Pants on Fire

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Pants on Fire Movie Poster Image
Entertaining, family-friendly story with standout messages.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Strong messages about honesty and making positive choices; not doing so threatens relationships with friends and family. 

Positive Messages

Dishonesty has real consequences, and the only remedy is telling the truth, even though it's difficult. Popularity is fickle when it's built on appearances rather than reality, and the importance of being true to yourself is stressed. Strong messages about friendship, sibling relationships, and working hard for your goals rather than taking the easy way out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adults come across as exceedingly gullible, but it's necessary to lay the foundation for the story. Jack is proud of his ability to lie his way out of any situation, but he learns his lesson when his dishonesty comes back to haunt him. Ryan challenges Jack to do the right thing, proving his worth as a friend. 

Violence & Scariness

Some surprises, including red-eyed aliens and several chase scenes. Physical comedy such as falls and other mishaps. 

Sexy Stuff

Some flirting among teens.   

Language

Rarely "butt." 

Consumerism

Multiple references to the Boston Red Sox franchise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pants on Fire promotes excellent messages about honesty, friendship, and being true to yourself in a hilarious, family-friendly story. Disney stars Bradley Steven Perry and Tyrel Jackson Williams will be a big draw for kids who know their other work, and they prove worthy costars in this tale about a boy's chronic lying coming back to haunt him. The content is appropriate for most ages, but a few chase scenes and adrenaline rushes concerning aliens and vengeful lumberjacks might concern very young kids. The fact that adults are quick to fall for a teen's deceptions is an unrealistic but necessary element to this well-rounded movie's plot and to its ultimate lessons. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byScottD81 March 20, 2016

Absolutely hysterical comedy with positive messages

I watched this with my kids the other day, and all of us were laughing hysterically through most of the movie. It's a genuinely entertaining story about a... Continue reading
Adult Written byMomToFour November 11, 2016

Over-the-Top Ridiculous Teenie Bopper Movie - Scary for Kids

Based on the age rating of common sense media, I thought this was a movie intended for kids. It really isn't. It's another highly ridiculous , totally... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 5, 2015

Funny story with a great message for everyone

This movie is a funny story about a boy who takes his lies way too far that they come true, he can't get out of them without telling the truth.
Kid, 8 years old November 23, 2015

Really Good!

It's Really Good, But, There's Two Red-Eyed Aliens That Might Scare Little Kids.

What's the story?

Jack Parker (Bradley Steven Perry) is an accomplished liar who's proud of using his talents to get out of everything from cleaning the garage to detention. Now he faces his biggest challenge yet: keeping up the ruse long enough to secure the school's lofty "Student of the Year" award and fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a batboy for the Boston Red Sox. But things take an unexpected turn when real-life versions of his fabricated stories show up, bringing him face-to-face with the tangled web of stories he's woven for himself. With an overprotective girlfriend, vengeful lumberjacks, and his devoted new friend Mikey on his tail, Jack's at a loss for how to set things right again, and even when the answer presents itself, he's not sure he wants to part ways with his past. 

Is it any good?

PANTS ON FIRE is the whole package. Kids will want to tune in because of familiar Disney faces Perry and Williams, and the story grabs you right from the start and keeps you guessing through twists and turns that are surprisingly unpredictable. It's seriously funny, thanks in large part to exchanges between befuddled Jack and his über-friendly instant-BFF Mikey, and it treads very lightly upon the line between reality and nonsense, casting viewers into an utterly believable world where a person's make-believe can come true.

But even better than Pants on Fire's laudable entertainment quotient is its ability to teach valuable lessons. There's the smack-you-in-the-face message about honesty, of course, but others relating to self-esteem and taking responsibility for your actions stand out as well. Jack's buddy Ryan (Joshua J. Ballard) really shines at a crucial moment, reminding kids that being a friend doesn't always mean following someone else's lead. Even the concept of popularity gets a workout, with the characters learning that it's not such a prize when it's based on misrepresentations instead of reality. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Jack learned in this story. Have your kids ever suffered consequences from telling a lie? Would doing so change their actions in the future? 

  • Which characters in this story stand out as being good friends? Do friends always have to agree for the sake of their relationship? Why is it important to consider other people's opinions? 

  • Another theme in this story concerns popularity. Should being popular be a goal for kids or teens? Who defines what (and who) is popular, in your kids' experiences? Does popularity concern them? How does it factor into other issues such as peer pressure and body image?

Movie details

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