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National Lampoon's Animal House Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is vulgar, raunchy, ribald, and occasionally scatological. It is also the funniest comedy since Mel Brooks made "The Producers."

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  • 70

    out of 100


    At its best it perfectly expresses the fears and loathings of kids who came of age in the late '60's; at its worst Animal House revels in abject silliness. The hilarious highs easily compensate for the puerile lows.

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  • 80

    out of 100


    Steady readers of the National Lampoon may find National Lampoon's Animal House a somewhat soft-pedalled, punches-pulled parody of college campus life circa 1962. However, there's enough bite and bawdiness to provide lots of smiles and several broad guffaws.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    National Lampoon's Animal House is by no means one long howl, but it's often very funny, with gags that are effective in a dependable, all-purpose way.

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  • See all National Lampoon's Animal House reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

John Belushi's raucous toga party isn't for young kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the only moral here is hatred for authority and partying. That means a lot of drunken revelry, pranks, and violence to make their point. It also means characters cheat on each other, binge drink, steal cars, and sleep with underage girls. Some female nudity.

  • Families can talk about how they deal with bullies. When someone is mean to you, do you imagine pulling off a prank like the ones the Deltas pull on Dean Wormer and the Omegas? What's a healthier way to deal with your anger? The film is also a good opportunity for parents to talk about appropriate behavior with sexual partners. Also, why do you think this film has a cult following? Does it epitomize what made John Belushi so funny on Saturday Night Live? Adult comedy buffs may want to look up Belushi's funniest moments from SNL and share them with kids. Many -- like the Samurai Deli sketch -- showcase his astounding comedic talents in a much more kid-appropriate fashion.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The message here is you have to fight for your right to party, by any means necessary. The Deltas lie, cheat on tests, steal cars, and steal food from grocery stores.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A lot of hazing-style violence, including paddling. Doug gets dragged behind his horse and is later trampled. Another boy is also trampled. Otter gets beaten up by the Omega boys. Flounder kills a horse.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Lots of sexual situations, including girls giving a guy a handjob (barely off-screen), reading pornography, Bluto looking up the skirts of some cheerleaders and watching shirtless girls have a pillow fight. Some naked breasts. Pinto considers having sex with a girl who's passed out and later sleeps with a 13-year-old girl. Mrs. Wormer cheats on her husband with Otter. Katy cheats on her boyfriend with her professor.

  • language false3

    Language: A considerable amount of salty language, including "s--t," "goddamn," "son of a b---h," "assholes," and "f--k." One character also uses the term "retard" as an insult.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Binge drinking, including among minors as young as 13, is the primary hobby of the characters. Characters get stoned with a professor.