A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Somewhere in Malibu's Most Wanted is an argument for being yourself and accepting people for who they are, but you have to sit through a lot of jokes to get there.
Positive Role Models
The characters are mostly one-dimensional parodies, but there is something sweet and innocent about main character B-Rad, who so wants to have black rapper style.
Violence & Scariness
A character who thinks a gun isn't real shoots himself in the foot. He is later shot in the rear end with a harpoon. Characters pretending to be gangsters point fake guns at another character's head. A character keeps a fake gun in the band of his sweat pants after being ordered to hold up a liquor store; when the clerk sees it, he, his wife, and his daughter, pull out real guns and point them at the characters head, chest, and groin area, respectively. A drive-by occurs between two rival gangs, culminating in the main character standing on a car and firing two uzi machine guns, killing no one but damaging cars. A Hummer, and later a Mercedes, are driven through a house. A character is thrown out of a club and tossed into a dumpster.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The lead female character's back side is filmed at close range as she enters a coffee shop; this leads to a fantasy sequence in which she takes off her top in the coffee shop. The lead male character is seen flirting in bed with two women. A character enters a bedroom and mistakenly believes that he sees oral sex being performed.
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The "N" word is used on several occasions. A fake campaign flier pledges support for "bitches and hos." "Ass, " "hell," "damn," "Goddamn." Slang popularized by Snoop Dogg: "shiznit," "biatch."
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Products & Purchases
A character is sent into a liquor store to buy 40 ounces of Olde English malt liquor. At a party, this is the only beverage characters drink.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen holding and drinking cans and bottles of malt liquor. Early in the film, a character is shown holding a glass of champagne in a limousine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Malibu's Most Wanted is the story of a wealthy white gubernatorial candidate's son who believes he's a rapper "from the streets" ... of Malibu. Much of the humor is derived from satirizing class and cultural differences between relatively privileged white people and African Americans from poorer neighborhoods, and how the two perceive each other. The "N" word is used several times, as is other profanity. There's gunplay -- with fake guns at first, but inevitably culminating in a drive-by that turns into a machine-gun battle between rival gangs. There's a fantasy sequence in which a young woman takes off her top, and in one scene a character mistakenly believes he sees oral sex being performed.
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Is It Any Good?
Yes, MALIBU'S MOST WANTED is dumb, and yes, it's a 15-minute skit stretched out to 80 minutes, but it's very funny. Subtle and sophisticated are not terms that belong anywhere near this movie, butcompared to the numbingly formulaic "black people teach white people about how much more there is to life" themes of films like Bringing Down the House and Head of State, this movie is more even-handed and generous-hearted. And unlike those other movies, it has enough confidence and respect for the audience to put some of its best jokes in throwaway lines instead of spotlighting them with everything but a drum roll.
The relationship between Diggs and Anderson's characters is deliciously loopy as they evaluate each others' performances in the midst of complete catastrophe. Snoop Dog makes a surprise appearance that only those who can recognize his voice will catch. And if the movie's final message is, "Be yourself, even if that self is a talentless poser whose appreciation of another culture is all-encompassing," at least that message is kind of sweet.
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.