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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
U.S. president appears to be dumb, depressed, and easily manipulated; cynical producers and bored host of TV show regularly rig the game.
Violence & Scariness
Terrorists appear in a training video (learning to shoot); a terrorist breaks someone's arm; terrorists plan a suicide bombing; a U.S. soldier in Iraq is shot in the arm and sent home with his arm in a sling; an explosion ends the film, but you don't see it or any bodily effects, only learn that characters have been killed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couples kiss (Sally and William, and then, Sally and Martin -- they go on to have sex in her dressing room, offscreen, though witnessed by William); Omer is called "Omersexual" some song lyrics refer to sexual activity (including "Superfreak" and a made-up song, "Let's get raunchy tonight"); Iqbar is stereotypically gay.
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Pushing it for a PG-13: 3 f-words, plus a couple of s-words, "hell," "bitch," "ass," "damn," slang for sex.
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Products & Purchases
American Idol is an obvious reference throughout; Osmonds record; Coal Miner's Daughter movie poster; Ferrari; Kangol; Pepsi.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Unlit cigar; beer and wine-drinking (some as background, in a bar); references to the First Lady's "happy pills," which she has her husband take as well (presumably, a mood-elevating prescription).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this satire pokes fun at President Bush, American Idol, and Western fears of terrorism (the would-be presidential assassins here are "Arabic" and comic). The film makes the TV show and the presidential administration look equally dishonest. A character cheats on her fiancé. Characters make fun of "white trash." Terrorists carry and fire guns, and plan a suicide bombing; one terrorist says he enjoys torturing people; another character blows himself up to protest his girlfriend's betrayal (you don't see explosion or deaths). In Iraq, a character is barely shot (grazed) and sent home on his first day. Characters drink beer and wine, and the First Lady takes pills for depression. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
American Dreamz skewers President Bush and American Idol in order to make obvious points: game shows are rigged, the President is clueless, and the most powerful man in the U.S. is Simon Cowell.
The movie offers uninteresting jokes about contestants (essentially, providing imitations of previous American Idol contestants, from Fantasia to Kelly to Clay, whose appearances make you re-realize the originals are already self-parodies). Indeed. While the movie presumes its easy targets are "bad," its parodies aren't very clever either. And so the entire exercise seems more redundant than inspired.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate