MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

Daniel Miller (David Paymer) is a workaholic father of two who has been railroaded by his wife to drive the carpool to school one day. Of course, that's the day he has to make an important presentation at work. It's also the day that two simple-minded thugs hold up a store where Miller has stopped. Sleazy carnival owner Franklin Laszlo (Tom Arnold) interrupts the robbery but ends up with the bag of stolen money instead. Hoping to keep the cash, he grabs Miller to serve as a hostage and also to drive Laszlo to safety. The children, including Miller's own kids and three sassy carpool passengers, are ecstatic over their adventure and bond quickly with this fun-loving crook. As dull-witted policemen, a tough meter maid (Rhea Perlman) and wimpy Miller fail to stop Laszlo, the mini-van speeds down crowded sidewalks and into a shopping mall. Young kids may laugh at CARPOOL's silly nonstop slapstick action, but most viewers will feel like hostages themselves.

Unfortunately, this film force-feeds the notion that children are a better judge of character and smarter than their parents. Because Laszlo behaves like one of them, he's the good guy, while Miller is portrayed as too wrapped up in his work to really know his children. Some important lessons are learned during the course of this day and eventually Miller reacts heroically to his situation. In between we suffer through destructive behavior that damages cars, wrecks stores and endangers innocent bystanders while the mini-van passengers exchange crude remarks. Policemen risk citizens' lives in the chase and Laszlo's wild, beastly mother destroys a restaurant. Laszlo drags Miller into a restroom with him while he relieves himself, and crude bathroom humor is scattered throughout. Although the script has no s- or f-words, a few slang references to genitals are used. CARPOOL is just another attempt to entertain kids with crude humor and by putting down parents and anyone in authority.

Preview Reviewer:
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times - Mild 4, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Few (3) times (slang words for urination and genitals; no s- or f-words)

Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 2 (For God's sake), Exclamatory 4

Violence: Many times - Moderate (slapstick hits over head, gun threats at store holdup, hits to stomach; car crashes through shopping mall, windshields and windows smashed, meter maid dragged in back of police car, boy trapped on dangerous Ferris wheel; elderly woman destroys restaurant)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (rear male)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (teenage boy tries to look down girls dress; boy talks graphically about his mother's breast implants)


Other: Disrespect for parents, police, and the elderly; two men standing together as one urinates; sound of boy urinating; boy asks man if he has hemorrhoids; thugs cross themselves before committing crime; conversation about flatulence

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Children under 12

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