A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Pacifier has a lot of cartoonish "action violence": no blood and no on-screen shooting but an exploding helicopter, a glimpse of a dead body, a lot of kicking and hitting. A parent is killed (off-screen). There's a lot of potty humor including many diaper jokes and a character covered with sewage. There's also some crude schoolyard language including "bite me," "boobs," "spaz," "skanky." One daughter wears a crucifix, though there is no further evidence of any religious faith. The portrayal of the bad guys has some unpleasantly racist overtones, and some of the "humorous" insults are sexist and homophobic. And there's intrusive product placement for Costco and other brands.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE PACIFIER stars Vin Diesel as Shane Wolf, an all-business Navy Seal who's all about securing perimeters and drop-and-give-me-twenty. Shane is sent to rescue a computer whiz who has been kidnapped by the Serbs because they want who has created his super-secret "ghost" program. The whiz is killed by the bad guys (off screen), and after Shane recovers from being shot, he is sent to the suburbs to protect the whiz's five kids while his widow attempts to retrieve the program from a safe deposit box in a Swiss bank. The kids are undisciplined and acting out following the loss of their father, but they know how to love. Result of this meeting of opposites: development of mutual admiration through comic and heart-warming incidents and some cartoon-y stunts.
Is it any good?
The Pacifier might manage to qualify as mindlessly enjoyable pap if it was not so insincere, littered with gross-out jokes, and, with a tin ear for its target audience. Once he gets to know the kids he helps each one in predictable ways. Meanwhile, the bad guys are trying to get the Ghost program so everyone has to learn to work together and rely on one another, yadda yadda. This is all shown through crude humor, uncomfortably stereotyped bad guys, and a plot twist involving a swastika that few in the target age group will understand or relate to.
This crass, crude, and overly familiar formula comedy has material that is inappropriate for younger kids and jokes that are too immature for the older ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: March 4, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: June 28, 2005
- Cast: Brittany Snow, Lauren Graham, Vin Diesel
- Director: Adam Shankman
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: action violence, language and rude humor
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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