A Mighty Wind Movie Poster Image

A Mighty Wind



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

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.


One quick slap upside the head.


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.


"Hell" and "damn."


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.

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?


Guest movies always get better on the second viewing, and this one may need three, as its best moments are its subtlest. The fabulously constructed songs, for instance, are just one tweak away from the music of the Hootenanny 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/Streaming release date:September 23, 2003
Cast:Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean
Director:Christopher Guest
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sex-related humor

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Adult Written byamandaisl April 9, 2008

Witty humor for many ages

If you liked the style of Spinal Tap or Best In Show, then you'll enjoy this movie just as much. The humor is intelligent and very well executed. It may be a little to old for the younger generation as it speaks to an audience that knows about the folk music scene in the 60's. But overall, it was extremely funny and the songs are quite catchy.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 August 23, 2014

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
Adult Written bygavin m. jackson April 9, 2008

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.