30 Minutes or Less

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
30 Minutes or Less Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Language + sex + violence = funny, but not for kids.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byAB7 September 29, 2019

Really good, lots of f**ks and b**bs though

This movie is so damn funny. If you don’t find this funny, there’s something wrong with you. The perfect blend of Eisenberg and Aziz is culminated with thousand... Continue reading
Adult Written byPlatypus123 June 16, 2015
This is a very funny good movie but a lot of sexual content some nudity and profanity
Teen, 14 years old Written byClorox bleach January 1, 2021

Heist comedy

Funny heist comedy good for kids 10 and up.
Teen, 14 years old Written byXzannazX April 18, 2020


I think it’s just plain rude and disappointing don’t bother if your under 17

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and comedy

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