Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Bad Words

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Comedy best for older teens gets laughs with offbeat humor.

Movie R 2014 89 minutes
Bad Words Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 2+
Great and funny

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 18+

Can’t get past the movie putting children in sexual situations, so it’s a no for me

I could handle the sexist, racist and dark undertones and take them for what they were, if it weren't for the fact that, once again, a delusional group of filmmakers and actors have decided that the sexual abuse of children doesn’t count if a) its comedy and b) the child in question is a preteen male. This scene alone makes the movie inappropriate for just about anyone.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (4 ):

BAD WORDS is f-u-n-n-y. But its humor is cloaked with the rage that Trilby has for pretty much everyone in the world, sometimes making it difficult to digest. Were it not for Bateman, who has the talent for making the most unappealing characters sympathetic, the film would have a hard time finding fans. How could one cheer on a hateful guy like Guy? But Bateman, who also serves for the first time as a feature film director here, knows how to milk a joke and when to let it do its thing on its own. And he taps into a humanity that Guy could've easily been stripped of, not to mention a keen sense of pacing and delivery. The rest of the cast acquit themselves well, too.

Nonetheless, Bad Words may alienate rather than attract fans. It pushes the envelope to the point of ripping. Some jokes seem ill-conceived, as when an adult hires a prostitute to show off her breasts to a child. One may laugh, but with a lot of unease. Sometimes that discomfort comes from a good place; you laugh because you recognize the worst parts of yourself. But other times, it also comes from a place where sensible people might ask if the filmmakers really needed to go there. It all adds up in the end to a mostly satisfying and entertaining, albeit discomfitting, movie -- one kids should probably steer clear of until they can spell "misanthrope" without stumbling.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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