Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Movie Poster Image
Compelling docu about a young star's rise to the top.
  • G
  • 2011
  • 105 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 129 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

The film is intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Got a dream? Then keep persevering and honing your craft, because good things come to those who work hard. Also, don't ever forget where you come from, and be grateful.

Positive role models & representations

Talent is just part (albeit a big part) of Bieber's success. Hard work and dogged perseverance also play big roles, and it's clear he takes his career seriously while also valuing his family. He's sometimes stubborn, but ultimately he comes across as a really grounded teen.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language

Infrequent use of words like "knucklehead" and "oh my God" (as an exclamation).

Consumerism

A fair amount of labels are shown or name-dropped, including Korg, Super Mario, and McDonald's. And, of course, the film promotes Justin Bieber, the brand.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this 3-D documentary about pop star Justin Bieber will be a must-see for his scores of tween and teen fans, who will love the footage from Bieber's early life, as well as the energetic concert scenes shot during a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. With no iffy sex, violence, or language content to speak of, the film is surprisingly inspirational -- even those who aren't already Bieber fans are likely to walk away respecting not just his talent, but also his work ethic and family relationships. Just be ready for loads of enthusiastic screaming from young audience members (and maybe from a few grown-up fans, too).

User Reviews

Adult Written byjoshua martinez May 29, 2011

7 and up.

this documentary movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is a good movie and parents there's nothing that you need to worry about in this movie the message is...
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written byCarolina-Mom February 12, 2011

Great movie!

I saw it in 3D today with my 10 yo daughter. She really wanted to see it and I wanted to see it to be able to discuss together. I am amazed at how much I actual...
Kid, 10 years old April 10, 2011

Perfect For All Ages!!!!

I absolutely adored the movie!!! All those people who said it was bad only said that because they're jealous of his perfect life. I bet they haven't...
Teen, 13 years old Written byThe Fooshster February 3, 2011

For Fans Only?

My opinion of this new movie is ... They are obviously trying to convert the haters/nonfans over to being crazed "beliebers." This movie is certainly...

What's the story?

JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER follows the mega pop star during the 10-day lead-up to his biggest performance: a sold-out show in Madison Square Garden. As viewers see him hit other cities on his way to Manhattan, we meet his parents and grandparents, childhood friends, teachers, manager, vocal coach, bodyguard, tour manager, road manager, and various other members of his entourage. Audiences also watch Bieber grow up on screen, thanks to family videos.

Is it any good?

Surprisingly affecting in places, the movie reveals a young man who's willing to work hard and also stays grateful for the successes he's achieved in his young life. The home videos are especially crowd pleasing and include family moments that die-hard fans will appreciate. The film's narrative is emotionally rewarding for viewers, especially those who want to savor one song after another. Musical numbers are choreographed and shot well and even allowed to play to completion, without too many frustrating cuts. What's less satisfying is that we don't really hear much from Bieber himself. A boy with so many talents should be allowed to recount his own journey, and that would have given the film much more depth. And one other quibble: The 3-D bits feel unnecessary and gimmicky, a decision that seems to have been driven more by commerce than artistry. But, all of that said, Bieber's many fans, young and old(er), are sure to enjoy this look into his life.

Pretty much anyone who deals with tweens and teens -- teachers, parents, pediatricians, etc. -- knows who Justin Bieber is: the YouTube-to-riches singer/star who's taken the world by storm with his overswept hair, sincere voice, wicked dance steps, and astonishing facility with various musical instruments (piano, guitar, drums, the djembe). Never Say Never cements that mythology, and then some.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Bieber is viewed by his fans -- and portrayed by the media. What is his image? Does this film reinforce that image?

  • Do you consider Bieber a role model? If so, does he have responsibilities to his fans?

  • How is this film similar to, or different from, other concert documentaries?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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