Scene It? Bright Lights, Big Screen



Great party game's film clips appropriate for teens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the game itself sends no negative messages, many of the film clips show violent, puerile, lewd, or inappropriate behavior -- and do so without the benefit of context.

Positive role models

Very few of the film characters we see in these clips are honorable (or at least not doing anything honorable in the scene). Often, they're fighting or making jokes at another person's expense.

Ease of play

There's nothing difficult about the controls of the game. The difficulty level on the trivia questions, though, is rather high. This is a game for film buffs.


The game uses clips from Hollywood films, some of which contain violent imagery, like guns firing and martial arts combat -- complete with blood. One example: In a clip from The Terminator, we see Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot a man in the chest with a shotgun at point blank range.


One film clip shows a woman making out with a tree. Several contain sexual references. One example: In a scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral, Kristin Scott Thomas makes a condom joke to a priest. Also several of the female avatars show ample cleavage.


In some of the movie clips, you will hear language like "damn," "hell," and "ass."


The scenes from all these Hollywood films can be viewed as promotional clips for the movies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Crystal meth is referenced in one film clip. At least one other shows a character who is high and hallucinating. Some scenes show characters who are holding and/or drinking from beer bottles.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun, engaging party quiz game uses video clips from real Hollywood films. These scenes are often from R-rated movies and, while they don't show R-rated material, they still feature language, humor, violence, and themes that many parents would deem inappropriate for young children. Parents should also know that children without a decent knowledge of Hollywood and celebrity culture are likely to get quickly lost and frustrated. Plus, a majority of the questions will be about movies that young children won't have seen. This version is more edgy than its predessors and thus its targeted age is for older teens.

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What's it about?

SCENE IT? BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG SCREEN is a movie trivia game with a quiz show style set-up. An animated host leads the players through several rounds of questions, which are presented in several different formats. The most common format involves showing a clip from a movie, and then asking multiple choice questions about that movie (although not necessarily about the clip just shown). Other formats include anagrams, rebuses, and picture puzzles that disguise the name of a movie or an actor. Players will also hear sound clips from films or see still photos from movies that have an element missing from them.

Is it any good?


Just like its predecessors, Scene It? Bright Lights, Big Screen is a very fun party game -- as long as the guests at the party are really into movies. People who are not big moviegoers often scoff at the level of minutiae involved in some of the questions ("How would I know what year Ghostbusters 2 was released?"). But for people who take pride in knowing whether or not Shia LaBoeuf was in I, Robot, the Scene It? games are a blast. Bright Lights, Big Screen doesn't bring much new to the table (other than new questions and new clips), but this edition marks the series' first appearance on both Wii and PS3, which makes it definitely worth noting for owners of those two consoles.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about which of these movies they'd like to see. Which clips appeal to them and why? Do any of the clips make them not want to see the film in question?

  • How can watching movies together be a good family activity? Can they be a springboard for discussions about the issues presented in the movie?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:November 17, 2009
ESRB rating:T for Drug Reference, Mild Blood, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Violence, Sexual Themes

This review of Scene It? Bright Lights, Big Screen was written by

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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; OK 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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The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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