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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie works hard to change perception of people with disabilities as "less" than anyone else. It presents them as equals, especially in sequences where the entire company is shown to be one big, loving family.
Positive Role Models
Everyone here is shown to be goodhearted, caring about others, doing good in the world. In particular, actors Jeremy Vest, Zack Gottsagen, and A.J. Murray are extremely admirable, brave, and unstoppable in their attempts to overcome personal challenges. Gottsagen in particular is a success story, having gone on to appear in the delightful The Peanut Butter Falcon.
Violence & Scariness
Guns, threats, shooting within context of the fictional Western movie. Characters die, and death is mentioned, also within context of fictional movie. A character discusses his constant pain in real life.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to/discussion about sex, sex therapy, pornography, dating. Scantily clad women shown. Mention of "whorehouse" and "prostitute." People working on movie shoot are shown nursing crushes on one another; a man asks a woman to marry him. A mother bathes her adult son, who has cerebral palsy (no nudity). Other sex-related talk and/or innuendo.
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Infrequent language includes uses of "s--t" and "a--hole."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Becoming Bulletproof is a documentary about a nonprofit collective that makes a movie every year using both people with disabilities and nondisabled people as cast and crew. It's a lovely, big-hearted film with terrific messages of courage, inclusion, and equality, but it also has some mature content. There are a couple of uses of "s--t" and "a--hole," and Western violence is shown in the context of the movie within the movie, including threats, guns/shooting, and death. Scantily clad women are shown, and several scenes have fairly strong sex-related talk/innuendo. One man in particular talks about pornography and sex therapy. 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 lovely, big-hearted documentary does an excellent job of showing that people with disabilities are absolutely, utterly human. It also tells a compelling story of the hard work that goes into making a movie. Becoming Bulletproof is an excellent, matter-of-fact mix of elements. It tells the story of the nonprofit, founded by the able-bodied Halby family, which grew surprisingly quickly and eventually became a full-time effort. (Will Halby was a co-writer on Bulletproof.) Then it focuses largely on three of the actors (Gottsagen, who later starred in The Peanut Butter Falcon, Vest, and Murray), offering relaxed, candid interviews with them rather than the typical, airless-studio talking-head variety.
The film occasionally switches from nonfiction into scenes from the finished Western, moving into Sergio Leone-like widescreen and sepia-tone color -- and it really does look like a professional, entertaining effort. Bulletproof director Peter Lazarus says he's interested in making the best movie possible, and his patient, kind, yet firm work with all of the actors is admirable. But the most moving thing about Becoming Bulletproof is watching this band of all kinds of friends absolutely loving being in each other's company.
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.