A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Everyone deserves to be loved and treated with compassion and empathy.
Positive Role Models
While tortured and lonely, Hedwig is also a survivor who shows resilience despite her circumstances. She's also a powerful artist who has found the courage to do what she loves: perform music.
The main character blurs the boundaries between drag performance and transgendered identity, with Hedwig being played by nonbinary actor John Cameron Mitchell, who is also the writer and director. Hedwig's romances with men reveal complicated aspects of queer relationships. Most of the cast is White, with the exception of Maurice Dean Wint, who plays the American soldier Hedwig falls in love with.
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Violence & Scariness
One semi-funny restaurant brawl scene triggered by a hate word. Emotional cruelty. People push each other. News footage of people running across the East Berlin border and getting hurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of sexually suggestive content -- from clothing and dancing to sexual tension. Nude buttocks. One scene, under sheets, of main character thrusting into another character from behind. Another indicates an off-screen sexual act involving a hand. One segment has illustrations of naked, non-sexualized people. Discussion of sex work and oral sex.
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Frequent profanity -- mostly "f--k." One instance of "c--t," plus slurs.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main characters drink frequently. Peripheral smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is an energetic musical starring actor-director John Cameron Mitchell in drag. Main character Hedwig has undergone a botched operation and lives life as a transgendered rock star. Characters drink and smoke. Frequent profanity -- mostly "f--k" -- includes one instance of "c--t." A little violence includes a restaurant brawl triggered by a hate word. Sexual dancing, innuendo, and tension thread through the film, including discussion of sex work and oral sex. One scene includes brief, loveless intercourse in which the participants' bodies are covered by a sheet, and another indicates an off-screen sexual act involving a hand. A couple of scenes show male nudity from behind, and one segment has illustrations of naked, non-sexualized people. The film's thought-provoking exploration of gender and sexuality ultimately demonstrates the necessity for compassion, courage, empathy, and perseverance. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
What started as a cult success off Broadway translates surprisingly well on-screen -- perhaps because Mitchell, who wrote and starred as Hedwig onstage, also directs and stars here. In Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mitchell portrays the titular character with poignancy -- someone who's both cruel and vulnerable, desperate and hopeful. The film uses illustration, flashbacks, surrealism, and music to create a unique story that's fun to watch, at times hilariously witty, and touching, too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.