A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's vital for principled citizens to take a proactive part in their communities and their countries. Success is earned. No matter the odds against fulfilling a dream, it's rewarding and important to try.
Positive Role Models
Courage, determination, resourcefulness, and commitment of the candidates is exemplary. Value of strong communication skills is convincingly portrayed. Though not all candidates are successful, their risk-taking and dedication are admirable. Folks who work alongside the candidates (family, friends, political allies) are depicted as selfless, hard-working. Ethnic diversity throughout.
Violence & Scariness
Footage of Ferguson, Missouri, post-Michael Brown shooting riots.
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A few curses: "bitch," "s--t," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Some brands (e.g., Modelo, Pacifico) are recognized in background shots.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional casual consumption of alcohol (beer, wine). A character smokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Knock Down the House follows the primary campaigns of four women -- Cori Bush (Missouri), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Paula Jean Swearengin (West Virginia), and Amy Vilela (Nevada) -- as they fight to win Democratic nominations for congressional office. Swearengin is hoping to "primary out" Senator Joe Manchin; the other three are running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. All of them are long shots; the outcomes are mixed, but their stories, while having some commonality, represent four unique, progressive individuals challenging a rooted political establishment. Viewers can expect a few curses ("bitch," "hell," "s--t"), and some footage of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots in the aftermath of a police shooting of an unarmed black teen. An occasional alcoholic beverage is consumed by some candidates and their staff during "down" moments; someone smokes a cigarette. This inspiring, informative movie is recommended for mature tweens and up. Even an awareness of the results of the four elections doesn't diminish the suspenseful and emotional journey the audience takes along with the candidates. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This vibrant, relevant documentary, released very soon after the events it depicts -- congressional elections of 2018 -- is as fresh and inspiring as the women it showcases. Winner of the 2019 Sundance's Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Knock Down the House is a testament to Director Rachel Lears' commitment, professionalism, and instincts. She couldn't have known which, if any, of the inspirational women she opted to follow might win, and yet she compiled wonderful footage of all four of them. There are as many intimate moments with the candidates as there are public ones. Most certainly, outcomes dictated editing choices in the movie; emphasis is on the battle waged by Cortez, now a formidable voice for her community and her politics. Notably, the rooting interests here lie with the Democratic party. Cori, Alexandria, Paula Jean, and Amy are all Democrats, all novices as opposed to professional politicians, and all lean left. Highly recommended for folks of all political persuasions for its humanity and its portrait of contemporary women who are answering the call for citizen involvement in our elections.
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.