The movie devolves into an egregious Three Stooges painfest: We're meant to giggle and clap along with Kevin as the crooks get their heads singed with blowtorches and walk barefoot on glass.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Dean Essner - Entertainment Weekly
[A] surprisingly charming film, which may be the first Christmas black comedy for children.
Caryn James - New York Times
Chris Columbus's junky, rambunctiously funny Home Alone is every kid's anarchical wish come true.
Hal Hinson - Washington Post
This holiday contender from John Hughes is too crass, too loud and too violent to be added blithely to Christmas viewing traditions. But it is funny.
Jeanne Cooper - Washington Post
If Home Alone had limited itself to the things that might possibly happen to a forgotten 8-year-old, I think I would have liked it more.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The movie is quite enjoyable as long as it explores the fantasy of a neglected little boy having an entire house of his own to explore and play in, and it still manages to be fun when he exhibits superhuman ingenuity and resourcefulness.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Pic boasts wonderful casting, with Culkin a delight as funny, resilient Kevin, and O'Hara bringing a snappy, zesty energy to the role of mom.
Variety Staff - Variety
A better director could have helped the film out considerably, even saved it... But even then, the script is tremendously weak, by Hughes's standards or anybody else's.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
This is engaging and frequently hilarious. But the joke is stretched a bit too far.
Dean Essner - Film4
Straw Dogs lite.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A hilarious comedy (although not a very believable one -- there can be no eight-year-olds this ingenious) that kids will love and adults won't mind sitting through either.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
A funny, but overrated family comedy
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
There are few movies that can be described as never having a dull moment, and Home Alone fits in this small group. It's the perfect family holiday film.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
watching this all again today with a critical eye reveals that Home Alone's prat-fall humor has gotten completely worn out
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Derek Adams - Time Out
[The movie has] an inconsistency of mood not helped by abrupt editing and Columbus' sometimes self-conscious direction.
Dean Essner - Time Out
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
This slapstick is vicious; a family film?
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Everyone involved ought to be sent home alone -- with no supper.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Overrated. The burglar finale is great, but too much nonsense schmaltz. He was too forgiving of an abusive family. Sequel is a bit darker and a tad better.
Fred Topel - About.com
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
A nice breath of fresh air for Director Hughes. The comedy keeps on flowing.
Clint Morris - Moviehole
It might be dumb and corny, but I actually liked this flick.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Simplistic and stupid, but it made me laugh a lot. And compared to Part 2, it's real close to "Citizen Kane."
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
This is a film which manages to capture some of the best qualities of Christmas in a surprisingly enjoyable format and will provide the whole family with large quantities of festive spirit.
Ali Barclay - BBC
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Looking brave, wise, and yet vulnerable, Culkin is perfect for the role.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
The performances are very good, especially by young Culkin and Pesci and Stern.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Dean Essner - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
This is, perhaps, one of the most memorable child starring roles in movie history.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Home Alone is the apex, the pinnacle, the culmination of every bad bit Hughes has ever written or directed.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Oz - eFilmCritic.com
Forget the cartoonish bad guys, this film is about overcoming fears and taking control of your life.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit