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Parents' Guide to

The Spy Next Door

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Jackie Chan family flick high on stunts but low on laughs.

Movie PG 2010 92 minutes
The Spy Next Door Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 37 parent reviews

age 9+

My son loved it

This is a silly movie, not to be taken seriously or judged harshly. Villains are comically cheesy. Jackie Chan is enjoyable, as always, great screen presence and amazing martial arts. There’s some funny slapstick. My son loved it, and I liked it. We’ve watched it several times.
1 person found this helpful.
age 6+

The perfect choice for the first Jackie Chan movie

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (37 ):
Kids say (70 ):

Eight-year-old boys aren't a picky lot; any movie with stunts, a few silly jokes, and kids who get to play heroes is going to appeal to them. Parents of 8-year-old boys, however, know that they deserve better than formulaic action comedies about a spy-turned-babysitter who can "take down dictators" but can't make a bowl of oatmeal. We've seen this all before (The Pacifier), and while it passes for mild diversion, a truly compelling movie it isn't. Chan is no doubt a gifted martial artist, and in buddy adventure-comedies, he shines. Unfortunately, he's too much of a goofball to make him a believable love interest (we heard audible "eewws" when he and Valletta kissed).

Even if you forget the romance (since it's just a device to get Chan into babysitting mode), the gags with the kids are all so predictable and corny that only the aforementioned third-graders will laugh; everyone else is more likely to roll their eyes. Lopez has very little to do, and Cyrus is in all of three scenes. Instead, a group of Russian villains (with awful accents and even worse jokes) is relied upon to provide the (faux) drama. Chan's stunts as he holds off the Russians are impressive, but they always are with him, and a few well-executed stunts just aren't enough to make a movie worth your time and money.

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