Borat

  • Review Date: March 4, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006

Common Sense Media says

Brace yourself -- Borat is here. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: March 4, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006

Age(i)

2
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8
9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's comedic point is to target intolerance, vulgarity, and classism/racism, which are revealed as Borat interacts with regular U.S. citizens. Borat's own misogynistic, socially unacceptable behavior is all part of his act.

Positive role models

Although the point is not to act like Borat, kids may misunderstand and try to emulate Borat's stunts.

Violence

Broad, slapsticky violence (wrestling, etc.); Borat commends the United States' military actions in Iraq; a horse falls down; a bear roars at children and scares them.

Sex

Frequent body parts on display (cleavage, men and women in underwear or naked); Borat calls a 900 sex line (nothing explicit); verbal references to sex acts ("sexy time," offers to buy women on the street) and body parts ("vagina," "c--k," "hair from pubis"); allusions to homosexual acts ("rubber fist in my anus"); a prolonged scene in which Borat and Azamat wrestle, naked (penises are blocked out, but scrotums are explicitly set in each other's faces); frequent sexual slang and conversation (Borat's misogyny is a running joke); Borat has a date with a prostitute (pretty tame, but mention of paying for sex); references to a car being a "p---y magnet" photos show Borat's son's penis, full frontal.

Language

Some profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "c--k," and "son of a bitch," plus occasional colorful phrases ("Eat my t-ts").

Consumerism

Devotion to all things Baywatch. Borat appreciates the materialism and luxury of the United States, as compared to his run-down village in Kazakhstan.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, references to drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens are definitely going to want to see this movie because it has been promoted non-stop on MTV, Comedy Central, Saturday Night Live, among others. It stars cult sensation Sacha Baron Cohen of Da Ali G Show. It's undeniably raunchy, vulgar, and funny; Baron Cohen uses his character Borat to expose the effects of ignorance by targeting ignorant behavior. But unless you want to dive under your seat or clap your hands over their eyes and ears, this is absolutely not kid entertainment. Fake "reporter" Borat lampoons Americans' sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance, classism, and ageism by putting people on the spot and peppering them with questions. The movie is full of stuff like naked men wrestling (an extended, rather explicit sequence); visual gags about prostitution, feminism, and marriage (a wife's death is celebrated); toilet humor (literally); and some physical fighting/clumsiness. Jokes aimed at U.S. popular culture and beliefs include references to Baywatch, Michael Jackson, "Dirty Harold," Pentecostal church practices, Jews, rodeos/cowboys, etiquette, patriotic pride, hip-hop culture, and college fraternities. Language includes "f--k," "c--k," "s--t," "ass," "p---y," and just about anything else you can imagine (some in subtitles).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Borrowing from Andy Kaufman, John Waters, and Steve-O, BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN is a faux documentary that tracks the cross-country antics of Kazakh TV reporter Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen). Borat and his hairy, camera-shy producer Azamat (Ken Davitian) are sent to America to learn about "the glorious country U, S, and A" and make a documentary for their local Kazakh TV station. While almost everyone (real people, not actors) he meets on the way goes along with his contorted language and vulgar behavior, it's not always easy to tell where their awareness begins and ends. Some appear to wholly buy his routine (a loudly homophobic and patriotic cowboy advises him to shave off his mustache so he doesn't look like a "terrorist"), but most seem at least vaguely conscious of his strangeness ... and the possibility that he and his unseen camera crew have ulterior motives. Still, they know about reality TV, so they imagine they understand -- or might control -- the humiliation of their encounters with Borat. Not so much. Borat interviews stern-faced "feminists" (laughing at their suggestion that women might be equal to men), talks to politicians Bob Barr and Alan Keyes (a genuine "chocolate face," Borat marvels), cavorts with Gay Pride revelers (with whom he drinks, showers, and spends the night) and Pentecostal churchgoers (where his behavior is, suddenly, the least outrageous in the room). And he proclaims repeatedly his love for all things American. A rodeo audience goes along when he lauds "America's war of terror" ("May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq"), but ultimately becomes uncomfortable when he hijacks the U.S. national anthem in order to praise Kazakhstan.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Director Larry Charles' movie is less innovative and subversive than it is observant, but it does show that laughing at ignorance constitutes its own kind of bliss. The case might be made that Borat picks (on) easy targets: frat boys, rodeo cowboys, hotel desk clerks, smug Southern dining club members. Although the government of Kazakhstan has protested publicly against the character, Baron Cohen's fans (familiar with his origins on Da Ali G Show) appreciate Borat's gotcha comedy. Baron Cohen never breaks character, maintaining the persona of an outspoken, misogynistic, anti-Semitic manchild who -- while shopping for a vehicle with which he can "kill gypsies" -- announces cheerfully that he bought his wife when she was 12.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about deliberately offensive humor. Does Borat's mockery of ignorance and prejudice help the people he targets understand his point, or are they clueless "victims" of his humor?  What point is the movie trying to make?

  • Ask your kids if they think viewers who identify with some of the intolerant/over-earnest people Borat interviews will see themselves in a new light. Or will they feel upset by the on-screen encounters?

  • Does the satire help or simply entertain? How can you tell the difference?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 2, 2006
DVD release date:March 6, 2007
Cast:Ken Davitian, Luenell, Sacha Baron Cohen
Director:Larry Charles
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Comedy
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:for pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language.

This review of Borat 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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Teen, 13 years old Written bypunkrocker July 1, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Hilarious for teens!

This is my new favorite movie. It is the funniest film i have ever seen. Seriously. Everybody said it's crude and vulgar and racist, so don't watch it if you're easily offended! You should have known that it will be very offensive when you decided to watch it. Really, people... The only inapropriate parts where when there are pictures of Borat's son's penis. That was gross. Also, there are naked men wrestling. But there is a black bar over one of them, and the other has rolls of fat covering his genitals. Oh, and they say the f-word a lot. WATCH THiS MOVIE IT'S FUNNY!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bybradley4846 October 3, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Took Awhile

i made a mistake and watched this by myself. its a movie to be watched with more then just you. It took me awhile to relize how funny it was. there is a lot of sexual things i dont think i can name them all. there is the naked fight scene. and r rated language is used (f**j and c**k). DVD is really fun to use also. Great movie, worth buying

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 year old Written bycrazydenza10 August 16, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

really bad iffy 18

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

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