Critics Consensus

Ill-conceived and desperately unfunny, Clifford stars Martin Short as a 10-year-old boy. You read that correctly. That's the joke.



Total Count: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,901
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Movie Info

Versatile Canadian comedian Martin Short plays a 10-year old boy in this comedy aimed at younger audiences. The tale is told in flashback to another little boy. Clifford is a manipulative brat. Clifford really wants to visit Dinosaur World in Los Angeles. Clifford wants to go so badly that he manages to force the Hawaii bound plane he and his parents are on to land in L.A. His parents need to attend a convention in Hawaii so they leave him with his Uncle Martin who despises children. Martin's fiance adores kids, so he pretends to be ecstatic about Clifford's visit. He must also pretend that Clifford is the angel child he isn't. Because Martin reneges on a promise to take him to Dinosaur World, Clifford begins an elaborate plot for revenge.

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Martin Short
as Clifford
Anne Jeffreys
as Annabelle
Brandis Kemp
as Woman on Plane
Don Galloway
as Captain
Tim Lane
as Navigator
Susan Varon
as Woman Passer-By
Josh Seal
as Kevin
Tim Stack
as Kevin's Father
Marianne Muellerleile
as Kevin's Mother
Megan Kloner
as Daycare Center Child
Jesse Stock
as Daycare Center Child
Creighton Douglas II
as Daycare Center Child
Linda Hoffman
as 2nd Stewardess
Shelley DeSai
as Mini-mart Clerk
David Byrd
as Senator
Gary Byron
as Matthew
Anthony S. Johnson
as 1st Servant
R. Leo Schreiber
as 2nd Servant
Greg Blanchard
as Man at Party
Annabel Schofield
as Woman at Party
Natalie Core
as Older Woman at Party
Sonia Jackson
as May Ella
Bergen Williams
as Female Security Agent
as Airport Claims Clerk
Richard Fancy
as 1st Detective
Al Pugliese
as 2nd Detective
Patricia Bell
as Train Passenger
Jane Sullivan
as Train Passenger
James 'Gypsy' Haake
as Transvestite
Sherlynn Hicks
as Female Photographer
Barry Dennen
as Terry the Pterodactyl
James Cary Flynn
as Mitchell the Gate Guard
Alicia Gilbert
as Teen at Party
Kelly Shane Rivers
as Teen at Party
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Critic Reviews for Clifford

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9)

  • The kid is obnoxious from start to finish, and the way he fantasizes about his uncle's girlfriend (Mary Steenburgen) is tasteless.

    Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • Clifford, starring Martin Short as a precociously nasty 10-year-old, is not a good movie. It's not even good/bad. But Short has a few of those laugh-out-loud moments.

    Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Clifford never quite finds its tone. The course of the plot has an inevitability about it that is about as wearying as it is reassuring... And yet Clifford is intermittently hilarious, mainly thanks to Short's performance.

    Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Orion serves up another long-on-the-shelf turkey with this gimmicky, poorly conceived comedy.

    Jan 8, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Now let's have a show of hands: how many want to see Martin Short play a ten-year-old brat who makes everybody miserable and winds up staying with his uncle (Charles Grodin) in Los Angeles for a week?

    Jan 8, 2008 | Full Review…
  • When Martin puts Clifford on a harrowing hyperspeed version of the Larry the Scary Rex ride, the special effects are impressive, but not worth waiting for.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Clifford

  • Nov 28, 2012
    An utterly stupid film that is as enjoyable as it is weird if only you accept it for what it is. Obviously, Citizen Kane this is not. This movie had no chance at any sort of success having sat on the shelf for three years while Orion Pictures was in bankruptcy. When they emerged, they released a number of oddball films that were barely straight to video quality. But Clifford has some charm and some virtues to it, namely, the ridiculous and absurd lead role played by Martin Short with as much energy and good intentions as possible. Ultimately, I cannot call this a "good" movie. It's a bad movie that has a special place in my heart which even caused me to name my cat after Clifford's dinosaur, Stephan.
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2012
    This is one of those family films that just don't work. The use of comedy here is so bad and painful; it made me hate Martin Short afterwards. This film failed as a comedy, it wasn't funny, and the acting and story were horrible. I hated this film as a kid, and I think it's one of the worst family films ever made. I thought that the story was so stupid, and the acting was over the top that it wasn't even fun to watch. Martin Short is horrible here, and honestly I don't get why he's viewed as a comedic genius, he's horrible. This film started out fun, but ended on such a mean spirited note that it ruined the film for me. In the end, the film is a pointless comedy that misses the mark of being memorable, fun and entertaining, because this is a film that ends being mean, because Clifford is just a selfish brat, and you end not caring whatsoever for the character. In fact all you want to do is hit the guy upside the head. This film is not worth your time, and if you're looking for something good you won't find it here. This film was bad, pointless and a total misfire from start to finish. This is just a mean spirited film that doesn't have any charm, and it falls flat. I've avoided other Martin Short films after seeing this, although I saw Mars Attacks because he was a fairly minor character. The guy really creeps me out, and with this film, he really made me feel creeped out. Simply a bad film, not worth your time.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2011
    The screenplay is not the best, but Clifford have an odd and involving dark humor. Sometimes not so funny, but that call the attention. Fresh.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2009
    Still just as funny as I remembered it was when I saw it over 10 years ago. Regardless of its silliness Martin Short does an amazing acting like an impossible to like little kid.
    James A Super Reviewer

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