stupid plot, unfunny jokes, and consumerism in its blood, I offically hate this movie. Plus, Arnold should never star in a unfunny movie again.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byDavidJ December 4, 2011
age 8+
 

Good, Funny Movie

"Put that cookie down, Nao." This movie is a very funny Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, in which his character (Howard Langston) is in hunt to find a turbo man action figure for his son. There are various bad words such as H*LL, D**N, and A*S. In one scene Arnold is mistaken for a pervert. Other then these few parts, this movie is bery good.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byPoetic April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

The Common Sense Review Made Me Sick!!!

I read the CS review... I gasped... I checked the movie title... I gasped... I had no idea that only yesterday I had exposed my self to "commercialism", and "violence"... This is without doubt THE BEST X-mas movie I have ever seen... No... I do not have the mentality of "young children"... This movie was just an all-around feel GOOD, heart WARMING, HILARIOUS movie!

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