A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.