A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
One message could be not to judge a book by its cover. Jon assumes that Frank is a genius and spends too much time trying to be like Frank -- or like others -- than trying to be himself, but in the end he realizes that it's more important to help Frank than to worry about his own troubles. There's also the question of whether an artist should stay true to his vision or try to make something closer to what the people want. The main character uses social media to try to gain the band more exposure/fame.
Positive Role Models
Frank may seem like a fascinating character, but he's not a role model. He's a highly troubled soul who hides and pretends to be something he's not. Jon gets easily taken in by him, and though he eventually tries to help make things right, his choices throughout the movie aren't particularly wise.
Violence & Scariness
A character commits suicide by hanging himself from a tree. He's given a funeral pyre, and his ashes are collected for scattering. A character stabs another in the stomach, with very little blood shown. (More blood is actually shown when a character cuts himself shaving.) There's another suicide attempt (a character walking into the ocean) that fails. Characters practice self-defense moves that, in one quick scene, grow out of hand. A character is hit by a car. Characters frequently argue and insult one another.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have rough, sudden sex in a hot tub; the male character stands up naked, but he's shown from behind and out of focus. There's also some sexual discussion and innuendo: One of the characters is said to have a condition wherein he sleeps with mannequins.
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Language is very strong throughout. Words include "f--k," "s--t," and "bulls---," as well as the occasional use of "c--t."
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Products & Purchases
The main character documents his adventures on social media. He sends lots of tweets, which are printed on the screen along with Twitter's logo. (He also includes hashtags.) Tumblr and YouTube are also mentioned and shown. The idea is that, with tons of followers and subscribers, one can be rich and famous. Events also take place at the real-life South by Southwest festival.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes fairly frequently. Characters drink beers in one scene as a celebration.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Frank is a quirky dramedy about a "genius" rock musician who wears a fake head and the ordinary keyboard player who becomes involved with him. Language is the biggest issue, with characters using "f--k" throughout, as well as "s--t" and "c--t." Two characters have rough sex in a hot tub, though no sensitive body parts are shown, and there's some additional sexual innuendo. Characters attempt suicide (one succeeds), a character is stabbed (very little blood is shown), and there's general arguing and shouting. Characters also smoke lots of cigarettes. The main character documents his adventure through social media; Twitter is mentioned frequently, and the Twitter logo is displayed, and there are mentions of Tumblr and YouTube. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Lenny Abrahamson's FRANK starts off with a strong idea, the image of the man in the fake head. This basic but powerful image toys with several great themes, including the nature of identity, the nature of physical appearance, and even the idea of art versus commerce. But though Frank touches the surface of these ideas -- and it's certainly entertaining enough -- it seems more content to squeeze into the framework of a familiar kind of quirky art-house comedy-drama.
The movie comes a little too close to the typical "passive observer" formula in which the main character dilutes the story's power by viewing everything from a distance; he also has a kind of naïveté that prevents the movie from digging deeper. The filmmakers are happier making jokes about how strange things are to the newbie. Remarkably though, Fassbender gives a captivating performance even without the use of his face or eyes.
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.