Home Alone

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Home Alone - John Hughes Takes on Christmas With Macaulay Culkin

Dec 3, 2007 (Updated Oct 13, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Funny, entertaining Christmas Movie

Cons:Kevin's family not likable. Certain things not believable. Could be too silly for some viewers.

The Bottom Line: Home Alone was somewhat silly, but it was a very entertaining Christmas movie that is worth watching.


I love Christmas movies and watch several every year. I really enjoyed Home Alone the first time I saw it many years ago and I still enjoy it when I watch it now.

Kevin McCallister was less than thrilled with his family’s plans for Christmas. His house had been invaded by various aunts, uncles, and cousins before they would all travel together to Paris for Christmas. Kevin was sort of lost in the shuffle with all the insanity of all the relatives being crammed in one house. Most of his relatives were treating him horribly, with his older brother Buzz being the worst. Buzz took delight in tormenting Kevin and Kevin was the one that got punished. Everyone overslept the next morning because the electricity had gone off during the night. In the rush to get to the airport on time, Kevin was left behind. His mother Kate didn’t realize what had happened until they were on the plane. Once in Paris, she immediately started trying to get back home to her son.

Kevin was happy at first when he woke up and discovered that everyone was gone. He took advantage of the situation to do whatever he wanted, like jumping on beds and riding his sled down the stairs and out the front door. He soon had to deal with two robbers, Harry and Marv, who were systematically hitting all the houses in the neighborhood of the people who had left town for Christmas. Harry and Marv were determined to get in the house, so Kevin developed some ingenious methods to protect his home.

Everyone has probably been so annoyed or irritated with family members that they wished everyone would just go away. Many children may have felt like Kevin did at the beginning of the movie and may have wanted their family to disappear like happened in Home Alone. With how busy everyone was that morning, it was believable how Kevin was accidentally left behind. I didn’t think the way Kevin was able to cope with being home alone was as believable. He handled that very well and I think most kids would find the whole situation more upsetting even if they had been angry with their family.

Most of Home Alone was focused on how Kevin handled being on his own. Time was taken at the beginning to briefly introduce the family and set up how he was left behind. At first Kevin went wild doing all the crazy things his parents would never let him do. He did end up doing some things like going to the grocery store that were more responsible as well. Every so often, Kate was shown during her attempts to get back home. More was going on once Kevin had to figure out how to deal with the robbers. Even with everything connected to the robbers, I didn’t feel like the movie was confusing. There were a few surprises, but the movie was rather predictable overall. The predictability didn’t make me like the movie any less.

Kevin was responsible in some way for the majority of the humor in Home Alone. I laughed at several of the things he did to do have fun. Probably one of the most well known moments from the movie was when Kevin reacted to trying some of his father’s after shave. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that some of what was done to add humor was at least somewhat silly. The different things that Kevin came up with to fight off Marv and Harry also added a lot of humor even though those things weren’t the most believable. I really don’t think that a child could have dealt with robbers. I also don’t think that anyone would have been able to survive everything that Marv and Harry were put through. Those scenes did add some violence. It really wasn’t that graphic, but parents may want to watch the movie before letting their children watch it.

Christmas played a major part in Home Alone. The entire McCallister family was together and was going to travel together to Paris for the holiday. The entire movie took place in the last few days before Christmas, so decorations and Christmas music were featured as well. At one point, Kevin was shown watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on television. The holiday was also tied into the burglaries since Marv and Harry were hitting the homes of people who had left town for Christmas. Only a small amount of religion was brought into what was going on. The movie did deliver a bit of a message about the importance of family without getting too preachy even though Kevin’s family wasn’t really likable.

Kevin was the main character and had the most to do throughout Home Alone. He wasn’t happy with the Christmas plans and felt like everyone was ignoring him. He did act up a bit, but it really wasn’t fair that he was the only one punished. One of his uncles even called him a name and his parents didn’t say anything about that. Kevin was a normal little boy who took advantage of being alone to do all sorts of things he’d always wanted to do. He was rather resourceful with the ways he came up with to protect the house. Macaulay Culkin was really good in the part. If I remember right, this was the movie that made him popular.

Kate and Peter were Kevin’s parents and not in as much of the movie. Kate was shown a bit more than Peter was once she started on her journey to get back home to her son. It did seem like Kate made more of the decisions in the marriage and for the family. She was stepping up and dealing with certain things while Peter sort of stayed more in the background. I didn’t really like Kate at first with the way she blamed Kevin for everything and let Buzz get away with what he did. John Heard and Catherine O’Hara were good in the parts. None of the rest of the family was shown much or developed. Buzz probably received the most attention. I couldn’t stand him.

Harry and Marv were the two burglars that had been staking out the neighborhood. They were very determined to get in the McCallister house. I don’t remember hearing how long they had known each other before the movie started or how long they had been working together breaking into homes. Both of them were flat characters, but that worked with the plot. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern were good in the parts. John Candy turned up briefly as someone that Kate met while trying to get home.

Main Cast

John Candy - Gus Polinski
Macaulay Culkin - Kevin
John Heard - Peter
Catherine O’Hara - Kate
Joe Pesci - Harry
Devin Ratray - Buzz
Daniel Stern - Marv

Christopher Columbus - Director

I first saw Home Alone several years ago on VHS. Since then I have seen it again numerous times on television. The movie is available on DVD but I’m not sure what sort of extras are on the disc since I haven’t seen that version of the movie. I have seen a newer DVD version, called the Family Fun Edition, recently that is supposed to have more extras.

Home Alone is a fun, entertaining Christmas movie even though it was predictable and a few things really weren’t that believable. It is an enjoyable movie that I like watching around Christmas.

Christmas Movie Reviews
Bad Santa ~ Christmas with the Kranks ~ Deck the Halls ~ Die Hard ~ Die Hard 2: Die Harder ~ Elf ~ The Family Stone ~ Fred Claus ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) ~ The Ice Harvest ~ Just Friends ~ The Muppet Christmas Carol ~ National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ~ The Nightmare Before Christmas ~ The Polar Express ~ The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause ~ Scrooged ~


Recommend this product? Yes


Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12

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