Box art for Beethoven


children & family, comedy

An adorable puppy named Beethoven wins the heart of George Newton (Charles Grodin) and his familyonly to grow up into 185 pounds of romping, drooling, disaster-prone St. Bernard!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
0 out of 5

A sloppy but lovable pooch of a movie.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this hit comedy is thin on story but big onslapstick. Inept, repeatedly humiliated adults may annoy some parents.Don't be surprised if the kids start pestering you for a dog afterwatching this movie. Be aware of some questionable behavior, likeout-of-control kids and a negative depiction of working mothers. Thebest age group for this film is 6- to 8-year-olds, who will love thepup and the comic mayhem that ensues. Older kids may still enjoy this,particularly dog lovers, though they'll likely find the story thin.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about some of the bad behavior in the film. Why was Charles treated so poorly by his kids? Did he deserve it? How do you relate to your own parents? What explanation does the film give for treating working mothers so poorly?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 1
    see all Beethoven reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews


- Shannon J. Harvey, Sunday Times (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Funny. Do not ever want a dog like that.

- dreamfaeries, Friday, July 9, 2010

4 stars

Nice classic with cute made sequels

- ScoopOnline, Sunday, December 13, 2009

4 stars

"Beethoven" isn't a great family film, but it is surprisingly sweet and amusing. It's one of those films that is strangely attracting, though you can't really understand why. I think a lot has been built up on this film just because there were some sequel spin-offs that were more than horrible. (The 3rd and 4th sequels with Judge Reinhold were some of the worst attempts at comedy. Ever.) But the original was a nice, family-friendly film that accomplishes what it promised. Charles Grodin plays George Newton: Family man, businessman, NOT a doggy-man. But things change rapidly when a runaway Saint Bernard named Beethoven comes to the Newton residence. Newton's children immediately get attached to the animal, but Grodin's character doesn't exactly like the fact of a big ol' slobbering dog being around his house. So there are some gags as Grodin gets mad at Beethoven for certain things he does throughout the film. But then, evil animal vet Dean Jones tries to take Beethoven, and Newton decides to fight back for his family and bring the doggy back home. "Beethoven" isn't anything very original, and it isn't anything very memorable, nor is it excellent quality gags. But it's a surprisingly pleasant and good-natured family film that doesn't resort to crude humor or language like other so-called "family films" out there. Ivan Reitman, who has brought us "Ghostbusters," "Kindergarten Cop," and "Stripes" co-produced this film. He's a talented director, even if he sometimes makes average films. The thing about his films are, that even when they're average they are still pretty funny and strangely watchable. And though I'm not sure what all a producer does on a film, I think he probably did a good job with something on this film. :) Charles Grodin is one of those actors that I've always liked because he seems very down-to-earth and regular. He is a subtle comedian that never goes OTT and doesn't come off like ANOTHER Jerry Lewis-Jim Carrey hybrid. "Beethoven" isn't anything great, but it's strangely likable and enjoyable. When compared to other so-called family films, it's pretty nice. It doesn't skimp on the gags (even if they're not very great) and it never turns stupid (like the 3rd and 4th film). All in all, "Beethoven" delivers what it promises, and it does it pretty nicely.

- matertenebraum, Saturday, August 8, 2009