Tooth Fairy

  • Review Date: January 22, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sweet but uninspired fantasy is fine for families.
  • Review Date: January 22, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

Children learn the value of holding onto their fantasies.

Positive messages

The movie's overwhelming messages are that dreams are important and that kids must be allowed to have fantasies and believe in magic and possibility.

Positive role models

For most of the movie, Derek is an anti-role model -- always squashing people's dreams, acting surly, and complaining about his bad luck. But by the end, of course, he's redeemed himself and learned the value of truly believing in something and how having dreams can lead to bettering yourself.

Violence & scariness

Hockey is a violent sport, so on the ice, there are a fair number of falls and tussles -- one resulting in shattered glass and a tooth flying artfully out of a player's mouth. Off the ice, there are many comedic pratfalls and chases.

Sexy stuff

Derek and Carly share a few brief kisses and embraces, and it's implied that it's not uncommon for them to spend the night at each other's homes. Two middle-schoolers flirt innocently. Derek and several of his fellow players are shirtless in a locker-room scene.


Mostly name-calling and insults like "shut up," "old man," "dang fool," and "emo boy." One "hell."


Like any sports venue, the rink where the Ice Wolves play is plastered with company logos -- in this case, for Dunkin Donuts and Direct TV. Other brands featured include Corvette, Apple (Macs and iPods), BlackBerry, California Pizza Kitchen, ESPN, and the NHL.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fantasy comedy starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is generally age-appropriate for young tweens and up. Like most family comedies featuring action stars, there's some rude language that you won't want your kids repeating (mostly insults like "shut up" and "fool") and violence -- in this case, players slamming into each other during hockey games (in one scene, a player ends up with a missing tooth). But also as expected, The Rock's surly character ultimately transforms into a sweet guy who believes in the power of dreams.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Derek "The Tooth Fairy" Thompson (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a mean minor-league hockey player with a chip on his shoulder. Once a pro, he's best known in the minors for accruing the most penalties in the league by smashing into opponents so hard they lose a tooth. He takes pleasure in telling young fans to lower their expectations and stop having unrealistic dreams. After nearly ruining the tooth fairy fantasy for his girlfriend Carly's (Ashley Judd) little girl, he's summoned to Tooth Fairy Land for the crime of Dissemination of Disbelief. Derek appears before fairy judge Lily (Julie Andrews), who sentences him to spend two weeks as a tooth fairy -- complete with wings, stockinged feet, and a personal caseworker, Tracy (Stephen Merchant). On call to collect teeth at a moment's notice, Derek's new job challenges his beliefs, his relationship with Carly, and his hockey performance -- ultimately for the better.

Is it any good?


The Rock has the powerful body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the easy charm of Vince Vaughn, with a blindingly white smile that's hard to ignore. That's not a bad combination for a comedy, but it's gangly, bug-eyed British comedian Merchant (Ricky Gervais' creative partner in crime) who steals the show in this sugar-sweet kids' fantasy. It's not that the movie is completely awful, but it is awfully derivative and absolutely nothing parents haven't seen before. But with his dry wit and hilarious body language, Merchant at least livens up some of the bland jokes and predictable sight gags. The Rock looks comfortable enough, but there's just not much to his character that isn't summed up in the trailer.

It's always good to see Andrews in any capacity, and it's an even bigger treat to see Billy Crystal, who somehow came out of live-action semi-retirement to play the fairy in charge of gadgets. It's unclear why he chose this particular movie to grace with an uncredited performance, but his Jerry the Fairy is, along with Merchant's Tracy, one of the best reasons to see what's otherwise a so-so movie with a lovely but obvious message about children -- and adults -- needing to have dreams. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about dreams and fantasy. Is there a middle ground between Derek's dream-killing stance and someone whose dreams might seem far out of reach?

  • Derek relies on his tough-guy persona and good looks. Is this a negative role model for boys and young men?

  • Is the action-star-in-a-family-comedy genre predictable? Did you know

  • generally what would happen at the end? Was the happy ending less

  • satisfying because it was so obvious?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 22, 2010
DVD release date:May 4, 2010
Cast:Ashley Judd, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Julie Andrews
Director:Michael Lembeck
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild language, some rude humor and sports action

This review of Tooth Fairy was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bygot2garden January 23, 2010
This was cute and enjoyable to watch. It was WAY better than The Spy Next Door and deserves more stars. My six year old and I both enjoyed it.
Adult Written byStacyandherboys January 24, 2010
I really liked it! FUNNY...much better than I thought it was going to be. My 8 year old son loved it and got the message on how to be a nice guy and shoot for the stars. My 6 year old son liked it but got a little sleepy towards the end. My 4 year old slept through it.... I would say more boys would enjoy it than girls....but that is a boy mom talking! As for telling kids there is no toothfairy....they came VERY close and I think older kids would be able to read between the lines and figure it out...but then he became a tooth fairy so the adults were wrong, there IS a toothfairy. I am thinking my 8 year old will have questions next time he looses a tooth.....we shall see
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5, 8, and 9 year old Written byhadleygirls March 14, 2010

Sweet and Harmlesss for 3 girls, ages 5, 8 and 9

Overall I thought it was pretty harmless and it actually re-dedicated my 9 year old girl to the belief that the tooth fairy exists. I really thought it would become obvious to her, but she seemed even more convinced! A good message of not giving up and believing in yourself and others. Would own the DVD.


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