Gentlemen Broncos

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Gentlemen Broncos Movie Poster Image
Indie comedy is too gross, cringe-inducing to be funny.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Despite the negative messages from Chevalier and Lonnie, there's at least one positive take away: that unethical behavior will eventually be caught. There's also a loving relationship between a mother and son.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chevalier is a greedy character who makes artists (in this case, authors) seem like they only care about sales and not about artistic integrity. Many of the other characters are unsympathetic and unlikable.

Violence

The sci-fi scenes feature cartoonish violence -- like guns that appear out of animals' eyes/backsides, killer Cyclops, and explosive vomit. Several fictional characters die or are blown up, but it's not graphic and no corpses are visible. Darts hit Ben's mom in the breast (technically, it hits her gel insert), as well as another character. Although it's not violent, there's a gross scene in which a snake poops (a lot) and various images of "gonads" (in jars, being thrown around, stepped on, sewn on, etc).

Sex

Tabatha flirts with Ben, and they end up kissing briefly (immediately after he vomits, so it's pretty disturbing). Several discussions about Chevalier's fictional Harpies saga, in which the women have incredibly large breasts that can shoot "mammary cannons" and the like.

Language

One "apes--t," but otherwise fairly tame: "nads," "darn you" "dang," "freak," and "crap."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this comedy from the folks behind Napoleon Dynamite -- which co-stars Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement -- is pretty light on sexuality and swearing (particularly for a PG-13 movie), it's quite uncomfortable to watch. There's an off-putting amount of bodily parts, functions, and fluids -- such as yeast, gonads, vomit, and feces. In one scene, a kiss takes place immediately after a guy throws up, and the "evidence" is on both kissers' faces afterward. Consequently, some families may not feel that the humor is appropriate, despite the relatively mild language (one "apes--t") and mostly cartoonish violence.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTheSpiderGoat December 30, 2014

Diamond in the rough

This movie is my safe place, I have not re-watched any movie more then this, i was shocked when i read the reviews for this months after i had watched it, it is... Continue reading
Adult Written byAducky September 7, 2018

Weird and wonderful mother and son story

Based on the relationship between Jared Hess and his mom. A boy who is surrounded by all kinds of weirdness (and a little quirky and weird himself) stands up f... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byndrwcd November 17, 2012
Kid, 11 years old November 8, 2010

good for teens

this movie is very crude it doesnt have a good message dumb movie!

What's the story?

Ben Purvis (Michael Angarano) is a sweet, home-schooled teenager who writes offbeat sci-fi stories (which come to life on screen starring his fictional protagonist, Bronco, played by Sam Rockwell). At a writing conference for Utah teens, Ben meets his literary hero, Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), a best-selling author who hasn't written anything decent in years and needs a manuscript to save his publishing contract. Chevalier reads Ben's story, "Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years," and steals it; meanwhile, an unaware Ben allows fellow workshop attendees Tabatha (Halley Feiffer) and Lonnie (Hector Jimenez) to "adapt" his story into an amateur film. As Chevalier's plagiarized version goes to print and the homemade film veers away from his vision, Ben grows disillusioned with his talent and his life as the only son of a modest-nightdress designer (Jennifer Coolidge).

Is it any good?

Third time is definitely not a charm for director Jared Hess. His adorably infectious debut film Napoleon Dynamite was the breakout hit of 2004 and whose sophomore effort Nacho Libre at least featured a spandexed Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler. GENTLEMEN BRONCOS, however, doesn't have many redeeming qualities save for Clement (half of the hilarious Kiwi duo Flight of the Conchords), who steals every scene he's in with his pompous accent and ridiculous commentary about his expertise in sci-fi (like how to name a character -- by adding "anous" or "inus" as a suffix). He's the only character worth following, which is a considerable problem since he's not the protagonist.

Angarano's Ben is melancholy, long-suffering, and just plain boring to watch. His mother, Judith, is loving but clueless and has no friends except for Dusty (Mike White), a slightly creepy, python-carrying "Big Brother" who makes eyes at his mom. And then there's the completely unlikable duo of Tabatha and Lonnie, who are awkward and unfunny. Admittedly, the movie does have some laughs, mostly thanks to Clement, but there are so many cringe-inducing scenes -- the fictional Bronco's obsession with gonads, Dusty's python having the largest reptilian bowel movement ever captured on film, Ben's mom being hit with a dart in the breast, Tabatha squirting lotion on her hands and demanding Ben for a massage -- that several moviegoers left halfway through the absurdity. And who can blame them?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families who've seen Napoleon Dynamite and/or Nacho Libre can talk about how this movie compares to the director's previous films. What do his characters have in common?

  • Is the movie's scatalogical humor funny or off-putting? How does it compare to other movies in which this kind of humor is equally prevalent?

  • How does the movie depict the sci-fi genre and culture/fans? Do you think it's an accurate portrayal?

Movie details

For kids who love quirky characters

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