O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Teens might enjoy this offbeat Odyssey adaptation.

PG-13 2000 106 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 27 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

A fantastic movie!

This is a great movie with fantastic music and lines abound. My family and I have watched it so many times we have it almost memorized. However, there are a few things of note: 1. The KKK is prominent in the movie 2. The sheriff is depicted as Satan 3. some language 4. some violence, especially with the cyclops 5. some alcohol 6. the sirens seduce Everett and his friends 7. some scary parts 8. George Nelson is based on the infamous gangster Babyface Nelson 9. Due to its depiction during the Depression, racist terms are used (not strong ones, however)
age 12+

An Odyssey into Strangeness

O Brother, Where Art Thou feels like it captures the essence of what is means to be a Coen brothers classic. It is bizarre, and at times a bit coarse. The story feels haphazard and nonsensical (and it always will remain so to a degree), yet it come together into something rather more homogenous at last - not a negative aspect, certainly, just a different style. My attempt to keep an index of curse words fell apart after a while, as the effort from recording them probably would have eventually doubled the time it took me to see the movie, had I persevered in it. However, a rough total may help you judge the movie's suitability for your situation. I found approximately 5 strong religious profanities, a few uses of "a**", 10 "h***" words, 11 "SOB" or variations, and 32 "da**" or "G**_da**" words. The n word is also used once. To summarise, although the language may be mild in form, it is very common throughout the film, and should be a major consideration as to its' suitability. Sexuality is kept to a minimum, with a siren-related scene and some sex-appeal references being the farthest the movies goes in this regard. The sirens, bathing in the river, are dressed in loose garments, and begin to seduce the protagonists, but we don't see what eventuates, as we fade out. All in the context of its neo screwball/slapstick comedy nature, O Brother, Where Art Thou also addresses the Ku Klux Klan and Christianity. One character claims to have made a deal with the devil. Altogether, this is one of the stranger of the Coen brothers' films, and although not entirely intended to be taken seriously, its high language count, sometimes explicit violence (cows are pelted with bullets and hit by a car, a flaming cross falls and kills a man, there are some fistfights and similar battles) and varied subject matter make this imperatively acceptable only for a more mature audience.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Movie Details

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