Get Hard

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Get Hard Movie Poster Image
Comedy riffs on wealth gap, race but relies on stereotypes.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 100 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid all of the crude humor and stereotyping is the idea not to judge a book by its cover -- or by its class. Also, friendships can start from the strangest situations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite being materialistic, James is actually well meaning and open to new experiences. Darnell perpetuates a lie but is also quite empathetic. That said, there's plenty of iffy behavior on display throughout the movie that parents wouldn't want kids emulating, as well as lots of stereotypes based on race, gender, and sexual identity (starting with a big chunk of the premise: i.e. James assumes Darnell knows about/has been to prison because he's black).

Violence

Characters point and shoot guns at each other and get involved in a massive brawl. Since one character is "training" to defend himself in prison, there are plenty of scenes of him trying to fight others or take a hit himself, pretty much all of it played for laughs.

Sex

A brief glimpse of a penis in an extended scene about oral sex that's laced with homophobia. A woman in hot pants twerks in front of a guy. A couple is shown seducing each other, the woman in lingerie and sitting astride him. Later, a man's butt cheeks are briefly flashed.

Language

Frequent use of a wide range of strong language, including The "N" word, "d--k," "a--hole," "s--t," "f--k," and "motherf--ker."

Consumerism

Some characters flaunt their wealth, driving fancy cars (Audi) and wearing lots of jewelry and high-end clothing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A group of guys is shown drinking 40s. Social drinking at parties, etc., and one character smokes weed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the "hard R" Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, while absolutely crude and over the top, seems to want to give viewers the chance to question their own biases. But it does so by relying on lots of existing stereotypes based on race, gender, and sexual preference (the gang-banger, the materialistic Daddy's girl, etc.), which detracts from its effectiveness. Expect some violence (shooting, fighting, an all-out brawl) played for laughs, shock-value nudity (including a brief flash of a penis), other sexy scenes (lingerie, twerking, implied oral sex), lots of swearing ("f--k," the "N" word, and more), drinking, and pot use.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byVic 2.0 April 3, 2015

So close to being a good movie!

A lot of funny parts to laugh at, but they show Will's butt and another man's actual genitalia on more than one occasion (each) which kept making me s... Continue reading
Parent Written byDan G. April 7, 2015

This movie is definitely not for children of any age, and is sucks pretty bad, too.

Way too much disrespect of sexuality. There is full frontal nudity and pretty explicit sexual acts. Rape is portrayed in a neutral way, as if it is not reall... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDylanRTwinHills March 30, 2015

Predictable, Unfunny comedy is a big Let-down

Will Ferrel causes a big let-down with this movie. I knew that this movie wouldn't have a good plot, but I thought the comedy would make up for it. WRONG!... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byStevie111 March 29, 2015

Funny, just not great

This movie has some hysterical parts, but just didn't wow me. There is a brief shot of male genitals in a pretty crude scene, as well as topless women and... Continue reading

What's the story?

Hedge fund whiz James (Will Ferrell) is at the top of his game: In one workday, he'll make more than $20 million for his company's founder, Martin (Craig T. Nelson), who also happens to be the father of James' fiancée (Alison Brie). But when the FBI arrests James for supposed embezzlement and fraud -- accusations he vociferously denies -- he has just 30 days to "get hard," i.e. toughen up before he's sent to San Quentin. Enter Darnell (Kevin Hart), the proprietor of the car wash in the parking structure where James leaves his car. Darnell needs $30,000 for a down payment on a house in a safer Los Angeles neighborhood so he can stop worrying about his daughter's safety, so he presents himself as the best "prison coach" for James ... little does James know that his mentor isn't working as hard as he promises to keep James out of jail. Besides, if James didn't misappropriate the funds, who did?

Is it any good?

Good satire has wit and heft, and isn't afraid to poke fun not just at the establishment but also at unexpected targets; the latter half is where GET HARD comes up short. While it deftly roasts mega-wealthy Wall Street types who don't deign to look at (or even remember the names of) the people who work for them, it doesn't push the envelope far enough -- or come up with refreshingly irreverent ways to do so. (That the "help" would be happy to turn the tables on their condescending boss is hardly a surprise.)

And when the movie does make its points, it too often relies on racial, sexist, and homophobic stereotypes that detract from the enjoyment of Ferrell and Hart's winning rapport and infectious glee. The two stars are the best parts of the movie, and they keep things funny enough. It's just too bad they aren't supported by a more interesting script.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that stereotypes play in Get Hard. The movie pokes fun at stereotypes, but it also relies on many them for its humor. How does that work? Does it even out? When, if ever, are stereotypes OK?

  • What is the film trying to say about the wealth gap?

  • You could argue that a lot of the humor in movies like Get Hard seems intended for shock value. Does that make it more or less funny? Why do you think different groups of people find different things funny?

  • Is James and Darnell's friendship believable? What does each get out of their relationship?

Movie details

  • In theaters: March 27, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: June 30, 2015
  • Cast: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie
  • Director: Etan Cohen
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug material

For kids who love comedy

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