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Debunkers, Inc.

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Debunkers, Inc. Movie Poster Image
Subpar mystery has bullying, mild cursing.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence

Some bullying: Popular kids pull an elaborate prank on the lead characters, make fun of them for thinking that they can solve mysteries. A girl collapses in a chemistry classroom after breathing in fumes. A student is presumed murdered.

Sex
Language

"Hell," "crap." 

Consumerism

Diet Coke mentioned by name. All three lead characters have nicknames based on characters in popular video games. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Debunkers, Inc. is a 2019 mystery movie in which three teens who are in the business of solving mysteries try to crack a case involving the death of another student. A girl collapses in a chemistry classroom after breathing in the fumes of a presumably toxic mix of bubbling liquids. There's some stereotypical bullying: The popular kids pull an elaborate prank to make fun of the lead characters and their beliefs that they can solve supernatural mysteries. Minor profanity is heard ("hell," "crap"), and Diet Coke is mentioned by name. The three lead characters take their nicknames from popular video games. 

User Reviews

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What's the story?

Link, Snake, and Doc are a trio of teens who are the DEBUNKERS, amateur detectives in search of mysteries to solve. Link is the business mind of the group, Doc is kind if socially awkward, and Snake is the wild card emo teen who mumbles. They are soon joined by "Sheik," a Canadian foreign exchange student who is new to California and happy to be the Debunkers' intern. On the first day of their senior year, the Debunkers put up fliers all over the school, and soon they're given an opportunity to debunk when Heather and Joyce, fellow classmates from the popular clique, come to them with a problem. Their friend, Nina Galanosa, is presumed murdered, and no one is exactly sure what happened. Now the Debunkers must get to the bottom of what happened with Nina while contending with the strange behavior of their principal, mysterious signs, and unfathomable paranormal activity. 

Is it any good?

This comes across as the early effort of first-year film students trying to learn how to make a movie and not quite succeeding. Debunkers, Inc. drags and plods its way into unsurprising plot twists, the special effects are mediocre at best, the acting is below average across the board, the sound effects are subpar, and there are times when you can't hear the dialogue due to characters mumbling. It's an earnest effort, but it's also the work of people not quite ready for the proverbial silver screen. The characters never transcend clichéd teen stereotypes, and the attempts at humor fall flat at every turn. 

The story itself is a clunky mix of Ghostbusters, Spy Kids, and Scooby-Doo, with plot twists that feel inevitable. While there's nothing wrong with low-budget movies if the quality and/or entertainment value is there, this effort lacks both. The end implies -- you guessed it -- sequels. Let's hope the filmmakers have learned from their mistakes and make something better next time. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about low-budget movies. Do movies need a lot of funding in order to be good, or is it more important to have a solid story and competent acting? 

  • How does Debunkers, Inc. address topics such as teen cliques and bullying? 

  • What are your favorite mystery books or movies? What do good mysteries have in common?

Movie details

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