Adventures in Babysitting

Critics Consensus

Sweet and spry, Adventures in Babysitting gets by on its amiable tone.



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 110,537
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Movie Info

After reluctantly accepting a baby-sitting job, a teenager gets a call from her best friend who is stranded in downtown Chicago. With her charges in tow, she heads downtown to rescue her friend, setting herself and the children up for many comic mishaps, perils and hairbreadth escapes.

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Elisabeth Shue
as Chris Parker
Maia Brewton
as Sara Anderson
Keith Coogan
as Brad Anderson
Anthony Rapp
as Daryl Coopersmith
Calvin Levels
as Joe Gipp
John Ford Noonan
as John Pruitt
Bradley Whitford
as Mike Tedwell
Albert Collins
as Blues Club Performer
Ron Canada
as Graydon
Dan Ziskie
as Mr. Anderson
Lolita Davidovich
as College girl at frat party
John Dee
as Old Man
Monica Devereux
as Teenage Runaway
Rummy Bishop
as Janitor #2
Rick Goldman
as Adulterer
Deryck Hazel
as Maitre D
Clark Johnson
as Black Gang Leader
Sam Moses
as Dr. Nuhkbane
Juan Ramírez
as Chicano Leader
Sandi Ross
as Bag Lady
Linda Sorenson
as Mrs. Anderson
Walt Woodson
as Gang Member
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Critic Reviews for Adventures in Babysitting

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for Adventures in Babysitting

  • Jul 25, 2018
    Looks like Disney needed to ruin one more thing for everyone, didn't they? It wasn't enough for them to ruin fairy tales by deciding to buy the rights to characters that were part of the public domain. And it's not just that, they also ruined these stories by stripping them of all their juicy and deliciously dark themes to make something more family-friendly and, therefore, also more commercially successful. It's not enough to have bought LucasArts, therefore giving them the rights to the vast Star Wars universe. Though, in this case, George Lucas himself had ruined the name, so it might as well have gone to Disney. It's also not enough for Disney to own all of Marvel's properties as well and, eventually, if the deal goes through, to own 20th Century Fox and THEIR Marvel properties as well (20th Century Fox is the only one of the major film studios supporting different forms of telling stories within the superhero genre. They'll also own, with this same deal, more 60% of Hulu and, of course, they also own Pixar. Pretty soon, they'll buy the moon and make a theme park out of it, for those Futurama fans out there. No, they need all of this and, on top of that, they need Adventures in Babysitting too??? No. Enough. This is where I draw the line. I will not allow Disney to besmirch Adventure in Babysitting's good name by putting out an inferior TV remake. What's that? The remake has been out for two years now and it's, apparently, not that bad of a movie considering it's a Disney TV original movie? Seriously, though, it should be obvious that that's all a joke. I doubt that acquiring the remake rights for this is a major part of Disney's quest to control everything under the sun. Having said that, I'm glad that I chose this movie, because I was on a run of 6 movies that, honestly, weren't very good. I don't know if I considered this a sure thing to break that streak, but I wanted to watching something a little lighter and, quite frankly, this was the best option that I could come up with with the limited time I had to pick prior to dinner. And I'm glad I did choose this. Though, it's weird that, even with the fact that this movie is relatively tame and innocent, that Disney had to, I'm certain, tone a lot of the movie down for their TV remake. This one features gang fights, Daryl is kind of a sex fiend, BLOOD (but really very little), literal ass kicking, UNDERAGE DRINKING (will SOMEBODY think of the children?!?!?!), Brad has a knife dropped on his toe, a Playboy issue is a major plot point, car thievery, being hunted down by criminals for their possession of a Playboy issue with a lot of notes related to their illegal chop shop business, Sara climbs down the side of a building (stupidly enough), among many other things. And, yet, even with all that, this still ends up being a relatively tame little movie. Perhaps tame isn't really the correct word, but it's a movie that's still very light and breezy to watch. One of the big issues that I have with films like this, where it's like a series of unfortunate events taking place in a really short time span, is that very thing. All of what happens in this movie, as a result of Chris' best friend (Brenda) running away from home to go downtown, feels like way too much too happen in such a relatively short time span. And I get the whole thing is to prove that, while Brad and Sara's parents thought they were having a relaxing night home, they were, in fact, doing quite the opposite. Going all over the city and being placed in all sorts of different and, potentially, dangerous situations. Though, of course, to be fair, that is part of this movie's charm. Just the sheer amount of stuff these kids are put through. And, to the movie's credit, while it's not perfect, it's an entertaining movie to watch from beginning to end. I think, while they're still thematically different movies, this could definitely be compared to Ferris Bueller's Day Off in how the narrative is structured. Bunch of kids doing a bunch of shit they're not supposed to be doing while their parents think they're home, safe and sound. Even the climax of Chris trying to beat Brad and Sara's parents home, whom they see on the road on the way there, is similar to Ferris Bueller's iconic climax. Obviously, in this movie, it's not as memorable as Bueller's ending, which is still parodied to this day. There might be something to this, since this movie was released the year AFTER Bueller came out. And Bueller was one of the most commercially successful movies of 1986. So, again, I'm certain that changes were made so it could be more similar to that in order to attract some of the same crowd. But, again, even with that, the movie is entertaining on its own merits. It's not a Bueller rip-off by any stretch of the imagination and that's not what I'm trying to say. Like I said, however, it's not perfect and there's some scenes that don't really work. The one that comes to mind, immediately, is when the kids put on an impromptu performance at this blues club, since they're, somehow, not allowed to leave the stage without singing the blues. Is that law? What if I just leave? Do I get murdered? Anyway, the kids put on an amazing performance, as if they were The Commitments or something. The out-blues the blues artists themselves and bridge the racial gap between white and black people. It's not a bad scene, but it's just kind of preposterous in execution, just the idea of these kids somehow being better at the blues despite, theoretically, never having even performed before. Then again, to be fair, a lot of the movie is preposterous and it still works. Maybe I'm just nitpicking, who knows? It's not like the characters are incredibly complex, but the leads are all well-written with their own identifiable personalities. I did like how Brad's crush towards Chris didn't really go anywhere, as they normally would in these types of movies. It gives it a bit of a bittersweet ending in that Brad is on the outside looking in as it relates to Chris' love life. It's small, but it's something and I think it's better than wrapping everything up in a neat little bow, which this movie did anyway with the exception of the aforementioned issue. Solid performances, solid script and, overall, just a fun tone. I can't really complain much about this movie. Wouldn't say it's anything more than just a good movie, but I definitely enjoyed my time with this and this was precisely what the doctor ordered after the past week of below average-to-average movies. Would definitely recommend it if you're wanting something lighter and more casual.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2017
    Or, curiously, as it was known in the UK 'A Night on the Town'. Funnily enough I can't seem to find out why this change was implemented in the UK. I know the UK version was cut by about 8 seconds for profanity and since then the movie was released with those cuts back in and the original title restored. I guess the title change could have been down to possible confusion with some other movie, I guess. That being said, the plot is essentially a kids version of Martin Scorsese's 1985 movie 'After Hours'. Not only that, this movie always seemed like a bit of an oddity to me. Its most definitely a classic 80's movie yet somehow...I always felt like it should of had a more classic cast. Its the strangest thing, every time I think about this movie I keep putting other classic actors of the era in it, knowing full well they weren't in it. I guess what I'm saying is this movie really needed some A-list talent in it. The movie really does yearn for a standout comedic performance to add some punch, the best bet being the villains ('Home Alone' being a good example). To me this always felt like a huge missed opportunity. The other main issue I had with this movie is the plot. Basically Chris Parker (Elizabeth Shue) has taken on a babysitting gig after her boyfriend blows her off. Her job for the evening now is to look after teenager Brad (Keith Coogan), 8 year old Sara (Maia Brewton) and next door neighbour Daryl who gate crashes the situation. Now the entire backbone of the story hinges on one thing, Chris Parker's friend Brenda running away from home and getting stuck at the city bus station. Brenda uses up all her money to run away to the bus station, changes her mind and wants Chris to come pick her up. To me this was always really weak and really annoying too, I'd be like...not my problem, ring your parents. So Chris feels obliged to help her idiotic friend, but to make matters worse the kids blackmail her into taking them along, cue the nightmare. The movie moves from one set piece to another introducing more and more problems for Chris as her night becomes more and more convoluted. The whole scenario is one long chain reaction of events intertwined. Its also one of those scenarios in a film where you sit there, at times feeling uncomfortable because you just know the characters shouldn't be doing this that or the other. You find yourself saying things out loud because you know what's gonna happen. One of the first major setbacks for Chris and co is when their car gets a flat and after a string of events they end up losing it. This is something that I found to be a constant worry while watching the kids get deeper and deeper. Will they find the car? Where is the car? Is it in one piece? Obviously you know everything will be OK; but you know the movie is working when you're thinking about it. Of course everything that does happen is pretty cliched, kids being trapped in the city (Chicago) at night you know what to expect. Nothing horrendous obviously as the movie was for kids but the usual stereotypical 80's stuff. Lots of bums, hookers, weirdos, criminals that are generally black or mafia-like, some classic 80's street gangs in some attire to die for, and of course frat boys. Because what 80's flick is complete without frat boys, required or not. But the main crux surrounds the kids being continuously chased by some criminals because they accidentally picked up a [i]Playboy[/i] magazine with some important criminal details written inside. Chris and co manage to stumble into a jazz club where they are forced to sing the blues. This whole sequence was certainly silly and embarrassing that's for sure. I know this is a movie but who would have time for a sing song in this situation?? But this sequence did also remind me very much of 'The Blues Brothers' especially with Albert Collins on show. Later on in the movie the kids wind up at a frat boy party (because...80's) where we see the usual beer chugging tomfoolery along with high school sluts. But we also see another musical cameo from Southside Johnny Lyon which again gave me those Blues Brothers vibes. The soundtrack for the movie is very good overall, some nice soul and blues going down. As the adventure progresses the kids meet up with various folk who either help them or don't quite simply. All the while annoying Brenda is having a nervous breakdown in the bus station over not very much really. The whole deal with Brenda felt really out of place, just too stupid. I understand she's a teen but Jesus Christ get a fucking grip girl! Gotta say, Maia Brewton who plays little Sara was annoying too with her Thor obsession (yes Thor). This all plays into the sequence where the kids meet up with Dawson (Vincent D'Onofrio), the mechanic who has their car towards the end. This guy has long blonde hair (a terrible wig on D'Onofrio) and carries a sledgehammer that looks like Thor's hammer, so Sara thinks its Thor (ugh!). They owe Dawson $50 for a tyre (only 50! how times have changed), but only have 45, so Dawson refuses. But then little Sara offers him her kids Thor helmet (cos she's dressed as Thor the entire movie), and Dawson suddenly changes his mind, just like that. Deus ex machina Thor helmet moment. Hell in the finale the kids end up at the top of a skyscraper and Sara flippin' climbs out of the window and shimmies down the glass onto a ledge! She's being chased by one of the bad guys yes but my God! Its at this point I started to question director Chris Columbus's motives. Clearly he did this just to raise the stakes, make things more thrilling, but its essentially really stupid because no kid would do that. Also the carjacker that initially helps the kids, knocks out his criminal boss to help them finally escape. But what happens to him? Does he wind up getting whacked for punching his boss? Or does he give up his life of crime and start over? Who knows. Naturally everything works out in the end with a Ferris Bueller-esque finish that is reasonably enjoyable. Even though I was engaged in the unfolding events I was never worried about things not working out, obviously. Even though (as I've said) this is a classic 80's flick, in all honesty there are better ones out there in my humble little opinion. This movie is fun but lacks some real talent of the time. There are so many characters that could have easily been cameos for big name comedians of the era. The movie tries to be funny, witty and at times edgy but it tends to fall a bit flat. The music is a highlight as are the glorious retro inner city visuals; but the main characters are kinda irritating and can't hold a candle to other 80's movie casts. In the end its still hard to believe that this entire chain of events happened simply because of one ditzy girlfriend and her own foolishness.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2017
    Nothing like a good old fashioned 80s movie that is an adventure without a solid plot. You know a film works when it moves at such a pace while pushing the characters along, slowly bridging the distance between them. A great soundtrack, full of fun characters and an odd sense of fun. The plot creates a lot of over the top set pieces, even involving Thor from the marvel universe. They definitely don't make movies like this anymore and it's a shame. Trusting the film will deliver more than a 3 plot structure is what created my love of cinema, these are the films that pushed my ideas along. Not a classic by any means, just a film with right balance of craziness and character. 10-05-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2014
    "Don't f*** with the babysitter!" Elisabeth Shue is in for the ride of her life in Adventures in Babysitting. Directed by Chris Columbus, the film follows a teenager named Chris Parker who receives a call, while babysitting, from a friend in distress, and is forced to taking the kids she's watching with her into the city as she attempts to help her friend. The plot is kind of formulaic and follows a lot of the tropes of teen comedies. However, the charisma of the cast (especially Shue) helps to make the material work. And, there's a fun theme with Marvel's Thor that provides some good laughs. Additionally, Columbus keeps the tone lighthearted and brings a sense of whimsy with his directing style. A little silly and cliched at times, Adventures in Babysitting has its flaws but is still an enjoyable romp.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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