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MAC and Me Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

So-bad-it's-good "E.T." rip-off; lots of product placement.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mac and Me is a wonderfully bad slice of 1980s kitsch. It's an obvious E.T. rip-off; the acting is bad across the board; and there are plenty of scenes that will leave everyone scratching their heads. Oh, and the product placement is as obnoxious and tacky as you can get. That said, fans of the so-bad-it's-good school of movie watching will find much to enjoy in the cheese and the awfulness. On a serious note: In the film, a boy in a wheelchair loses control and rolls downhill off a cliff and into water where he nearly drowns. This might be a bit much for younger viewers, especially any who know kids in wheelchairs.

  • Families can talk about product placement in movies. What's the intent of the companies who have their products placed in movies?
  • Movies about aliens landing on earth and meeting humanity are common. What similarities and differences do you see between Mac and Me and other movies with similar themes?
  • How accurately do you think the film portrays the life of a typical suburban boy using a wheelchair?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: This film is intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true2

    Messages: Themes of kindness, tolerance, and friendship run throughout, though the movie's quality brings down the effectiveness of the message.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Eric is a boy who is in a wheelchair, but shows self-reliance and otherwise behaves like any other boy his age.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: The alien Mac tends to cause car accidents wherever he appears. Cars crash, flip, and spin out of control. While exploring a hilly area past his backyard, a boy in a wheelchair starts rolling downhill, unable to stop, and rolls off a cliff into water below, where he nearly drowns. A gun fight between aliens and police culminates in a massive explosion that sets a mall parking lot on fire. Police on foot chase after a boy in a wheelchair who holds an alien in his lap as they go down hilly roads and through department stores.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false2

    Language: Rare language, like "hell."

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: The McDonald's logo is shown throughout. One of the characters works at McDonald's; she is rarely seen without her uniform. A child's birthday party is held at McDonald's where Ronald McDonald himself entertains partygoers. Characters talk about wanting Big Macs. Coca-Cola cans are frequently shown; apparently, the soft drink is like the water the aliens drink on their home planet. Skittles, Sears, and Wicke's Furniture also make blatant appearances.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A boy is given a mild sedative by a doctor after the boy tells him about the alien he's been seeing around his house.