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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Dec 26, 2012
    75
    Parental Guidance is an engaging comedy that bridges multiple generation gaps, making it that rare movie that grandparents, their kids, and their kids can enjoy.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 25, 2012
    60
    This is the first time in ages some of the old stand-up Crystal shows through, flashes of quick wit instead of Borscht-belt antics. Not to the extent that it used to in such movies as "When Harry Met Sally ..." (which was, ahem, 23 years ago). But better than you'd expect...Just like the movie.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 31, 2012
    50
    The pathos: considerable. The sight gags, involving Crystal puking chili dog on a kid's face, or the grandson with an imaginary friend peeing and causing an X Games skateboarder to wipe out: artless. The results: tolerably amusing.
  4. Reviewed by: Leah Churner
    Dec 26, 2012
    40
    The actors deserve credit for the professionalism they bring to this stinker, especially Tomei, who plays it straight as a contemporary have-it-all-or-die-trying mom, and Midler, who's given little to do, but works up an amusing backstory about her days as a good-time gal on the evening news.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Dec 26, 2012
    40
    I can't deny I did feel fonder of my own family afterward, mostly because I know none of them would ever make me sit through Parental Guidance.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Dec 23, 2012
    38
    The movie spends too much time wedging the couple into a May-December moment, where Crystal cracks nostalgic about the good old days. It's sweet, but it grows old.
  7. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Dec 23, 2012
    12
    Andy Fickman's comedy offers a confused and flat portrayal of generational differences.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 9 out of 29
  1. Dec 26, 2012
    8
    Funny as hell I thought. Crystal, Midler and Tomei are spot on. So what if the story is schmaltzy. It made me laugh a lot. What's a comedy supposed to do? Expand
  2. Jan 13, 2013
    5
    OK. Fairly topica satire on rearing children. Mildly amusing movie making, more or less by the numbers, but warm hearted anyway. Flabby direction overall, with a sloppy script, only held up in the air by the usual Billy Crystal schtick. Bette Midler is not really given much to do, which is a pity, because she injects a bit of soul and energy into her role as the grandmother. The kids are pretty good, the slapstick sequences less so. Marisa Tomei doesn't make a very convincing mom, but she does appreciably better than her erstwhile husband, who simply stands around in the background channeling his own inner hubby hunkiness - at the expense of any dialogue. In short, a family movie that does not rely on computer effects or frenetic film editing - but which should probably have been a little wittier and crisper in its comic delivery. Frankly, the imaginary kangaroo created most of the laughs. Expand
  3. Jun 30, 2013
    4
    This movie is of course a dumb comedy meant for little kids. There's really no reason to watch it, but it wasn't as horrendous as I had feared. Most of the jokes are pretty stupid and the characters can really start to grate the nerves at times. I did like how the movie showed that modern children have no discipline, and Crystal's bewilderment at someone even mentioning Facebook or twitter was somewhat amusing, but these things can't save it from predictability, blandness, and annoying characters. However, if you are forced to watch it, it won't kill you. Expand
  4. Jan 10, 2013
    3
    Crystal and Midler have both done great films in the past so what happened? Not much in this movie. Your typical crude in poor taste comedy, except this one is not funny either. Crystal's classic one liners over the situation around him are kept to a minimum and the life the kids have is less realistic than a cartoon. This movie plays out like a poor Adams Family sequel where the good actors were replaced by poor low paid imitators. The poopie song was kinda funny though so I bumped it up to a 3. Collapse
  5. Feb 15, 2013
    0
    Billy crystal in a crappy kids film? Seriously....... This was a really bad film. Very bad. It was not even a great kids film...... It's was garbage. The end is predictable, the kids don't make everything funny and billy crystal sucks at being a grandpa. 0/10 for me. I suggest you stay away from this film... Expand

See all 29 User Reviews

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