Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection Movie Poster Image
The mighty Madea preaches, but with less fire this time.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Madea's message is clear: Be a good citizen, old or young, and the world is a much better place. Also, don't take any guff.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Madea cusses and screams and sometimes resorts to corporal punishment (i.e. a slap or two) to get her point across, but that point is usually well-meaning. She thinks children should respect their elders, adults should be responsible and capable (no whining), and everyone should be mindful of their contribution to this world. The film is filled with people she "has" to teach these lessons to, from a very rude teen to a man without a backbone to a young man who resorts, briefly, to crime to help his church.

Violence

A man uses a gun to try to hold up a retiree, but the plan goes awry. A woman drives a car like a maniac to scare off a passenger. A family is sent a dead rat as a fear-raising tactic. Madea sometimes slaps people.

Sex

An old man ogles a young woman; a man and a woman reminisce over a one-night-stand decades earlier, and Madea talks about her days as a prostitute and stripper. Many double entendres and crude remarks (using language like "bang" and "screwed"), and a woman declares that she wants sex. References to body part size; some tight/revealing clothing.

Language

Fairly frequent use of words like "hell," "ass," "damn," and "bi-atch."

Consumerism

Some mention/appearance of brands including Gucci and Singer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some mentions of drugs and cigarettes; Madea wants a drink (or several) while flying. A bottle of champagne is seen.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Madea's Witness Protection -- part of Tyler Perry's popular, long-running Madea franchise -- serves up more of what audiences have come to expect from the series: a righteous Madea putting people in their place. This time it's a Bernie Madoff-like character (only he doesn't know anything about the crime and was just set up) and his family, who have to hide in Madea's Atlanta house for safety. Expect some light cursing (mostly "hell" and "damn"), some sexual references/innuendoes (mostly about strippers and body parts), a few slaps, and plenty of exhortations about the right way to behave.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjoshua martinez July 6, 2012

13 and up.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection is a great comedy movie filled with lots of laughs this is a good madea movie for the whole family to enjoy a... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 2, 2012

Madea's Witness Protection

This was only OK. There was TONS of innuendo. From stripping, to body parts, to having sex. And there was some language. I mean this was good, but not as good... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bytripp106 July 3, 2012

What's the story?

In TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S WITNESS PROTECTION, George Needleman (Eugene Levy) thought he was successful as CFO of the charity arm of Lockwise Industries, a Wall Street investment bank. But then he discovers that his firm is actually a Ponzi scheme and Mafia money laundering unit. He can either be killed by the Mob or make restitution with the help of a well-meaning district attorney (Tyler Perry). But first, George needs a place to hide while he works with the government to catch the bad guys. And what better place to disappear than at the mighty Madea's (Perry) house, where the Needleman family's big-city ways won't make the cut?

Is it any good?

No disrespect to the (usually) formidable Madea, but she seems to be losing her touch. She has less fire in her belly; her diatribes aren't as disarming or funny. (Though fans will be glad for a few of them, especially an initial one she unleashes on a poor soul who tries to rob her in her car.) A teenage girl who's quite nasty to her parents, especially her step-mother, is upbraided in a fairly tame and passive-aggressive, roundabout way, when a full-on righteous tongue-lashing would have been more audience-pleasing. Could it be that Madea has softened with age? Or is Tyler Perry tiring of his muse? (We're not even getting into Madea's Witness Protection's weak script or the wasted potential of the New York banker-in-relocated-down-South setup.)

The beauty of Madea is that she says what she thinks, so when she doesn't, we're left unsatisfied, wondering what's holding her back. It also takes much too long to get a glimpse of the film's headliner as the Ponzi scheme storyline is explained. Levy is predictably hilarious, and watching his character and Madea reference a Whoopi Goldberg-in-Ghost moment is gold. But not much else is.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Madea is a role model in Madea's Witness Protection, if she indulges in some rude behavior (primarily screaming and threats of bodily harm) herself. Does it matter that what she's doing is played for laughs?

  • Talk about Madea's message about the youth of today and their sense of entitlement. Is she right?

  • Parents, talk to your kids about the crime at the heart of this plot and what it might have been influenced by.

Movie details

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