• PG, 1 hr. 44 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:    Andy Fickman
  • In Theaters:    Dec 25, 2012 Wide
  • On DVD:    Mar 26, 2013
  • 20th Century Fox

Parental Guidance Reviews

Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
January 3, 2013

This grating family comedy resembles a sitcom in its flat lighting, patronizing music cues, and frames supplying little visual information apart from the actors' mugging faces.

Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
December 28, 2012

One of those intergenerational embarrassment comedies in the Meet the Fockers line, where children can enjoy seeing grown-ups looking ridiculous.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Chris Packham
Village Voice
Top Critic
December 27, 2012

An extended "in my day" joke intended to convey the superiority of old people over a lot of supposedly contemporary behavior that doesn't actually exist in real life.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
December 26, 2012

After a while it seems to run out of jokes, maybe to make room for all the crying and hug-it-out family redemption in the last half hour.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
December 26, 2012

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.

Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

It's hard to know who exactly "Parental Guidance" was made for.

Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

It's a shame they didn't choose a stronger project than Andy Fickman's family comedy, but you could certainly ask for worse babysitters.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

Thanks to Crystal and Midler playing comfortable versions of the personas we've come to know, it's actually better than you would guess.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

Does it work? You betcha. There are smiles and tears, love and affirmations, a few funny jokes and a lot of easy sentimentality.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

Deeply, willfully out of touch ...

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

From a bounty of low, low moments in "Parental Guidance," it's difficult to choose the absolute lowest.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

Director Andy Fickman opts against subtlety at every turn. A score filled with heavy strings and the occasional ringing of chimes telegraphs all emotional cues, practically willing the water out of your tear ducts.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
December 25, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

Say what you will about The Guilt Trip, another pairing of a nebbishy comic and a diva of a certain age, that movie at least offers two recognizable human beings of different generations meeting in the middle and learning something from each other.

Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

If you're looking for an all-ages crowd-pleaser, this may be your best bet.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

This kernel of inter-generational farce never pops.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Sara Stewart
New York Post
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

Parental Guidance kicks off with a mean-spirited joke about an overweight woman and heads downhill from there.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

Parental Guidance should be rated X - suitable for no one.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

The laughs just aren't there.

Nathan Rabin
AV Club
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

[It] might as well be called AARP Presents: Billy Crystal Is Old, And What's Going On With All The Facebooking And Twittering And iPods?

Full Review | Original Score: D-
Scott Bowles
USA Today
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

While its senior stars do a terrific job capturing aging in a youth-crazed culture, Guidance drops the ball, in all departments, in its portrayal of anyone younger than 55.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
December 24, 2012

The end result should appeal to audiences, including bonding grandparents and grandkids, looking for a little undemanding holiday cheer.

Guy Lodge
Time Out
Top Critic
December 21, 2012

The latest in a long run of 2012 films to confront the indignities of ageing, this one is arguably, if not intentionally, the most harrowing.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Brian Lowry
Variety
Top Critic
December 21, 2012

The execution, alas, prevents this from being a genuine crowdpleaser, with the better moments (mostly of the schmaltzy variety) more than offset by the irritating and tedious ones.