Land of the Lost

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Land of the Lost Movie Poster Image
Ferrell's reboot of '70s show is rife with gross-out laughs.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 47 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 63 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There's a hint of a lesson about standing by your friends and your beliefs, but it's mostly drowned out by slapstick and jokes. There's a high degree of body-function humor: Acharacter douses himself in dinosaur urine to mask his scent, an egg isremoved from a huge pile of dinosaur feces, a character is swallowedwhole and excreted by a dinosaur, etc. Discussion of enjoying show tunes being considered "a bit gay."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ferrell's character is an arrogant airhead, but he's not to be taken very seriously. Holly stands up for him when no one believes his theories.


A man is torn to bits by hungry dinosaurs, and viewers see his severed limbs. Mostly comedic violence involving lizard-men or dinosaurs; some peril, but mostly limited to comedic rampages of destruction and mild scuffling. Some blood as part of a gag involving an exotic blood-sucking insect.


Some kissing; mild lascivious language (for example, a river guide says to a young woman "You may get wet" as a fairly obvious double-entendre). Scantily clad women, as well as underwear-clad men, but the latter is primarily for comedic effect. A touchy-feely hominid primitive puts his hand on the breast of a young woman; a slightly more evolved human emulates that behavior.


Extensive (yet genial) profane and rude language, including (but not limited to) "goddammit," "boobs," "damn," "bitchslap," "gay," "ass-ton," "pissed," "oh my God," "bastard," "s--tty," "p---y," a barely vocalized non-sexual use of t"f--k," "dong," "asshole," "crapballs," "dick," "Jesus,"  "tap that ass," "son-of-a-bitch," and many more.


Extensive mention of brands and TV shows, including Amazon, Cialis, M&Ms, Arby's, Popeye's Chicken, Subway, Florsheim, iPod, Sandals resorts, A Chorus Line, Iron Chef, the Latin Grammys, The Today Show (including a cameo by host Matt Lauer), Mama's Family, and many more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A pipe is displayed but not smoked; characters drink beer and wine. Characters also appear high from the effects of the nectar of an exotic plant. A character says of a tropical jungle "I bet there's weed in there."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this big-screen version of the cult-classic 1970s TV show has lots of vulgar language, as well as an extended sequence in which some of the main characters are clearly stoned on a natural narcotic/hallucinogenic substance. There's also a high degree of body-function humor: At one point, a character douses himself in dinosaur urine to mask his scent, an egg is removed from a huge pile of dinosaur feces, and a character is swallowed whole and later excreted by a dinosaur.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydavidrox January 12, 2013


SO FUNNY! Will Ferrell is amazingly funny in this movie. Even if the plot line suffers a little, over all this movie is great. However, not for kids. Too muc... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 13-year-old Written byextra04918 July 14, 2009

Not appropriate for 13 year olds, and bad to boot!

I found it extremely offensive. I brought my daughter and 3 of her friends, and was angry during the movie, and apologetic to their parents afterward! Words lik... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byThatOneMediaReviewer April 19, 2019
Kid, 10 years old June 23, 2017

What's the story?

After his bizarre theories about time-travel and inter-dimensional wormholes earn him the scorn of the scientific community, Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is exiled to working as a tour guide at the La Brea tar pits. Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), the one person who believes his theories, finds him, encourages him to build his dimension-spanning equipment, and then leads him to a souvenir stand in the desert run by Will (Danny McBride) that just happens to be at a weak spot between worlds. Soon, the three are transported to a strange primitive world full of dinosaurs, friendly primates, and scary lizard men.

Is it any good?

What saves LAND OF THE LOST from being annoying or overblown is the naked transparency of its low ambitions. This isn't a serious-minded reinvention of the series or an attempt to make a work of art out of '70s TV. Instead, it's a chance for Ferrell and McBride -- two talented comedic improvisers -- to do their thing in a world of dinosaurs and dangers, peril and parody.

Director Brad Silberling, working from a script by two ex-Saturday Night Live writers, knows this, so he goes easy on spectacle and heavy on slapstick. Land of the Lost is hardly the most original comedy -- Ferrell's playing another of his arrogant airheads, McBride another of his roughneck buffoons -- and yet something about the sci-fi setting makes what could have been tired moments fresh, as if a familiar restaurant redecorated while still serving old favorite recipes. A broad, foolish comedy, Land of the Lost has more than a few laughs, even if it is somehow both expensive and disposable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the phenomenon of '70s TV shows coming to the big screen. Does this represent the fact that these shows have wormed their way into the public consciousness because they were worthwhile -- or is it just about making money? 

  • Families can also talk about Will Ferrell -- what do all of his characters seem to have in common? What's behind his comedic appeal?

Movie details

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