Problem Child (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Problem Child (1990)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

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Movie Info

A yuppie couple adopt an angelic-looking little boy who proves to be an unholy terror in this slapstick comedy. The demonic brat goes out of his way to cause as much trouble as possible, and the fact that his adoptive father remains understanding and loving only makes his behavior worse.
Rating:
PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Comedy , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Universal Pictures

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Cast

John Ritter
as Ben Healey
Jack Warden
as Big Ben Healey
Amy Yasbeck
as Flo Healey
Michael Richards
as Martin Beck
Philip Hjin
as Mr. Yangita
Charlotte Akin
as Lorraine
Adam Anderley
as Catcher
Eli Cummins
as Umpire
Josef Kolb
as Kid No. 5
Vince Davis
as Clown
Dennis Dugan
as All-American Dad
Anna Marie Allred
as Kid No. 3
Robert A. Anderson
as Boy in Chair
Cody Beard
as Second Baseman
Jordan Burton
as Kid No. 1
John S. Davies
as Paramedic
Adam Anderly
as Catcher
Eric Elterman
as All-American Boy
Ward Emling
as Mr. Henderson
Corki Grazer
as Sister Mary
Vernon Grote
as Guard No. 2
Garland Hampton
as Serious Boy
Helena Humann
as Mother Superior
Philip Jhin
as Mr. Yangita
Judy Jones
as Anchorperson
Melody Jones
as Sister Abigail
Danny Kamekona
as Mr. Hirohito
Joseph Kolb
as Kid No. 5
Hugh Lampman
as Master of Ceremonies
Ellen F. Locy
as Nun No. 2
Kristen Lowman
as Mrs. Henderson
Joshua Martin
as Shortstop
Melissa Renee Martin
as Friend No. 2
Andrea McCall
as Rich Lady
Willie Minor
as Guard No. 1
Shepler Mobley
as Friendly Woman
Norma Moore
as Sister Samantha
Abby Newman
as Friend No. 1
Florence Schauffler
as Mrs. Perkins
John O'Connell
as Psychiatrist
Eric Poppick
as Dr. Strauss
John Rainone
as Circus Clown
Martin Rayner
as Ringmaster
Dennis Redfield
as Cameraman
Symone Redwine
as Friend No. 3
Lico Reyes
as Pedro
Florence Shauffler
as Mrs. Perkins
Shaun Shimoda
as Kinjo Hirohito
Garry Smith
as Angry Little Person
Josh Stoppelwerth
as Kid No. 4
Al Trejo
as Policeman
Alex Utroska
as Kid in Dugout
Kerry Von Erich
as Neo Natzi
Jack Willis
as Regular Joe
Ed Yeager
as Jim O'Conner
Jessica Zucha
as Serious Girl
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News & Interviews for Problem Child

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
Variety
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
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 V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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