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Dennis the Menace (2003)

tomatometer

23

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 17

Walter Matthau does a nice job as Mr. Wilson, but Dennis the Menace follows the Home Alone formula far too closely.

38

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 5

Walter Matthau does a nice job as Mr. Wilson, but Dennis the Menace follows the Home Alone formula far too closely.

audience

38

liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 255,747

My Rating

Movie Info

John Hughes continues the trend he began with the Home Alone series in Dennis the Menace, the Hughes-scripted film version of Hank Ketcham's long-running comic strip, cartoon show, and television comedy. The film opens as Dennis (Mason Gamble) is seen careening down a sidewalk in a beautiful and idealistic suburban town on his training-wheeled bike -- cans on string clattering behind him, baseball cards flapping in the spokes of the wheel, his red wagon filled to the brim and his dog following

PG,

Comedy, Kids & Family

,

Hank Ketcham, John Hughes

Jan 28, 2003

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (17) | DVD (2)

Its unholy mixture of peppy sadism and pious, self-righteous sentiment comes straight from Hughes' crabbed cinematic heart.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very young children may find the numskull, by-the-numbers gags here amusing, but teens will consider this kids' stuff and adults will be pained.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A smooth blend of sentiment and slapstick.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Hughes and Mr. Castle try hard to re-create a kind of timeless, idealized comic-strip atmosphere, but except for the performances of Lea Thompson and Robert Stanton... nobody in the movie seems in touch with the nature of the comedy.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Those good qualities are undermined, unfortunately, by the Switchblade Sam character, who is dirty, threatening and scary.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most children will get a kick out of it, although adults roped into accompanying their offspring may find themselves yearning to escape through the nearest exit.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

John Hughes' vision of Dennis is much more menacing than Ketcham's fans and parents of small children might reasonably expect.

April 26, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Someone ought to pay for this.

August 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Why, oh dear lord, why?!?

March 4, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

How to turn an innocuous comic strip into an obnoxious movie.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

But it's all far too flabby, with lengthy setups that seem to go on forever. Some judicious editing to tighten up the film could have made all the difference in the overall pacing.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A movie that makes you leave the theatre with thoughts of having yourself, and your neighbors, spayed is not a good thing.

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

Audience Reviews for Dennis the Menace

OH HELL YEA!!! im bustin this one out tonight! and i aint talkin about Nicky Hilton.
April 20, 2012
LoughnerWasLucid

Super Reviewer

A highly amusing kids film with a big Home Alone influence I'm sure. Walter Matthau was ideal for the role of Mr Wilson and the film as a whole is a fun watch
December 31, 2011
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

Dennis the Menace is actually a decent family comedy film that has good moments of comedy. I thought the film was decent, and does bring on a few chuckles. Christopher Lloyd plays the films villain and he used to scare me as a kid. The film is not perfect, but it's fun for what it is. Dennis the Menace is a decent family film, but not one of the classic films. I felt that it lacked something really special to truly make this film a classic. But for what it is, Dennis the Menace is a fun film that is worth seeing once. This is the perfect film to watch as a family, and it has some good, entertaining moments. But as I've said about many films of this caliber, Dennis the Menace is not a film that has stood the test of time, and I don't consider it a classic by any means. The film is decent at best, never great. The cast are good, but the here is of course Christopher Lloyd as the villain, he really has an intense evil look to him that makes you uneasy. Dennis the Menace is a decent film for what it is, and though it won't be remembered as something good, it's still an entertaining film to watch as a family. The film most likely make you smile, but it's not the best. Keep your expectations fairly average for this one, and you may not be disappointed.
September 9, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Dennis Mitchell: Hey, Mr. Wilson!
    – Submitted by Ben C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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