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Home Alone (1990)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  16 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 275,842 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 285 user | 92 critic | 9 from

An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hillary Wolf ...
Diana Rein ...
Sondra McCallister (as Daiana Campeanu)


It is Christmas time and the McCallister family is preparing for a vacation in Paris, France. But the youngest in the family named Kevin got into a scuffle with his older brother Buzz and was sent to his room which is on the third floor of his house. Then, the next morning, while the rest of the family was in a rush to make it to the airport on time, they completely forgot about Kevin who now has the house all to himself. Being home alone was fun for Kevin, having a pizza all to himself, jumping on his parents' bed, and making a mess. Then, Kevin discovers about two burglars, Harry and Marv, about to rob his house on Christmas Eve. Kevin acts quickly by wiring his own house with makeshift booby traps to stop the burglars and to bring them to justice. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When Kevin's Family Left For Vacation, They Forgot One Minor Detail: Kevin. But Don't Worry... He Cooks. He Cleans. He Kicks Some Butt. See more »


Comedy | Family


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi pobre angelito  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$285,761,243 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joe Pesci kept forgetting that he was filming a "family" movie during his character's on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the "F-word". See more »


Immediately after landing in Paris, Peter McCallister leaves a message on the Murphys' answering machine while Marv and Harry are burglarizing it. The phones are still supposed to be down, and since the Murphys live across the street from the McCallisters, their phone service should be down as well. See more »


Kevin McCallister: Buzz! Your girlfriend! Woof!
See more »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.107 (2014) See more »


White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by The Drifters
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Heartwarming Holiday family classic.
18 February 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

'Home Alone' has succeeded in establishing itself as a Christmas tradition, spawning off three sequels (including a made-for-television flop), and a whole franchise in and of it.

Macaulay Culkin plays Kevin McCallister, the average American child. He has an attitude almost expected of a Chris Columbus film from the eighties. He lives with a large family, which, right now, being around Christmas time, is about quadrupled, flooded by relatives' children, all of whom pick on poor, poor Kevin (sympathy long lost later into the film).

One day Kevin wakes up from his sleep to find his wish has come true: his parents (John Heard and Catherine O'Hara) have disappeared. Enthralled by this, he proceeds to do everything and anything he was not allowed to do before, including eating ice cream in the morning, watching violent gangster films, jumping on the bed, wrecking his brother's room, and having some fun with a BB gun. Unfortunately for Kevin, his parents have not just disappeared - they have accidentally left him at home before going to Paris!

Trouble really starts when two pesky burglars, Harry Lime (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern), decide that their next burglary will be at the McCallister residence. Little do they know Kevin is more than prepared, arming the house with an array of booby-traps that would impress top spies in the American government.

John Hughes, writer/director/producer of my favorite comedy, 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles,' wrote this film, and it is no wonder. It is just like Hughes' humor. It mixes emotion, belly laughs and a warm-hearted ending all into one little bundle called a movie. John Hughes' films, in my experience, are usually very good, mainly because he approaches films at a very classic level. He doesn't resort to crude, kid jokes, like 'The Master of Disguise' or 'The Tuxedo,' to name a few recent flops. He almost always levels everything out perfectly in his scripts, and nothing is different here. Also, he places Kevin and co. in a large brick home in a large neighborhood in Chicago; a home that very much resembles those in 'Planes.' and 'Uncle Buck' (I would not be surprised if it is the same home).

As for the acting.

Macaulay Culkin is not at his best here. His best performance would have to be in an earlier John Hughes film named 'Uncle Buck,' where he had more of a cute charm than an acting charm. Here, he could barely act his way out of a plastic bag. Fortunately, with great performances by John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, Pesci and Stern, his bad acting is long forgotten by the time we become absorbed into the film.

John Heard and Catherine O'Hara bring Kevin's parents to life. They seem almost complete opposites. Kevin's father, Peter (Heard), is very calm and laidback. His mother, Kate (O'Hara) is extremely nervous almost all the time, fretting throughout the film. She is aggravated very easily and, like all mothers, her instinctive nature to care for her child is what drives her to the point she goes to in the film.

And then there's Pesci and Stern. My favorite lot of the film. They perfectly blend humor, pain and aggravation to the film.

Pesci's character Harry is very strict, easily agitated and picks on Marv for a great many things. Marv, the stereotypical 'tall, stupid one,' is completely stupid. He does things that would make a hamster blush. Yet he is the character I have found many like the most, mainly because he is so stupid you have to feel sorry for him. Stern brings a great trait to the character of Marv, and I am very pleased he got the part. It's a hard choice to decide which baddie is better, so I just say I like them both the same.

All in all, 'Home Alone' is probably the best Christmas movie to rise out of the film industry in the last twenty years. It seamlessly blends humor, pain, emotion, human instinct and some great booby-traps all into one little bundle. This film has stood the test of time greatly.

4.5/5 stars -

104 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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