Middle-school kid Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) and his teenage sister Clancy (Sadie Stanley) are shocked to find their house ransacked and their parents Ron (Ken Marino) and Margot (Malin Ackerman) kidnapped. They discover that their stay-at-home mother is in fact in the witness protection program. She was once a high-profile thief who cooperated with the FBI, landing a big crime boss in jail.
When a YouTube video featuring Margot and Kevin goes viral, Margot’s former partners-in-crime track her down, pressuring her to help them with one last major coup – stealing an extremely valuable piece of jewellery.
Clancy, Kevin and their friends Mim (Cree Cricchino) and Lewis (Lucas Jaye) decide to find and rescue their parents, following some clues that their mother has left them. This is the beginning of an action-packed adventure.
Action comedy; solving crime; family, tweens and teens
The Sleepover has some violence. For example:
- When Margot catches some boys making fun of her son Kevin, she threatens to manipulate the brakes in their parents’ car and make them crash.
- Margot’s former partners break into Margot and Ron’s house. They threaten Margot and Ron with a knife and gun, and threaten to kill them unless they cooperate.
- Margot and the family dog get sedated, and she and Ron are taken hostage.
- The kids attack and overpower an FBI agent, tie him up on a chair and leave him.
- There are many scenes that show characters fighting physically, using martial arts moves, kicks, punches and sticks. They push, wrestle and throw things. The scenes don’t show blood or serious injuries.
- A character fires a gun, causing a chandelier to fall on a villain. This knocks out the villain and traps her, but doesn’t seriously hurt her.
- Margot plans to bring the queen who wears a particular piece of jewellery into contact with a substance that causes strong nausea and vomiting. Ultimately, Ron accidentally comes into contact with it and suffers the consequences.
- During a car chase, Ron deliberately crashes into the side of the villain’s car, causing the villain to crash into some roadwork barriers. He walks off limping and in pain.
The Sleepover has some sexual references. For example, Kevin gets excited that his back briefly brushes against ‘boobs’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in The Sleepover.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Sleepover has some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including when Ron and Margot kiss on the mouth.
There’s no product placement in The Sleepover.
The Sleepover has some mild coarse language and crude toilet humour, including ‘crap’, ‘sucks’, ‘turd’, ‘jeez’, ‘pee-pee’, ‘poop’ and ‘booger’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Sleepover is an action-packed comedy suitable for a fun family movie night. It features hilarious, quirky and relatable characters as well as positive messages about courage, friendship, and taking pride in just being yourself.
It’s worth being aware that The Sleepover does glamorise criminal activity to a certain extent. For example, Margot is admired for her ‘cool’ skills and gear and her mysterious criminal past. Along with frequent action violence and mild coarse language, this makes the movie unsuitable for a young audience. We also recommend warrant parental guidance for children aged 8-12 years.
The main messages from The Sleepover are that there are many ways to be ‘cool’ and that you should be true to yourself and make the most of your own talents.
Values in The Sleepover that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include courage, teamwork and family cohesion.
The Sleepover could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- Criminal activity – you might want to reinforce the message that being a criminal is not glamorous. Also, children should never attempt to solve a crime themselves or put themselves or others in danger – for example, by driving a car without a license, breaking into buildings and so on. Instead, you should always report crime and leave crime-solving to the police.
- The right balance of freedom, responsibilities and privileges for children and teenagers – several characters have to negotiate these with their parents. For example, Lewis seems to be overprotected, whereas Lance feels peer pressure to have a phone and go to parties.
- Bullying – face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying are never OK. We should celebrate our individuality and special talents.