No Place Like Home

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
No Place Like Home Movie Poster Image
Predictable alien landing movie, with sibling name-calling.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In the words of the film's title, there is "No place like home."

Positive Role Models & Representations

In spite of their sibling rivalry, Mel and Mac work together to help Moses find his way back to his home planet.

Violence

Early in the film a rabbit is run over by a jeep. A boy crashes into a rock and hurts his head.

Sex

An alien who looks like a man in his early 20s is shown naked behind a bush covering his private parts. A sister accuses her brother of having a "dirty magazine" under his mattress.

Language

"Hell." One character calls another a "pervert." A brother tells his sister to "bite me."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

When talking about the sheriff who's truck has broken down in the middle of nowhere, one character asks another if the sheriff has been drinking again.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that No Place Like Home -- a predictable story about an alien discovered by a teen sister and brother -- has some name-calling between siblings. Also, a man makes a homophobic insinuation at the expense of a female law enforcement official. Aside from this, have fun keeping track of all the 1980s film and television stars packed into this otherwise unremarkable movie.

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What's the story?

While in the middle of nowhere trying to finish a science project, Mac and his sister Mel (Alana Austin) find an unclothed young man crouched behind a bush, speaking a strange language. Unsure of what else to do, they clothe the man and try to take him to the authorities. After accidentally running over and killing a rabbit while driving in their jeep, this alien who they've decided to name "Moses" resurrects the bunny, leading them to suspect that Moses is not just a lost foreigner, but an alien. They try and convince their father (Judge Reinhold) about this, but it is ultimately up to the kids to figure out a way to get Moses back to his home planet before his energy is gone, the authorities arrest him, and an eccentric physicist (Bruce Weitz) abducts him.

Is it any good?

NO PLACE LIKE HOME doesn't really add anything new to the "alien landing on Earth" genre. There are absolutely no surprises -- not even in the bad twist ending -- to say nothing of the lame character stereotypes (clumsy sheriff, sassy administrative assistant, mystical Native American among others), and the corny jokes interspersed throughout. Kids will groan at the cheesy special effects; adults will wonder what the heck ever happened to the careers of Richard Moll (Bull from the 1980's sitcom Night Court) and Judge Reinhold. 

Basically, this is a sub-par attempt to combine E.T. and Starman.  The name-calling between brother and sister probably won't endear this to parents either. There are better alien landing movies out there.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this film compares to other films about aliens. What are the similarities and differences?

  • What are some of the character stereotypes represented in this film? Why do movies use stereotypes?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love science fiction

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