Jack the Bear (1993)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Danny DeVito stars as John Leary, an alcoholic TV horror-movie host attempting to raise his two boys after the death of his wife.
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Danny DeVito
as John Leary
Miko Hughes
as Dylan Leary
Gary Sinise
as Norman Strick
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as Peggy Etinger
Art LaFleur
as Mr. Festinger
Stefan Gierasch
as Grandpa Glickes
Erica Yohn
as Grandma Glickes
Andrea Marcovicci
as Elizabeth Leary
Reese Witherspoon
as Karen Morris
Bert Remsen
as Mr. Mitchell
Carl Gabriel Yorke
as Gordon Layton
Lee Garlington
as Mrs. Festinger
Lorinne Vozoff
as Mrs. Mitchell
Justin Mosley Spink
as Dexter Mitchell
Jahary Bennett
as Michael
Troy W. Slaten
as Edward Festinger
Jessica Steinmiller
as Katie Festinger
Christopher Lawford
as Vince Buccini
Cliff Bemis
as Detective Marker
Charles Dugan
as Mr. Strick
Marion Dugan
as Mrs. Strick
Sam Freed
as Mr. Morris
Dorothy Lyman
as Mrs. Morris
Paul Wilson
as Street Worker
Rob Dunn
as Construction Worker
Christy Botkin
as Nursery School Teacher
Vonna Bowen
as Nurse
Steven McCall
as Studio Technician
Donovan Leitch
as Grad Student
Sarah Bork
as Grad Student
Dena Goodmanson
as Grad Student
Paul S. Wilson
as Street Worker
Scott Thomson
as Street Worker
George E. Clayton Jr.
as Backhoe Driver
Kelly Connell
as Fireman
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Critic Reviews for Jack the Bear

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

Danny DeVito gives the most compelling performance of his career in a gripping drama about a single parent and his two sons.

Full Review… | July 12, 2003
Spirituality and Practice

The film's episodic nature tends to undermine its impetus and the final quarter seems tacked-on, almost like it belongs in some other movie. In short, it suffers from trying to do too much.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Quote not available.

October 15, 2005
Fantastica Daily

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July 22, 2005

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May 5, 2005

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April 22, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Jack the Bear

I was happy to see that another reviewer equated this movie to 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. While 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a classic on a much larger scale, both movies depict small children coming of age, innocent but exposed to prejudice, and mother-less with a caring father. The way the author shows moments of childhood is raw, not over-stated, or "Hollywood"... just honest. However, I did not like the title. It was a turn-off. Nor am I a Danny DeVito fan, but I did like him in this movie. Glad I watched this movie anyway. Many people rave about DeVito's acting, but it was the two children who amazed me. HOW did they get a toddle to act so naturally?!? Usually, little kids over-act (and are annoying), but not these two. When older brother stuck his younger brother by the evil dogs, the toddler cried in fear, and it was so realistic, it was frightening. And when the older boy cried, "Daddy!" on the tree limb near the end, again, it was so realistic, so it wasn't corny. However, there were a few flaws. Mostly, the older brother's haircut was painful to see. And when the children were laughing hysterically to DeVito's jokes, it felt a little forced, because he wasn't that funny. And why did the girlfriend dump Jack so suddenly? Maybe because this is what happens in real life, and this movie was all about r-e-a-l l-i-f-e... no Hollywood. That's also why it had a Mockingbird feel.

Amy Amy
Amy Amy

Super Reviewer


Danny Devito plays a man who is the host of a kid comedy kid show as his job, and is a father to two sons at home. Although he always good intentions and you can tell he is as good man, his temper leads to the most tragic events that take the most toll on his oldest son Jack. The story is portrayed from the point of view of Jack who views his father as drastic as a funny clown to a dangerous monster. Jack the Bear is a powerful family film that shows how quickly life can change from being on the top of the world, to the dark abysses of fear and hatred all due to the fact there are so many external events in life that you cannot control.

Raji Kosloske
Raji Kosloske

what a terrible film now danny devito is brilliant and its a pretty decent filkm if it was just kept to having a dad who clearly is dipresses becuase of the loss of his wife so he turns to drink so the elder brother then fills as though hes got a lot o his shoulders as he has to look after the house and his brother whilst trying to convince his dad it will get better and tey can move on and be a happy familar now that would have beeen a really good heart warmiong movie with a pretty decent storyline but they bring in a caracter which is played by gary sinise who is a veteran and a bit of a weirdo who is a racist and clearly has issues and his character is just so pointless and makes the storyline so much more confusing as your thinkning well wht did e have to do with it all! so its watchable but really should have been better

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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