• PG, 2 hr. 4 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Ron Howard
    In Theaters:
    Aug 2, 1989 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 31, 1998
  • MCA Universal Home Video


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Parenthood Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Dennis King
Tulsa World

It's hard to imagine a theme more universal and filled with human pitfalls than parenthood. And it's hard to imagine a movie treatment of that theme more humane and filled with gentle sympathy than director Ron Howard's Parenthood.

Full Review Source: Tulsa World | Original Score: 5/5

August 13, 2014
Paul M. Bradshaw
Total Film

Ambitiously probing every anxiety-ridden corner of the suburban mum-and-dad experience, some of its interconnecting story strands work better than others.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

July 31, 2013
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

Parenthood gets a lot of emotional mileage out of kiddie antics, but Howard has, thankfully, given us a little more.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

July 31, 2013
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fulcrum of the film is Martin. It's an adventurous and successful stroke of casting that takes advantage of what the audience expects from him.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

July 31, 2013
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

As Parenthood reveals within its charming, two-hour running time, the pitfalls and quandaries of child-rearing are universal -- and the joys and the heartaches remain lifelong concerns.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 31, 2013
John Ferguson
Radio Times

This feel-good family ensemble piece from director Ron Howard manages to avoid being oversentimental, and the result is an affectionate, leisurely comedy about the joys (and otherwise) of bringing up children.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 4/5

July 31, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

There are good jokes and funny observations about middle-class life. The picture is too long and predictable, though.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

July 31, 2013
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie has its share of laughs, but it's also Ron Howard's most personal film, and clearly his most ambitious.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

July 31, 2013
Ralph Novak
People Magazine

Here is a comedy that treats the problems and delights of real life with respect, insight, warmth and remarkably sustained wit.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

July 31, 2013
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Parenthood easily could have focused exclusively on yuppie parents and their kids; however, the script by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel is more sophisticated than that, remembering that every parent is still a child too.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 31, 2013
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The remaining cast, young, old and in-between, is lovely.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

July 31, 2013
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
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With Parenthood, Howard as a director has discovered weight, but not gravity. For all of its admirable seriousness, the film finally floats away.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

July 31, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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There's not a scene in Parenthood that isn't involving: The actors keep reaching into themselves and coming up with gold.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel

July 31, 2013
S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

December 31, 2010
Brian Orndorf

Howard juggles all the characters effortlessly, showcasing troubles left and right without losing the film to gloom. It's nimble work, blessed with a cast that knows exactly what they're reaching for in their performances.

Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com | Original Score: B+

August 26, 2009
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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There is something brave and original about piling up most of our worst parental nightmares in one movie and then daring to make a midsummer comedy out of them. It really shouldn't work, but it does.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

February 2, 2009

TV Guide's Movie Guide

While Parenthood crosses the border into schmaltz a number of times, the movie runs the gamut of realistic emotions, and one scene or another is bound to hit home with the parents who see the film.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 2, 2009
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An ambitious, keenly observed, and often very funny look at one of life's most daunting passages...

Full Review Source: Variety

February 2, 2009


Nothing more than sitcom material stretched to two hours.

Full Review Source: Film4

February 2, 2009
Steve Crum

Funny, even perceptive, adult/family comedy.

| Original Score: 3/5

May 25, 2007
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