A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lots of manipulation, discrimination, and racism here -- but also positive examples of perseverance and resisting injustice.
Positive Role Models
Imani and Malik display perseverance against racist police officers and civilians who use violence and intimidation to try to manipulate them into moving out of the neighborhood.
Main characters are a White woman and a Black couple. While ethnically diverse, they are designed to represent shallow stereotypes of their identities.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
White police officers beat, punch, shove Black characters. One Black character is shown with a black eye. Two characters wrestle each other to the ground, try to strangle each other. In incident involving police and civilians, multiple characters are shot and shown with bleeding bullet wounds.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters shown in their underwear, embracing and kissing. Cleavage.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional use of "f--k" and "s--t." Also "damn," "oh my God," "ass," "bitch," and "hell." Insulting/derogatory terms like "these people" and "boy" (in reference to a Black man).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters smoke pot. Social drinking (also by adults) at a party.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Karen is a drama/thriller about a racist White woman (Taryn Manning) who terrorizes her new Black neighbors (Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke) in an attempt to force them to leave the neighborhood. When they refuse to leave, she enlists the help of her brother, a racist cop. The title/character name "Karen" is a reference to popular memes exposing White women who use their privilege to make unreasonable demands and to inflict violence on others, namely minorities. Expect several scenes of racist violence -- beating, punching, shoving, strangling -- as well as gun use resulting in death (bleeding bullet wounds shown). Other mature content includes occasional use of the words "f--k" and "s--t," drinking and pot smoking, and underwear-clad characters kissing and embracing. The Black couple display perseverance against Karen and her brother but are also portrayed in a way that's drawn from stereotype, somewhat undermining their characterization. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Karen is a kitschy representation of a very real threat: White women who are aware of their Whiteness and weaponize it. Manning plays the stereotypical "Karen," who's entitled, righteous in her racism, and convinced that her way is the right way. And Dorman plays his part, "racist White cop," with very little subtlety -- using phrases like "these people" and referring to Malik as a "boy." Even Hardrict and Burke's characters are drawn from stereotype: They have African art on the walls, smoke pot, and are sexualized throughout the movie. Like many of the popularized Karen memes, Karen displays the unbelievable lengths that some White women will go to in order to establish and maintain their superiority. Those memes, however, depict actual Karens. Fictionalizing this behavior, while satisfying and affirming to the experiences of many, runs the risk of creating a cartoon villain out of a real-life one.
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.