Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No need to chase after a fountain of youth: Being young is great when you're young, and being older is just right when you're older. It's possible to be older and still have a twinkle in your eye and a bounce in your step, if you feel young on the inside. Some children are shown playing Cowboys and Indians with dated depictions of Native American culture now widely regarded as offensive, and Barnaby appears in a few scenes wearing what's supposed to be war paint.
Positive Role Models
Middle-aged couple Barnaby and Edwina test an experimental youth formula on themselves. Their behavior then reverts back to college age, and back further to elementary-school age. Barnaby drives a sports car recklessly and gets into a few minor crashes. As their real, middle-aged selves they are a devoted couple, still deeply in love.
Violence & Scariness
There's some roughhouse play and a couple of slaps in the face.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple kisses briefly a few times. Another character kisses Barnaby on the cheek. A toddler is seen fully naked from the back. There's some sexual innuendo between the married couple about their wedding night.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A man is offered a drink and given a bottle of wine; he pours a glass but never drinks any. A group of men each have a shot of unspecified alcohol as a way to pass the time waiting. A minor character is nearly always seen with an unlit cigar in his hand.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's very little of concern here. A married couple exchanges a few brief kisses, and the only other kiss is on the cheek. There's some roughhouse play and a couple of slaps on the face. The premise involves a chemist researching a formula, which he tests on himself and on chimpanzees. The chimpanzees are seen in cages and out of them performing human-like tasks as well as causing trouble the way a misbehaving child would, for comic effect. Some children are shown playing Cowboys and Indians with dated depictions of Native American culture now widely regarded as offensive, and Barnaby appears in a few scenes wearing what's supposed to be war paint. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
MONKEY BUSINESS has everything going for it: a fantastic cast, a stellar director, plus monkeys! Unfortunately it doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts. It could be that the early scenes establishing the comfortable, middle-aged relationship between Barnaby and Edwina are a little too comfortable and last a little too long. It's almost certainly in part because modern audiences won't find a chimpanzee performing human tasks funny in itself: We've learned too much about chimpanzees since then to find absurd humor in having a chimp pour liquid from one container into another.
Kids will have a hard time relating to the premise about older people wanting to be young again, and though might be briefly entertained by the chimpanzee shenanigans, there's not much else for them to especially appreciate here. Those obsessed with "old Hollywood" will enjoy seeing Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers together. They seem to be having fun, and in middle age are still great with the physical stuff. But the supporting cast is weak (except for Marilyn Monroe, who of course sparkles while playing it straight) and the writing's a little flat in that it seldom zeroes in on what's really funny. If you're looking for real laughs, stick with Bringing Up Baby.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.