Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014 PG 1h 21m Blu-ray / DVD

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014 PG 1h 21m Blu-ray / DVD
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When 11-year-old Alexander wakes up with gum stuck in his hair, he's unaware that it's only the start of a daylong ordeal of woes. Looking for sympathy, Alexander turns to his family members -- who are all having their own awful day.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.39:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), English SDH, French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.39:1
English, English SDH, Spanish (Neutral), French, German
English: DTS-HD Master Audio, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, German: DTS 5.1 HD
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
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age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is loosely based on the classic children's book of the same name. During 11-year-old Alexander's very bad day, his 13-year-old sister (Kerris Dorsey) drinks cough medicine from the bottle and ends up drunk, his dad (Steve Carell) accidentally sets his shirt on fire, and his 16-year-old brother (Dylan Minnette) picks up his cell phone during a driving test, then gets into a car accident. Additional mayhem also ensues, but amidst the chaos, Alexander's family manages to support each other and ends up even stronger than they were before. There's also some mild language (butt jokes, "crap," "idiot," "sucks," etc.) and inappropriate behavior (cyberbullying, the suggestion that party performers are going to start stripping, etc.), but ultimately this is a sweet, entertaining movie with positive messages about finding humor in adversity and coming together as a family.

Sexual Content

Anthony wants to get his driver's license so he can make out with his girlfriend in the back of his parents' minivan on prom night. He tells his girlfriend she has a "cute butt." Alexander's dad accidentally hires three male strippers for Alexander's birthday party thinking that the "Thunder from Down Under" is an act for kids; the dancers are told to keep things tame just in time. A chaste kiss; a baby's naked behind is seen. The mom walks in on her teen son in the bathroom; nothing is shown, but it's clear she's seen him naked.


A few loud pratfalls involving the kids and the adults. Anthony gets in an accident while taking his driver's test; the van is damaged, and there's some screaming/yelling. Alexander sets some papers/posters on fire during a science experiment, and his dad sets his sleeves on fire at a hibachi restaurant. Dad Ben chases after an escaped kangaroo and gets kicked in the chest. Ben opens the door to his house, and an alligator snaps at him.


Words used include "butt," "crap," "idiot," "pee," "shut up," "OMG," "sucks," "boobs," "penis," and "butt thong." The adults say things like "oh sh..." and "oh mother!" but don't complete any profanities.

Social Behavior

Over the course of their horrible day, the Coopers learn that being part of a loving family is more important than being popular, having a pretty girlfriend, pleasing a demanding boss, nailing a job interview, or just about anything else. They stay positive (and find humor) in the face of adversity, for the most part, and are there for each other when it matters.


Mac computers and iPhones are seen/used. Trader Joe's is mentioned. A character references Gossip Girl. Anthony is called Wreck-It Ralph, referencing another popular Disney movie.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Suffering from a cold, Alexander's 13-year-old sister drinks cough medicine straight from the bottle (in front of her dad) to get through a school play and ends up drunk on stage; she eventually throws up. Dad Ben drinks at a restaurant and accidentally sets his shirt sleeves on fire.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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