King Kelly

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
King Kelly Movie Poster Image
Tons of sex, drugs in satire of "Generation Me" teens.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 84 minutes

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Kids say

age 18+
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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main character, who's selfish and narcissistic to an extreme degree, learns absolutely nothing over the course of the movie, nor -- it seems -- does anyone else.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are horrible, especially the main character, who's thoroughly selfish and narcissistic. She spends her time interrupting others, being angry when they don't understand her point of view, seeking her own pleasure, or simply posing and enjoying the power of her beauty and sexuality. Characters who challenge her are simply eliminated from the story.


A gun is pulled, and a secondary character is shot (with a little blood shown). There's some intense punching and assault in one or two scenes. But mostly the violence is concentrated on arguments and threats.


Some extreme sexual content. The main character is a performer on a sex webcam site. She's shown topless in two scenes, and she masturbates for her webcam -- it's not shown, but viewers can hear her moans and language. Viewers can read the posted comments from her "fans"; she later has sex with one of those same fans. No genitalia are shown, but it's clearly a sex act. There are various other sexual situations, mostly suggested, but some partly shown, involving teens. The entire movie features crass, intense, and constant sex talk.


Strong, constant language, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t" and various permutations of both, as well as "p--y," "ass," "boobs," "bitch," "d--k," "damn," etc. There are also a few middle finger gestures and many uses of "oh my God," mostly uttered by teen girls.


Apple iPhones are used to film everything in the movie. They're shown quite often but rarely referred to by brand name. Facebook is also shown several times but not mentioned by name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two teen girls -- and a state trooper -- go on an all-day, all-night drinking and drug binge. They drink vodka, snort cocaine, and take Ecstasy and other pills. The teens drive drunk and high and crash their car. Many other minor characters -- all teens -- are shown high on pot or drinking or taking various other kinds of drugs. The wear and tear of this abuse is shown on their faces and in a scene in which one character nearly passes out on the bathroom floor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that King Kelly (a comedy shot almost entirely on iPhones) comments on the "me" generation's callousness, selfishness, narcissism, and obsession with fame. But while it's about teens, it's filled with mature material that makes it (ironically) not age appropriate for anyone under 18. To start, it has extreme sexual content, including a topless teen character (the actress playing her is really 26), simulated webcam masturbation, other sex acts, and sexual innuendo. Language is equally strong, with constant uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Teen girls are seen abusing alcohol and drugs over the course of a night (mainly vodka, cocaine, and Ecstasy), and other teens are seen drunk and high on pot. There's also some violence: A state trooper assaults a teen, and a secondary character is shot. It's not exactly a hopeful movie, but the sheer negative portrayal of these characters could inspire mature teens to become better people.

User Reviews

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Kid, 7 years old June 12, 2020

What's the story?

Teenage Kelly (Louisa Krause) earns money by stripping and masturbating for a webcam service; she hopes to launch her own site soon, believing that she'll become extra-famous. Her best friend, Jordan (Libby Woodbridge), helps her out. When Kelly's ex-boyfriend, Ryan (Will Brill), takes back his car -- which Kelly has been driving -- he doesn't realize that she left a shipment of heroin in the trunk. She has to get the drugs back before serious trouble comes down. But in Kelly's world, things operate in Kelly's way and on Kelly's own clock. First, there's a little fun to be had. One of Kelly's fans, a state trooper known as "Poo Bare" (Roderick Hill), shows up to help, but eventually he only adds to the trouble.

Is it any good?

This film is outrageous, cynical, and not always easy to watch, but it's quite smart. Quite a few recent movies have been filmed on portable devices by their characters, and KING KELLY is no exception; it appears as if Kelly and Jordan captured the entire adventure on their iPhones, and, indeed, director Andrew Neel did use that technology for at least most of his movie. Thankfully, however, Neel appears to have something to say about the entire thing, rather than being content to rest on his gimmick.

His characters and their absurd situation demonstrate the kind of attitude that seems to be behind the YouTube and Facebook phenomenon, a kind of selfish, callous, narcissistic state of being that allows for no actual human input or interaction. (Even during sex, Kelly films her own face, posing and pouting for her "fans.") The plot about finding the drugs by a certain time is eventually dropped so that Kelly (well played by Krause) can get her way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the teen characters' casual attitude toward sex. How do they use it? Is it about love/romance or something else? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Why are these teens obsessed with filming every detail of their lives and posting the footage online? What's the intense appeal of fame among young people? Why is it important to self reflect before you self reveal?

  • King Kelly's main character is selfish, callous, and narcissistic. Do you think she's meant to be likable? Funny? Does she make you want to be like her or avoid being like her?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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