Raising Arizona



A hysterically twisted film. Mature teens only.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: October 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main characters are criminals, but it's a farce and not meant to be taken seriously.


Slapstick, cartoonish fighting.

Not applicable

Some profanity, but nothing overt.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main characters in this movie are kidnappers and convicts. A kidnapped baby is and taken into perilous situations throughout, such as car chases, bank robberies, gunfights and the like. One character is a bounty hunter of sorts who blows up a rabbit with a hand grenade for fun. Nothing is terribly graphic in the movie, and it is all played for comedic value.

What's the story?

This early entry from the quirky Coen Brothers concerns an ex-convict named H.I. (Nicolas Cage) who falls in love and marries a police officer named Edwina or "Ed" (Holly Hunter). After learning that they cannot have children, the couple decides to kidnap a baby boy quintuplet from wealthy furniture mogul, Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson). But when Arizona posts a large reward for his baby's safe return, H.I.'s two former prison buddies (John Goodman and William Forsythe) show up unannounced, and a ruthless, baby-selling bounty hunter (Randall "Tex" Cobb) attempts to hunt him down.

Is it any good?


RAISING ARIZONA is a traditional farce. There are plenty of laughs (such as H.I. telling convenience store clerk "I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got."), but this movie has heart, too: A central theme in the movie is how hard it is to keep a family together.

Of course, car chases, gunfights, and chaos abound, and most of the time in the presence of a young infant. However, none of it has any more devastating an effect than when dynamite explodes in Daffy Duck's face. Indeed, this is merely a cartoon with real actors, and the result being hilarious, but only for mature viewers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes this movie funny. Kidnappings and bounty-hunters aren't usually treated so lightly -- why are they funny here? Can you think of other movies that make light of usually serious subject matter? Where do you draw the line between offbeat and truly tasteless territory?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1987
DVD release date:August 3, 1999
Cast:Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Nicolas Cage
Director:Joel Coen
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, violence.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 10 year old Written byekim March 14, 2011

Language is F-ed up

"nothing overt?" This movie is chock full of F-bombs, Sh's and GD's. Certainly worse than would be expected in a PG-13 movie
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bythewittyman27 April 9, 2008


i would give this movie a 14+. some of the last scenes get pretty brutal, and there is a lot of shooting. they steal a baby, but to have one of their own, not for ransom, and then return him when they realize that the parents actually did miss him so that wasnt that bad. it was very funny, but prty random and wierd.
Adult Written byrickydoo85 April 9, 2008

Coen brothers classic

This was funnier than I expected


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