Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Keanu Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Hilarious comedy has violence, drugs, nudity, and a kitten!
  • R
  • 2016
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid the over-the-top content is the message that you shouldn't judge people based on their looks or demeanor; those who look "bad" can actually be good. Also, be true to yourself, rather than trying to please those around you. And racial and cultural stereotypes are challenged.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though the movie challenges stereotypes, the characters regularly engage in very iffy behavior; while there are consequences, that still doesn't make them clear role models.


Frequent action violence, with an underlying comic tone. Guns and shooting, blood spurts, dead bodies. Knives. Fighting, with characters smashed into tables. Car chase, with crashes; cars run people over. Characters wear necklaces made of human fingers. Samurai sword.


Topless women in a strip club. Married couple talks about having sex. Reference to sexually transmitted disease. Flirting, brief kissing.


Very strong language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," the "N" word," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "balls," "d--k," and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the main characters is a regular pot smoker. Several supporting characters are drug dealers. A new drug called "Holy S--t" is introduced, and some characters try it. (It looks like crystal meth.) Drug manufacturing sites are shown. Smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the action comedy Keanu marks the big-screen debut of TV comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Even though the plot centers around a cute kitten, the content is frequently over the top and not for younger audiences. Strong, frequent violence includes guns and shooting, blood spurts, dead bodies, car chases, fighting, and more. Scenes set inside a strip club include topless women, and there are other sexual references, too. Several characters are drug dealers, and the main characters use drugs and drink alcohol on more than one occasion. Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, "bitch," "ass," and more. All of that said, the movie does challenge racial and cultural stereotypes, and it sends messages about not judging others and being true to yourself.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byK Q August 15, 2016


This movie has breasts in it which I think is fine. I have a 9 year old son and he knows the that boys and girls have different bodies. It also has frequent dru... Continue reading
Adult Written byBenthan November 1, 2019
Teen, 15 years old Written bythemovieman123 April 7, 2021

Cute cats, severed body parts, and drugs.

Great movie but just too much violence. One scene a murderer is wearing a necklace of his victims wiener.
Teen, 13 years old Written byNickbrick03 April 29, 2016

beautifuly put together movie

This is probaly one of the best movies of the whole year. I was stunned by how well it was put together. A common mistake that filmakers tend to make is when th... Continue reading

What's the story?

Dumped by his girlfriend, Rell (Jordan Peele) finds a new lease on life when an adorable kitten, whom he names Keanu, appears on his doorstep. Little does he know that the feline has escaped from a drug lab. When Rell's apartment is ransacked and Keanu goes missing, he and his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) head into gangster territory to find the kitten. Posing as tough guys "Tectonic" and "Shark Tank," they meet with menacing drug lord Cheddar (Method Man) and are given a deal: If they help deliver a new street drug, Keanu will be returned. Unfortunately, everything goes south. Meanwhile, two mysterious, sinister killers are roaming the streets, and everyone seems to want to keep poor Keanu!

Is it any good?

After finding success as a comedy team on the small screen, Key and Peele make an effortless leap to the big one in this irreverent but consistently funny and good-hearted action-comedy. KEANU isn't terribly ambitious, and the guys don't really have anything in mind other than making us laugh. They have lots of fun playing with racial and cultural stereotypes, reminding us that people are people, and books shouldn't be judged by their covers.

Even better, Key and Peele make a great team; they're right up there with many of the movies' top cinematic comedy duos, playing off each other's personalities with wit and charm. They seem to truly enjoy each other's company, and it's infectious. (Peele co-wrote the screenplay but gave Key the most outrageous character.) Director Peter Atencio helps put together an exciting ride, with well-crafted fight and chase scenes and a third act that doesn't forget the jokes. Plus you can never go wrong with a cute kitten.

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Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and comedy

Themes & Topics

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