Richie Rich

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Richie Rich Movie Poster Image
Macaulay Culkin vehicle very rich in product placement.
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Mired in the depts of all of the product placement is the message that the Rich family values the things that are sentimental in value, rather than those silly material things that they spend so much time and effort accruing. Cute and maybe a little endearing, but confusing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Role models go both ways. Richie is a good guy underneath the trappings of all of the riches. Just like his dad, who wants to keep Union Tool company in business just so people can keep their jobs. Meanwhile, though the Riches do love each other, their excess distracts them from spending that most precious of commodities: quality time together.

Violence

There are pistols, machine guns, and lasers, which are used at close range. Though no one is killed, there are many perilous scenes, including a plane crash where the victims land safely in the water and a scene where a group of kids are about to be destroyed by a molecular reconstruction machine. Some hair-raising moments with characters hanging from a cliff.

Sex

When Claudia Schiffer performs an aerobic workout in a skin-tight leotard, Richie and Cadbury take in the view of her behind, making moony faces. A couple of adult innuendos, including Mrs. Rich telling Mr. Rich that not only does she love him for his billions of dollars, but she thinks he has a "cute butt."

Language

For the target age, it's a bit explicit: "s--t," "hell," "fart," and "crap."

Consumerism

Lets the viewer know exactly which kind of everything a Rich kid should have. Richie has a McDonald's in his house, wowing his friends, who pig out on burgers and shakes. Other brands mentioned and shown include: Twinkies, Reese's candy bars (particularly the Nutrageous bar that Richie holds up in a business meeting), Bubblicious ("Richie's favorite gum," says his mom), Radio Shack, Oil of Olay, the New York Yankees, Money magazine, People magazine,  Chanel, Bill Blass, Rolls Royce, Karl Lagerfeld, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Rich parents drink champagne on their lifeboat, getting a little tipsy. Van Dough smokes a cigar and celebrates his evil scheme with a glass of champagne.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that with so much air time given to worshipping the gadgets and wonders of being super rich, the rest of the movie gets lost under the sheer weight of it all. Richie is a kid who doesn't have any normal friends (his school friends are freakishly precocious in cultivating their inner Donald Trumps). So his butler gets the "townie" kids to come over, and Richie blows them away by sharing his toys (a kid catapult, a roller coaster, an in-home McDonald's).

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old March 29, 2013

''Mom,Can I Have A Rollercoster Like Richie Rich?''

I'm On Spring Break,So I Rented Richie Rich From Amazon.The Plot Is That Richie Rich Is The Richest Kid In The World.Riche's Life Is Pretty Fun,Until... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 15, 2011

Gets Boring FAST

The movie is completely appropriate, but after seeing it twice at my summer camp last year, most of the group was sick of it. It isn't one of those movies... Continue reading

What's the story?

Richie Rich is born into unimaginable wealth, and is burdened with the issues that go with this conceit: he has limited time with his parents (even though they dote on him, they are so busy), he has to learn how to behave in situations that are not kid-like (running his father's company when he is missing, for example), and he has no real friends. In fact, his own friends are either too self-consumed or too busy learning to rule the world that they can't even find time to hang out on the weekend. Enter the kids from town, who are bribed by Richie's butler to come over for a major league play date, and are so charmed by Richie's laid back attitude about sharing all the cool stuff he has that they reject the bribe money at the end of the day. Meanwhile, a bad seed tries to off the Rich family so that he can take over their billion-dollar estate upon their demise. Can Richie save the day?

Is it any good?

Though it has charming moments, this movie adaptation of the 1960s comic is too weighed down in product placement to be a  winner. Though the longing for friends and normalcy that Macaulay Culkin portrays does hit a truthful note, his performance is pretty wooden. Not until he starts running his dad's business does the usual mischievous twinkle in his eye come through. Perhaps the gimmicks and gadgets feel a little re-heated. Perhaps all of the product placement is distracting. But the moments of the movie that are the most compelling occur when Richie is with his adoring father (played by Edward Herrmann). There's something to be said about quality family time after all.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the other kids in the movie have that Richie doesn't. Do you have friends who have more stuff than you do? Do you have friends who have fewer things than you do? Does it make a difference?

  • Richie Rich has a McDonald's in his home, and he is constantly slurping milkshakes. Does it make you hungry for a milkshake? Can a movie's product placement influence your likes and dislikes?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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