Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

  • Review Date: June 30, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Common Sense Media says

The mighty Madea preaches, but with less fire this time.
  • Review Date: June 30, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

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?

QUALITY
 

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 the movie'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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Madea is a role model here, 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

Theatrical release date:June 29, 2012
DVD release date:October 23, 2012
Cast:Denise Richards, Doris Roberts, Eugene Levy, Tyler Perry
Director:Tyler Perry
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some crude sexual remarks and brief drug references

This review of Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bytripp106 July 3, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

One must love Madea.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 6, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

tyler perrys madeas witness protection

Families can talk about whether Madea is a role model here, 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.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old July 2, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

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 as 'I Can Do Bad All by Myself'. That is a better, more family-oriented hit with some comedy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Essential School Tools