Chatroom

  • Review Date: May 19, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Shallow, violent movie could spark teen discussion.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

These characters aren't particularly deep, and this downbeat movie does not have a cheerful ending, but it should still give thoughtful teens something to talk about. Can chatrooms be trusted? Should they be avoided? What is the purpose of chatrooms? What are the advantages and disadvantages of chatrooms versus real life?

Positive role models

No role models here, and no one to emulate or look up to, but teens may find themselves identifying in some ways with the confused teens in the movie. Adults are rarely shown, and when they are, they simply ignore the teens.

Violence

A character flashes to a suicide attempt, sliced wrists with blood shown. An Internet video shows a girl committing suicide by jumping out a window. A boy is shown hanging from a noose. Characters are referred to as pedophiles ("pedo") for short. A strange violent scene is shown with several men yelling at each other, and at a young boy, in a foreign language. We see a playful, but violent animated video of the Black Plague. A gun is shown.

Sex

Sex is referred to often. A sex chatroom is shown with characters speaking in graphic terms, referring to "touching myself," "rape scenarios," "shag me in the mouth," etc. No nudity is shown, but women wear revealing clothing. A male teen character feels confused and guilty about being attracted to his friend's 11-year-old sister.

Language

"F--k" is used once. "S--t," "bitch," "ass," "piss," "prick," and "hell" are used and "Jesus Christ" is heard. Some English slang, such as "cheeky bugger" and "taking the piss" are used. The word "bitch" is written on the front of a car in what looks like dog poop.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the teens is shown with a glass of wine. Another teen takes pills for depression. The bottle reads "Prolexia." At one point he dumps the bottle in the toilet.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Chatroom is an English movie based on a play. It tells the story of five troubled teens who meet in an online chatroom. The movie fictitiously shows them sitting in a room together, although in "reality," they are at their computers. Teen suicide is an issue, and a few brief but disturbing examples are shown: a hanging, jumping from a window, and wrist-cutting. There are some other violent images, including yelling and an animated depiction of the Black Plague. Sex is referred to in graphic terms, though little is actually shown. Language is fairly strong, with a use of "f--k," several uses of "s--t," and uses of "bitch," "ass," etc. The word "bitch" is shown written on a car in what looks like dog poop. One of the teens takes medication ("Prolexia") for depression, and another teen is shown briefly with a glass of wine. The movie is not very deep, but it should plant some interesting seeds of discussion within thoughtful teen viewers.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

A troubled teen, William (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), decides to open an Internet chat room called "Chelsea Teens!" Though he doesn't really have an agenda, four other teens quickly join in. The movie depicts them together in an actual room, though it's only an imaginary representation. Eva (Imogen Poots) is a model who is teased by her coworkers. Jim (Matthew Beard) takes anti-depressants. Emily (Hannah Murray) is a goody-two-shoes. And Mo (Daniel Kaluuya) feels guilty about being attracted to his friend's 11-year-old sister. Eventually William begins encouraging his new "friends" to take risks and start trouble. When Jim considers suicide, William encourages him. But when the others find out, it becomes a race to save Jim's life.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Based on a play by Irish writer Enda Walsh and directed by Hideo Nakata, the Japanese director of the original Ring movie (Ringu), CHATROOM looks like it might have been a good idea on paper. But as a movie it quickly falters. The scenes inside the room are brightly colored, more artificial looking than the rest, but the dialogue never sounds realistic; it doesn't replicate the feel of an online environment or of a connection between the users.

The "real-life" sequences are shown in muted, drab colors, but since the movie's 97 minutes are spread across five characters, none of them really comes to life. Their problems are not emotional or organic; they seem created for the story, simplistic and easily described. The movie can't find a connection between love and pain, or need and denial. It's more interested in being shocked by the characters' activities than understanding them. It's a shallow, disappointing effort.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violent images of teen suicide shown in the movie. How quick are they? How potent are they? How much or how little did the movie need to show to illustrate its point?

  • How does the movie suggest the concept of a sex chatroom? Again, how much and how little is actually shown? What kind of satisfaction would people find in an online environment, rather than a personal one?

  • What is the difference between chatting online and chatting in person? What are the dangers involved in each? What are the benefits?

  • Have you ever participated in a chatroom in real life? How was it different or similar to the experience in the movie?

  • Is bullying depicted in the movie? How? How is it responded to?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 10, 2010
DVD release date:June 14, 2011
Cast:Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard
Director:Hideo Nakata
Studio:Screen Media
Genre:Drama
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:disturbing violent content, some sexual material and brief language

This review of Chatroom was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay 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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Teen, 15 years old Written byemily_iero August 11, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
This movie is very dark and shocking. Definitely not for younger audiences. Major trigger warning!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence

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