The Addams Family (1991)

Movie review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Addams Family (1991) Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Dark comedy with macabre humor for teens.
  • PG-13
  • 1991
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's a clear love of family and love for children, as well as the idea that weirdness/difference is something to be celebrated rather than hated or feared. But some of the Addamses' antics appear mean-spirited.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Morticia and Gomez are devoted parents who love each other passionately, but the way they care for/raise their children doesn't follow the usual patterns. The kids are often rude, and their rivalry is often a bit too intense.

Violence

Knives, swords, and other medieval weapons are frequently visible, but their use is rarely seen; a torture device is used on Morticia (to her pleasure), and Pugsley is strapped into an electric chair. A hand gun is visibly pointed at Gomez. The children, especially Wednesday, use weapons and other sources of pain to try to hurt each other as part of their everyday play. In the end no one gets hurt (although it's unclear if the bad guys are dead at the end). Quick reference to child molestation relating to Uncle Fester

Sex

Strong sexual innuendo, especially between Gomez and Morticia. The couple can be heard having an orgasm while in public. Sseveral subtle references to sadomasochism. Much of this will go over the head of young viewers.

Language

Swearing includes "damn" and "hell."

Consumerism

Visible ads for Tombstone Pizza and Fedex. Sally Jessy Raphael is briefly featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Gomez is occasionally seen smoking a cigar. Brief adult consumption of hard alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while The Addams Family is based on the classic 1960s sitcom, it's a much darker comedy with more sophisticated humor. While the movie is fun, it contains violent images and strong sexual innuendo. It also contains scenes featuring the use of various weapons and torture devices. Parents also need to know that while the characters are likeable, their behavior is sometimes mean spirited. Wednesday Addams' sadistic nature is rather disturbing.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymickeynash June 19, 2012

Addams Family Mansion gives this a Thumbs up!

While the Addams Family is on the Creepy side, it is not scary... just dark. Humor is slapstick, and the kids will love feeling like they are watching a scary... Continue reading
Adult Written byAida H. April 15, 2018

Positive role models and messages present.

I love this movie. It was a favourite growing up and I can't wait to watch with my son. The ratings are so wrong. There is no consumerism only greed. The a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMadelineMini November 8, 2014

Crude humor kids don't understand 7+

The Adam's Family is absolutely a hilarious comedy and it's appropriate for 7+! There are a lot of jokes with innuendo, but kids don't understand... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 14, 2019

Sometimes inappropriate but good

There are a few sexual refrences, such as when you can hear Gomez and Mortisha ‘Having some fun’ at the auction, or when Gomez was rescuing Mortisha and Gomez w... Continue reading

What's the story?

Inspired by the cartoon characters of Charles Addams and based on the classic 1960s television series, THE ADDAMS FAMILY re-introduces the world to the Addamses, a ghoulishly demented family who embraces the morbid side of life. The Addams clan includes cigar-smoking, child-like dad Gomez (Raul Julia); elegant, vampish mom Morticia (Anjelica Huston); weird son Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and somber, frighteningly sadistic daughter Wednesday (Christina Ricci). Living in the mansion with them are Grandmama (Judith Malina), Lurch the butler (Carel Struycken), and the ever-present Thing, a free-standing hand that has no body but possesses a personality of its own. After hearing Gomez pining for his estranged brother, the beloved Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), the Addamses' attorney cooks up a scheme to steal the family fortune. As a result, the family gets caught up in a swindle full of misadventures and ghoulish fun.

Is it any good?

The Addamses are a tight-knit family who clearly care about one another, but they lack the same kind of charm and generosity featured in the original 1964 TV series. The characters, while looking remarkably like their classic counterparts, are darker and at times mean-spirited. Also unsettling are the extremes to which Wednesday goes to inflict pain on her brother, including strapping him into an electric chair and joyfully flipping the switch.

While The Addams Family fails to recapture the quirky spookiness and charm of the original TV series, it's actually fun to watch. The dialogue is quick witted, and there are plenty of funny (albeit macabre) moments. But the movie also contains its share of sexual innuendo, violence, and freaky imagery that's inappropriate for younger viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about family relationships. What's it like to have a close family? When does sibling rivalry go too far? How are family differences settled?

  • Families can also talk about the differences that occur when classic TV series are remade. Why are some things in The Addams Family the same while others are presented differently?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love misfits

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