Jobs

 
Biopic is more about Apple than Jobs' life; some drug use.
  • Review Date: August 14, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message of Steve Jobs' life is that, to be innovative, you have to commit to a greater vision than just making money -- you have to set out to change the way people live and, in the case of technology, to merge it with design and beauty. But the message is also that a life that's only about work isn't completely fulfilled.

Positive role models

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are both brilliant and visionary, but Jobs is portrayed as having the ambition to lead a company, whereas Wozniak is painted as a more technical genius. Jobs' interest in making stuff that will change ordinary people's lives -- to pay attention to every tiny detail, to merge design with technology -- made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in American history.

Violence

Steve is volatile and yells at people -- including his pregnant girlfriend. He also throws things a couple of times.

Sex

A couple of love scenes early on -- one between Jobs and a random woman at Reed College, and another trippy scene between Jobs and his college girlfriend. Kissing in bed is shown, but nothing more graphic.

Language

Occasional strong language includes two uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bulls--t," "hell," "ass," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and more.

Consumerism

Since the movie chronicles the history of Apple, it features detailed conversations about various Apple products, ads, town hall speeches, and more -- from the original Apple II to the Macintosh to the pivotal iPod reveal. Jobs' cars are also depicted: a Volvo wagon, a Porsche, a Stingray, a Mercedes. Apple's competitors IBM and Microsoft are mentioned, and the Apple CEO is lured from Pepsi. Rod drives a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and Steve once worked at Atari.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Steve and his friends do drugs (marijuana and LSD, which is portrayed as a mind-enhancing experience), particularly while at Reed College. But he stops as he gets older, and later he criticizes a friend for always smoking pot and not being focused on the business. Rod smokes cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jobs is a biopic about late Apple founder/CEO Steve Jobs. As a young man, Jobs smokes marijuana and experiments with hallucinogens, and other characters drink and smoke. Two of Jobs' romances are depicted -- a one-night stand and his long-term college relationship. He's shown kissing in bed with each of them, but that's it; there's no nudity or graphic content. The language is fairly typical of a mature drama, with the occasional use of "s--t," "a--hole," and one "f--king." Expect countless references to Apple's early product innovations -- both the successes and the failures, from the original Apple computer to the iPod. Several car makes are also featured prominently -- Mercedes, Porsche, Corvette Stingray, Volvo, and more. Ultimately, this movie is likely to particularly appeal to families and teens interested in technology and Apple devices.

What's the story?

JOBS is the story of Steve Jobs' life related to the founding and development of Apple Computers. Director Joshua Michael Stern's take on the legendary Apple CEO follows Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) from his days as a Reed College dropout searching for life's beauty and meaning to his early career as a programmer at Atari. After collaborating with his old friend, Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), Jobs notices that Woz has an invention he's working on for fun -- a personal computer board you can hook up to a TV monitor. Jobs thinks the idea is inspired and pushes Wozniak to present it at a computer club, leading to their first retail order of "Apple" computers. Overwhelmed, the two Steves enlist three friends to fill the order and eventually find an angel investor, Mike Markkula, (Dermot Mulroney) to finance their start-up. The film then shifts to a corporate biography, chronicling how Jobs became the singular-visioned head of Apple, responsible for making "computers cool again."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The best biographical dramas reveal something meaningful about their subjects -- not just what they accomplished, but what made them exceptional and larger than life, as well as flawed and human. Films like Coal Miner's DaughterLincoln, and Amadeus portray more than singers, politicians, and composers; they depict the genius, troubled individuals behind the legends. Aside from a few failures (the way Jobs ignored/refused to acknowledge his first child and later dissed his crew of early Apple employees) Jobs, on the other hand, is a bland celebration of him as the founder of Apple, not as a man.

Anyone who read a couple of Jobs obituaries -- not to mention any serious Apple follower -- will already know nearly everything depicted in the film. There's no dramatic tension outside of a boring board of directors decision to oust Jobs in 1985 that led to a personal crisis ... which isn't covered in the movie. Instead, the movie fast forwards several years, during which Jobs got married and reconciled with his daughter. None of the personal issues that make that time period so compelling in Jobs' life are even mentioned. The acting is fine, but the movie ends up being more like a really expensive corporate pep rally for Apple employees than a nuanced depiction of a fascinating but flawed man.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Jobs concentrates on the time that Steve Jobs spent founding Apple and turning it into the premier computer company in the world. Is there more to Jobs' life that the filmmaker doesn't show? Why does the film focus on Jobs as an entrepreneur/inventor instead of, say, as a husband and father?

  • How does the movie depict drug use? Is it glamorized? What are the real-life consequences for using substances like LSD?

  • How does Jobs change compared to the other original Apple founders/employees? What does the movie say about "what it takes" to be an innovator?

  • Does owning i-devices and Apple computers make you more interested in seeing the movie? How does the movie make you feel about Apple and Jobs -- loyal to his vision? Critical of his treatment of employees?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 16, 2013
DVD release date:November 26, 2013
Cast:Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad
Director:Joshua Michael Stern
Studio:Open Road Films
Genre:Drama
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some drug content and brief strong language

This review of Jobs was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • 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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byavatar2121 August 18, 2013
age 13+
 

Jobs review

This is a rare kinda of movie, it's one where you get so evolved with the story and characters that you at one point you forget your watching a movie and you feel like your actually there with the characters . This is the best movie I've seen all summer and i might go back to see it 1 or 2 more times. (Oh and the language can get pretty strong at some points.)
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written bydeezee2you August 17, 2013
age 13+
 

A good movie with a great star who brought Steve to you but not his life....

The movie is something my daughter wanted to see in the worst way. However, after 15 min of drugs and acid trips my daughter wanted to leave thinking it was a poorly done movie. I have to say I seen a lot of Steve Job and other movies. I was thinking the same thing at first. Once it got going I fell into it and 3 hours went by fast. The movie had so many things done in the era and time it was great to see so much detail. Ashton hit the manerisms of Jobs outstanding. I was so impressed. The story was good but I wish they had done more personal side of Steve Jobs than minutes of stuff we didn't need to see that was Hollywood "showy". I wish at the end they had more of a follow up than just his date of death. I did like it but still felt it could of done more.....as for your teen... my daughter liked it but only a tad and there is a generation with Ipods and Ipads that should seen it....they will never trully get what Steve was trying to do. Even after this movie......
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek August 16, 2013
age 14+
 

Awesome

Parents, this inspiring poignant drama about the man behind "Apple" is intriguing and good, but it is for teens and up, due to strong language and drug use. Violence includes a heated argument. Sex includes sexual references and a one-night-stand. Language includes f--k and s--t frequently. Steve smokes LSD. In the end, this great film is ages 14 up. SUGGESTED MPAA RATING: Rated PG-13 For Drug Content, Some Brief Sexual References & Language Throughout.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass