The Sitter

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Sitter Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Hard-R misadventures are crazy and crass but still funny.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Despite the raunchy stuff and general craziness, there are a few positive messages in the movie: the oldest son learns to accept who he is, the adopted son realizes he doesn't have to be confrontational just to get a rise out of his new family, and the daughter sees that she doesn't need to act like a reality star (make-up, singing, provocative dancing) to be likable. Even Noah realizes that he deserves to be with someone who likes him back and doesn't take him for granted.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are basically no positive role models except for Roxanne, who offers to help Noah even though he's done nothing to deserve her compassion and consideration. Noah's mom is also kind and thinks the best of her slacker son, but she's barely in the movie.


Rodrigo likes to put cherry bombs in toilets, which blow up in a restaurant, a jewelry store, and then in a car, causing the driver's crotch to catch on fire. The drug dealer's goons chase after Noah and the kids, causing a car accident. Noah accepts a sucker punch to the face to give him street cred and later gets into a fight with a kickboxer who beats him up until the kids come to the rescue. The drug dealer wields a gun. There's a scene in which a character is beaten by a gang of angry onlookers.


Although there's no nudity, the movie begins with a scene of a clothed guy performing simulated oral sex on a mostly dressed girl. He then tries to get her to reciprocate, but she refuses. Later she offers to have sex if he does her a favor. Also lots of conversations about sex, pornography, adulterous sexual relationships between babysitters and their employers, and genitalia. A young girl sings the lyrics to bawdy rap songs and calls things and people "hot."


Virtually constant swearing, even in front of (or by!) the three kids, includes expletives such as "f--k," "motherf--ker," "d--k," "p---y," "t-ts," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," and more. Spanish curse words are also included via young Rodrigo: "puta," "pendejo," "carajo," "púdrete," etc.


Featured brands and products include Mercedes, Honda Odyssey, Apple computer, iPod.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A major subplot involves Noah buying some cocaine from an eccentric drug dealer who snorts it and offers some to him. Noah's pseudo-girlfriend is drunk at a party and asks him to buy her the cocaine. Adults at a few different venues -- a bat mitzvah, a pool hall, the drug dealer's place, a house party -- drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this "babysitter gone wild" comedy may target teens -- especially those who are already Jonah Hill fans -- it has so many hard-R references to sex, drugs, and violence that it's not age appropriate for young teens. There's near-constant use of expletives (from the ubiquitous "motherf--ker" to "bitch" and everything in between), jokes about sex, a guy-on-girl oral sex scene, overt cocaine buying and use, references to a young teen's homosexuality, and plenty of sketchy and/or criminal behavior. Adoptive families may not appreciate the way the subject of adoption is depicted. It's all intended for laughs (what kind of college-aged student would really take three kids to a drug dealer's lair?), but that doesn't mean it's OK for younger viewers, so be prepared to stick to your guns if you have tweens and young teens who want to see it. Note: The unrated version (available on DVD) includes additional content not included in the theatrical release, including a topless woman.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohnny R. December 4, 2017

A movie that gets to much hate!

This movie is a great comedy! It has very positive messages about Family and Homosexuality (one of the kids is gay and is too scared to admit it.) Jonah Hill do... Continue reading
Adult Written bytodd zino December 18, 2014

One of Jonah hill's best movies

No sex except for the scene in the beginning language is the biggest issue here but not as bad as Superbad
Kid, 7 years old January 2, 2021

The movie is just a big pile of nonsense.

This movie is absolutely awful. The humor is really bad and the characters are just a bunch of fools.
The characters are so generic and boring in all of their a... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig July 24, 2020

Pretty good

Somewhat forgettable raunchy R comedy is tamer than most but not as funny as most.

What's the story?

Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) is a slacker college dropout living with his divorced mom (Jessica Hecht) in the New York suburbs. When not engaged in his one-sided pseudo relationship with the manipulative Marisa (Ari Graynor), he usually lazes about and watches TV. But when his mom's blind date falls through because her friend's sitter cancels, Noah begrudgingly accepts the job. His charges include Slater (Max Records), a 13-year-old with severe anxiety issues; Blithe (Landry Bender), a first grader who fancies herself a "celebutante" reality star in the making; and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), a tween Central American adoptee who lashes out without warning. When Marisa calls promising Noah sex if he buys cocaine and brings it to a house party, he agrees -- and takes the kids on a crazy, dangerous trip through Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Is it any good?

If you crossed Adventures in Babysitting and Uncle Buck and added a healthy wallop of Superbad humor, the end result would be this simultaneously cringe-worthy and entertaining comedy. THE SITTER's plot is definitely, as the kids say, "off the hook." Between a dangerous misunderstanding with the eccentric coke dealer Karl (played by Sam Rockwell, who seems to be having the time of his life), an ill-fated attempt to secure $10,000 cash from a pile of bat mitzvah gifts, and a heartbreaking confrontation with Noah's rich but uncaring father, the movie's adventures are illegal and immoral ... but also life-altering for both the sitter and the kids.

Through all the antics, Hill reminds viewers how even the least improbable protagonists can win over audiences. It's not an easy movie to watch, particularly when you've left your own children in the care of babysitters time and time again, but with its old-school hip-hop soundtrack, some brilliant one-liners, and -- as strange as it may seem -- a positive message about the staying true to yourself and finding your place in a family, The Sitter is a surprisingly amusing, albeit quite naughty, cautionary tale about what happens when parents are away for the night.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether The Sitter is intended to have positive take-aways, or if it's just meant to be funny. Does learning life lessons justify the craziness?

  • Bullying is mentioned as a part of both Noah's background and Slater's future. Teens: What's the best way to handle bullying?

  • What's the appeal of "raunchy" comedies? Do they cross the line? Who determines where that line falls?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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