Full Frontal Movie Poster Image

Full Frontal



Some vivid moments, but overall, just so-so.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

What parents need to know


Character dies. Tense scenes.


Very explicit sexual situations and references.


Extremely strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that as the title indicates, this movie includes explicit nudity, explicit and varied sexual references and situations, and very strong language. A character dies, apparently from auto-erotic asphyxiation. Characters drink and smoke and eat hash brownies. There are tense emotional scenes. Parents may want to see the film themselves before deciding whether it's appropriate for teen viewing.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

FULL FRONTAL is less a story than a series of moments, variations on the themes rather than a narrative. Digital and analog images alternate as we go into and out of a movie within a movie, even a movie within a movie within a movie, performed by actors playing actors. Several different stories overlap and intersect. Alice (Catherine Keener) is unhappily married to writer Carl (David Hyde Pierce). Alice's sister, Linda (Mary McCormack), is flirting online with Brian (Rainn Wilson), Carl's co-author. Linda is having an affair with Calvin (Blair Underwood), an actor who is currently playing the part of an actor named Nicholas who is playing the part of a sidekick to a detective played by Brad Pitt (playing himself). In his movie, Nicholas becomes romantically involved with a journalist named Catherine (Julia Roberts), who works at the same magazine that Carl works for in what sort of passes for real life in Full Frontal. Then it starts to get confusing. Themes and images flicker through several levels. In the end, just as one set of fictions are abandoned in favor of reality, a fiction at a deeper level is revealed.

Is it any good?


FULL FRONTAL is a small, messy, improvised, non-linear film filled with intimate conversations about love, sex, boundaries, longing, and voyeurism. It recalls director Steven Soderbergh's earlier film sex, lies, and videotape.

The movie has many wonderful moments and many marvelous lines. But it does not have the improvisational brilliance of the Christopher Guest movies and comes off more like an actor's studio workshop than a film. The whole is less than the sum of its parts, but some of those parts are remarkably vivid and intriguing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Soderburgh told the story this way and what a movie they would make with their friends and families would be like.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 2, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:February 11, 2003
Cast:Blair Underwood, David Duchovny, Julia Roberts
Director:Steven Soderbergh
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:very explicit sexual situations, drug use, strong language

This review of Full Frontal 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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

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

  • Adult stuff only but hilarious and fresh.

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

Educator and Parent of a 9 year old Written bywillowfaierie August 14, 2009


it taught me not to prejudice. Dana watched that at age 13.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models