Hot Rod

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
Hot Rod Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Awesomely dumb slapstick is for teens and adults only.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 34 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Rod and friends engage in intensely unsafe stunts. Denise tells a racist joke about a taco fighting a grilled cheese sandwich. Rod's stepfather belittles him every chance he gets.


Tons of comic pratfalls and failed jumps and stunts, including: a ramp fails and Rod falls directly onto the apex of the next ramp, crumpling to the ground; Rod falls down a hill Homer Simpson-style, repeatedly hitting his head and back; Rod and his stepfather have several fights involving Rhodesian fighting sticks, punches, kicking, beating and even Chinese fighting stars; Rod asks his friends to hold him under water for 40 seconds and nearly drowns; Rod plays human piñata for a child's party and several kids and his brother Kevin beat him with bats; he's hit several times by cars; he luges down the street and crashes into an RV, breaking the window; then the owner comes out and beats him severely; Rod flies off his bike and crashes badly, with bone-breaking sound effects and nearly dies. There's also a graphic joke about Dave injuring himself where a piece of metal sticks out of his temple.


Rod and Denise kiss three times. Rico recalls a dream in which the wives of wizards "all want to have sex with" him.


Lots of swearing, including "s--t," "f--k," "badass," "s--thead," "ass," "hell," "dickhole," "goddamn," and "p---y." Characters refer to their "choad" and Jonathan calls condoms "dong bags."


Characters mention Dr. Pepper.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rod and his buddies all drink constantly, from beer to hard alcohol. Rod goes grocery shopping and leaves with a shopping cart heaping with liquor bottles. Dave drops acid, with disastrous (and funny) results.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, like Jackass and The Dudesons before it, Hot Rod is a nearly nonstop cavalcade of stunts, pratfalls, and injuries. However, Rod never gets seriously hurt, and teens may be tempted to attempt several of the stunts. The movie also talks about the death of Rod's father and the animosity his stepfather holds for him, which may be difficult for teens who have been through the same. There's also lots of profanity, crude humor, and drug-related jokes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFourKidsinFla July 8, 2009

Ok for older kids but not tweens

I was surprised that no one mentioned the use of a certain term to express mail excitedness or the brief but very noticible computer video of two dogs mating th... Continue reading
Adult Written byDaniel B June 8, 2017

Really funny, doesn't contain much violence other than some comical over-the-top sparring with his step-father and accidental injuries(like "America's Funniest Home Videos").

The main review has spoilers so just reads this if you want to avoid spoilers. Here is an IMDB Parent's guide modified(to remove spoilers when keeping rel... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLink2359 February 19, 2018

Hilarious movie for teens

The common sense media reviewer, in my opinion, completely missed the point of the film, and did a poor job reviewing it. This movie is NOT deserving of their 5... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 21, 2021

Hilarious But Very Dumb

this movie is funny. fine for tweens. innuendo, language. 3.5.

What's the story?

Rod (Andy Samberg ) believes himself to be the son of a deceased stuntman who used to test stunts for Evel Knievel. All he wants is to live up to his dad's legacy and kick his gnarled stepfather, Frank's (Deadwood's Ian McShane), butt. When Frank falls ill, Rod can't accept that Frank might die without getting the chance to win one fight against him. So he sets about to earn the $50,000 Frank needs for surgery so he can live long enough to lose to Rod's mighty assault.

Is it any good?

If Jackass, Napoleon Dynamite, and the Saturday Night Live viral video "Lazy Sunday" had a love child, HOT ROD would be it, in all its dumb, dirty glory. And like any completely gratifying summer comedy, Hot Rod is far better than the sum of its parts. Somehow Andy Samberg, the co-writer and SNL castmember, manages to soften up the extreme violence of Jackass, capture the doofus anti-hero of Napoleon Dynamite, and liberally apply the nerdy awesomeness of "Lazy Sunday." There's a reason he's an "Interweb" superstar.

There are so many fun references here, from the power ballad while Rod "punch-dances" out his rage at Frank's illness to the synchronized dancing Dave (Bill Hader) and Rico (Danny R. McBride) do in the convenience store parking lot to "Two of Hearts." It's even somewhat smart. Sure, there's the overly ironic moments that just get self-referential -- like when Barry Pasternack (fellow SNL cast member Chris Parnell) notes the conveniently tidy sum Rod needs to raise for Frank's surgery -- but there are also many clever moments. When Rod sees the crowd's reaction to his awesome stunts, you can almost see how stars of those YouTube videos must feel when they realize people aren't laughing with them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of dangerous stunts like those Rod attempts and at which he usually fails. Unlike shows like Jackass, this is fictional, and teens don't see the physical effects these stunts have on the people who attempt them. Why are the stunts, in particular, and violence, in general, funny in this movie?

Movie details

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