Buddy Games

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Buddy Games Movie Poster Image
Obnoxious "bro" comedy is both funny and problematic.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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.

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Shows value of friendship and how we thrive when we have support of our friends. But includes iffy messages about relationships and the role of women, and jokes based in characters' sexual identity.

Positive Role Models

No positive role models here. Cast lacks diversity, and all women are either mothers or sexual conquests; many are punchlines for their lack of attractiveness. A very wealthy character is cool in many stereotypical ways.

Violence

Games have rough or painful consequences; paint guns and arrows are used. Animal attacks. Physical fight including punching and kicking. Car crash. Gun fired. Characters are kidnapped and tied up. All violence is played for comedy. Jokes about death via suicide.

Sex

Several instances of full-frontal nudity with male genitalia and rear ends (real and plastic) on display, and constant conversation about it. Couples are shown having comical sex (no nudity). Crude sex jokes and languages. Frequent talk from men about women as disposable sex objects. Innuendo. One character dresses in sexy attire (short skirts, lingerie, cleavage-revealing tops). Woman in sexual situation wearing only a bra. Semen jokes.

Language

Extremely frequent, strong language, including "ass," "a--hole," "bitches," "crap," "dammit," "goddammit," "idiot." Crude sexual terminology: "c-m," "d--k," "jizz," "p---y," "t-ts." Constant use of "f--k."

Consumerism

A Tesla is shown as an aspirational vehicle for the rich. Huge Bud Light sign. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Heavy drinking throughout, including going to a bar. Pot smoking. One game involves drinking a considerable amount of beer. Mentions of cocaine, OxyContin, and eight ball with inferences of use from main characters who aren't admirable. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Buddy Games is a raunchy, gross-out "bro comedy" written, directed, produced by, and starring Josh Duhamel. It's about a group of insufferable, immature, middle-aged White men who drink heavily, smoke pot, make fart jokes, and insult and try to one-up each other. The primary focus of their male bonding is on their genitals, and viewers get several viewings of said body parts -- including a long scene in which one man relentlessly slaps another's forehead with his testicles. Women exist only as mothers or as disposable sexual objects, and coarse language is constant ("f--k," "d--k," and much more). The competitions among the friends include comical violence, including kidnapping as a form of revenge. With perhaps the exception of co-star Dax Shepard, the characters are too old and uncool for any teen to want to imitate; this is more for viewers in the midst of their own midlife crisis than for kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJeanielaine December 11, 2020

Raunchy and juvenile

Buddy Games is one of the worse movies I've seen in years. Terrible story -line, bad acting, and raunchy antics only a 4th grader would find amusing . Two... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byflowermonkey November 7, 2021
Teen, 13 years old Written byDosomething2 April 17, 2021

Lots and lots of words

My family and me did not like how much slang words were in this movie. I definitely did not like the movie and my whole family honestly hated it, would not reco... Continue reading

What's the story?

Bob (Josh Duhamel) and his friends get together every year to play the BUDDY GAMES, a series of silly challenges in which the winner gets bragging rights. After an accident causes a rift and a five-year break from the games, Bob organizes a reunion, upping the stakes so that the winner will take home $150,000.

Is it any good?

Only in 2020 would one of the year's funniest movies also be the most regressively offensive. In many ways, Duhamel's raucous vanity project (he writes, directs, produces, and stars as the film's only cool character) is a throwback to the early 2000s: the kind of dumb comedy you'd expect to star Seann William Scott, about a bunch of White guys who treat each other and everyone else disrespectfully. It's all in terrible taste, but a lot of it is very funny, although it doesn't reach the highest of the lowbrow standard, The Hangover. It's more like a more socially insensitive Grown-Ups -- and when Adam Sandler outclasses you, you've got problems. 

Diversity is barely existent here. Jokes based in sexuality abound: There's stereotypical behavior from the movie's one gay character, who's in the closet (again, what year was this film made?). It's shocking that outspoken feminist Olivia Munn is the love interest: Her character, Tiffany, exists only as Bob's beautiful girlfriend who waits for him at home while baking pies in lingerie -- seriously. And when she and another wifey, separately, aren't given attention for a moment, they pout and act out, sometimes violently. In the meantime, the men talk about women as something to "do" rather than as human beings. They're louts, and that's kind of the point here. They're not admirable, aspirational, or imitable. Buddy Games is a fantasy film for the guy past his prime who hasn't lived up to his own expectations: Bromance over romance! Stupidity over substance! Gross over growth! And while teens should be steered away from this tacky comedy, for adults, it may be a guilty pleasure. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes raunchy, gross-out comedies popular. Why does it make people laugh to see someone else do something outrageously wrong?

  • How are women portrayed in Buddy Games? How can perpetuating stereotypes be harmful?

  • How are drinking and drug use portrayed here? Are there consequences? Why is that important?

  • The film says that you get old when you stop playing games. What do you think of that? 

  • Does the movie's strong language seem necessary, or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

Themes & Topics

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