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World's Greatest Dad Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Dunderheaded delirium from writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A few scenes in World's Greatest Dad may qualify it as the most uncomfortable and unsettling movie to sit through of any this year.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Goldthwaite's script has the honesty of someone speaking with the voice of experience.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This premise is well-established because of a disturbingly good performance by Daryl Sabara as Kyle, the disgusting son.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Williams hasn't been this sympathetic in years.

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  • See all World's Greatest Dad reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Pitch-black Robin Williams comedy too edgy for young teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that World's Greatest Dad is a very dark comedy about a father who inadvertently profits from his teenage son's accidental death. There's strong language (words like "f--k" and "s--t" are said in nearly every scene), and the sexuality is rampant -- especially in early scenes. The teenage boy is a porn aficionado, and he constantly talks about explicit sexual acts, masturbates to magazines (and other stimuli), and even tries auto-erotic asphyxiation. There's only one actual sex scene, but star Robin Williams' naked body is briefly shown in another scene. In comparison to the sex and language, the movie's violence and substance use are ather mild, although an adult does smoke marijuana and allows an underage friend to eat a pot brownie.

  • Families can talk about the movie's graphic sexualityand pornography content. Were the conversationsoverly explicit, or were they representative of the way real high schoolstudents talk?
  • What are the movie's messages about fame, suicide, and how even unlikely people can form cult followings?
  • One of the movie's themes is the hypocrisy of everyone at the high school. How do the students, teachers, and principal act differently after Kyle's "suicide note" is revealed?
  • Kyle is so unlikable that the emotional impact of his death is minimal. Compare that to other movies in which ateenager dies, either accidentally or by actual suicide. Is Kyle's death supposed to befunny?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Although the movie has a few positive messages about admitting the truth -- even when it's embarrassing -- and how adolescents cover up their true feelings in order to go with the flow, most of the take aways are negative. Kids who abhor a fellow student pretend to have been his friend after he dies and becomes posthumously popular. A shallow woman is torn between two men and seems to choose based on which one is more successful or attractive at any given moment. A frustrated writer fakes another character's suicide and then capitalizes on the cult status of the "suicide note" he writes, profiting from the death.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The only positive role model is Kyle's best friend, who is loyal to him, in life and death. Otherwise, almost all of the characters are shallow, hypocritical, and, in the case of the main character, virtually unconscionable in their actions.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Two high-school guys get in a fight after one overhears the other saying something "perverted" to a girl. A character dies accidentally in a disturbing, compromising position.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Most of the sexuality is related to graphic conversations about sexual practices and shots of pornographic magazines. Kyle is shown masturbating several times -- to porn magazines and Web sites and even photos of his dad's girlfriend. Kyle also discusses various sex acts (such as felching, cunnilingus, and German "Scheizer porn") with his best friend, peeps on his middle-aged neighbor as she undresses, and tries auto-erotic asphyxiation. Lance and Claire kiss a few times and eventually have sex, during which Claire makes explicit requests. Lance is briefly shown naked (backside) walking to a pool, and for a second his penis is visible underwater as he swims.

  • language false5

    Language: Nearly every scene has very strong language. "F--k," "s--t," and "a--hole" are the most commonly used words, with insults like "fag," "whores," "pervert," "bitch," and "dumb" also said often. Sexual language includes "p---y," "dick," and "freak." "Jesus Christ!" is exclaimed a couple of times.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Only a few brands/products are visible -- a Mini Cooper car, the video game Doom, and New Yorker magazine.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lance drinks and smokes a joint, which he offers to his neighbor -- who declines but suggests he make pot brownies. In another scene, Lance makes the brownies for her and lets his son's best friend have one, although the teenager doesn't know there's pot in them.