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Parents' Guide to

Hail, Caesar!

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Coen brothers' madcap, funny take on old Hollywood.

Movie PG-13 2016 106 minutes
Hail, Caesar! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 8+
Hail Caesar is a great movie! Big suggest. It has A fun dance scene and many funny plot point. Although this movie is an easy laugh, there is some violence and the plot is kind of all over the place
age 15+

Great PG-13 entry point to springboard into the exceptional creations of the Brothers Coen!

For those of us that dig Coen Brothers’ movies, this is just another gem. MPAA rates this as a PG-13. I’m 55 and my PG-13s back in the day were “way edgier” concerning the dialog I would have understood. This isn’t a “kid’s movie” nor is it an “Adult Movie” per se. The storyline (written by Coens) is one of navigating the 1950s Studio system, a brilliant “Das Kapital vs Capitalism” sequence. Clooney and Brolin deliver top-shelf performances within a top-shelf cast. To me, the movie stands on its own regardless of its place in the Coen Canon. It’s just a great cut. There are other reasons to watch, and rewatch this movie. It’s cinematic perfection. That means you’re getting the tops in takes, blocking, staging, scenery, lighting, sound, score, pacing, etc. Coen perfectionism delivers a stunning synchronized swimming set featuring Scarlet Johansson as a modern-day Esther Williams-like actor, on the actual soundstage used for the Esther Williams movies of the 50s - this is just one of many examples. The adult content heads-up is the “legitimizing the pregnancy” scene, something that I’m sure is quite accurate for the period. Beware! For the Meta-Minded, this one will be a rabbit hole. The references are manifold. My favorite of the storylines is the Communist “study group” with Clooney’s character, and having Hobie Doyle (the clear “silent hero” of the movie) retrieving him (too late) from their indoctrinations and returning him to Eddie Mannix (real-life studio fixer backintheday) to get a better understanding of how the world actually works. Needless to say, this is what I would call “an important movie” and any of my teens 15+ can watch it. (It requires paying attention, so…)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (11 ):

The Coen brothers' genius is rarely disputed at this point, and HAIL, CAESAR! further cements their reputation as filmmakers with a singular vision and specific -- and hilarious -- sense of humor. This showbiz comedy is quippy, witty, fast-paced, and smart, if a little overfull (the A-list cameos are so plentiful -- and quick -- that they're sometimes distracting, though never unnecessary).

To a person, the ensemble is razor-sharp, eager, willing and able to poke fun at Hollywood's hypocrisy and ignorance, all while celebrating its simultaneous ability to concoct the gorgeous, feverish celluloid worlds that allow us to (mostly) overlook its excesses and weaknesses. The movie is at once in love with its subject -- the sets and costumes are sublime -- but is also its biggest critic, a balance so few filmmakers are able to keep. We're sold!

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