The Great Outdoors (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Hughes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 30, 1998
Universal Pictures


as Roman Craig

as Chet Ripley

as Connie Ripley

as Kate Craig

as Buck Ripley

as Ben Ripley

as Cara Craig

as Mara Craig

as Wally, Lodge Manage...

as Cammie

as Waitress

as Boat Yard Owner

as Hot Dog Vendor

as Dancing Biker Girl

as Girl in Arcade

as Woman in Crowd

as Lodge Patron

as Lodge Customer

as Irate Customer

as Grill Chef

as Grandpa

as Kitchen Help

as the bald-headed bear

as Man in Crowd
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Great Outdoors

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

At the onset it seems that Candy, as in Uncle, plays the lower class half. Yet, by [Outdoors'] end we learn that the in-law is actually broke, essentially Cousin Eddie in disguise.

Full Review… | November 7, 2011

Charming when it works, when it is based primarily in the interplay between characters or in the writer's unabashed nostalgia for a kind of cozy Americana.

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
Antagony & Ecstasy

Candy & Aykroyd make for a hilarious duo in an otherwise routine comedy.

June 20, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Great Outdoors


John Candy and Dan Aykroyd toughter in a John Hughes production? Dispite it's flaws... this chemistry always gonna be unforgetable, funny and very entertaining.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Bit of a classic comedy that was watched by the whole family over the years whenever it would be show on TV, like many old Candy films it was a bit of a ritual to view these type of 80's comedies.

The family holiday that hits disaster is a common theme with the likes of National Lampoons Vacation series being another classic and a much loved film when I was growing up, 'The Great Outdoors' isn't quite as good as 'Lampoon' to be honest, its a fun ride with some good moments but nothing outrageously funny.

Candy is actually slightly upstaged here by the always good Aykroyd as the slimy 80's yuppie haha the rest of the cast including Annette Bening is rather weak like the whole film really, its simply Candy and Akyroyd that make it decent. Its cheesy and full of those obvious dated sets hehe plenty of silly stunts with doubles and the usual animal attack phobias by your typical terrified of nature yanks lol!

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

This movie sure makes me long for the summer. A fun family-on-vacation flick, with John Candy and Dan Akroyd at the top of their comedic abilities. The story is quite simple and nothing extraordinary, but one that's easy to like and be entertained by. Even more so if you're the type of person who enjoy camping in the woods. A solid 3 out of 5.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

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