Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Controversial comedy is irreverent and bloody.

Movie R 1999 128 minutes
Dogma Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

As usual, people exaggerate like hell on this site.

Dogma is great, and will be highly appreciated by teens looking for a raunchy comedy, and adults lookin for a philosophical masterpiece. As usual, Smith’s dialogue is quick, witty, and incredibly well written, but if you’re younger, there are plenty of stupid, low-brow jokes that are just as funny as everything else. The violence is not that bad, AT ALL! Some people get shot, and it’s almost all off-screen. A bartender gets shot on camera, an angel character gets its wings shot off, and there is one gory moment when a character’s head blows up. But overall, there’s more violence in Family Guy and South Park. One thing you should know is that this and most other Kevin Smith movies are phenomenal, but RIDICULOUSLY vulgar. With extensive descriptions of sex in Clerks and Chasing Amy, and 250 “f-bombs” in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, they definitely aren’t good for younger kids. Dogma is in the middle with profanity. But, if you do want to get your preteen into Kevin Smith, I do reccomend Mallrats or Strike Back. Both are vulgar, but the sexual talk isn’t nearly as bad, and it’s mostly just f—k and s—t throughout. Plus, for fans of film, Strike Back has easily the most cameo-filled third act of all time. You wouldn’t believe how many people show up, and how many you can recognize, at that.

This title has:

Great messages
age 15+
One other thing I would add is that at one point a woman is shown in a loose shirt and panties - when jumping out of bed she briefly swings her legs over showing her private area ( although covered by underwear ) and then shows her bum ( again covered by underwear )

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (9):

Kevin Smith is not a subtle writer-director, and this crude comedy is signature Smith. His films, with the exception of the watered-down romantic comedy Jersey Girl, rival Tarantino and Mamet for their talky, explicit dialogue and Allen and Guest for their troupe-like use of the same actors (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes). DOGMA, which is Smith's most controversial film (and he's had plenty), is exactly what a moviegoer should expect from a Smith fantasy, except with a higher-minded theme (Christianity) and a few more A-listers (Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, and Alanis Morissette -- as God -- all joined his regular crew). It's got a lot of sex talk (characters Jay and Silent Bob, played by Mewes and Smith, rarely discuss anything but sex unless it's drugs) and Catholic jokes.

But it also pokes fun at New Jersey (its residents and the state itself), skeeball, pro-choice AND pro-life activists, African Americans, strippers, churchgoers, atheists, homosexuals… and the list goes on. Call it equal-opportunity mockery (think South Park), but not blasphemous, as the Catholic League contended. Without spoiling the ending, it's safe to say that Smith lets good triumph over evil. Women -- in the form of an incarnate God and "her" chosen one Bethany -- save humanity, and Smith allows for a message that's downright inspirational. Despite the controversy, Dogma seems directed by a former altar boy, which Smith is, believe it or not.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: July 6, 1999
  • On DVD or streaming: June 26, 2001
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Matt Damon
  • Director: Kevin Smith
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 128 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong language including sex-related dialogue, violence, crude humor and some drug content
  • Last updated: February 28, 2022

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