Dennis the Menace


Action / Comedy / Family


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Lea Thompson as Mrs. Alice Mitchell
Devin Ratray as Mickey
Christopher Lloyd as Switchblade Sam
Natasha Lyonne as Polly

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by anonymous 8 / 10

This movie is best compared to "Home Alone" and the better of the two.

I feel really badly that this movie is on the list of worst according to average vote. If you consider that it relies very much on slap-stick humour, which does not appeal to everyone, that might explain its poor showing.

The movie is best compared to "Home Alone." I feel it is by far the better of the two movies. Dennis is wide-eyed and innocent and the slap-stick scenarios are 'accidental' rather than contrived as in "Home Alone."

This is a movie that elderly parents can watch and be guaranteed to have a good time. It is also a movie that kids will love. If those in between can't appreciate it, that speaks a lot for their loss of innocence.

Reviewed by The_unemployed_cynic 8 / 10

Great movie for kids of any age

How can this movie get such a low rating? It is really well made, has some very funny moments and the casting is excellent. Dennis is cute as a button and totally believable, his parents are.. well, just perfect and mr Wilson is the best mr Wilson you could wish for. The same applies to many of the smaller roles. And then there is Christopher Lloyd in one of his best performances ever. I loved this movie, both the first and second time I saw it. It deserves at least an 8, so I gave it a 9 to boost the score.

Reviewed by Ron Mexico 8 / 10

Not bad, but...

For whatever reason, this film has been somewhat underrated since its release in the early nineties. I suspect that much of the apathy stems from the fact that audiences at that time had reached the saturation point with "Little kid outsmarting the bad guy" slapstick (Home Alone 1 and 2, The Three Ninjas series, etc). Still, this version of Dennis Mitchell's escapades is well worth a look, and is certainly holds its own against other John Hughes films with a similar (ok, "identical") premise.

The highlights of the film include winning performances by Mason Gamble and Walter Mathau as Dennis and Mr. Wilson, respectively. Mason Gamble was one of the more talented child actors to grace the screen at the time- if you're able to see more than a 'cute kid' and listen to his inflection, he's actually pretty funny. Mathau, of course, is Mathau and brilliant. It's somewhat annoying that the film decided to go 'PC' in portraying Alice Mitchell as a career woman, but other than that, the casting of the parents and Martha Wilson was perfect. The musical score was also excellent- whimsical, nostalgic, without coming across as cloying.

There were only two problems with the film, but they were big ones. First, the director did not adequately develop Wilson's friendship with Dennis, which makes the end scenes seem forced and trite. The only recollection I have of Wilson even speaking civilly to Dennis before he 'ran away' was when he briefly explained why he kept his coins in a safe. Other than that, their relationship was nothing but snarls, grumbling, and apologies. Secondly, the introduction of Switchblad Sam was a typical (and oh so tired) Hughes device, although it was surprisingly violent compared to his other films (watching a cute little five year old force feed and then accidentally set a villain on fire was slightly disturbing, to say the least). Christopher Lloyd's performance was over-the-top and distracting, taking away from what could have become a semi-classic children's film.

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