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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie is mainly about getting a new lease on life after a near-death experience, and about friendship that includes fighting, talking, and making up. Death is at hand, and loss and grief are experienced.
Positive Role Models
These aren't admirable characters, but they try hard to get by, especially Dante. He shows up to work, complains a little, but does what he needs to do. Randal has always been more problematic, but this is the movie in which he seems to finally grow up. Supporting characters go through crises of faith.
One character jokes about the lack of diversity in this movie, and they're not wrong. A woman of color (played by Rosario Dawson) appears in a few scenes as a ghost. A couple of other women and actors of color are in the supporting cast or background.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters die; others experience death and mourning. Character has a heart attack, panics, has operation in hospital. Another character has a heart attack. Shouting and arguing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters have sex in a car; it rocks back and forth (nothing graphic shown). Strong, frequent, sex-related dialogue and innuendo. Sexual gestures. T-shirt with sexually charged pun ("suck me off and make me gum"). Reference to porno movie and strip club. Sex toy seen.
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Constant strong language: "f--k," "motherf----r," "bulls--t," "s--t," "s--t-faced," "bitch," "t-ts," "ass," "a--hole," "s--thole," "d--k hole," "crack whore," "suck d--k," "ass-to-mouth," "goddamn," "d--k," "clit," "hell," "hand job," "puds," "butt," "thank Christ," "for God's sake," "screw you," "damn." Middle-finger gestures.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main character gets falling-down drunk. Characters smoke a giant-sized joint and buy drugs. A surgeon says "I wish I wasn't so hung over!" After an operation, a character is on fentanyl. Reference to a death by a drunk driver.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Clerks III is the sequel to Kevin Smith's 1994 and 2006 movies. The main characters are now nearing 50 and facing mortality; after a heart attack, one decides to make a movie about working at the Quick Stop. It's only sporadically funny, but it still feels genuine. Language is a big issue, with constant use of just about every word under the sun ("f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," "a--hole," and many more), plus strong, frequent sex-related dialogue and sexual innuendo. Scenes also show sexual gestures, a sex toy, and a couple having sex in a car (the car rocks back and forth, but nothing else is seen). Characters experience death and mourning and have heart attacks, and there's shouting and arguing. A character gets falling-down drunk, some smoke a comically large joint, drugs are sold, and there's a reference to someone dying because of a drunk driver. Some silly, potentially offensive religious images (such as "Christ Kites") are on view. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Writer-director Smith returns to his signature characters with more gravity and gratitude for this threequel, and even though goopy sensitivity isn't his forte, it offers warmth and smiles. Clerks III goes meta, re-creating some of the famous scenes from the original 1994 Clerks with Silent Bob acting as DP and explaining why the movie must be shot in black and white. It requires some serious suspension of disbelief, as there's no way that the actors (all around 50 in real life) could be mistaken for their 20-year-old selves. It also requires at least some knowledge of Clerks II (2006), a lightweight lark compared to this one, which introduced Becky and Elias.
Weepy moments like hospital scenes and graveside visits are a little out of Smith's wheelhouse -- as evidenced by his infamous Jersey Girl -- and they're flat, draggy spots in a movie that seems like it wants to be funnier. But even though its laughs are fewer and farther between than its predecessors', Clerks III seems like a genuine offering from Smith, rather than a cash-in sequel. His voice is by now very familiar, and it has a grateful tone here. He truly appreciates these characters and understands how they've contributed to his life. This is his love letter to them and to the fans who made them iconic. When we hear his voice speaking over the closing credits (a bold choice), it somehow feels like exactly the right thing to do.
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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate