A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teens engage in premarital sex and don't appear to treat their virginity very seriously. Serious issues like abortion are treated with irreverence. But little of it feels disrespectful; rather, it appears to reflect a general sense of hyperawareness among today's teens.
Positive Role Models
Despite her jaded exterior, Juno is intelligent, resilient, and resourceful and ultimately acts out of concern and love. Her parents are supportive, even though they're also disappointed.
Violence & Scariness
Nothing but verbal sparring.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Plenty of talk -- this is, after all, a movie about a teenager who gets pregnant -- but little is seen onscreen. There are flashes of a 16-year-old's bare legs and hints that she and her partner have removed their underwear, but there's no real nudity (though the boy takes his shirt off, the girl keeps hers on). Words like "humping" are bandied about to discuss hookups, some of which are described as "magnificent." A young couple kisses tenderly.
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Language is colorful (lots of variations on the words "s--t," as well as uses of "a--hole," "bastard," and "dick")creative ("f--ketty"), and frequent. Juno flashes the finger once.
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Products & Purchases
Juno drinks from a bottle of Sunny D (label clearly visible); mentions of Smirnoff Ice, Boons, Adderall, Sonic Youth, Pellegrino, and Vitamin water. Much swooning over guitar brands like Les Paul and Fender.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Discussion of both drinking and taking drugs, but no glimpses of actual use of either. Juno mentions selling her Adderall (an ADD drug).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Juno is a well-written, warmhearted comedy that tackles a serious subject: teen pregnancy. It has real bite, as well as frank sex talk and some swearing, which makes it iffy for younger viewers. But there's plenty here to appeal to older teens -- not the least of which is Superbad's Michael Cera, who co-stars. Unlike a lot of teen-centric Hollywood fare, the film doesn't condescend. Even its treatment of teen pregnancy, which may appear cavalier at first, comes across as sensitive and mature in the end. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Credit Page for her pitch-perfect performance as a maverick teen who's so unlike many of her peers and yet very much like them, too. Sixteen-year-old Juno is a mouthy handful, yet she's also smart and soulful, warm and witty, and she actively searches for answers -- which makes her a refreshing character amid many other movies' disinterested, disaffected teens. She's cut from Gilmore Girls cloth, older than her years but still unsure of her direction. The beauty of the movie is how relationships that initially seem clear-cut -- Juno and her parents, Juno and Vanessa, Juno and Mark, Mark and Vanessa and, finally, Juno and Paulie -- grow more complex and, as a result, more fascinating. For all her bravado, it's soon apparent that Juno really is still a kid when she tells her father, "I don't really know what kind of girl I am." She's been so distant and sardonic -- she says things like "I'm a legend. They call me the cautionary whale" -- that when she breaks down, it's all the more moving.
The rest of the cast is also strong. Jason Bateman is stupendous, and in fact, everyone appears to be on their best game. Screenwriter Diablo Cody's dialogue snaps and scores; her people sound and feel real but are infinitely more interesting than we are. The only quibble, and it's a small one, may be that Juno sometimes feels self-consciously cool. But if that's all there is to offend, then may moviegoers have more "offensive" films like this in their future.
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