A Mighty Wind

  • Review Date: September 21, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Hilarious folk music mockumentary has some innuendo.
  • Review Date: September 21, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite being a mockumentary, this movie is never mean-spirited; you can tell there's a respect and love for folk music.

Positive role models

The characters lampooned here are still made out to be good people, though often really offbeat.

Violence

One quick slap upside the head.

Sex

Sexual humor about the adult film industry; a fake religion where a flame represents a penis; a model-size brothel in a train set, and more. Mickey stays in a motel room where he hears people having sex next door. He mentions how he used to have sex with chamber maids before a show.

Language

"Hell" and "damn."

Consumerism

The Powerpuff Girls playing in the background of one scene.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drug references. Mentions of Mickey's past drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Mighty Wind includes sexual humor with references to the adult film industry, homosexuality, and a sex-change operation. One character starts cross-dressing and others practice a silly religion based on colors. Language is pretty mild, and while these mockumentary subjects can be hilariously absurd, there's nothing mean-spirited in the comedy; a real love of folk music shines through.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

A MIGHTY WIND is a mockumentary about a very diverse, but earnest and enthusiastic group of people who share a passion that involves performing in front of an audience. PBN (a stand-in for PBS) is going to broadcast a special concert in memory of Irving Steinbloom, a man who was instrumental in the careers of '60s folk musicians. The groups who will participate are a trio called The Folksmen (Spinal Tap alums Christoper Guest, who also co-wrote and directed, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer), a once-married duo called Mitch and Mickey (co-screenwriter Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara) and the relentlessly perky Main Street Singers -- now called the New Main Street Singers because only one of the original group is still participating. This return to the spotlight after so many years creates all kinds of traumas and challenges.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Guest movies always get better on the second viewing, and this one may need three as its best moments are its subtlest, like the fabulously constructed songs that are just one tweak away from the music of the Hootnanny-era, where suburban kids sang folk songs written by slaves and hobos so they could feel more "authentic."

There are wonderfully choice moments, such as the riffs by Fred Willard about his brief stint on a sitcom and Ed Begley Jr.'s Yiddish-peppered discussion of putting the broadcast deal together. Steinbloom's son (Bob Balaban) is so obsessed with the details of the event that he literally can't see the forest for the trees -- he interrupts the live broadcast to warn the audience in the theater to be careful not to get scratched by the twigs in the floral arrangements. The reconstruction of the historical material is devilishly meticulous, well worth hitting the pause button.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the unusual way that Guest and Levy work. They set out the broad outlines of the story and then invite their actors to improvise their parts. How does that make the final version of the movie different from most?

  • Families can also talk about the performers who inspired this movie, like the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Joan Baez. What was it that brought folk music to the forefront in the early 1960s?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 16, 2003
DVD release date:September 23, 2003
Cast:Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean
Director:Christopher Guest
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sex-related humor

This review of A Mighty Wind 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bygavin m. jackson April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Great Guest Film

Not as great as spinal tap, but the best this particular group has done. As these guys go on, their films have more emotional weight, but still stay hilarious. Bob Balaban is great.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 August 23, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Guest and his guests have a ball with folk

If you've ever seen a Christopher Guest movie, you'll know exactly what you're in for when you pop in "A Mighty Wind." There's the initial meeting of all the individual characters, they get together, there's a hilarious climax involving all of them (a dog show, a local play, in this case a concert) and then we flash forward to see how they're all doing now! Knowing that, you can have a great time with these zany folks, and marvel at the improvisation they all do. There's a lot of silly stuff in here, but most of it works. Eugene Levy, who wrote it with Guest, is of course the standout among these talented comedians. Some adult humor, but fine for younger teens.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bysasuke the awsome August 22, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

mocumentry of mocumentrys

i think that this is a good and cleverly shot movie shown as a mocumentry (mocking documentry) there is sexuality in 3 scenes but i think that its not a really big deal. good movie
What other families should know
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action