Mac and Me

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Mac and Me Movie Poster Image
So-bad-it's-good "E.T." rip-off; lots of product placement.
  • PG
  • 1988
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This film is intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Themes of kindness, tolerance, and friendship run throughout, though the movie's quality brings down the effectiveness of the message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Eric is a boy who is in a wheelchair, but shows self-reliance and otherwise behaves like any other boy his age.

Violence & Scariness

The alien Mac tends to cause car accidents wherever he appears. Cars crash, flip, and spin out of control. While exploring a hilly area past his backyard, a boy in a wheelchair starts rolling downhill, unable to stop, and rolls off a cliff into water below, where he nearly drowns. A gun fight between aliens and police culminates in a massive explosion that sets a mall parking lot on fire. Police on foot chase after a boy in a wheelchair who holds an alien in his lap as they go down hilly roads and through department stores.

Sexy Stuff

Rare language, like "hell."


The McDonald's logo is shown throughout. One of the characters works at McDonald's; she is rarely seen without her uniform. A child's birthday party is held at McDonald's where Ronald McDonald himself entertains partygoers. Characters talk about wanting Big Macs. Coca-Cola cans are frequently shown; apparently, the soft drink is like the water the aliens drink on their home planet. Skittles, Sears, and Wicke's Furniture also make blatant appearances.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A boy is given a mild sedative by a doctor after the boy tells him about the alien he's been seeing around his house.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mac and Me is a wonderfully bad slice of 1980s kitsch. It's an obvious E.T. rip-off; the acting is bad across the board; and there are plenty of scenes that will leave everyone scratching their heads. Oh, and the product placement is as obnoxious and tacky as you can get. That said, fans of the so-bad-it's-good school of movie watching will find much to enjoy in the cheese and the awfulness. On a serious note: In the film, a boy in a wheelchair loses control and rolls downhill off a cliff and into water where he nearly drowns. This might be a bit much for younger viewers, especially any who know kids in wheelchairs.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bystphn March 2, 2021

Love the 80’s, McDonald’s, Coca Cola and hilariously bad movies with massive budgets? You’ll love this!

This movie is the best movie to ever get a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s so bad, it’s amazing! I definitely recommend watching it with friends, then quotin... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLJ24 May 4, 2021

Terrible movie

Don’t watch it. It’s a terrible ripoff of E.T. All the alien dose is drink Coca-Cola. His family abandons him.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySun Always Shin... March 27, 2021

Preeeeettttty niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice

Oh boy, oh boy. I've been looking forward to watching and reviewing this and I'm happy to be here finally. This movie is infamously awful and sadly it... Continue reading

What's the story?

The Cruise family has just moved to California from Illinois, but they're not the only ones who are new in town. A family of aliens has been vacuumed up from their home planet by a NASA probe. When they escape from the lab, the smallest of the aliens ends up in the Cruise's house, where only their youngest son Eric sees him. When the alien, christened "Mac" by Eric (which stands for Mysterious Alien Creature) inadvertently wreaks havoc in their living room, Eric tries to convince his mother (Christine Ebersole) and his older brother Michael (Jonathan Ward) that it's an alien, but it takes awhile for them to believe him. Meanwhile, Mac wants to meet up with his family, who are wandering around in the desert, and can only find the strength he needs to survive by drinking Coca-Cola Classic. For Mac to meet his family again, he needs help from Eric and Michael (with assistance from their neighbors Debbie and Courtney) to avoid being captured by NASA.

Is it any good?

If you like kitschy '80s movies of the so-bad-they're-good variety, then MAC AND ME is as ridiculous as you can get. The acting is terrible, the storyline takes bizarre turns (for instance, when Mac the alien escapes a pack of neighborhood dogs by climbing to the top of a tree, we hear an '80s-style love ballad), and the product placement in this E.T. knockoff -- while clearly intended to make the viewer crave Big Macs, Coke Classic, and Skittles -- merely add to the absurdity. At least the filmmakers had the good sense to not make Eric's wheelchair fly like Elliot's BMX bike in a remarkably similar chase scene.

As long as you go into this with the right attitude -- knowing that Mac and Me isn't Citizen Kane by any stretch (or E.T.), families who find humor in kitsch should find much to enjoy with this one, in spite of its sheer awfulness. It's as '80s as big hair and acid-washed Guess jeans, and you might find some nostalgia in the stink of this movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about product placement in movies. What's the intent of the companies who have their products placed in movies?

  • Movies about aliens landing on earth and meeting humanity are common. What similarities and differences do you see between Mac and Me and other movies with similar themes?

  • How accurately do you think the film portrays the life of a typical suburban boy using a wheelchair?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love aliens and sci-fi

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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