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Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Dated comedy is part Ghostbusters, part Dickens.

Movie PG-13 1988 101 minutes
Scrooged Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 13+

Has a great message to it like its source of inspiration but a bit too profane, violent, and scary for smaller children. Fine for teens and up

This is a very inventive, funny update of the classic Christmas carol by Dickens. Kids who have seen Bill Murray in other movies like Ghostbusters may be interested and may want to see the classic Dickens story in a more modern setting. However as in the case with some of Murray’s other films this one is not appropriate for pre-teens and younger. The wonderful message of generosity at Christmas is still very faithful to Dickens’ story but in between is a handful of profanities GD, numerous uses of bitch and the s word, some violence, involving shooting and kicking to the crotch, and a few moments that look scary for very young kids. The moments that look scary shouldn’t be so for teenagers and adults but younger children are likely to be very frightened by some scary images. Even if you watch a filtered version on television that cuts out some objectionable content I still feel this film will be far too frightening for smaller kids. CSM is almost right on this one. I would go one step up and say this film is best for 13 and up.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Crass adaptation that shows off Bill Murray's talents

I saw this film on cable the first time and of course have re-watched it so many times I cannot remember, clearly over 50 times. It came out when I was 12 which I think was the perfect age to watch it and re-watch it and memorize the dialogue. There are many moments where Bill Murray is Murray-ing it up, but his brother almost steals the film from him with his line of "I'm only 4!" Which has been repeated by me and others more times than I can count. Bill Murray's Francis Xavier Cross does a great job of being a despicable person that has allowed work and ambition to take over his personality and my biggest critique in this film is that there could have been more compromise between Lumpy and Claire and we're just gonna flatten that because it does not serve the film's purpose. I think the most impressive thing about this film is its cast list. There is TV royalty on this film, just so many great names: John Forsyth, Lee Majors, John Glover, Mabel King, Jamie Farr, Buddy Hackett, Carol Kane...and other stars: Alfre Woodard, John Houseman, Pat McCormick, Mary Lou Retton, Michael J Pollard, Robert Mitchum for goddsake!!! I mean the film is a smorgasbord of who's who and everyone shows up in their Sunday best for Donner's project and we get to relive it every year. Clearly not the best adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol (that honor belongs to the Muppets) but a strong contender in sheer pop culture weight.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (14 ):

SCROOGED is a head-on crash of two family faves, A Christmas Carol and Ghostbusters, neither one quite winning out. Some early SNL folk worked on it -- Bill Murray most obviously, but also writer Michael O'Donahue, whose style of humor was often brutally dark. It's a strange, mood-swingy blend of mistletoe and graveyard mold that doesn't hang together gracefully. A good comedy-fantasy with some heart for the holidays may repose here, but the movie is heavily-tinseled by expensive production values, epic gags, and special effects that tend to go against Dickens' poignancy. The script eagerly does literal yuppie-bashing, as Frank Cross is physically pummeled and tortured; even with isolated genius moments (Christmas Past is a Yellow Cabbie in a time-travel taxi), you feel this property is exactly the sort of gaudy and violent entertainment Frank Cross would air at Christmas. Murray himself, at his best underplaying, mugs hysterically. Kids might like that, but when he unintelligibly impersonates Welsh actor Richard Burton or quotes the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, it's funny stand-up but don't fit the character well.

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