A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

  • Review Date: November 5, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011

Common Sense Media says

Raucous, crude stoner comedy is funny but not for kids.
  • Review Date: November 5, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Amid all of the satire and drug- and sex-fueled humor is the idea that good friends look out for each other, through thick and thin. Even when Harold and Kumar start to grow apart, there's really nothing that can take away their many years of companionship.

Positive role models

There's lots of very iffy behavior here, but despite the constant pot smoking, Harold is a responsible (if slightly stiff) family man, and Kumar finally starts to grow up. Some of the movie's humor is based on racial stereotyping.

Violence

Lots of graphic violence, including slit throats, people who are burned, gunshot wounds spurting blood, car crashes, explosions, fires ,and an explicit shot of a man's penis getting maimed. Much of this is meant to contribute to the film's humor, but it's still pretty explicit.

Sex

Many crude sexual references and both male and female nudity (boobs and butts), as well as a few brief on-screen sex scenes and suggested sex acts. Purported images of genitals are presented in a cartoonish way. A man appears to masturbate while giving a back rub to a partially clothed woman. Another man in his 20s spends a lot of time discussing his plans to deflower a virgin, who appears to be either under age or barely of legal age.

Language

Near-constant swearing, including "f--k," s--t," "d--k," "c--k," "p---y," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "damn," "crap," "goddamn," "oh my God," and lots more.

Consumerism

Several brands get prominent placement, including Apple products, the White Castle fast-food chain, and 3-D TVs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Too many drug references to count. Harold and Kumar smoke marijuana repeatedly throughout the film. A raucous teen party includes beer-drinking guests who appear to be young enough to be in middle school. Other guests indulge in other drugs, including cocaine and Ecstasy. Harold and Kumar are unwittingly drugged with an unidentified substance that gives them a very vivid hallucinogenic trip. A baby is given several strong drugs (initially accidentally, but later it's less clear), and a recurring gag plays her reactions for laughs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the third "Harold and Kumar" stoner comedy follows the best pals on a late-night Christmas Eve adventure in which they rediscover their lost friendship ... and, in the process, get really, really high. There are endless scenes featuring drugs and drug references (including a recurring gag with a drug-taking baby), plus tons of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and much more), graphic violence, crude comments, gratuitous nudity (male and female, boobs and butts), suggestions of underage sex, and teen drinking. All of that said, the film does have heart, and Harold and Kumar's friendship -- as always -- is a strong one.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn), the famous stoner duo, have drifted apart. Harold has become a married Wall Street banker with a house in the suburbs, and Kumar has ... not. He's still a die-hard pot smoker, who lives alone in a filthy apartment. But in A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS, a mysterious gift brings the pair back together, and soon they're running through the streets of New York during a wild night of misadventures that features Russian mobsters, a giant killer snowman, a waffle-making robot, and, of course, plenty of drugs. Their mission is to find a Christmas tree, but the real goal is to rediscover their friendship.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The third installment of the Harold and Kumar franchise goes so very wrong in so many ways: the baby who gets dosed with several strong drugs, the accidental shooting of a revered holiday icon, the celebrity who pretends to be gay so he can bed women (the gay-in-real-life Neil Patrick Harris, again playing a debauched version of himself), the racial stereotypes, the underage drinking, and (of course) the over-the-top drug consumption. It's also quite funny.

Nobody is spared in this stoner comedy, which is part of the reason it works. Also, it has heart. This isn't just a film about getting high; it's a movie about friendship and growing up ... and getting high. Harold and Kumar realize that though they've grown in different directions, they both learn from each other. In the process, they become better friends and better people. (And did we mention they get high?) This film is in 3-D, though not for any obvious reason. If the main goal was to show a giant marijuana smoke ring coming right at the viewers, the filmmakers succeeded. Otherwise, the effect is mostly unnecessary.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about drugs and drug use. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of social attitudes about marijuana? Why or why not? Does the movie address any of the consequences of drug use? As a comedy, is it expected to?

  • Also, how does the movie portray teen sex and drinking?

  • How do Harold and Kumar change over the course of the film? Why is Kumar so reluctant to grow up? Why do you think the friends drifted apart? Does their friendship seem believable? Were drugs really the only thing that could bring them back together?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 4, 2011
DVD release date:February 7, 2012
Cast:John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris
Director:Todd Strauss-Schulson
Studio:Mandate Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence

This review of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written by~Troll~ November 7, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

A+

Great movie!! Funny. Not near as bad as they make it sound.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bycheerlover552 November 4, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Funny!

great movie loved it!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written byA Mom November 11, 2011
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE! Lots of reviews here obviously written by kids!

This movie is funny, no doubt about it, but the few positive messages do not make up for the awful messages! The drug use is constant and it isn't just pot, there is cocaine and ecstacy too. The worst part about the drugs is that a toddler is given cocaine, pot and ecstasy throughout the movie, and it is seen as funny, even by her father. In addition, this is the first time commonsense media has let me down with a review by not listing the sexual content! The scene where a man m********** while giving a woman a backrub, is not just that, it is against the woman's will as she is manipulated into it and has to kick the guy off of her. The bare breasts and butts isn't a one time thing, but several times, including a scene of several women as NUNs in the showers nude, full on female nudity, and a scene with a man posing as Jesus walking around with two bare breasted women as his "goddesses". The one sexual intercourse scene is while a teen girl begs the guy to "give it to her p****" and then berates him for going soft. The same girl later tries to get an adult man to "f***" her and it shows her on her knees trying to get his pants off. The message of old friendships being key in life, family as a priority, are great, but still this movie is over the top for young teens and kids. I took my 13 year old son and his friend after reading the reviews here and even they admitted how inappropriate it was. They loved it, but still were embarrassed and knew it was inappropriate for them. Oh yeah, my husband, who is usually much more lenient about what our son watches just reminded me about two scenes where male genitals are shown....one in claymation and one where the man's p***** is frozen to a pole. Commonsensemedia.org failed miserably this time at warning parents of what is in the movie that may be inappropriate.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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