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Home Alone
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Reviews & Ratings for
Home Alone More at IMDbPro »

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252 out of 275 people found the following review useful:

A timeless classic

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
23 November 2003

Oh, come on, IMDb users. How could this film get only a 6.5? Yes, it's a kid's movie, but I know plenty of adults(not including myself) who loved this film. It touches our hearts, and tickles our funny bones. Not to mention I think in one way or another we could relate to it. That's why it remains a classic Christmas comedy.

Home Alone is not only one of the highest box office successes of all time, but it deserves more praise. Mac showed a talent that very little child stars have now-a-days. He brought in a great comedy about a boy who accidentally is left home alone when his family goes on vacation and takes on two burglars.

Yeah, it's quit unrealistic about the burglars, but honestly, this is a terrific family film. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are the perfect comedy duo of two idiots who can't rob the place because a 8 year old child has out witted them and set some clever and very funny traps around the house.

Please give this movie a chance, it's just terrific and I guarantee nothing but great laughs for you and the whole family.

10/10

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99 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

Heartwarming Holiday family classic.

10/10
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK
18 February 2003

'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 -

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72 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Funny and highly entertaining.

8/10
Author: Twizm from TN, USA
1 May 2002

Home Alone (1990) Rating: 8/10

It might be dumb and corny, but I've actually liked this highly entertaining flick. The plot's unbelievable, but who cares: it's funny! Macaulay Culkin plays 8 year-old Kevin, a misunderstood kid who lives in a big ass house with his family. They're about to leave for Paris, where they're gonna spend Christmas. About 20 people are running around the house, frenetically preparing for the trip. Kevin's mad at everyone, because no one pays attention to him, unless it's to yell at him. Hence, Kevin goes to sleep wishing that his whole family would disappear, and the next morning, they do! The thing is that they somehow woke up late, left home in a hurry, and hey, they forget Lil Kev! At first, he's happy as a monkey, but after a while, things get messy. Two dumbass robbers are planning to rob his house, but Kev ain't gonna let them!

Okay, I know, this is one stupid story, but it's developed into a wonderful family film, as enjoyable as it is warmhearted. Mac Culkin is awesome in the lead. He really carries the film: he's got style, he's funny and he's even a good actor! Too bad his personal life screwed up, because he had the talent to become a grown-up movie star. The idiotic criminals are also really cool, because they cast good actors instead of some Ernest-style lame-o over-actors. Oscar-winner Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern (the narrator on The Wonder Years) are hilarious, but they also bring a bit more depth to what could have been cardboard characters. Pesci plays an aggressive thug, and anyone who's seen him in a Scorsese film knows how good he is at it. Stern plays a total dufus, and he's also really convincing at it. The film's humor might seem dumb, but hey, it's funny. John Hughes' screenplay has Kevin protecting his home by turning the thieves into human Wile E. Coyotes, and like the cartoon, it made me laugh. The gags might be old, but they're played with inventiveness, and the acting is always right. I just love this film, and you will too if you look beyond the fact that it's a family film.

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60 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as the Grinches Who Almost Steal Christmas...

Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
18 May 2001

The overwhelming success of 'Home Alone' (it spawned two sequels), is enough to guarantee that most people will love this story of a family that departs for Paris on the Christmas holidays, mistakenly leaving an eight-year old boy to fend for himself. And fend he does, when burglars threaten to break in unless he can rig enough booby-traps to keep them out.

That's the simple plot in a nutshell. Macaulay Culkin seems to have no problem carrying most of the film with a wide variety of looks, gestures and expressions--but for my money it's Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci who get the main laughs as the bumbling burglars intent on outwitting the kid's traps.

Others in the cast don't have as much to do but do well enough by their roles, particularly Catherine O'Hara and John Heard as the parents who only discover on the plane that Kevin is missing. The laughs are steady, the color photography is great and the slight story is probably every boy's fantasy of what it might be like to be left home alone. Add to that the holiday flavor of Christmas and a pleasant musical score by John Williams and you have the makings of a classic.

The proof is in the pudding--they must have done something right!!

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51 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

The Best Christmas Film of the Past 20 Years

Author: tfrizzell from United States
4 November 2000

"Home Alone" is a hilarious film about a young boy (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidently left home during the Christmas holidays after the rest of his family goes to Europe. At first Culkin loves the situation, but soon he is scared to death when he learns that burglars Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are targeting his house. However, Culkin is pretty smart for an eight-year-old and he has plans for them when they attack. Chris Columbus' direction is smart and so is the over-achieving screenplay. This film has a little bit of something for everyone and the fact that the backdrop is the Christmas holidays, only makes it that much more special. All the performers do well and in the end the film also does. 4 stars out of 5.

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37 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

A well done family comedy

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
4 November 2000

This type of family comedy truthfully works better if you are grown up with the stooges. Because this film has a climactic scene with more slapstick than most can take. I can though. But if you think this is strictly a kids film, parents will like it too I bet. The plot follows a kid (Macaulay Kulkin) who gets left behind in a Chicago suburb while his family leaves for Paris. And though the house is all his, 2 burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern who give the best on-screen duo of 1990) want the house. But not without the climax. While most of the film is unbelievable (both good and bad), most of the film should keep families in good spirits, unless parents don't enjoy seeing Pesci getting his head on fire and Stern screaming like a girl. Funny, even if it's not John Hughes' (writer/producer here) best. B+

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48 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Great movie!

10/10
Author: Movie Nuttball from U.S.A.
10 December 2003

Home Alone is arguably one of the funniest movies ever! Its really good. The cast is very good! It was sweet to see John Candy in it! The team work of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern is just not insanely hilarious but its also incredible that the two are so good together and I like how their scenes of punishment is followed right after the other! I think John Heard looks like Bruce Willis! I like Catherine O'Hara, she is a fine actress! Look for Larry Hankin and Roberts Blossom! John Williams has another great score here!This is a perfect movie for people to watch around Christmas and if you need a big laugh watch this as it will crack you up! Also, I strongly recommend Home Alone 2! It arguably funnier then this plus Time Curry, Brenda Fricker, and Rod Sell appears in it! Both movies are strongly recommended!

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30 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal!

7/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
14 December 2006

In the Eighties, John Hughes churned out a handful of movies and scored many, many hits. Quite rightly, as most of them were seriously funny - I'm DEFINITELY not referring to Curly Sue, so relax! In one particular scene from Uncle Buck, Macaulay Culkin interrogates a babysitter through the letterbox to make sure she's not a baddie. This inspired Hughes to write a whole new movie. Who would have known that this and its sequel would go on to become two of the biggest hits of all time? Both Hughes and Chris Columbus seem to prefer setting their movies during the holiday season (Gremlins, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Christmas Vacation) and manage to pull them off without too much sentiment, or sickening amounts of gooey love.

There are two reasons why Home Alone was such a big success. The first is that it's about a kid who outsmarts grown-ups, something that happens every day, only there's a worldwide conspiracy of silence. This movie yells it out loud and clear. The second is John Williams's magical score, which elevates the movie way above slapstick family fare to something more serious and regarded. It was nominated for an Academy Award, along with the Christmas carol Somewhere In My Memory, but lost to John Barry's Dances with Wolves. Damn! In a mad rush to the airport one morning, the MacCallister family forget one little thing...Kevin (Culkin). He is an eight-year-old kid who wants nothing better than a peaceful Christmas and some time to himself. It's hard for him to get this when living in a house with seven other people(the exact same house from Planes, Trains And Automobiles, don't you know0. With the rest of the MacCallisters in Paris, Kevin runs wild doing whatever he wants, eating whatever he wants and watching whatever TV show he wants.

But there's one major problem. The Wet Bandits, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), are on the prowl and have knocked off every other house in Kevin's street. His is next. And seeing that he's man-of-the-house now, he HAS to defend it.

Using whatever tools are at his disposal (rusty nails, blow torches, Micro Machines) he sets up a labyrinth of booby traps, so that the Wets can't break in. Their idiot-proof determination proves to be their downfall, as they are tortured and torn-up upon entering Kevin's domain.

Although this is not the only point of the film, there is an important message that family is what really matters to a child, or to anyone, and having them home for the holidays is better than wandering a huge house all by yourself.

There are some movies that work best at Christmas and this is one of them. I'm not saying that in a couple of decades it will be the new It's A Wonderful Life, but it will be remembered fondly at the very least.

Don't be a Scrooge. It's Christmastime. Go rush to check out Home Alone.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Surreal and hilarious

7/10
Author: Atreyu_II from The world of artists
20 August 2007

"Home Alone" is one of the most popular movies from the early 90's. Its success was phenomenal and it also made Macaulay Culkin a superstar.

The plot is quite original and surreal: a child who is home alone and capable of making the bandits's lives miserable? Sure, it's an impossible story, but who cares? Far from being a perfect movie, it is however okay and fun to watch, entertaining and contains slapstick humor too although I don't like some of the language used.

Our story takes place in Chicago at Christmas time, which makes this a Christmas film. In fact, the movie has lots of Christmas decorations, lights, snow and many other details which create the feeling and magic so characteristic of Christmas. To accent the Christmas atmosphere even more, there are a cup of nice Christmas carols such as "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (performed by Brenda Lee), "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch", "White Christmas", "Carol of the Bells", "Oh Holly Night" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and some brilliant instrumental musics.

Kevin McCallister is the hero of the story. He's not just any kid, he's a very smart one. He also knows all about the intentions of the "wet bandits" Harry and Marv and prepares them lots of unexpected "surprises". Their lives won't be easy with Kevin defending his house. Sure, they are the villains and as such they get what they deserve, but they do suffer a lot too. We almost feel sorry for them.

The "wet bandits" were nicknamed like that by Marv because their "calling card" (according to him) was to let the water running in every houses they robbed. That said, both "wet bandits" are hilarious. Harry is more cranky, while Marv is the most stupid of the two (although both are stupid) and maybe that's why people tend to sympathize more with him. Marv's stupidity also makes him the funniest of the two. Marv is the typical tall and clumsy guy with no brain, a bit like Averell Dalton from the Lucky Luke comics.

The movie has lots of funny moments. The funniest for me is when Harry and Marv pretend to be Santa Claus and his elf and the way Harry speaks in that scene, followed by the even funnier part when Kevin fires at Harry's pants. Whenever Kevin fools the bandits in a try to make them believe the whole family is at home when Kevin is all alone is funny too. For some reason, I also find funny whenever Kevin screams maniacally (particularly when he says he's not afraid anymore and sees Old Marley and screams out loud.

The scenes which Kevin fools and scares the Little Nero's Pizza boy and Marv with the gangster film "Angels with Filthy Souls" are hilarious, but in the case of the Pizza boy it is unfair for him. There was no need to scare the hell out of him - he was just delivering pizza and wasn't after Kevin.

Old Marley is an interesting character. I always felt sorry for him because of the lies Buzz tells about him. And the man never did anything bad to anyone. Buzz is a jerk and Uncle Frank is even worse. Buzz is mean for Kevin and Uncle Frank openly dislikes Kevin. When Uncle Frank tells Kevin «Look what you did, you little jerk!», Kevin's parents should tell him something like «Frank, stay out of this and shut up!».

The church is magnificent. It's one of the biggest and most beautiful churches I've ever seen in a movie.

Macaulay Culkin is terrific as the clever kid Kevin McCallister. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are awesome as the "wet bandits" and Roberts Blossom is great as the character Old Marley. It's also delightful to see John Candy as Gus Polinski, the «Polka King of the Midwest».

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious movie with a tight cast!!!

10/10
Author: lilballa08 from United States
22 August 2006

There is no film to put beside Home Alone by way of comparison. It is a film genre of it's own. I read and hear reviews of this movie that express disgust and horror and I picture John Hughes chuckling. This was the intent, it was meant to upset the status quo and in "politically correct" times that we live in, isn't it a small surprise to see this film come to the forefront again? This is a movie that will freak out the uptight for as long as it exists in any media. It was meant to. As much as "Clockwork Orange" talked about "ultraviolence" this movie is all about ultra-bad pranks. We can numb ourselves to sex and violence but Home Alone is a movie you just will never get used to. There will be something in this movie that will get to you. As a last resort to make sure everyone is offended before you leave the theatre, John includes the always discussed paint can scene. No reason for this scene, except to make sure he gets you and also to make sure you leave talking about it. Obviously filmed on a budget, and using Hughe's stock cast, this is a movie simply about a young kid whose parents forget him while they go on vacation. All the characters are bizarre in one way or another. This movie reminds me of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" in that everyone in the film has something odd about them and both movies joyfully celebrate these uniquenesses. Not a movie to buy for Mom on Mother's Day... but worth seeing just to say you did.

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