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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Members of a Christian hair metal group trying to make it in the 1980s learn to play music as much for the joy and camaraderie of it as it is for, in their case, trying to "make Jesus famous."
Positive Role Models
While characters are faith-based and trying to follow their beliefs, they aren't squeaky-clean and make mistakes along the way.
Lead guitarist of the band is African American. The main characters are fundamentalist Christians, but unlike in many faith-based movies, are fully-developed characters who make mistakes and try to learn from them.
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Violence & Scariness
Shoving match breaks out at a show in a dive bar. Irate fans throw beer bottles at a band.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Some talk of sex.
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Occasional profanity: "bulls--t," "s--t," "damn," "pissed," "ass," "hell." Homophobic slur used once during an altercation in a dive bar. In another scene, a member of the band makes a homophobic joke at the expense of the band's manager and the rest of the band laughs.
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Products & Purchases
Nearly every Christian rock band and artist of the 1980s is referenced. Pabst Blue Ribbon can in a bar.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer and alcohol drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking. Man passed out on the floor next to a puddle of vomit in a bar. The manager of the band is a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon in one scene and acts drunk. Manager repeats a poem that ends with "drink Bacardi and smoke a bowl."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Electric Jesus is a 2021 faith-based coming-of-age comedy about the rise and fall of a teenage Christian hair metal band in the mid-1980s. While the lead characters are Christians trying to spread the word of Jesus, there's some profanity throughout ("bulls--t," "s--t," "damn," "pissed," "ass," "hell") as well as a homophobic slur and a homophobic joke. Scenes in a rock and roll dive bar show bar patrons drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. A character who is a recovering alcoholic appears drunk in one scene. Man shown passed out next to a puddle of vomit in the green room of a venue. Kissing and some talk of sex. While it's a faith-based movie with characters trying to live by the Bible's teachings, the comedy and period-accurate music make this relatively more accessible to secular audiences than typical Christian entertainment offerings. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a surprisingly funny faith-based coming-of-age story about a Christian hair metal band trying to find success on the fundamentalist church circuit of the 1980s. Secular audiences can often feel left out and bored when viewing faith-based movies, but Electric Jesus strikes a fine balance between humor that doesn't interfere or mock any positive messages faith-based characters have to impart, but is actually funny for those who don't attend megachurch every Sunday. The songs and the performances of the songs are falsetto-pitch perfect -- and the shrieked lyrical hook "Let's all go commandooooooh!" in "Commandos for Christ" by the lead singer of this band 3:16 is as hilarious as it is catchy. It's a story that strikes a nice balance between a story that is equal parts This Is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous, filtered through the prism of the Christian culture of the southeastern United States.
All in all, it's still a movie best enjoyed by faith-based viewers, particularly those who came of age in an era of spandex, big hair, and shredding guitar solos…and are also followers of Jesus Christ in 1980s America. However, even if you didn't grow up in fundamentalist circles, the depictions and performances of '80s heavy metal, secular and Christian alike, are very funny but also accurately executed, from the overuse of mascara to the overuse of the whammy bar on the guitar. The production values and acting also place this movie miles above standard faith-based entertainment fare. It stays mostly fun without losing sight of the positive messages, and positive messages are preached without it being, well, preachy.
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.