The Good Son (1993) - 4 stars out of 10
“The Good Son” was not a very good idea. This PG drama starring Macaulay Culkin is not like “Home Alone” and “My Girl”; in fact, Culkin’s father insisted that the studio use his son in this role to prove his ability to play darker roles. Why does America’s beloved 10-year-old have to play “darker roles”? While the rating indicates that the writers kept this film clean enough for families to watch together, I cannot imagine a parent who could justify allowing their child to watch (and probably later imitate) their hero as he kills a dog and causes a massive traffic incident using pranks similar to those that popularized the Home Alone franchise. This would have probably scarred me as a child, so thank goodness for the good parental judgment that prevented this film from being a hit. Aside from the inappropriateness of its target audience, the quality of the film is average. It is a simple story with a predictable revelation at the end with child actors who perform at the level that you would expect of children. Probably the most interesting part of this film is watching 11-year-old Elijah Wood. He is such a recognizable actor, but it is crazy to see him at such a young age! Wendy Crewson also delivers a nice role as the mother, but the film just isn’t that interesting. I would recommend seeing this film for Wood as a child but don’t mistake the film’s rating as a guarantee for a fun family film.