Movie review by Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Cuties Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Poignant drama is candid about tween sexuality; language.

NR 2020 96 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 97 reviews

Kids say

age 17+

Based on 86 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 18+

Wasn't made for kids, but just as disturbing that it's made for adults...

I have a degree in human rights and am progressive so I watched it hoping all the boycotting was just overblown hysteria based in fear without viewing the film. I really thought the film would have a much needed social message. It doesn't. This film deeply disturbed me on several levels. First, it is NOT meant for a child audience whatsoever. It's supposed to uncomfortably solicit a rebuke of modern society's impact on adolescence and hold a mirror up to society. It doesn't. It just doesn't work, and worse, it would appeal more to pedophiles than people who need their values questioned on raising our kids. Perhaps due to the juxtaposition of a conservative Muslim family as the husband takes on a new wife (which is, in itself, oppressive and anti-feminist) with the gyrating of girls who were - in real life as this was filmed - 14 but one as young as 12, it reeked more of self-righteous perceived morality than it did any kind of social justice-raising piece of art. Its message is supposed to be to society and what we value but the very filming of it breaks the very rules it's pretending to argue against. There are only a few masters of cinematography on earth who could handle a film with the ambitious goals this one had. The director of this film is not one of them. Instead of making a compelling case for an important social issue, they have contributed to making the actors themselves cannon fodder and done harm in making this film. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, this film is a fire and brimstone highway. The biggest thing that I felt was unnecessary was the scene where Amy, the supposed 11-year-old main character (14 in real life), takes a photo of her genitalia and posts it to social media, becoming a social outcast immediately even in her own adolescent world. The most uncomfortable scenes are of the girls dancing, far more provocatively than 11 year olds in dance or cheer ever actually really dance. I realize the director probably chose exaggeration intentionally but it was too much to ask of the young actors and exploited them in a way that kept making me have to avert my eyes from the screen to avoid their body parts, shots of them up close where you could see gaps in clothing might reveal more of the girls. This is not art. It's obscene. There is nothing this contributes to society. I'm still struggling to understand how the filming of this is even legal. Minors should never be required to perform like this. Unless they used adult body doubles, it is deeply disturbing, and even then - the suggestive imaging in the film will still appeal to pedophiles. Just as important, these girl actors will grow up. And one or more of them may one day realize they were exploited - which is abuse - in the making of this film. I don't leave reviews of films. And normally I don't judge films that are controversial as they often do have a higher message that reaches us due to the controversy. This is not one of those. This film does nothing to further women's rights as the mom stays married to her husband who takes a second wife and the main character has a completely unbelievable "epiphany" in the middle of a public and pedophiliac final dance performance and runs away to become "normal". It isn't believable and it isn't happy. Her mom is still exemplifying how to be oppressed as a woman despite a male religious leader telling her she has a right to leave the husband for taking another wife. And while the film would have you believe the 11-year-old girl has broken free of oppression by walking away from the sexual dancing and embracing her natural hair, she's 11. Her life is and will very much remain under control of the father who only comes home at the end of the movie to marry his new wife. No way this turns out well or is a happy ending. Really bad storyline and zero good lessons to learn from it. It deeply disturbs me to think of what kind of people will watch this film twice.
3 people found this helpful.
age 18+

Why all the the uproar?

Ok, so I don’t condone the making of this movie but I see the hypocrisy of the dance troops that meet every weekend with underage girls (5-17 y/o’s?) exploiting millions of said age group doing exactly what this movie portrays? I was at a local parade that featured hundreds of girls what looked to be between 5 y/o and up prancing down main street wearing the exact same costumes and their parents and grandparents cheering and fawning over them. How is this industry even allowed to exist? These dance competitions and their “clubs” are making how many millions worldwide? I’m guessing the parents of these children are standing silent during the controversy of Netflix and the Cuties movie? Again, I’m giving this movie a a 1 star but as I sit here thinking, the maker/director of this movie hit a sore spot in society’s conscience all the while these dance troops are praised for the exact same thing? Ironic don’t you think? Pot kettle black.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
2 people found this helpful.

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