It's a long, long time between chuckles.
  • Review Date: September 22, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lots of bathroom humor.


Comic violence, some macabre.


Some crude sexual humor.


Brief strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink; one goes to a bar to get drunk after being fired.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has crude and macabre humor. In addition to the movie's feces-centered theme, the carcass of a dead horse and an arrow shot into a man's back are intended to be funny. A husband and wife tussle is mistakenly seen as sexual. Characters drink and one goes to a bar to get drunk as a way to respond to stress. There is brief strong language.

What's the story?

ENVY centers on overly-focused Tim (Ben Stiller) and dreamer Nick (Jack Black), best friends and colleagues. Nick offers Tim a chance to invest on his new idea, "Vapoorize," but the idea seems absurd and Tim turns him down. But this time Nick's dream comes true, and soon he is doing infomercials and raking in the loot. Nick does not want to move, so he builds a mansion across the street from Tim. He has a full-size carousel, a yellow Lamborghini with a license plate that says "CACAKING," a butler, a beautiful white horse, and a doorbell that barks "Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" And of this does to Tim's feelings of friendship what the spray does to the dog poop. Tim is consumed with envy and that leads to some outlandish activities involving revenge, a cover-up, and Christopher Walken.

Is it any good?


Envy isn't bad; it just isn't good enough. It's a long, long time between chuckles. Nick is a sweet guy, which is lovely for him, but it does not make the best use of Black's energy and it is not very funny. Stiller is always fine with repressed fury, but the script does not give him enough fury to do much repressing. He is also a pretty sweet guy, and that is also not very funny. Both men have stay-at-home wives (Amy Poehler and Rachel Weiscz) and interchangeable children. This movie has the "sit," but not the "com."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about envy and greed. Why are they called "deadly" sins? Why was it so hard for Tim to tell Nick the truth? What did Nick's reaction tell you about him?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 30, 2004
DVD release date:September 28, 2004
Cast:Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz
Director:Barry Levinson
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and sexual/crude humor

This review of Envy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byiLoVeShoPpiN April 9, 2008


Youll stop laughing for a second but then laugh again!
Teen, 16 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008


There is a total of 4 funny parts spread out so much that you even forget it is a comedy. 1 f-word
Kid, 12 years old October 23, 2010
parents should know while being funny, this movie has adult humor. there are sexual references, language and discussions about a man getting drunk and killing a horse.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass