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Parents' Guide to

Head of State

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Chris Rock runs for president.

Movie PG-13 2003 95 minutes
Head of State Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Ideas compensate for lack of experience by this candidate.

There is sexual humor that was put in just for the sake of it. Some of the other unclean humor was unnecessary as well. For those reasons I'd have reservations about showing this movie to anyone 12-14. That said, Chris Rock's character had some good ideas drawn from good points. (The most memorable was in a campaign speech: "People work in a hospital that they can't afford to get sick in.") It is because of ideas like these that he was able to beat a candidate with more experience, something that should happen more often in elections in real life. The message of this movie is that ideas beat experience. Mays obviously stuck up for low wage workers and the poor.
age 11+
some sexual refrences and language

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Yes, it's a little bit Rocky and a little bit Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And it's more than a little bit Chris Rock's stand-up routine. But his stand-up is pretty funny, and a lot funnier than his previous movies. This one, directed and co-written by Rock, is a real-life version of the story it tells. Rock is breaking away from what he had been told to do to succeed in Hollywood and just being himself, which makes this a nice way to spend 90 minutes.

The joke success to failure rate is above average, as Rock goes after men, women, whites, blacks, voters, and just about everyone and everything else. Thankfully, the movie avoids the easy "white people with no soul get taught how it's done by black people" clichés. I loved it when Mays abandoned his generic campaign ads and conservative suits in favor of gangsta-flava'd music-video-style spots and threads. It's a shame to waste Robin Givens by making her character a one-note shrieking harpy, and Rock cannot act at all, but he does get some able support from Lynn Whitfield and Dylan Baker as political advisors and Tamala Jones as the sweet girl he'd like as his first lady.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: March 28, 2003
  • On DVD or streaming: August 12, 2003
  • Cast: Bernie Mac , Chris Rock , Dylan Baker
  • Director: Chris Rock
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Black actors
  • Studio: DreamWorks
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 95 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language, some sexuality and drug references
  • Last updated: June 4, 2023

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