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Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991)

tomatometer

11

Average Rating: 3.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 130,609

My Rating

Movie Info

Christina Applegate stars in this convoluted comedy that comes across as a teen fantasy combination of Home Alone and Working Girl. The premise is all in the title -- when the mother (Concetta Tomei) of a sniveling group of surly kids goes on a much-deserved summer vacation, she leaves her kids under the charge of an elderly distaff granny (Eda Reiss Merin). When granny ups and dies, the kids load her dead body in a trunk and deposit the package on the steps of the local funeral home. The kids

PG-13,

Comedy

May 1, 2001

Warner Brothers

Watch It Now

Cast

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June 15, 2010:
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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (18) | DVD (7)

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead starts with an enjoyable, if crude, black comedy situation promised by the title, but then it turns into an incredibly dumb teenage girl's fantasy of making it in the business world.

July 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a sassy little comedy of wit and intelligence from the director of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Miss Applegate is charming when the screenplay allows her to slow down. Working against her is the director, Stephen Herek, who pushes every gag so hard and fast that he seems to be keeping up with a laugh track only he can hear.

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

Blame the smash of Home Alone for the new herd of kids-on-the-loose movies. Let's hope none are dumber than this one.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bummer.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once the babysitter dies and her body is deposited anonymously on the steps of a funeral home, the movie is free to reveal its real purpose: This is a consumerist, escapist fantasy for teenage girls.

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

A fun experience for anyone who remembers fawning over Christina Applegate.

February 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A picture with obvious flaws, but one that attempts to subvert the norm with a few curveball jokes here and there. It's not awful. It's not good either.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

Surprisingly entertaining and fun.

July 25, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Predictable, but not wholly unlikable.

September 4, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A would-be black comedy that turns white too early

August 30, 2002
San Francisco Examiner

Silly and pretty mindless, but still a worthwhile cable-time comedy.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

The souls of these little monsters are much too black to be redeemed within the confines of an hour and a half film.

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

Even the title gag, the dead baby sitter, is virtually forgotten after the first 15 minutes, until it is brought up again for the film's final moments. Along with it, the dark edge also disappears.

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

Audience Reviews for Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

The movie should be called "Don't Forget the Babysitter's Dead." Because, after the first 20 minutes, you will. The plot, as absurd as it gets, is stupidly fun. However, the characters are far from likable.
April 24, 2013
aSpaceCowboy
Johnny D.

Super Reviewer

Once again I'm hit by a wave of nostalgia. I will admit that I'm inflating the grade here, and giving it more props than maybe it's worth, but I can't help it. This film may be typical and predicatble, but I dig it.

The story concerns a bunch of wild siblings who, after their mom leaves for an extended overseas trip, are put into the care of a mean and strict babysitter. However, the hell they face with her is nothing compared to the hell they have to endure after she passes away unexpectedly, forcing the kids to grow up and become mature responsible people, which is even more of a drag since it means not spending their summer having all they fun they had planned on.

This is an unrealistic fantasy, but it's charming and really funny. Plus, I' sure plenty of parents would love to come home someday to see their wild, heavy metal stoner son all cleaned up, straight, and wearing nice clothes like a real gnetleman. The cool thing about this movie though, is that once the characters make changes, you do feel like maybe they really mean it (at least for some of them), and they didn't change totally out of necessity to fit a temporary situation.

This film is a bit of a mess, implausible, and dated to a degree, but it's fun, so there.
August 28, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Not my cup of tea but then I guess it wasn?t aimed at me!
September 29, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

ive probably seen this. whether i have or havent, its nothing special.
June 17, 2009
LoughnerWasLucid

Super Reviewer

    1. Kenny Crandell: (post-skeet shooting) Dishes are DONE, man!
    – Submitted by Melanie D (17 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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