Kangaroo Jack Movie Poster Image

Kangaroo Jack



A very bad movie -- shouldn't have been PG.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 89 minutes

What parents need to know


A lot of violence for a PG, including peril, guns, knives.


Strong for a PG.


Strong for a PG.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, comic drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the DVD cover suggests that a funny kangaroo is a large part of the movie, but it's a brief highlight that appears only in a fantasy sequence. The movie has a great deal of material parents might consider inappropriate for children, including peril, violence and gunplay, a stepfather who orders his stepson killed, drinking to excess seen as impressive, drinking portrayed as a way to cope with problems, violence, potty humor, and a co-ed swim in underwear that leads to kissing. There's a sexist joke and the black character is portrayed in "sidekick" terms with no interest in having any kind of independent life or relationships. The "happy" ending is somewhat sour as the only character who had been doing something to contribute to improving the world appears to have abandoned that completely for a life of hedonistic pleasure.

What's the story?

Jerry O'Connell plays Charlie, the hairdresser stepson of Sal, a Brooklyn mob boss (Christopher Walken). His best friend is Louis (Anthony Anderson), who constantly wheedles him into all kinds of messes by reminding him of the time he saved Charlie's life when they were both eight years old. Charlie and Louis accidentally lead the police to a mob stash of stolen goods. Sal tells them that he would have them killed, but because of Charlie's mother, he is giving them another chance. He sends them to Australia with $50,000 cash, to be delivered to "Mr. Smith." Charlie and Louis hit a kangaroo with their jeep, and, thinking it is dead, dress it up in Louis' jacket to take pictures. But it hops away with the jacket -- and the $50,000, which is in the pocket. Charlie and Anthony chase after the kangaroo while they are being chased by Mr. Smith and the mob guys from back home.

Is it any good?


KANGAROO JACK is not just a very bad movie; it is a very bad movie that shows how inadequately the MPAA rating system handles the kinds of materials that are of concern to parents. This movie received a PG rating despite "humor" about topics that include masturbation, homosexuality, drinking and drunkenness, epilepsy, murder, grabbing a woman's breasts, the famous case where a dingo (wild Australian dog) ate a baby, a hit ordered by a mob boss on his stepson, and the ever-popular camel flatulence.

The action sequences are poorly staged, the jokes are staged even more poorly, the montages to rock music have no energy, and the acting ranges from mediocre to dreadful. Estella Warren, who plays the love interest, cannot act. The best performance is unquestionably that of the computer folks who designed the CGI kangaroo. Two positive notes are the long and and loyal inter-racial friendship and a strong, independent, brave, and capable woman.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Louis thought that the only reason Charlie stayed with him was because he saved Charlie's life. Why does Charlie blame himself for his mother's marrying Sal? What should Charlie have done differently?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 17, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:June 17, 2003
Cast:Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken, Jerry O'Connell
Director:David McNally
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Adventures, Wild animals
Run time:89 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language, crude humor, sensuality, and violence

This review of Kangaroo Jack was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Iconic outback comedy has strong language, drinking, drugs.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written bythundermuffin May 27, 2012

Funny funny movie, one of my favorites, but a few iffy scenes

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie!!!!! There are a few things I find a little iffy, however. One was the scene where they are talking about the money, but it sounds like they are talking about poop (you have to see it to understand it). I always found it hilarious, but I know kids who got grossed out and disturbed. The other iffy scene was when Charlie thought the woman was a mirage (since he had been seeing mirages lately) and he grabbed her breasts without knowing it was a real woman. He then commented on how they felt "so real", while Louis is trying to tell him that it is not a hallucination and that it is a real woman. Years ago, when this movie was shown on Nickelodeon, they edited that scene out.
Teen, 14 years old Written byarman kalantari February 1, 2012

what a stupid director whould make this PG

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byWonderlandwish May 15, 2014

It's fine, stop over reacting please.

I'm doing this movie as an assignment in English class about how Australians are shown in movies. I remembered this movie from my childhood and thought nothing was wrong with it. I watch it now at 14 and still find nothing wrong. I think everyone here is over reacting with the rating. PG seems like a rating that is perfectly okay. I will admit that there is a passionate kiss but children see their parents kiss all the time and will probably close their eyes, because of 'coodies'. I think everyone has been over reacting although there are some parts, yes it is violent in some parts but nobody is actually hurt, There is a gun fight but no shots are fired that kills anyone. There isnt any sexism in this movie nor racism. There is one line in the movie that is "I'm going to end up like the child that got stolen by the dingo" but that is probably the most rudest thing. This movie is just following the Australian sterotypes and everyone saying this movie is PG-13 is probably wrong since it's following the sterotypes that other countries see Australia.
What other families should know
Great messages