Idiocracy

  • Review Date: September 3, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Vulgar satire manages to be both stupid and smart.
  • Review Date: September 3, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The satirical message -- that the ignorant are outbreeding the intelligent, to a degree that will make a future full of morons -- is stern, strong, tough-to-take stuff. A main character learns to take responsibility and become a leader; as this happens in a world of idiots, though, it's hard to contextualize it in a positive light.

Positive role models

The main character is a decent, if dim, man of principle.

Violence

Comedic fighting, scuffling, and blows to the groin. A character is beaten by the police. Comedic gunplay and explosions. A character is pepper sprayed. 

Sex

A character is a prostitute; much discussion of sex, sexual matters, prostitution, and "pimping." Nude male buttocks for gratuitous comic value. Constant comedic references to masturbation and other sex acts.

Language

Frequent strong language, including "s--t," "ass," "f--k," "asshole," "motherf---er," "balls," "Goddamn" and more. The N-word is used. "Fag" and "retard" are used as insults.

Consumerism

Many brands mentioned in a satirical context -- including Costco, Starbucks, Carl's Jr., Lexus, Gatorade, and more.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie's sharp-toothed satire is loaded with a lot of strong language, jokes about sex, and physical comedy involving blows to the crotch.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In the present, an Army private named Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson) is frozen as part of an experiment in cryogenics; a mistake means he's left frozen until 2505, where he and his fellow participant, a prostitute named Rita, (Maya Rudolph) discover a world where the trend of less-educated people to have more children (as explained in the prologue) has led to a future full of idiots with society breaking down and a drought starving America. Joe, a perfectly average man in our time, is now a super-genius by comparison; can he help fix a broken future and put it on the path back to being even barely functional?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Written and directed by Mike Judge (Office Space, Extract), IDIOCRACY was notoriously abandoned by 20th Century Fox, who opened it on only a handful of screens during its initial theatrical run. On DVD, the film feels re-cut, as if the studio were hedging its bets, but even so the film's silly satire comes through, helped in no small part by Wilson's natural everyman charm.

Judge's comedy can be hit-or-miss in Idiocracy, but at the same time it's a product of such a distinctly skewed worldview -- Judge is, after all, the man who gave us Beavis and Butt-head -- that it also stands out as unique even in the light of its occasional failures and in its studio-altered version. Idiocracy is more silly than mean-spirited, and the film's jokes mocking the traditional vision of the future earn a lot of laughs (here plants are watered with sports drink and Costco is a degree-granting institution). The movie is uneven, but it's so idiosyncratic and different that at the very least it stands out on its own.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ideas here -- does pop culture reward people for being stupid? Is a culture of instant gratification and consumerism bad for long-term intellectual development?

  • Families can also talk about the movie's  satirical roots -- what does this vulgar, silly comedy have in common with the work of, for example, Jonathan Swift?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 1, 2006
DVD release date:January 9, 2007
Cast:Dax Shepard, Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph
Director:Mike Judge
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Comedy
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sex-related humor

This review of Idiocracy was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity January 21, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Underrated and funny satire by none other than Mike Judge

In the year 2505, a perfectly average man from the army that was frozen in an experiment from 2005 learns that...human society has dwindled down to the lowest level there possibly is. In this world, the most popular TV show is "Ow! My B*lls", a movie aptly titled "A**" swept the Oscars, Costco is a mini-city, and the president is named Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. Not to mention, the man from the army, and his cohort, a prostitute named Rita, are now the smartest people in the world. This biting satire is also a cautionary tale about how mindless programming and commercialism will eventually turn the world into a mass Idiocracy. (I was being sarcastic.) Think Harrison Bergeron meets Wall-E (but not in space) and you're not too far off. In terms of content, this is probably fine for most young teens and older. There's a lot of slapstick violence, such as an impeachment trial becoming a monster truck deathmatch. But the reason Idiocracy got an R rating is because of the f-bombs (there were about 10 or 11). There are also some sexual references; for one thing, Rita's a prostitute. Also, we see some of the Academy Award winning movie (in the time period) called "A**", which, of course, is just a static shot of a bare butt. We see this go on for about 3 seconds. There's more innuendo, but it's about as bad as Mike Judge's other movies and TV shows. As can be expected, there's a lot of product placement, including Carl's Jr., Lexus, Mountain Dew, Crocs, Fritos, Velveeta, Starbucks, Fuddruckers, and H&R Block. But it's not all needless - there's clearly a point to all of the product placement. Overall, Idiocracy was pretty good, and if you're a Mike Judge fan, it's required viewing.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written bydicapriofreak94 September 13, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Definitely a lot of sexual content, and language. Funny and interesting movie, but might be inappropiate for younger people.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old October 17, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

I just don't get it.

Okay, yeah, sure. It swears and they have lots of inipropraiate, (I don't care if i spelled that wrong), things but still. you really think after watching that movie your kids will start swearing and stuff? Think about it. Though it kind off depends on your kid, lol. I suggest that you watch the movie and listen to every single detail and then maybe you'll let you kids watch it! I watched the one on comedy central and I'm 10 actually I think I was 9 when I watched it for the first time and they blocked out some of the bad words except a--, and whr-e and maybe one or too more so yeah. Also the thing where the guy gets hit in the "lower area" is so funny god lol.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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