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Parents' Guide to

Britney vs Spears

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Language, drugs, violence in disturbing case study.

Movie NR 2021 93 minutes
Britney vs Spears Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Great for kids and parents!

It is a very interesting show about a singer's downfall. It is appropriate for ages 11 and up because it does speak a little of drug misuse but that isn't anything a middle school-aged kid hasn't heard about.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

One of the most talked-about subjects of its moment, this documentary is likely to elicit either fascination or disdain. Some of those interviewed in Britney vs Spears seem either hesitant to talk or unwilling to offer full details of their involvement in the celebrity's career and life. Other voices are notably absent from complicit participation, including all of the Spears family, though they're seen in significant video footage and some new material in Britney's own words and handwriting. Instead, filmmaker Erin Lee Carr and her research partner, journalist Jenny Eliscu, pick through documents, highlight photographs, scroll through recreated text and voice messages, and interview a tight circle around the star (notably two ex-boyfriends as well as a biographer, former managers and assistants, lawyers, and doctors) to piece together the strange story of the conservatorship of Britney by her father.

One of the most unique aspects of Britney vs Spears is the granting of quite so much camera time to Carr and Eliscu themselves. Their real-time discoveries -- and the impressions and opinions they share about the subject -- aren't particularly compelling cinema. Nor are they in any way objective: Fan Carr admits she was "obsessed" with Britney as a young girl, and Eliscu sheds tears recounting a time she dropped her role of journalist to do Britney a favor. They lambast the "patriarchy" controlling the singer. Their partiality also comes across in the film's line of reasoning and effects (like ominous music over dad Jamie Spears' image or calculated absence of some well-known images of Britney's "meltdown"). This is advocacy more than reporting, but if you're just interested in perspectives on what has happened to the star over the last two decades, you'll certainly find them here.

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