30 Minutes or Less

  • Review Date: August 5, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Language + sex + violence = funny, but not for kids.
  • Review Date: August 5, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though there are moments of bravery and empathy, the movie's final message is fairly negative. The bad guys' evil scheme is excessively violent, showing anger, lust, and greed. And the way the heroes respond isn't very noble, either.

Positive role models

Most of the characters are greedy and/or selfish. Even the two heroes don't display the most admirable behavior. They fight, lie to each other, and treat each other without much respect. During the course of the action, they do learn to empathize with one another, but their bad behavior is also rewarded.

 
Violence

The main character spends most of the movie with a live bomb strapped to his chest. Guns are pulled fairly often, and a flame thrower is used (with one flaming victim). One character has a pen gun. There's blood, and at least one character dies. One character hires a killer to bump off his father. There are car chases and crashes and physical fights. Characters watch scenes from a Friday the 13th movie on a big-screen TV.

 
Sex

The bad guys visit a strip club, where several topless women are seen. One of the main characters receives oral sex (off screen) in a car. One character receives a lap dance on screen. He plans to open a massage parlor that obviously caters to sexual desires (there's a fake commercial for it after the closing credits). Also lots of strong sexual innuendo and humor.

Language

Strong, constant language includes "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "t-ts," "c--k," "bitch," "d--k," "hell," "a--hole," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," and more.

 
Consumerism

Facebook and "O'Douls" (non-alcoholic beer) are each mentioned once. The "5 Hour Energy" drink is used as part of a joke.

 
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No one is shown to have a drug problem, and no one is a dealer, but the main characters are seen smoking pot and drinking beer. The bad guys drink beer even more often, though the beer drinking more or less stops after the bomb goes online.

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this subversive, mature comedy earns its R rating with lots of adult material -- from partial nudity to drug use, violence, and swearing. The villains catch the main character, strap a bomb to his chest, and force him to rob a bank. Guns are also pulled, a flame thrower is used as a weapon, and there are car crashes, fights, and at least one dead body. A strip club scene includes topless women; there are also some implied sex acts (including oral sex) and lots of innuendo. Language is constant, including "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "t-ts," and "c--k." Characters also drink lots of beer and smoke some pot.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In Grand Rapids, MI, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) hasn't lived up to his potential. He works as a pizza delivery man, and his only friend is schoolteacher Chet (Aziz Ansari) -- whose sister (Bianca Kajlich) Nick is secretly in love with. Meanwhile, Dwayne (Danny McBride) is fed up watching his lottery winner father (Fred Ward) waste his riches and decides, along with his buddy (Nick Swardson), to hire a contact killer and take out the old man. To do this, they need money. So they conjure up a plan to kidnap a pizza delivery man, strap a bomb to his chest, and force him to rob a bank. Nick becomes the victim and calls on Chet for help. What follows is a crazy, reckless race against time.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For 30 MINUTES OR LESS, Oscar nominee Eisenberg re-teams with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. The result isn't quite as clever as that hit, but 30 Minutes or Less isn't bad. It's like a live-action version of a vulgar, violent cartoon: It's cheerful, willfully subversive, speedy, and lightweight. The filmmakers have gone out of their way to nab an "R" rating, inserting all kinds of swearing, beer-drinking, pot-smoking, and gratuitous nudity ... though it's all often put to hilarious use.

 
The violence, on the other hand, seems a bit misplaced, especially the use of the bomb vest; it recalls all-too-serious images from the news. Still, the movie never stops being fast, funny, or crazy, and the combination of talent helps sell it. Eisenberg turns in a believably panicked performance, and he's nicely matched by stand-up comic Ansari. Even the bad guys show their humanity from time to time, and Ward is a scream as the nasty old dad.
 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does the movie's comic tone affect its impact?

  • Are Nick and Chet role models? If not, what makes them interesting characters?

  • How does the movie depict drinking and drug use? What are the real-life consequences of substance use?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 12, 2011
DVD release date:November 29, 2011
Cast:Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Jesse Eisenberg
Director:Ruben Fleischer
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence

This review of 30 Minutes or Less was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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, okay 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bydnatereyes October 26, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

30 Minutes or Less

This movie is very provocative. There is sex, violence, sexual references, use of drugs, use of alcohol, and provocative language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byrockabillyrocker September 30, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

My Review

I'm 17 and went to see this in the theater. I thought it was funny and overall a good movie. It was extremely foul but there was nothing said or discussed that you wouldn't hear at a high school or for that matter just walking down the street. Not appropriate for kids under 16.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 5, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Very funny and raunchy, and just plain fun, but adults only.

This movie is not for kids at all. There is plenty of raunchy humor including brief but graphic nudity, very brief drug use in the opening scene, some suprisingly graphic violence at the end, and a non-stop assault of incredibly strong language. I counted 264 F-words in total, which is some of the strongest language in a movie that we have had in recent years.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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