Keeping Up with the Joneses

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Keeping Up with the Joneses Movie Poster Image
Fresh, funny action comedy has some violence, racy bits.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Don't judge a book by its cover. No matter how somebody might look, they probably have their own struggles. Also, friendships are born out of the most unusual circumstances -- if you're open to it. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jeff might sometimes come across as bumbling and ineffectual, but he's actually intelligent, insightful, and empathetic. Karen is also very personable and perceptive, and they make a good team. 

Violence

Plenty of action: Several car chases, shoot-outs, explosions, etc. Not much gore.

Sex

Passionate kissing/making out. Lots of sexual banter. Natalie sometimes uses her looks/feminine wiles to get intel. In one scene, a married woman propositions another. A woman flirts with her neighbor while they're both in a dressing room, clad in lingerie. A fantasy scene includes a married couple having sex (no sensitive nudity). Jokes about body parts. Brief references to future plans for sex (without visual depiction or explicit language) between consenting adults and older teens.

Language

Language includes variations of "s--t," "ass," "p---y," "hell," "damn," "oh my god," as an exclamation, and one "f--k."

Consumerism

Many products/labels seen, especially as an indication of the affluence and sophistication of some of the characters: Samsung, Apple, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz, Bloomingdales, Yelp, La Prairie, Roomba, Coca-Cola.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, sometimes to excess, including champagne, beer, and hard liquor. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Keeping Up with the Joneses is a hilarious hybrid of spy thriller, buddy comedy, and relationship drama. There's a fair amount of violence, including explosions and shootings, though not much blood. Language includes "s--t," "ass," and sparing use of "f--k." Characters kiss/make out passionately, and there's lots of sexual banter and a few racy scenes (women in lingerie, a married couple having sex, couples talking about/planning for sex, flirting, etc.). But nothing gets especially graphic or explicit. Expect some surprisingly insightful observations about long-term marriage and friendships. Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, and Jon Hamm star.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byNora E. November 22, 2016

Way too racy!

I, my husband, and my 15 year old son went to this movie. Way too racy & too many sexy scenes. I felt very uncomfortable with my son seeing this and a... Continue reading
Adult Written byJohn H. December 3, 2016

COMMON SENSE LIED TO ME AGAIN!!!!

After reading this review I expected so many good things from this movie. This movie was not funny and was not exciting at all. I am disappointed in these revie... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJflores14 October 22, 2016

Hilarious comedy is sure to impress, a bit inappropriate

Keeping Up with the Joneses was everything I expected going in: funny, crude, and a little irreverent. The acting was hilarious and cheesy, the writing was supe... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCara_Howell July 5, 2017

hmm..

I really didn't care for this movie. Now before I start I do want to say that Gal Gadot is a great actress and was amazing in Wonder woman, but this doesn... Continue reading

What's the story?

In KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES, Jeff and Karen Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher) live happily in the suburbs with their kids. Jeff is an HR manager at a tech company, while Karen works part-time as an interior designer. After sending their kids to camp, they discover that new neighbors, the Joneses, are moving in next door. Tim (Jon Hamm) is a travel writer, and Natalie (Gal Gadot) is a baker, blogger, and philanthropist. They seem too good to be true ... and maybe they are, as Karen and Jeff increasingly get the feeling that the Joneses may actually be spies.

Is it any good?

This satisfyingly irreverent action comedy is just what the doctor ordered for viewers for longing for a fun escape. Fisher and Galifianakis are pitch-perfect as parents who find themselves with too much time on their hands after the kids are shipped away to camp. And they then wind up feeling less than perfect after meeting their new, more sophisticated neighbors. Gadot and Hamm complete the strong quartet of stars; their characters have an entertaining, if a bit predictable, storyline.

What elevates Keeping Up with the Joneses is how it sneaks in insightful observations about marriage, identity, and friendships among its hi-jinks and hilarity. Sure, there are some holes in the plot, but who cares when the end result is good old-fashioned laughs?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Keeping Up with the Joneses handles violence. Since two of the main characters are spies, mayhem and killing are part of the plot. How does the humorous tone affect the impact of the violence?

  • Do you consider the characters role models? Why or why not?

  • What does the film have to say about male friendships, and how they form? Is it different for women? Why or why not?

  • The movie has some surprising takeaways about parenting, especially as children get older and spend longer stretches away from their parents. Does its handling of these subjects seem realistic?

Movie details

For kids who love funny action movies

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