A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of friendship and family are central, yet mostly serve as a catalyst for debauchery -- drinking, drugs, and casual sex. Messages of self-awareness and self-improvement come very late in the day.
Positive Role Models
Lead characters Laura and Tyler have a strong friendship and support each other, but are almost constantly intoxicated with detrimental effects to their careers and other relationships. Their co-dependence is borderline possessive.
Violence & Scariness
A character is seen passed out during a night out. Death and cancer are briefly discussed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual acts -- masturbation, oral sex, full intercourse -- are discussed, implied, and simulated on screen. There is full female nudity and partial male nudity.
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Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "piss," "d--k," "p---y," "crap," and "wanker."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Excessive drinking -- including wine, spirits, and shots -- results in drunken behavior and hangovers. Drugs are purchased and consumed -- including cocaine, pot, and MDMA. Characters smoke roll-up cigarettes. In one scene, a character is seen passed out near a pool of vomit.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Animals is an edgy comedy, based on Emma Jane Unsworth's novel, about two best friends living in Dublin, who spend their time drinking, taking drugs, and having sex. Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) are often seen either drunk, hungover, or under the influence of drugs. They have both casual and longer-term sexual relationships, which include simulated sex acts and -- full female and partial male -- nudity. Strong language is used throughout, including "f--k" and "s--t." Topics such as death, cancer, grief, anger, and borderline addiction are explored to varying degrees. The pair's hedonistic behavior is mostly played for laughs, while the friendship at the core is raw, tender, and realistic. The characters are likable, though perhaps not the role models parents may wish their teens to emulate. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth's novel of the same name, this dark comedy is a touching, funny and unflinching portrayal of female friendship. There are strong nods to the likes of Broad City and Fleabag in Animals. Transporting the story from Manchester to Dublin, with it's history of literature -- and nightlife -- works perfectly for director Sophie Hyde's richly drawn, almost dreamlike cityscape that's light with rebellious idealism, yet heavy with gritty reality. Grainger's Laura is a revelation, while Dublin's bohemian corners is a fitting home for Shawcat's troubled Tyler.
Though occasionally a little try-hard, the script is sharp and witty, and reflects the shorthand developed between the close friends beautifully. The chemistry between the two is infectious and, despite the often grim reality of their lifestyles, the movie avoids labeling or judging too harshly. These complex characters are given a compassionate space to be themselves -- raw, honest, yet still inherently lovable.
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.