A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Trust and follow your curiosity.
Positive Role Models
Teen "Junior Stargazers" are celebrated for their intelligence and ability to be comfortable in their skin, and they display wise-minded behavior about themselves and their parents.
Most primary characters are White. Supporting/ensemble characters are more diverse, including a decorated Black general, a Guatemalan attaché, and female astronomers. Minor characters include a Black cowboy and a Native American soldier. Religious diversity: A school teacher leads children in prayer, and there's frequent mention of one family being Episcopalian, while others declare atheist beliefs (and several of the actors are Jewish). Gay men shown in respected, creative roles.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Viewers are constantly being reminded that they're watching a play, so the violence clearly isn't real -- e.g., police chasing suspects with a "shoot-out" that sounds like popping sounds. Many characters carry guns in their waistbands, though it seems more to indicate the era and their characters' attitudes than to be used to hurt or threaten. Military personnel hold guns and, in one heated moment, point them at a person with a threat. Suicidal references. Father chases and smacks his son in a way that's portrayed as humorous rather than abusive. Family dealing with the loss of a parent.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full-frontal nudity of a fragmented female body (head out of frame). Through a window, a teen watches her mother have sex, which is depicted by showing the moment before activity occurs, with a close-up of the mom's bare feet on the bed next to a man standing above her. Kissing.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Infrequent swearing includes "bitch" and "what the hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Brands are used to help set the 1955 scene and define characters: A giant bottle of Chanel is seen prominently in the bathroom of a glamorous Hollywood movie star, and a wealthy older man drives a Cadillac.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Constant smoking, including cigarettes and a pipe. An older elementary school student smokes cigarettes with adults. Adults drink martinis.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Asteroid City is a star-studded Wes Anderson comedy that deconstructs the acting and writing process. It's about a TV show that tells the story of how a play came to the stage, while simultaneously presenting a colorful realization of that production that looks like a film. The layered storytelling isn't too confusing because Anderson keeps character identities and time periods clear. Because viewers are reminded frequently that they're watching a play, iffy content has less impact, as we know it's not "real." What is likely to drop a jaw or two is a moment of full-frontal female nudity (the body is fragmented, with the head out of the frame) and a reference with a confirming image to the fact that a young voyeur watches her mother having sex. One plot line involves a family coping with the death of a parent, and many characters carry guns in their waistbands, though it seems mostly to indicate the era and their characters' attitudes (though one is pointed at someone in a heated moment). There are some suicidal references. It's set in the 1950s, so it's not especially surprising that everyone smokes, including a 10-year-old. Adults sip martinis and drink beer. Swearing isn't frequent but includes "bitch" and "what the hell." The movie's teen characters are celebrated for their intelligence, innovation, and curiosity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
All of writer-director Wes Anderson's hallmarks are present and accounted for as he takes viewers on a journey of creativity that's unexpected and unusual. But "unique" doesn't always translate to "entertaining." In the case of Asteroid City, your brain may be trying to understand and interpret what's happening so quickly that it could be hard to assess whether it was actually good -- for some, a second viewing may be required.
Teens have frequently sparked to Anderson's movies, perhaps because tweens and teens are frequently the most level-headed characters in his films. Here, there's a whole set of young "brainiacs" who are wise and confident beyond their years, including possessing a high emotional intelligence. But to truly appreciate this endeavor, you need to have an understanding of the 1950s and what was going on then in America at large, as well as in the theater and on screen. Ultimately, it's likely that only teens who identify as students of STEM, drama kids, film nerds, or Wes Fandersons will find Asteroid City out of this world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Goofy Comedy Movies to Watch with Tweens and Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate