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House Arrest (1996)



Average Rating: 3.6/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 27

Constructed out of cliches, thinly written characters, and fundamental misunderstandings of human nature, House Arrest is a dull (and borderline irresponsible) waste of a talented cast.


Average Rating: 2.9/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 12

Constructed out of cliches, thinly written characters, and fundamental misunderstandings of human nature, House Arrest is a dull (and borderline irresponsible) waste of a talented cast.



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Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 19,943

My Rating

Movie Info

Grover Reindorf (Kyle Howard) is a kid with a problem, which is how to keep his parents from divorcing. He hits on a solution that makes sense to him. Why not lock them up in the basement, and keep them there until they reconcile? He and his younger sister Stacey (Amy Sakasitz) agree to do just that, and they successfully lure their parents into the basement and lock them in. When their junior-high-school friends find out what they've done, they decide that their own misbehaving parents need


Comedy, Kids & Family

Michael Hitchcock

Apr 2, 2002

HBO Video

Watch It Now



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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (27) | DVD (1)

[A] predictable and sugarcoated (even criminally negligent) take on The Parent Trap.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To the slim degree that it qualifies as a comedy, House Arrest is a comedy with rank amateur pathos, and it's totally out of touch with its own superficially treated emotions.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A headache of a movie with a Parent Trap premise that quickly devolves into clamorous farce.

May 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the year's worst movies... at least I hope so, or it's going to be a very bad year.

May 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A tepid and repetitious comedy.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's little to commend this formulaic and misleading fantasy, which seems sadly aimed at an especially fragile audience -- kids from broken homes who all too often blame themselves.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Borrowing liberally from both The Parent Trap' and The Great Escape, this misguided attempt at family farce rests on a couple of incompatible premises -- romantic matchmaking and imprisoned dispair.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Tulsa World
Tulsa World

When you scrape through the bottom of the comedy barrel and root around underneath it, this tedious morsel of drivel is what you will find.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The performances of both adults and youngsters are uniformly strong and, despite the occasional invasion of sentimentality, this makes for thoughtful entertainment.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Only Pollak and Curtis create any semblance of character in this tapestry of stereotype, but the movie doesn't give them enough to do as the louder idiots take to the fore with clumsily imagined escape gambits.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Parents of America: Beware! Should you choose to sit through this insufferable bit of high-concept fluff, you will feel as though you have been unlawfully detained for nearly two hours.

May 29, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Between the laughs beats a serious theme about the real victims in families pulled apart by lack of intimacy and the threat of divorce.

May 29, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

As I think about it, nothing much happens during the movie except for the parents making multiple attempts to escape and the kids foiling them every step. In a sentence, that's the story.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

MGM can make millions with House Arrest. All they have to do is allow free admittance, and charge $10 a head for those wanting to run out of the theater before the end credits roll.

May 6, 2003 Full Review
Critics Inc./America Online

It seems that in bad comedies children always know better than their parents, and House Arrest plays out that tired premise for nearly two hours.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Every summer the studios release movies based on what seems to be a theory that correlates rising outdoor temperature directly with dropping IQs. The deeper into fiery summer we descend, the stupider the movies get.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Mostly, we get a string of tame set-pieces, one-dimensional characterizations, odd continuity gaps, and heavy-handed attempts at feel-good sentiment.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

House Arrest, although seemingly a well intentioned comedy, is overly simplistic and falls flat.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

Audience Reviews for House Arrest

Fun with an open mind.... but unforgivably poor in setting up and coming together.
February 19, 2012
Johnny D.

Super Reviewer

"Kids lock up parents": Terrible spoiled children. Terrible written screenplay.
November 21, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

This mean-spirited comedy only has very few laughs about the soon-to-be divorced couple's kids who decide to keep the parents locked in the basement for the best way to keep the family together.
January 10, 2008
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

I Think after a while, you see it's failed Attempt at a big blockbuster,and It's major Flaws.
September 26, 2009

Super Reviewer

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