Hail, Caesar!

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Hail, Caesar! Movie Poster Image
Coen brothers' madcap, funny take on old Hollywood.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Genuine people who stay true to themselves no matter what are sometimes the ones who flourish. Also, a no-stress job that you don't particularly love might not be better than a high-pressure position for which you have passion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Eddie Mannix is the consummate juggler, keeping many plates up in the air as the head of a movie studio. Hobie Doyle is a good-natured actor who hasn't let his surroundings change him.


Gunshots in scenes portraying a film being made. An actor is drugged and kidnapped for ransom. A man slaps two employees.


Characters discuss how to "legitimize" an unmarried actress who's pregnant. A woman is shown swimming, with visible cleavage. 


Language includes "son of a bitch" and "hell." 


Hills Bros. coffee makes an appearance; no modern-day products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, and plenty of smoking. Allusions to actors drying out in rehab. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hail, Cesar! is a star-studded (Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, and more) Coen brothers comedy set in the 1950s that looks at how movie studios tried to hush any hint of scandal, lest gossip and unfavorable news about stars inhibit the bottom line. It's much milder than most of the Coens' other movies, but watch out for some iffy language ("son of a bitch," "hell," etc.), era-accurate smoking, social drinking, and a bit of violence (gunshots in scenes being filmed for a movie, kidnapping, slapping). There's also some cleavage on display and discussion of how to "legitimize" an unmarried, pregnant actress.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCriticus January 28, 2019

Hail, Caesar! Review

I don't entirely understand the hate this movie seems to get. It's really a very nice little film - albeit no masterpiece - about a film executive who... Continue reading
Adult Written byStevie111 February 7, 2016

Odd but funny Coen Brothers Film

Hail Caesar is quite odd and not a laugh a minute comedy, but there is a lot of dry and different humor. I enjoyed the film, although I wouldn't say it was... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bychazzy123 February 9, 2016

It was well made... but...

The trailer made me want to see this movie, and it is a Cohen brothers film, so why wouldn't I? I had high expectations, and the movie was very well made,... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDogcat May 12, 2021

Never watched this!

Ok so I am currently watching the movie about Julius Caesar. (It isn’t this it came out in 1970). It’s really good just like the book, but it’s no where near as... Continue reading

What's the story?

HAIL, CAESAR! is a Coen brothers comedy set in 1950s Hollywood, where morals clauses run afoul of human mistakes. It follows movie studio mogul (and resident fixer) Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who must handle what just might be the most grueling 36 hours of his professional life. Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the headliner of the studio's tent-pole film (also titled Hail, Caesar!), has been kidnapped, with his abductors demanding a $100,000 ransom. Mannix struggles to keep the news from local gossips (two characters played by the brilliant Tilda Swinton) -- while he also attempts to finally quit smoking; shield an unmarried, pregnant actress (Scarlett Johansson) from controversy; fend off persuasive job recruiters; and, yes, find Whitlock.

Is it any good?

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!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hail, Caesar! depicts Hollywood. How do you think things have changed, if they have, since the 1950s? What do celebrities trade for stardom? How are they presented as role models?

  • How does the film address serious subjects, such as the lack of respect and compensation for writers, while still making sure the comedy is at the forefront?

  • What's your take on Mannix? Is he a good worker or an unscrupulous enforcer?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate