Bruce Almighty

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Bruce Almighty Movie Poster Image
Happily deranged comedy has typical Carrey humor.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 101 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 60 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Bruce learns to not blame fate or God for everything that goes wrong with his life and his career, and that his actions, no matter how well-intended, have consequences. The positive messages are undermined by a turnaround that doesn't feel entirely sincere.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bruce begins the movie as a jealous, spiteful, petty person, who, when he receives great powers, uses them to humiliate his rival and peek up women's skirts. Ultimately, he learns to accept his current position in life, and grows to find contentment by making the best of his situation.

Violence

A character gets beat up by thugs after trying to defend a homeless man. A character is hit by a semi-truck. While not paying attention while driving, a character drives into a streetlight and wrecks his car.

Sex

With supernatural powers, a man raises a woman's dress on the street, exposing her panties. During foreplay, this same man uses these powers to work up his girlfriend into a highly aroused state. Later, he points at his girlfriend's breasts and says that they've gotten bigger. References to breasts being "perky," jokes about Playboy and Penthouse Forum magazine.

Language

Frequent profanity: "f--kers," "s--t," "ass," "hell." A character uses the middle finger gesture.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine at dinner, but do not act intoxicated.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bruce Almighty is a 2003 Jim Carrey movie concerned with fate, prayer, and spirituality. In spite of these loftier themes, it's still a Jim Carrey comedy, with hammy physical humor, profanity, and sexual humor and content. For example, given God-like power, Carrey's Bruce immediately uses the power to make a woman's dress rise up on the street, then has a monkey come out of the rear end of one of the thugs who had previously beaten him up. A recurring joke in the movie concerns Bruce's dog and his inability to be properly house-trained; as "God," Bruce has his dog use the toilet. All in all, Carrey's humor is a bizarre, incongruous pairing with deeper themes of spirituality.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bybolandparke April 9, 2008
Needless offensive language and flippant sexual context makes this a not-bvery-funny film for parents with children. The use of the F-word is entirely unnecessa... Continue reading
Adult Written byjigould April 9, 2008

There is a great message in this movie.

The two main characters used the Lord's name in vain several times. Jim Carrey's character was very disrespectful to God. And, Jim Carrey and Jennif... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byHeheGonzalo August 16, 2016
Teen, 16 years old Written byHowlingSnail September 9, 2013

Overall, this film is quite...PLEASURABLE!

Great movie, but a few things to be wary of. There is quite a bit of swearing, mainly fucks and shits. There's a fair amount of sexual content too. After B... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jim Carrey is Bruce Nolan, a TV news reporter who wants to do serious stories and thinks he should be the anchor. When he loses that job to a rival (Steve Carell), Bruce furiously explodes on the air and is fired. He thinks that life is very unfair, so he complains to God. God (Morgan Freeman) challenges Bruce to try out His powers, as long as he doesn't tell anyone or interfere with free will. Bruce spends the first week using the powers for cheap thrills (i.e. he parts the red soup instead of the Red Sea and makes the cars blocking him in a traffic jam move out of the way) and petty payback. But then Bruce has to realize that power and responsibility go together and that he can't be happy until he understands that other people's happiness has to come first.

Is it any good?

Oh, to be able to do anything without any guilt or accountability -- that part of BRUCE ALMIGHTY is fun and very funny, especially when Bruce makes his rival mess up on camera. But the part about Bruce's redemption is not successful, because viewers are never really persuaded that Bruce cares about anyone but himself. There is a hollow and even faintly creepy sense that the people behind the movie don't really believe the message themselves.

Bruce's carelessness in lassooing the moon (a reference to It's a Wonderful Life that is underscored later on when we get a glimpse of that scene on television), unleashing an asteroid, and making hundreds of lottery winners, is portrayed as humorous. Even though we get glimpses of the disasters he causes, Bruce never has to clean up the mess. And when Bruce tells God that he wants to solve the problems of world hunger and peace, God tells him that is a "Miss America answer" and His goal seems to be to get Bruce to think about what would make him happy with no regard for anyone but himself and the woman he loves. The result is a movie that, despite some very funny moments, makes the same mistake as its main character without learning any lessons about maturity or responsibility. It teeters between happily deranged comedy and sentimental fable, but is unsatisfying in both categories.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they would do if they had God's powers. How would you decide the best way to respond to prayers? Most of the prayers in this movie are "petitionary," meaning that they are asking for something, usually love, money, or status-related. What other kinds of prayers are there?

  • Is it OK to laugh about God, prayer, and spirituality? Is anything off limits when it comes to comedy?

Movie details

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