Justin Bieber's Believe Movie Poster Image

Justin Bieber's Believe

Earnest pop star docu should please true Beliebers.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

It's a concert documentary meant for entertaining and not educating, but viewers may learn about the recording process and how musicians like Justin Bieber work with various producers to write and release songs and an album.

Positive messages

Justin Bieber's Believe album stresses the idea that everyone should believe in themselves even in the face of potential criticism and doubt. If you believe, Bieber says, you will accomplish great things. He is also spreading the message that love is worth the risk of potential heartache, because without one you can't experience the other.

Positive role models

Bieber seems humble and grateful for his success. He genuinely seems indebted to his fans, and his team makes sure that at every concert, fans get upgraded seats and are even given the unexpected opportunity to sit in the front row. Justin adjusted his schedule to visit a dying young fan and made her his special guest at a concert. He cried over her death and dedicated a song at a concert to her. Bieber's parents and manager Scooter Braun are concerned with his growth as a man and him not falling into the trap of celebrity and fame.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some of the songs have mildly suggestive lyrics about what the singer would do if he were a girl's boyfriend, and Nicki Minaj's chorus of "Beauty and the Beat" includes a line "Buns out, wiener, but I gotta keep an eye out for Selener."

Language

A bleeped out exchange between Bieber and British paparazzi.

Consumerism

A couple of shots of Fiji water, several scenes of JB using his iPhone, but otherwise the only "brand" being shilled is Justin Bieber himself.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Justin Bieber's Believe is a concert documentary that follows the international popstar on his Believe tour, particularly his two nights in Miami in January 2013. Like Never Say Never, the movie is directed by Jon M. Chu and includes concert footage, behind-the-scenes interviews with the artist and his music team, as well as a look at the other artists involved in putting on his concerts, like the choreographer, stylist, and back-up dancers. There's no violence or language, but a few of the songs do have some slightly more mature and suggestive lyrics (but nothing too risque). There is one sad sequence that chronicles Bieber's relationship with a dying young superfan. The movie, like the album, hopes to inspire Bieber fans to believe in themselves and their dreams.

What's the story?

In JUSTIN BIEBER: BELIEVE, Jon M. Chu returns to direct not only a second documentary but also to join the Bieber team as creative director of his 2012-2013 concert tour. Unlike Never Say Never, which was glossy and 3D and heavily promoted, Believe is a more modest film that concentrates less on Justin Bieber's backstory and more on his need to justify his place in the music industry and to thank his throngs of fans for believing in him. The movie follows Bieber and his team as they work with world-renowned producers on songs, release the Believe album, and show their fans their gratitude in various ways throughout the tour.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Even if you're not a fan, you'll be impressed, if not overly entertained, by Bieber's showmanship and hard work. But none of these concert documentaries about young artists -- whether it's Bieber, One Direction, the Jonas Brother, or Katy Perry --  is going to compare to Martin Scorsese's epic chronicles of musical legends like Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, or George Harrison, and that's totally fine. At 19 years old, there isn't that much ground to cover, and the more fascinating bits -- how he's dealing with minor publicity debacles -- aren't mentioned with the exception of one run-in with a British paparazzo. What Chu does include this time around is a secondary set of interviews with tour choreographer Nick De Moura and his crew of talented back-up dancers as they audition and then perform alongside the Biebs.

Bieber is clearly on a mission to not be reduced to a fad with a great boot-strapping backstory. He wants to prove he's going to beat the odds ala Usher (one of the movie's producers and a personal friend of Bieber's) or the industry's other Justin (Timberlake). JB's career-long manager Scooter Braun talks at length about why Bieber is a true musician -- a songwriter, a vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist -- who deserves to work with the best producers in the biz (we see at least four of them sing Bieber's praises). The film is at its best when it just shows Bieber's performances and doesn't try to give us the hard sell about his talents. A sequence about Bieber's relationship with a dying 6-year-old fan, Avalanna Routh, seems genuine enough to elicit tears from moviegoers, and in the end, if you're a fan (even a male or adult fan -- they exist!), you will feel vindicated in your admiration. But please, let's lay off on another concert documentary until he's at least 25.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how every generation has huge musical acts. What is the difference between those who go the distance and those who can't evolve as they grow older? Do you think Justin Bieber will still be around in another five or ten years?

  • Do you consider Bieber a role model? If so, does he have a responsibility to his fans? Does the fact that he got mad at the paparazzi change your mind about him or does it just make him more human?

  • The director, Jon Chu, returns but not just as a director this time, but also as a creative director of the entire concert tour. How does that affect the film's objectivity about Bieber?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2013
DVD/Streaming release date:April 8, 2014
Cast:Justin Bieber, Ludacris, Usher
Director:Jon M. Chu
Studio:Open Road Films
Genre:Documentary
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:brief language and mild thematic material

This review of Justin Bieber's Believe was written by

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Kid, 11 years old January 1, 2014

Excellent Movie

This movie rocks!!!!!! There are many positive messages about believing in yourself, which also makes Justin a good role model. Justin is shown shirtless on stage and some of the lyrics are suggestive. There is a very sad scene in which Avalanna dies. There is also a scene with some bleeped language. Justin Bieber is a huge brand for this movie. Nicki Minaj says the word b**ch and says "Hit em with the ether" in "Beauty and a Beat." It is fine for tweens and teens.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 4, 2014
Teen, 16 years old Written bySodaDog January 9, 2014

Oh look, another family targeted movie turned into trainwreck.

The ratings board have really got it wrong this time, this should be PG-13! First of all, Justin Bieber cusses out at the paparazzi which really ruins the image; imagine the look at your child's face with the bleeped-out profanity coming from his mouth. Second, Common Sense FAILED to list the word "Bltch" when Justin Bieber sings "Beauty and a Beat"! Looks like Justin Bieber will turn into that trainwreck known as Madam Cyrus if he continues to be like this.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking