Without a Paddle

  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Even a paddle can't keep this movie from sinking.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 95 minutes





What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, marijuana.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 20, 2004
DVD release date:January 11, 2005
Cast:Dax Shepard, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green
Director:Steven Brill
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:drug content, sexual material, language, crude humor and some violence

This review of Without a Paddle 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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byFranFran February 5, 2010

Perfect for everybody!

Do you like movies that make you laugh from beginning to end? If so, you should get and watch “Without a Paddle.” This movie would be the one you would want to watch to have a good movie night. It makes you laugh constantly nonstop. I love to watch comedy and so far, this is my favorite movie of all time! “Without a Paddle” makes you feel happy and very energized every time you watch, or even talk about it. The actors were amazing and it makes you feel like it is you and your friends. So if you love comedy, I encourage you to watch this.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bymattthemovieman August 1, 2009

funny movie

its not as bad as there sayin it is
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
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 this movie isn't totally original. This movie is more fit for older tweens because of it's mature material. There are several uses of "s-t," as well as one use of "f--k." There are other milder swear words used throughout. There is extensive crude and sexual content throughout. There are jokes mades to women's "downstairs." Two characters appear to be lesbians, however that doesn't stop the main characters from hitting on them. In the first 3 minutes of the film two characters begin to have sex, however they are interrupted by the woman's sister (who is clearly angry at there intended hook-up). One guy answers the phone by saying "Sorry we can't come to the phone right now cause we're doing it." Another character remarks that his dead friend has a better chance of getting laid than he does. The three main characters strip down to their underwear, and later are freed to cuddle together to create warmth. There is some violence, including fistfights and gun battles all meant for humor. Two characters are pot farmers. Parents can expect drinking, and references and glimpses marijuana. One scene includes a chase through a pot farm. There is also some drinking. Altogether, this was surprisingly entertaining (although underrated) comedy, however it did spawn a direct-to-DVD sequel. I would recommend this for tweens rather than younger children because of it's drug content, profanity, and crude material.


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