A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Offers a satirical look at racism, which it paints as a thing perpetuated by politicians and the media as a way of maintaining control and giving voters/consumers something to hate. But it goes further, depicting the White people in charge as seeing Latinos as nothing more than a "product," not even human. Leaves little to the imagination but could still spark interesting discussions.
Positive Role Models
Main character shows courage toward the end, but his transformation feels unsatisfying. Characters are generally perceived as ill-behaved misfits whose antics are supposed to be funny.
Main characters are all Latino, of varying backgrounds from many parts of the world. One, "Big Mac," is Afro-Latino. While some supporting characters, including main character's family, offer positive representations, due to the nature of the movie's satire, the characters don't have much agency, and -- until the finale -- are generally victims. White characters are largely villains.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Fighting, punching, choking, strangling, hitting with blunt objects, bashing head. Blood, blood sprays. Female characters grabbed roughly. Characters' bodies twist and distort into odd shapes. Jump scare. Surgical tube yanked from character; howling in pain. Characters going into meat grinder. Face torn off. Character bit in arm by old man; blood shown. ICE agents burst into homes, arresting families. Upsetting, angry images from TV news. Incarcerated people zapped with Taser. Brief nightmare image of bleeding walls. Fall from ladder.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Two people remove their clothing; a woman wears red, lacy underwear. One character falls on top of another; sex implied. Elderly woman shown naked, breasts visible. Metal "testicles" hang from a car. Strong sex-related dialogue. Sexual gesture.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Strong language includes many uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "ass," "hell," "Jesus Christ" (as exclamation), "oh my God," "vagina," "STDs," "herpes," "gonorrhea," "stupid," "dumb," "moron," "pissed," "pee." Racial slurs include "wetback," "beaner," "black bean," "nacho," "burrito," etc. Middle-finger gesture.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main character smokes a joint. Character drinks whiskey in private. Characters share bottle of brandy.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American Carnage is a satirical horror-comedy about a group of Latino characters who get arrested on racist charges and are sent to work in a strange, sinister elder-care facility. Violence includes fighting, hitting with blunt objects, choking/strangling, blood sprays, and gore. There are also jump scares, upsetting real-life TV news footage, and people turning into monsters. Characters kiss, and there's an implied sex scene, as well as sex-related dialogue and gestures. A woman appears naked, her breasts are briefly visible; another is shown in lacy underwear. Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more, in addition to racial slurs like "wetback" and "beaner." A character smokes a joint, another character secretly drinks whiskey, and characters share a bottle of brandy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This promising satire/comedy-horror movie winds up spreading itself a bit too thin, never fully committing to any of its components. Even its skewering of racism feels blunted. Beginning with an incendiary opening credits montage, American Carnage boldly sets itself up from the start. The montage runs through images of Latino heroes, Latino stereotypes, and politicians and media outlets naming Latino people as enemies, being told to "go back to where you came from." And as the movie gets fully underway, JP uses his quick wit to shame two privileged, White racists at the drive-thru window. But not long after that, things start to soften up, sliding into goofy -- but far from hilarious -- comedy.
JP and his four new buddies might have been lifted from any raucous high school comedy. They seem more concerned with causing trouble than solving problems. The movie's horror elements come in late and only sporadically. They feel tentative, as if unsure whether to fall on the side of funny or scary. The final reveal (foreshadowed by an out-of-place movie poster in JP's room) is handled in a routinely surface way. It brings back a little of the racism commentary, showing how the villains can't even see Latino people as human beings, but it still feels cheapened by one-note dialogue and silly visual effects. Ultimately, American Carnage fails to live up to its promise: It's too bland to be incendiary and too soft for true carnage.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.