A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
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.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
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."
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A bleeped out exchange between Bieber and British paparazzi.
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Products & Purchases
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
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.