Mouse Hunt

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Mouse Hunt Movie Poster Image
Clever slapstick with cartoonish violence, profanity.
  • PG
  • 1997
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In the midst of all the slapstick and pratfalls, characters learn the importance of family. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters too cartoonish and over-the-top to be regarded as positive role models. 

Violence & Scariness

Frequent comedic pratfall-style violence. An exterminator gets brutally dragged (and somewhat bloodied). Cartoon-style mayhem; Three Stooges-style head-bashing with frying pans and other household wares. One brother points a loaded shotgun at the other's face. 

Sexy Stuff

A man's clothes unravel in a pratfallish "accident" in a factory; when he runs into his office with giant balls of string covering his private parts, he finds his wife on the desk wearing lingerie. When a mouse falls into a woman's cleavage, a man tries to catch the mouse by sticking his hand down the front of her dress; her female friend has a man stick his hand down her dress to copy her. 

Language

"Bastard," "hell," "son of a bitch." Some sexual innuendo: talk of "making love like in nature films," a vicious cat described as "one mean pussy," and, when a mouse crawls into the crotch region of a character's pants, he screams "Get it out!" repeatedly as his brother is unzipping his fly. 

Consumerism

At a party, a bottle of Seagram's gin is in plain view. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol at a reception. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mouse Hunt is a 1997 movie filled with unrelenting comedic pratfall-style violence. The two lead characters use a variety of implements to try to kill a mouse, including a shotgun and a nail gun. The mouse fills the house with gas later and blows the brothers sky-high. In the opening scene, the two brothers drop their father's coffin at the top of the church stairs, resulting in the corpse flying out of the coffin and into a manhole. There are some moments of inappropriate humor: The two lead characters are covered in excrement after accidentally destroying the sewer line with a vacuum, and the exterminator they hire ends up flat on his back with the mouse defecating on his mouth. This same exterminator eats a piece of mouse excrement to determine its diet. Early in the film, the mayor vomits a cockroach while eating in a fancy restaurant. There also are some moments of subtle and not-so-subtle sexual innuendo: A character talks of "making love like in nature films," the greedy wife of one of the lead characters appears in his office in lingerie, and the pursuit of the mouse leads to the two lead characters sticking their hands down the dresses of two women, and, later, unzipping the fly of one of the characters as he screams "Get it out!" There's also occasional profanity ("hell," "son of a bitch," "bastard").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywraine14 April 9, 2008

Disappointing

I was looking forward to having my 6 year old see this movie based on the Common Sense Review. I was very surprised by the language and sexual innuendo. The v... Continue reading
Adult Written bygodzilla April 9, 2008

Too much violence and bad language

I love Nathan Lane and thought this would be fun for my 7-yr-old, especially after checking the CommonSense review. Well, she and her friend laughed, but I was... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWritluvlife September 9, 2016

Not for kids younger than 12

I started watching this thinking that it would be a good comedy to binge on, and was very disappointed. There is a lot of swearing, and innuendo: In one scene... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bygarfield2710 April 9, 2008

What's the story?

In the vivacious 1997 movie MOUSE HUNT, Nathan Lane and Lee Evans are hapless brothers out to rid their house of a very shrewd mouse. Anyone who's dealt with mice on the loose in a home knows how pesky they can be. That's part of what makes Mouse Hunt fun; you can't help pitying the poor Smuntz brothers, who go to wild extremes trying to rid themselves of an elusive rodent. Kids will side with the mouse, of course, because it's cute and furry and performs some spectacular stunts (thanks to convincing and sparingly used computer-generated effects).

Is it any good?

Although something of a Home Alone retread, Mouse Hunt has far more brains, heart, and style, which will endear it to adults as well as young viewers. Take heed of the PG rating for excessive cartoon-style violence. About two-thirds of the way through it takes an excessively cruel turn, when the mouse floods the house with gas fumes and blows the brothers sky-high. Kids will eat it up, but parents may wince.

Casting Christopher Walken as an exterminator is just one of many inspired touches that gives this movie its adult appeal. William Hickey is also fine -- in one of his last performances -- as frail old Rudolph Smuntz, whose somber portrait keeps changing expression after he passes on.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cartoonish violence. How is it used for the sake of humor in this movie? Is it effective?

  • Why do you think slapstick violence is considered to be funny for some? What would the real-life consequences of this violence be?

  • Did the humor feel gratuitous to you? Why, or why not? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love to laugh

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate