A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this film is intelligent and witty, it contains extremely strong language (mainly British curse words) and lots of drug use by the bands, as well as sexual references and situations. There are also some fistfights and a suicide.
What's the story?
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE is a film about the early days of punk music that should give some extra exposure to its talented cast and the mainly underground music it covers. The star is Steve Coogan, a remarkable talent who shines as Tony Wilson, a Manchester TV news reporter looking to make his mark. After witnessing an early concert by the Sex Pistols, who are on the verge of shaking up England, he gets his station to televise one of their performances. Soon he is participating in a revolution as he gives exposure to the Clash, the Buzzcocks, and several other pioneering punk acts. He comes to devote himself to it full-time, founding the groundbreaking Factory Records as well as the Hacienda Club, which is now considered the birthplace of Rave culture. Along the way, he watches the rise, fall, and tumultuous careers of now-infamous acts Joy Division, New Order, and the Happy Mondays.
Is it any good?
Funny, smart, and exciting, this film has some of the best dialogue you'll hear, and Coogan's narration will have you in stitches, blow your mind, and make you look forward to seeing his next film. The entire cast, an ensemble of eclectic British characters that Guy Ritchie would be proud of, turn in great performances, but after Coogan the most noteworthy is probably Sean Harris as Joy Division's Ian Curtis, capturing all the distinctive aspects of one of rock's most tragic figures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this rebellious music became popular when it did. Why do you think this musical/cultural movement was so tied to a world of drugs and self-destruction? Why did Wilson have the faith that he had in the self-destructive characters, and how did the Hacienda Club and Factory Records fly out of his control?
- In theaters: August 16, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: January 21, 2003
- Cast: John Thomson, Nigel Pivaro, Steve Coogan
- Director: Michael Winterbottom
- Studio: Miramax
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong language, drug use and sexuality.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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