Home Alone (1990)

home alone poster 1990 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Macaulay Culkin, Christmasy feel

Some slapstick is too over the top, feels unbalanced

Movie Info

Movie Name: Home Alone

Studio: Hughes Entertainment

Genre(s): Comedy/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 16, 1990

MPAA Rating: PG



Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) sometimes hates his family. They all see him as problem and all he wants for Christmas is to be left alone. When a missed alarm clock leads to a fast trip to the airport for an international trip to Paris, Kevin is accidentally left behind. Kevin wakes up to his wish granted, but doesn’t realize his house is being targeted by the Wet Bandits Harry Lyme (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern). Now the Wet Bandits have Kevin trapped, but they might be the ones in trouble.

Home Alone was directed by Chris Columbus and became biggest hit of 1990 and made it one of the biggest grossing comedies of all time. Written by John Hughes, Hughes of course set it in and around the Chicago area. It now has become a Christmas holiday classic and is a staple on television around the holidays.


Nutritious and Delicious!

Home Alone made a child star out of Macauley Culkin. He previously appeared in Uncle Buck and his role in Uncle Buck help inspire John Hughes to write this movie. It is Macauley’s energy that helps drive this movie but it doesn’t necessarily paint a flattering picture of him which I don’t think helped his future roles. Despite doing the right thing in the end, Kevin often comes off as kind of a brat. He does such a good job at being a brat, that it is hard to see him any other way (maybe that is why he was halfway convincing as the killer kid in The Good Son).

The supporting cast is also good. John Candy shot all of his scenes in one day and improvised some of his lines. Catherine O’Hara also does a great job as Kevin’s exasperated mother dealing with a houseful of kids and the thought that she actually forgot one of her children. Daniel Stern does a good job adding the comedy to Joe Pesci’s more violent character (Pesci kept forgetting he was shooting a family movie and kept adding f-bombs to his scenes).


Got you now punk!

Home Alone was received with mixed reviews and that is understandable since it is a kind of unbalanced movie. There are parts that work and there are parts that feel too extreme. There are some nice soft parts and here are parts that over-the-top sappy. In spite of this, it is one of those movies that can be forgiven since it is fun and has a holiday feel.

Home Alone spawned a franchise and the first sequel Home Alone 2:  Lost in New York in 1992 saw most of the cast returning. By Home Alone 3, Culkin had grown too old and was recast…Home Alone 4 was made straight-to-tv and really was even a further step down. Maybe there be a Home Alone 5 with a Macaulay return as a down and out thirty-something that is breaking into homes…we can hope.

Related Links:

Home Alone 2:  Lost in New York (1992)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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