Juno

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Juno Movie Poster Image
Brilliant teen-pregnancy comedy, but iffy for kids.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 92 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 61 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 158 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

Nothing but verbal sparring.

Sex

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.

Language

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.

Consumerism

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).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Juno is a well-written, warmhearted comedy tackles a very 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 year old Written byLB2010 December 25, 2010

mixed feelings

It's a good movie, but I have mixed feelings about some of the messages. Yes, it's about a teenager taking responsibility for an unintended pregnancy.... Continue reading
Parent of a 14 year old Written byAlexis46 September 10, 2009

If you want your teens to think pregnancy is cool...

Teenage girl shoplifts from a storekeeper who is kind to her, vomits in her mother's favorite vase and has unprotected sex with a boy she doesn't even... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byPeanutButterAndKelly February 23, 2009

Really Great Movie, 14+

I saw this when i was nearly 14, when it first came out, and it's a really great teen movie, with sarcastic humor from the protagonists, but mature in how... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 2, 2009

Great for teens.

Although this sounds unappropriate, but i was 9 when i first saw this movie, on the t.v. on a plane, and it probably wasn't suitable at the time but as soo... Continue reading

What's the story?

JUNO's 16-year-old protagonist, Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page), is a handful: She's mouthy and opinionated, disdains authority, thinks she knows everything, pops ADD drug Adderall, and has casual sex. And if she has to take on pregnancy to complete her journey into adulthood, then so be it. After a tryst with best friend Paulie (Michael Cera) gets her knocked up, Juno weighs her options and decides to have the baby -- not so she can keep it, but so she can make another couple happy. Picking the right candidates doesn't take too long; she finds Yuppie pair Mark and Vanessa Loring's (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) ad in the PennySaver. After one visit, she's convinced they're the perfect grown-ups. But while Juno wrestles with how she truly feels about the experience and -- equally importantly -- about Paulie, it's clear that the adults she thinks have it all figured out may be just as lost as she is.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teen sex and pregnancy. Can you think of other movies and TV shows that have tackled these subjects? How does this film approach the topics differently?

  • Does Juno's journey seem realistic? What about how she handles her situation? Do you think things would be likely to work out similarly in real life?

  • What are your family's beliefs about teen sex? Are teens and parents in agreement or not?

Movie details

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