Parent and Kid Reviews on

Barbie

Barbie: Movie Poster: Barbie and Ken on a giant pink-and-white B
Our Review
age 12+

Based on 181 parent reviews

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age 16+

Ruined by Political Messaging and Cheap Potshots

The movie has some strengths--the sets are technically well done and the acting is pretty good. But parents have to realize that the film is super political and be prepared for that, especially if you have a son. Let me say that I am a proud feminist and have fought my way through male-dominated STEM fields since the 90s. Why, then, do I pause at recommending this movie? There are no intelligent, empowered, or even "good" male characters (they're basically mindless losers and ogres, albeit with excellent acting from Ryan Gosling); the film implies that men have no raison d'etre to exist other than to serve women; female solidarity is ultimately celebrated while any male solidarity is overtly deemed a risk to societal peace and stability; and the film insinuates that men shouldn't really have any personal dreams of success or agency. They can't even ask to be respected. The movie is advertised as being for everyone, but upon watching it, it's clear that it isn't. Just as Sasha tells Barbie that she made "women feel bad about themselves," based on the reaction of my kids, this movie likely is going to make boys feel bad--or rather, even worse--about themselves (see Richard Reeves's 2022 book on the subject). The bottom line is we need to do better for all of our kids, or we're going to have big trouble in the decades to come.
45 people found this helpful.
age 13+

It’s PG-13 and I think that’s about right. But you know your child.

I saw Barbie with my teen daughter who has loved Barbie all her life, and now appreciates Greta Gerwig’s filmmaking. She loved it. The film has hilariously over-the-top silliness and a thoughtful message about finding your place in the world and the struggle between being bright and shiny and also flawed and frustrated, while also exploring the power dynamic between men and women in today’s society. Yeah, there’s a lot going on, and some of that might confuse younger audiences, but I don’t think that’s hurtful in any way. Barbie’s having an existential crisis in the movie, so it’s not all fun and games, but the women in my audience responded to the America Ferrera character in a way that indicated they felt deeply understood. There are a couple references to genitalia (or the lack thereof) that may be a little cringey if you’re watching with a younger viewer, but I’m much more concerned about violence in movies than that kind of humor. Basically, if you’re the kind of parent who thinks everything has an agenda right now, you’re going to think that about this movie. But if you’re open to inclusivity and a conversation about what women want and deserve in life, you’ll probably enjoy it like we did. And Ryan Gosling is HILARIOUS. He goes all out. But the acting is great across the board. I’m looking forward to seeing it again when it comes to streaming.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
37 people found this helpful.
age 11+

Worth seeing & discussing with tweens and up

Is this a kid’s movie? No. And not because it’s political (really, I’m not sure I saw the same film some of these folks are talking about!) or because it’s suggestive. It’s not a kid movie because it’s overall themes and message will go over a young child’s head and there isn’t enough just-kid-fun stuff to engage them. And that’s okay, because this film wasn’t created to be a kids movie. The target audience - tweens, teens, and adults - will enjoy the balance of silliness and seriousness. It actually doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as some viewers have. But it does have a point and if you’re paying attention you’ll see it play out. it’s not “girl power” or “down with men”… it’s that we all, men and women alike…should have the freedom to be the person we want to be. To express emotions. To be strong. To feel insecure. To feel confident and proud. To be imperfect and to be human. At its core the message is about doing away with the idea that a woman or a man must behave a certain way - no matter that way is - in order to be doing life right. That’s not political. As a Christian parent with two college age kids, I am grateful my son knows he can choose the elements of traditional masculinity that he wants, while also be able to admit he’s scared or sad or not an athletic guy. And that my daughter can get dolled up for a Barbie film, be all the feminine traits she wants and also be strong and bold and brazen…and be called those things vs “pushy” or worse. That’s the message here in this film. So yes, if you want your middle school child to see a positive message like that, this isn’t a bad film to watch together and discuss later….just don’t take your 5 year old if you don’t him or her to be bored.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
36 people found this helpful.
age 14+

very political

Very political. I am not sure I am allowed to mention one particular hot-button political issue this touches on, as my last review got deleted for mentioning it. It has to do with sexuality and gender identity. (Moderator note: You can mention gender and sexuality, as long as you avoid value judgments about that topic. We do not support hate speech.) There are several mentions of patriarchy and a scene were little girls are bashing their barbie's heads and saying "we are not mothers"
36 people found this helpful.
age 14+

Such a disappointment

So disappointing. The reviews are right. We had a party of 9. Two were kids. One didn’t understand it. Both didn’t like it. Not a kid film. This was not the fun Barbie movie we expected. The man hatting was so over the top. The whole 'villain' was men. Men and the patriarchy. Men ruin everything. Men are dumb. Men can be manipulated. Which bring me to another point. Manipulating men does not shine a good light on women. This was the plot to save the other babies and get Barbieland back. Then at the end the father (white) was learning Spanish for his wife. He’s struggling but the wife is helping him say a sentence. Only for the daughter to tell him that’s culture appropriation. Seriously, a sweet jester of a husband is trying to learn his wife language. And they made that issue too. It was out of place and unnecessary, but any reason for the movie to hate on a man they took it. You can have a movie about women empowerment with out putting down men. This is not a show for kids.
31 people found this helpful.
age 13+

An IMPORTANT Teen-Appropriate Film

My husband and I just got home from seeing ... we prescreen most films before we take our kids to see them as well. I don't think my 8yo is ready for the film. To all the reviews here complaining that it's not for kids.. WELL.... that might be why the film itself is rated PG-13. I might let my daughter see it at 12 if she's "ready". All kids are different. My husband and I LOVED the film. It felt fresh, it was laugh-out-loud funny, affirming, and most importantly-- kind. This IS a feminist film emphasizing the need to know who each of us are (male, female, or anything else). It focuses on the need to find purpose and agency. These are not only the needs of women. I hope that when ALL three of my children are old enough they see the movie and find the message of self-love, acceptance and the need to discover who they are (regardless of what everyone else wants them to be) valuable. To top it off, the performances were excellent! To specify the moment I decided this was a true PG-13: The cat-calling in the "real world". This would upset my daughter. The reality is that once she turns 13 she will have heard and seen worse (unfortunately-I'm just being realistic). I'll be there for her when she does witness that for the first time. Barbie also talks about death a lot at the start of the film. She would love Ken's obsession with horses though.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
26 people found this helpful.
age 16+

Barbie disappointed her purchasing age group

The movie is rated PG-13, but really I think the proper rating would probably be NC-17. Unfortunately, there is a lot of language that is inappropriate for any child under 16 years old, much of the scenes are also inappropriate and something that doesn’t need to be discussed within a movie theater But within a home. It makes a mockery of men, hard-working people, and I feel that even makes a mockery of women with a slight mockery of Latin households. Also, I feel that there was also many scenes the children under 16 wouldn’t understand as it’s more adult oriented. I took my 10 year old daughters to see it and should have looked further into the reviews before watching the movie. It’s too bad that the makers of Barbie, couldn’t have it done a movie that was PG rated for more audiences to go see it. Especially that it is that young group that actually buys their products.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
19 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Smart and hilarious film

Went to this movie with my mom and 12-year-old sister and had a great time. Don't be fooled by these reviews, this movie has a great message. It emphasizes the importance of both men and women existing outside of their relationship to one another, and how only one gender having the power is bad whether it's one side or the other. There are a few innuendos, but they will either fly over a younger teen's head or they will get it and be fine. One (bleeped!) Use of Mfer. This movie was hilarious and very reflective of society. The outrage should tell you how good it is.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
14 people found this helpful.
age 12+

16+?? Really?

The movie was great. I’m sick of people pretending that teens are dumb and don’t understand the reality of this world. Women get sexualized by random people on the streets. Kids know that. I knew that at 12.

This title has:

Great messages
14 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Greta Gerwig didn’t disappoint

We had a great time watching Barbie. I love all the movies by Greta Gerwig and was not disappointed. As a child that grew up playing with Barbie, I loved the plot. My teen said it was “comedic genius”. My 9-year-old boy laughed a lot. I understand this is not your standard kids movie but Barbie fans that are up-to-date on the body image concerns will likely enjoy it.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models
13 people found this helpful.