Without a Paddle

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Without a Paddle Movie Poster Image
Even a paddle can't keep this movie from sinking.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Mean-spirited humor throughout.


Comic peril and violence, a lot of shooting and some graphic images.


Strong sexual references and situations for a PG-13.


Strong language for a PG-13.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, marijuana.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of very strong material, including a lot of action violence (lots of shooting with very powerful weapons but hardly any blood and no one seriously hurt), comic peril (including a bear attack and many dangerous encounters on the river), and some graphic images (sewing up a bloody wound, a skeleton, lots of poop). There are many sexual references and situations, including references to peeking at a girl's "downstairs," a pierced "downstairs," and a lot of homophobic and misogynistic humor. A woman's unshaven leg is supposed to be as scary as Sasquatch. Characters use strong language. Characters smoke and drink beer, other characters are drug dealers, and getting stoned is played for humor.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySenseiYert February 22, 2020

Pure enjoyment

Has a great sound track funny and unforgettable and personally very nostalgic
Parent Written byPlague May 7, 2010

Without a Paddle

Produced a lot of laughs. Loved it.
Kid, 12 years old August 5, 2014

Surprisingly entertaining comedy, beware of mature material.

I feel like I've seen several movies similar to this. Don't get me wrong, I thought some scenes were hilarious and entertaining, however I feel like t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeKindofLove July 1, 2017

Hilarious Friendship base movie!

This movie a crazy funny movie a lot like grown ups maybe even better. Watching this movie for the first time it had great adult humor that a few 12 and up teen... Continue reading

What's the story?

WITHOUT A PADDLE begins with faux home movies of four boys up to all kinds of faux hi-jinks. Only three of them survive to adulthood -- one of them has died and the other three decide to salute his memory by taking the treasure map he left behind for them in the old tree house, so they can go off in search of treasure and find themselves, the meaning of life, and maybe some money, too. The trio includes successful but repressed and phobic Dr. Dan Mott (Seth Green), substance-abusing, fun-loving ladies man Tom (Dax Shepard), and Jerry (Matthew Lillard), who is unhappy in his boring job and unable to commit to his beautiful girlfriend because he just can't grow up. Their journey includes life lessons, poop humor, beautiful hippie chicks who live in a tree and eating bark, and various perils.

Is it any good?

Without a Paddle is also without a lot of other things, including humor, talent, originality, or brains. There is not one joke that hasn't been seen before and done much better. Most of them are just silly or gross rather than funny anyway. The purportedly heartwarming moments are cheesy and insincere.

Director Steven Brill is responsible for directing atrocities Mr. Deeds and Little Nicky and writing the terrible Ready to Rumble. He deserves to be put in a canoe without a paddle for this one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Tom, Jerry, and Dan learned from the trip. How did each of them decide what was really important?

Movie details

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