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My Bodyguard

My Bodyguard (1980)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 4

T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.

60

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 5,985

My Rating

Movie Info

This quietly compelling film explores the hardships and anxieties of high school with intelligence, sensitivity, warmth and humor. Chris Makepeace stars as a shy, bookish student who has recently moved to Chicago and begun a new school. There he finds himself the target of a group of punks led by Matt Dillon (ideally cast as the weasel-like bully), who threaten him each day to turn over his lunch money for protection...or else. When he stands up to them, he nearly loses his dental work before

PG,

Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy

Alan Ormsby

Jan 29, 2002

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (4) | DVD (9)

In his directorial debut, Tony Bill assembles a truly remarkable cast of youngsters with little or no previous acting experience.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film of ingredients, rather than ideas realized and integrated: it panders on different, disjunctive levels.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The message that accompanies the central theme -- Kids are basically Nice -- is that Brute Force Rules.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie is fun to watch because it touches memories that are shared by most of us, and because its young characters are recognizable individuals, and not simplified cartoon figures like so many movie teen-agers.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sweet little movie about characters who really seem to be people, and that sort of verisimilitude is rarer than it ought to be nowadays.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That's why I keep coming back to My Bodyguard: It continually reveals new layers of truth about what it's really like to be a teenager, whether an outcast, a bully or the bullied.

February 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Coming of age story still relevant and engaging.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Makepeace is excellent as the slight protagonist, and Baldwin is perfect as the brooding, misunderstood mammoth.

October 3, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Pah-lease...so goofy

January 26, 2004 | Comment (1)
Blunt Review

Does the typical "spiritual uplift" routine without feeling saccharine or insincere.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Twenty years after the fact, My Bodyguard holds up quite well.

March 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

With affecting performances from Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, and Matt Dillon, this film probes the traumas and challenges of youth.

January 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The film has some merit as a teen revenge fantasy.

January 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for My Bodyguard

Clifford Peache: Will you be my bodyguard? I'll pay you fifty cents every day. I'll do your homework for you. I'm pretty smart. 

My Bodyguard isn't a technically well made film by any stretch. It's a movie that doesn't really know what it is. A lot of the time, it feels like a family movie, with patented dialogue for the kids. Then the next minute, there's all this sexual innuendo and violence. The tones of the film are a little off. Still, this is a film I basically enjoyed. It's not a great achievement on any level, but a nice little drama film with some characters you really grow to care for. 

This is another bully movie. Clifford moves into a new school where he is instantly made another victim of the school bully, Moody and his team of goons. Clifford doesn't want to be like all the other kids who pay Moody each day to not get harassed. So he tries to buy protection from a huge kid name Linderman, who has a bunch of legends surrounding his name. He went in a rampage. He rapes teachers. Not even Moody wants to take Lindrrman on. Through hiring him as a bodyguard, the two become good friends. Basically their friendship is what makes the movie. I know it's all a little cliché and all, but when its done right and we actually care about the two of them; it works.

Nothing too special going on here. There's a decent cast, with early roles from Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, and Joan Cusack. Chris Makepeace also makes for a decent teenager. He plays the role like a real person. He's every normal teenager you will ever meet. He doesn't play to a certain clique like most movies make all of their characters out to be. In real life, people don't work that way.

It's worth a look if you like movies of this ilk. Other whys I'd suggest skipping it. Tony Bill doesn't do the audience any favors with his direction and the whole movie ends up resting on the relationship between Clifford and Linderman. Luckily the actors were able to pull off their performances with surprising authenticity. 
July 31, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A great teen drama/comedy movie. The story is both quirky and realistic. I really liked this movie, it's fun.
January 8, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

After all these years I still liked it.
July 3, 2010
Godless

Super Reviewer

We enjoyed this muchly as kids. It's a poignant movie like a super-version of an Afterschool special. I'm sure it would still go over well with kids today. I don't need to watch it again however.
August 8, 2007
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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