Broadcast News



Witty TV newsroom tale for mature comedy fans.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 133 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

After he gets beaten up in a schoolyard, a boy has a bloody mouth. Shooting erupts while a news crew reports on a rebel army in a Central American jungle. The news bureau does a special report on a Libyan plane that shot at an American base in Sicily.


After he gets beaten up in a schoolyard, a boy has a bloody mouth. Shooting erupts while a news crew reports on a rebel army in a Central American jungle. The news bureau does a special report on a Libyan plane that shot at an American base in Sicily.


A couple is shown in the bedroom after sex with a brief rear shot of the man. The shadow his erection makes on the wall is played for laughs. A man compares working with a woman to "great sex." Some propositions, kissing, and fondling, and plenty of sexual tension. A woman slips a package of condoms in her purse before going out for the night. A TV reporter covers a story on date rape; he interviews a victim who describes an attack.


Some profanity, including "f--k," "damn," "ass," "hell," "asshole," "prick," "bastard," "goddamnit."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are shown drinking beer, wine, and cocktails. One character gets drunk in his home on "screwdrivers." A woman asks her date if he's OK to drive after they leave a restaurant; the scene implies that he has been drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is heavy on dialogue and "grown-up" humor and a better choice for mature teens and up. Characters discuss journalistic ethics and pose occasionally existential questions about life, careers, love, and success. Sexual content includes rear male nudity and a discussion of date rape for a news story. Violence is mild with some background shooting during one journalist's field report. Characters are realistically flawed and self-absorbed, but work together in a supportive way.

What's the story?

BROADCAST NEWS is set in the fast-paced Washington, D.C., bureau of an unnamed network. Jane (Holly Hunter) is a talented, highly intelligent, and high-strung producer who is great at her job but lousy at her personal life; Aaron (Albert Brooks) is a smart, experienced reporter often overlooked for anchor spots because he lacks on-camera charisma. An admittedly underqualified TV sports reporter, Tom (William Hurt) has just been hired for a news job at Jane and Aaron's bureau, much to their chagrin. Jane and Aaron obviously have a deep respect for each other, but Aaron carries a torch for Jane, and he stews when she becomes attracted to Tom, whom she doesn't respect professionally but can't resist physically.

Is it any good?


Broadcast News offers a breathless behind-the-scenes look at TV journalism. The newsroom scenes, in particular, are a treat to watch: Joan Cusack galloping frantically through the bureau to deliver a videotape with seconds to spare; Tom giving Aaron tips on anchoring and camera appeal; Jane talking Tom through a special report on Libya. And the scene where Aaron finally gets a stab at anchoring is priceless. Indeed, Brooks gets some of the best lines and dialogue -- his speech about Tom, his musings on "slipping," his heartfelt admissions to Jane, to name a few -- and he gives his character a profound depth as that smart, sensitive, sometimes cruelly sardonic guy who doesn't get the girl but enjoys intellectually intimidating the guy who does.

It's fun to watch the male posturing between Brooks and Hurt, who is also good -- if a bit wooden -- as someone who has coasted on his looks most of his life. And Hunter crackles in her role, bringing spirit, charm, and warmth to a character that might have been one-dimensional in the hands of a lesser actress.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this is an accurate depiction of TV journalism. Why does Jane get so upset when she learns Tom faked crying during a report? Do you think this type of reporting is more or less common today? Why does Jane, a producer with strong ideals, struggle with her attraction to Tom? Why is it hard for these characters to have "normal" personal lives? How do their personalities make them suited for this type of work?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 16, 1987
DVD release date:October 5, 1999
Cast:Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, William Hurt
Director:James L. Brooks
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:133 minutes
MPAA rating:R

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bylelexy2000 April 9, 2010

Broadcast news

I thought it was a really good movie about News people. Holly Hunter was really funny in that movie. There is sometimes alot of language in that movie in the beginning of the movie they use the F... like 10 times. there is one sex scene in the middle of the movie. it's a confusing love story too because Jane Loves Tom and Aaron her other co-worker Aaron loves her. It;s just a funny movie
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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