Death at a Funeral (2010)

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Death at a Funeral (2010) Movie Poster Image
Over-the-top funeral comedy digs into sex and potty humor.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 92 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While the takeaway is that life is too short for passing judgements, holding grudges, and not reaching out for your dreams, these messages are mixed in with plenty of drug use, swearing, and juvenile behavior (by adults).

Positive Role Models & Representations

A few of the characters aren't on their best behavior, including an insulting, elderly uncle; a condescending ex-boyfriend; a hypochondriac; a blackmailer; and more. But for the most part, everyone pulls together in the end and puts their best foot forward to honor a man's life and his family.

Violence

A few mildly violent moments, but all played for laughs, including: an old man aggressively poking a relative with a cane and constantly berating him; two brothers who regress and start wrestling each other because they're upset with each other; former lovers arguing loudly; a guest at the funeral accidentally drugged and thrown around.

Sex

Sexual innuendos fly; a guest shows compromising pictures of him and a lover (the audience doesn't see anything explicit, but the reaction from the characters imply that one of the pics is); references to a sexual position; a character strips while he is on drugs; another character discusses how she needs to be intimate with her husband to get pregnant; an older man hits on a younger woman.

Language

Frequently pungent: everything from "moron" to "bastard" to "damn," and "s--t," "asshole," and "f--k." Also, several uses of "Goddamn," "Oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.

Consumerism

A few brands name-checked, including TMZ and Valium.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A pharmacology student hides his stash of homemade pills made from mescaline and LSD into a bottle labeled "Valium," which is then mistaken for the name on the bottle and is ingested by at least two of the characters, causing mayhem.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this remake of a 2007 British comedy leaves no subject untouched in its quest to make its audiences laugh, including death, deception, and drugs. The humor's pretty adult, including a secret about a relative's sexuality, although the film has a fair helping of potty humor (thanks to Tracy Morgan) as well. There's plenty of swearing (including "s--t," "f--k" and "asshole"), and some of the movie's most pointed humor comes from the consequences of popping hallucinogenic pills. Though all played for laughs, the sibling rivalry, blackmail, and insults don't make for the best humor for impressionable kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjoshua martinez April 28, 2010

16 and up.

death at a funeral is a comedy movie that is only for older teens because in this movie there are a few violence in some scenes there's no sex at all but e... Continue reading
Adult Written by@@@ December 22, 2011

Stupid, unfunny comedy. So ******g useless.

As far as I'm concerned, you can just f*** off if you thought that this movie was worthy of 2 stars or more. The cast is just stupid, and I didn't lau... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byUrbanShadow813 April 20, 2010

A good movie for anyone who thinks a little chaos is funny

It was a good movie the character played by Chris Rock went through a transformation over the course of the day he learned that sometimes you have to be spontan... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bychriskringle3 September 16, 2010
this movie was just too funny. chris rock and james marsden were just hilarious. funniest movie i've seen in a while. Rated R for strong language, lots of... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's a difficult day for Aaron (Chris Rock), an accountant. His dad has died and it's the day of his funeral, which is taking place at their home. He's set to deliver the eulogy, disappointing fans of his famous author brother, Ryan (Martin Lawrence). And that's not all. As the day unfolds, Aaron discovers Ryan won't be able to share the funeral costs; that his wife Michelle (Regina Hall), is on the last day of her cycle and needs impregnating, quick; and that a stranger (Peter Dinklage) has a secret that could ruin the reputation of his father. His long-secret novel is no longer secret, and a guest (James Marsden) appears to be high as a kite and unable to keep it together. How will he get through it all?

Is it any good?

Much like the original British version, this movie is stuffed to the gills with comedic moments; some are so golden they make it worth seeing, while others should have just been thrown out. First, the upsides: The film works so hard to make you laugh, you can't resist. One after another, the jokes pile up, and even though most of them are just plain juvenile -- the scatological jokes, the loopy, drugged-out-but-hilarious mess that is James Marsden -- you can't help but laugh. (The poop jokes, which center around the talented Tracy Morgan and, surprisingly, the usually grave Danny Glover, are so Comedy 101 that, had the movie not been laced with profanity, a preschooler would've been rolling in the aisles at those scenes. Who knew director Neil LaBute, better known for dramas, was so proficient with them?) 

Still, some bits are plain tired: It's nice to see Luke Wilson onscreen, but his character really doesn't bring much to the table. An ancillary storyline about mother-daughter tensions contributes so little to the film's comedic impact -- besides, it's cliched -- as to be superfluous. And though Marsden milks every moment of its comedic value, some of his scenes could've fallen to the editing floor, too; there just are too many. Pared down, Death at a Funeral could've been a perfectly distilled batch of pure comedy. Will it elevate the genre? Hardly. But funny? That it is.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why gatherings such as funerals, births, and holidays bring out the best and worst in families. What is it about these moments that drive people to unbox old grudges and reveal secrets?

  • What was so funny about the drug use in the movie? Was it realistically portrayed? What are real consequences of taking drugs like they do in the movie?

  • The movie's a farce, clearly, and yet it has some universal truths about families in it. What do you think they are?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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