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Uncle Buck Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 11 & under

The Candy man can make this iffy movie taste good.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the swearing in this movie is pretty intense for a PG film, and there is attempted teen sex (nothing explicitly shown, but no doubt what's going on) and a mistaken belief that adult sex has taken place. Buck pretends to be psychotic, capable of torture-murder and mutilation with power tools, as he intimidates a grubby boy trying to get intimate with his niece. Buck also indulges in drinking, smoking, and gambling.

  • Families can talk about the conflicts between the various characters. Do you think Buck could have handled bad-girl Tia in a more productive way? Do you believe the way the story comes out? Has Buck himself grown up a little by the end? What do you think will happen between him and Chanice?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Buck's oddball ways and plain-spoken style of dealing with things supposedly mends a bad family rift here. Still, he's a drinker, glutton, smoker, and gambler and chronically jobless, even though he shows enough responsibility to protect his troubled niece. Folks on the Russell's (rich) side of town come across as intrinsically chilly and nasty; Buck's (poor) side of town is more down to earth and homey.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: "Comedic" stuff, as Buck punches out a drunk and threatens his niece's unwanted boyfriend with kidnapping and torture-dismemberment.

  • sex false3

    Sex: When Buck swears and wrestles with an uncooperative washing machine, an eavesdropper thinks he's having rough sex. Talk of teen pregnancy in the case of Tia and her boyfriend, who clearly wants to go all the way with her.

  • language false3

    Language: Pretty intense for a PG, with repeated variations on "s--t" and "goddamn," and "pissant." Both children and adults talk like that.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Food products, auto parts brands are prominent, as is oldies music.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teen and adult drinking; a hostile, drunken party clown, and Buck himself getting plastered. Buck brags about quitting.