The Sleepover

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
The Sleepover Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Family-friendly action tale has humor, mild violence.
  • G
  • 2020
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 18 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Family and friends do what they can to help each other and learn to appreciate each person's unique skills and talents.

Positive Messages

Courage and teamwork are displayed. Every person has their own talents and strengths. Crime doesn't pay.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents care for their kids, try to protect them from perceived dangers, sometimes going overboard with restrictions their children rebel against. Kids break rules to help their parents when they're in danger. Some kids misuse social media. Although Margot has lied about her past to her family, her love for them is real. Despite her own criminal history and questionable skills, she encourages her kids not to break the law. Criminals (mostly) get their just ends.

Violence & Scariness

Adults are threatened at gunpoint and knifepoint, engage in hostage taking and fights that include thrown objects, sedative injections, broken windpipes, handcuffing, hits and kicks. The kids find a secret stash of weapons, including a pen that shoots lasers, and take potentially dangerous rides in cars and boats. Kevin has his head hit against a hard surface by a woman suspicious of him. He throws a toy sword at Henry's nose and the kids tie him to a chair. A dog is sedated. Margot threatens to sabotage the brakes of a mean middle schooler's family car.

Sexy Stuff

Kevin looks at Mim's bottom as she climbs over him to get in the car; his sister says, "Don't be a perv." After helping Mim swim, Kevin tells Lewis he "felt boob on my back." Bed-wetting, special underpants, prostates are discussed. Margot's ex-fiancé kisses her in front of her husband. Ron and Margot, a married couple, kiss.


"Crap." "Sucks." "Boob." "Poop." "Perv." "Turds." "Pee." "Boogers." "Nerd." "Loser." "Jeez." "Oh my God." "Oh my Lord."


Boston Harbor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teenagers might be drinking in the background of a party scene where no parents are home.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sleepover is a kid-centric action caper with a good heart and family-friendly humor. Children learn and display courage, teamwork, family love, and appreciation for friends and siblings. The kids -- two teens and two middle schoolers -- also put themselves in potential danger on a quest to find their kidnapped parents. They ride in a car that drives itself (fast), although none of them have a license, and they jump out of a boat into the Boston Harbor to swim to safety. Adults are threatened at gunpoint and knifepoint and engage in hostage-taking and fights that include thrown objects, sedative injections, broken windpipes, handcuffing, and a variety of hits and kicks. The heroes always emerge unscathed, humor intact. A middle schooler is filmed dancing alone, and the video goes viral on social media, prompting his mom to threaten to sabotage the brakes of the offender's family car. The middle schooler also has his head hit against a hard surface and throws a toy sword at a man's nose. Sexual content includes reference to "boobs" and adults sharing brief kisses. Other body references are to "pee," "poop," and "boogers." Language also includes taunts and exclamations like "crap," "sucks," "nerd," "loser," "turd," "jeez," "oh my God," and "oh my Lord."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byICareAlittle August 23, 2020

Funny, action packed family flick

This movie was hilarious and there wasn’t even one dull moment. Great for a family to watch together. Some violence but nothing with blood and absolutely no... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLoranikas303 August 21, 2020
Should be rated PG because of insulting language, sex jokes, and for some mild violence.
Teen, 14 years old Written byconswala_26 March 8, 2021

A very comedic movie!

I thought this movie was very funny. I watched this with my 11 year old brother and we enjoyed it! I personally think its better than Spy Kids, but my brother d... Continue reading

What's the story?

Margot (Malin Ackerman), Ron (Ken Marino), and their kids, teen Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and middle schooler Kevin (Maxwell Simkins), appear to lead a happy if somewhat boring suburban life in THE SLEEPOVER. But all is not what it appears. When Margo and Ron disappear one night, it's up to the kids -- and their friends Mim (Cree Cicchino) and Lewis (Lucas Jaye) -- to track them down. It turns out that Margot has a much more exciting and secret former life, not to mention a hunky ex-fiancé (Joe Manganiello), and she has been cajoled into one last high-profile adventure with her former acquaintances. Ron, an affable yet clumsy pastry chef, is brought along as collateral. The kids will embark on the adventure of their short lives as they race against time to save the adults.

Is it any good?

The Sleepover is, simply put, good family fun. The plot isn't wildly original and the action is pretty predictable, but the characters are sketched in such a loving and silly way that it's hard not to like and root for them. This is especially true for the parents, played with charm and physical adroitness by Malin Ackerman and Ken Marino, and the son, an adorably clueless yet clever misfit perfectly embodied by Maxwell Simkins. All of the child actors are believable in their roles.

There's also some interesting commentary on modern-day parenting built into the script. The kids chafe against overprotective moms, calling them out for losing sight of their own lives in their quest to offer round-the-clock care. Three out of the four lead children have peanut allergies. One little boy, the son's friend, Lewis, is burdened with a laundry list of "not allowed" rules and supposedly helpful gear (like nighttime undies with a built-in moisture alarm system). It's all played for humor, but when Lewis breaks the rules and eschews the gear, he seems to finally feel he's living a little. It's a message parents might take to heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the secrets Margot has kept from her family in The Sleepover. Do you think family members are ever justified in keeping secrets from each other? Why or why not?

  • Which of the action sequences seemed the most realistic? How do you think that scene was filmed?

  • When his short life flashes before his eyes, Lewis realizes his life has been "boring." What is holding Lewis back?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and comedy

Character Strengths

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