Problem Child (1990)



Critic Consensus: Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that's loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.

Movie Info

A socially ambitious wife and her husband adopt an adorable child in hopes of strengthening their marriage and their place in the community without realizing that the blond-haired, blue-eyed cutie could scare the bejeezus out of Satan himself with his horrendous, sociopathic antics. This comedy chronicles the dreadful, selfish things the little terrorist does to torment and antagonize everyone he meets.

Rating: PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Comedy, Kids & Family
Directed By: ,
Written By: David Loucka, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, John Connolly
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 19, 1999
Universal Pictures


as Ben Healey

as Big Ben Healey

as Flo Healey

as Martin Beck

as Mr. Yangita

as Kid No. 5

as All-American Dad

as Boy in Chair

as Second Baseman

as Kid No. 1

as Catcher

as Paramedic

as All-American Boy

as Mr. Henderson

as Sister Mary

as Guard No. 2

as Serious Boy

as Mother Superior

as Mr. Yangita

as Anchorperson

as Sister Abigail

as Mr. Hirohito

as Kid No. 5

as Master of Ceremonies

as Nun No. 2

as Mrs. Henderson

as Shortstop

as Friend No. 2

as Rich Lady

as Guard No. 1

as Friendly Woman

as Sister Samantha

as Friend No. 1

as Psychiatrist

as Mrs. Perkins

as Dr. Strauss

as Circus Clown

as Ringmaster

as Cameraman

as Friend No. 3

as Mrs. Perkins

as Kinjo Hirohito

as Angry Little Person

as Policeman

as Kid in Dugout

as Neo Natzi

as Regular Joe

as Jim O'Conner

as Serious Girl

as Warden

as Friend No. 1
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Problem Child

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8)

Sound funny? The filmmakers here think so. They've jacked this loud, lame shrieker of a movie up to the highest decibels, both aural and visual, and rammed it in our faces with almost numbing aplomb.

Full Review… | July 14, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Some kids are born bad. Others achieve badness. And some have badness thrust upon them. The same can be said of movies.

Full Review… | May 21, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Inside Dennis Dugan's uncertainly staged, awkwardly sentimental Problem Child is another movie fighting to get out-one that's much meaner and probably more interesting.

Full Review… | May 21, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The rest of the kid's tricks are too unimaginative to be much fun -- though with jokes this lame you won't have to worry as much about your children getting any bad ideas.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Universal took a step in the right direction by whittling Problem Child down to just 81 minutes but didn't go far enough. The studio should have excised another 75 minutes and released this unbelievable mess as a short.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Enough to make you gag.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Problem Child

Awful, uninspired comedy about a brat, this is one of the worst comedies I had the misfortune of seeing. Poorly written, acted and directed, this is a film that never was funny to begin with. I never understood why this film was a hit, as it is painful to watch. I found the film to be very unfunny, and the lead child actor was really annoying and unfunny. The film tries too hat delivering effective gags, and it fails because the material just doesn't cut it. In terms of a good comedy, this film doesn't even come close as being a funny film. The cast make it a horrible film, and the directing is unfocused and sloppy, that's to be expected from a Dennis Dugan film. This is comedy at its lowest form. A tiresome, boring film that is just painful to watch, Problem Child is a misfire of a film, one that never should have been made in the first place. The script has its limitations, and it constantly shows on-screen. If you're looking for a funny film with this one, you'll be sadly disappointed. I despised everything about this film, and I thought it was bad from start to finish. The film didn't even have potential of being a good comedy. This is one of those films that just has nothing good going for it. You should definitely avoid it, and watch a funnier film than this. This one scraps the bottom of the barrel, and it's too flawed to work. Avoid it like the plague. Annoying and never funny, this has got to be one of the worst films in the genre. I think it's a shame that celluloid was wasted on trash like this.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Fun. But, the real problem is the screenplay.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A fun filled family adventure flick. I really liked this movie when I was a kid, and it's still entertaining.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

Problem Child Quotes

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