Problem Child

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Released 1990

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5.5
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Movie Summary

Director:
Dennis Dugan
Released:
1990
Rating:
PG

Problem Child is a 1990 comedy directed by Dennis Dugan. Since Ben Healy (John Ritter) and his overbearing, greedy wife Flo (Amy Yasbeck) can't conceive their own child, they meet adoption agent Igor Peabody (Gilbert Gottfried), who convinces them to adopt a 7-year-old, red-haired boy named Junior (Michael Oliver). As soon as they get him home, the adorable child that they met at the Catholic orphanage turns into a conniving monster, leaving a path of destruction and mayhem wherever he goes. He torments the neighborhood children, angers Ben's father Big Ben (Jack Warden), and even writes letters to murderer Martin "The Bow Tie Killer" Beck (Michael Richards). Flo, who just adopted him to impress the neighbors, wants to return Junior to the nuns, but kind-hearted Ben keeps giving him more chances. When Junior and Flo are abducted and held for ransom by Beck, will Ben, who has reached his mental breaking point, decide that his life is better off without them?

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Metacritic Score

  • 50

    San Francisco Chronicle Peter Stack

    Problem Child is a beautiful example of what junk entertainment can be with a smattering of brains behind it. While it hangs there as a monument to audience idiocy, it also lets yo...

  • 50

    Philadelphia Inquirer Carrie Rickey

    Every time Problem Child gets an interesting edge, it loses it.

  • 25

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    But Problem Child's biggest problem is its young star, 8-year-old Michael Oliver. You tend to take such natural child actors as Dick Tracy's Charlie Korsmo for granted until one co...

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Categories

Comedy, Kids

Themes

Slapstick, Pre-Teens, Tweens, Grade Schoolers