A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive themes of heroism and the importance of doing your job well, no matter the task. But lots of fat jokes, too.
Positive Role Models
An overweight security guard is bound by honor and devotion to the mall he protects. Unlikely people show extraordinary bravery. A young girl wants to help her father find a wife. On the other hand, many jokes are made at the expense of the obese.
Violence & Scariness
Criminals take hostages at gunpoint and attempt to kill Paul Blart. He's beaten up but also bests various thieves. Most of the violence is humorous, but occasionally one of the criminals says something about threatening to "off" a hostage (including a child) or blow cops up, etc., and there are a few explosions. But there's no blood -- just bruises from all of the physical comedy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are discussions about romantic relationships, dating, online dating, and hooking up. Two characters kiss. During an altercation with a woman, her blouse is pulled up, and viewers can see her bra for most of the scene. Also, an extended scene takes place in Victoria's Secret.
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A couple of stronger words (including one "s--t," as well as "ass," "hell," and "oh my God"), but mostly insults about Paul Blart: "fat," "stupid," "loser," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Since the film is set in a mall, tons of chain stores are featured, shown, or at the very least mentioned -- including Victoria's Secret, Hallmark, Sharper Image, Kay's, Lord & Taylor, Orange Julius, Dunkin Donuts, Williams Sonoma, Teavana, Legal Seafood, Hello Kitty, Zale's, McDonald's, and more. Also visible: Rock Band, PlayStation 3, Rainforest CafÃ©, and Paul's ubiquitous Segway.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Paul and his co-workers go out for happy hour, and he drinks so much that he gets very drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that since this slapstick comedy is set in a mall, it features a tremendous amount of consumer/product integration. As a result, almost every scene includes a real mall store or restaurant. There are lots of humorous pratfalls -- but the criminals also threaten to kill people and use guns, and there are a few explosions. Several jokes target the obese (including the main character). The language is mostly confined to insults (though there's at least one use of "s--t," as well as a couple uses of "hell," "ass," and "oh my God"), and the sexuality is limited to flirting, a kiss ... and an extended scene set in Victoria's Secret. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
At first PAUL BLART: MALL COP just seems like another broad, brainless Adam Sandler-produced comedy aimed at teen and tween boys. But as the plot thickens, James' teddy-bear of a protagonist actually begins to grow on the audience. Despite the many fat jokes (which are thankfully not aimed at Raini Rodriguez, the cute, chubby actress who plays Blart's daughter Maya), there's none of the raunch that's defined Sandler's signature brand of humor. Blart doesn't make apologies for who he is -- a food-loving, mustachioed, unfashionable man who loves his job and his mother and daughter and would risk his life to save any innocent mall shopper.
The physical comedy is surprisingly well executed, with James pratfalling with the ease and grace of Chevy Chase or Buster Keaton. Mays is like the second coming of Anna Faris, and the acrobatic, skateboarding crew of criminals put on an entertaining cat-and-mouse chase around the mall. The mall, it should be noted, deserves its own credit, since the movie prominently plugs many a store -- particularly an extended scene in Victoria's Secret. So, yes, this is a broad, silly comedy filled with consumer brands -- but it also has, embodied in its brave buffoon of Paul Blart, heart.
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.