A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
For all of its hot-button content, the movie could theoretically be seen as conveying a message about tolerance, acceptance, and the triumph of love. But it's wrapped in so much controversy and shock-value comedy that it's hard to perceive the signal in the noise.
Positive Role Models
Bruno -- the character -- is a fairly self-absorbed fool, possessed of a minimal understanding of the world outside his head. He's also portrayed in a very broadly stereotypical style. Many of the people he interacts with are portrayed as clueless and intolerant -- with Bruno, of course, pushing all their buttons to make them appear even more so.
Violence & Scariness
An Ultimate Fighting event staged for the film features bloody, brutal blows. There's also scuffling and scrapping, and a naked woman whips a man with her belt. Bruno often runs from angry mobs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Constant explicit discussion and depiction of sexual acts. Nude buttocks and full-frontal nudity of both genders -- though the male scenes in particular are shown in close-up and at great length. On-screen sexual acts, including depictions of penetrative sexual activity blacked out by on-screen black boxes. Discussions of homosexuality and heterosexuality. One sequence depicts a "swingers' party," including on-screen sex acts with multiple partners. Discussions of venereal diseases.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Constant, strong, and inventive crude language, including "f--k," "balls," "s--t," "dick," "vagina," "p---y," "c--k," "ass," "anus," "a--hole," "anal," "piss," "goddamn," "oh my God," and much much more. Also frequent use of epithets including "white trash," "retarded," "faggot," queer," "homo," and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Apple Computer products are mentioned. Celebrities are frequently named and featured on screen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Depictions of drinking, sometimes to excess. Smoking. Discussion of drug use, primarily Ecstasy.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mockumentary from comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is even edgier and more sexually explicit than his previous outing, Borat. It's full of intentionally shocking material, including a startling amount of nudity (both male and female full-frontal), as well as actual sex acts (black bars block out genital areas) and lots of discussion about both sex and sexuality. And then there's the strong language (from "f--k" to "p---y"), violence (including a bloody Ultimate Fighting event), drinking, and drug references. Bottom line? Cohen's point is to expose intolerance with his extreme antics, but he does it not by just pushing the envelope, but rather setting it on fire. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to have a bad time watching BRUNO -- the comedic daring that Cohen brings to the process is just too intense to ignore. But, at the same time, it's also hard to not compare the film to Borat and find it wanting. What was once fresh now feels recycled, and Bruno has a much less coherent story than Borat's coast-to-coast journey.
Director Larry Charles still has a hand on how to craft this kind of material -- ambush interviews of unsuspecting people, moments where Bruno is pitted against the mob armed with nothing more than the misplaced courage of his idiotic convictions, and gags designed to shock -- but neither he nor Cohen nor their army of writers seem to have thought as much about the shape of the story as they did about individual bits. Episodic, scattershot, and a little unfocused, Bruno is sporadically funny, but it's hard to not think that the howls of controversy it generates will be louder than the audience's laughter.
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.