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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
21 Jump Street's main message is that friendship trumps high school stereotypes and popularity contests -- as long as you keep an eye on what's important (relationships) and what's not (your position in an imposed hierarchy).
Positive Role Models
The two lead characters are sometimes inept and inane and not always supportive of each other, but in the end they realize the error of their ways.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of it, but generally played cartoonishly (and lots of slow-motion scenes). A character rejoices when his friend shoots someone (it's a gross-out moment); guns are drawn and pointed at someone's head. Though most of the fight scenes are cartoonish in nature, blood is shed. And cops rejoice after arresting and shooting people.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Three people are shown in a state of undress while in the middle of a sex act (though there's no graphic nudity); in an end-credits scenes, two couples are seen together. Also lots of crude language and sex talk, including discussion of teens hooking up and/or wanting to. Some kissing and sexual gestures; genitalia are drawn on family photographs and also can be glimpsed briefly in a non-sexual context.
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Very frequent use of strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "p---y," "prick," "d--k," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," and "oh my God" (as an exclamation).
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Products & Purchases
It's a teen movie, so the products that teens use -- laptops, phones, etc. -- are on display. But there's not a lot of label-dropping.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The plot centers around the arrest of a drug ring that deals in a high school; they've created a synthetic drug whose effects have been chronicled on a website. The video has gone viral, and the 21 Jump Street agents have to stop the drug from spreading, too. There's also pot-smoking and some underage drinking at parties.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 21 Jump Street is an often crude (but irreverently funny) action/buddy comedy based on the popular '80s TV series that launched Johnny Depp's career. This version stars popular actors Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as bumbling cops who attempt to redeem themselves by going undercover to bust a high school drug ring. The storyline leads to plenty of drug content (there's also pot smoking and some underage drinking), and you can also expect lots of strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," and more), crude references, and sexual innuendoes. 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 is how you remake a franchise. Rather than borrowing heavily from its '80s TV predecessor or mining the same, now-tired jokes as some other movies descended from previously known projects, 21 JUMP STREET is solidly in the present, even as it flashes back to the past. Its material is modern, its jokes whip-smart, and, as a result, it's a delight (as long as you're "mature" enough to handle the crude stuff, of course).
21 Jump Street's wit comes from the way that it pokes fun at high school and how its sociological makeup -- who's popular, who's not, what are kids these days up to? -- has changed over the years. The film actually twists some stereotypes on their heads. (The troubled kids are actually environmentalists and academically serious.) The drug plot is almost incidental, but not so incidental that it's a wash. It still propels the film forward and provides a great backdrop for the central theme to unfold: the friendship shared by the two leads. And Hill and Tatum have great chemistry, a main requirement of buddy cop movies. Both are in fine form. Who else is in fine form? Johnny Depp, who graciously makes a cameo that's hilarious and cheeky and satisfying. See this movie, stat.
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.