Parents' Guide to

Mystery Men

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Witty comic-book story is edgy, with lots of potty humor.

Movie PG-13 1999 121 minutes
Mystery Men Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 16+


When the ladies clothes shrink, a women's breasts pop out of her shirt
age 7+

Great Genre Parody

This is a charming genre parody that should have become more of a cult classic than it has. If your kid has seen and enjoyed superhero movies, s/he should find this funny. Mine last saw Teen Titans Go the Movies, which I'm sure drew inspiration from this. ("Caw-caw" and self-doubting B-grade heroes jealous of the majors.) Violence is more cartoonish and silly than anything in the current crop. I see little to object to for any age above 6: a couple sex inuendos that will go well over the heads of the pre-teens, some flirting and a tame kiss. The (anti-)"hero" gets fried grotesquely but cartoonishly; however, he was meant to deserve it for his arrogance, bravado, and condescension. (Not to mention his opportunism in soliciting product endorsements.) The real heroes – the mystery men – are relatable, sympathetic regular schmos with their own family issues, and their triumph despite their humanity and doubts is a fine message.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This is a semi-successful attempt at a post-modern comic-book style story that has it both ways. It archly comments on superhero sagas while actually giving us a new and cooler version of one at the same time. That is an all but impossible task, and Mystery Men comes closer than many, with its sensational production design and cast members who know how to nail dialogue with just the right spin of irony ("Maybe you'd better put on some shorts," says Jeaneane Garofolo as The Bowler to the Invisible Boy who has just become visible, "if you want to keep fighting evil today.").

Guided by the Delphic Sphinx (Wes Studi), the superheroes learn the importance of self-esteem and teamwork, as though they had wandered into some Mighty Ducks movie.

Movie Details

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