Miss Congeniality

  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 109 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Pleasant and entertaining; some innuendo and profanity.
  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 109 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Stereotypical jokes about women, beauty contestants, and female-related subjects are frequent. The various ways that women empower themselves is also discussed.

Positive role models

Agent Hart is rough around the edges and usually doesn't follow the rules (either professionally or socially), but is strong, self-empowered, and has a big heart. Male agents often engage in sexist behavior.


Contains lots of punching, kicking, and pushing, mostly during law enforcement operations; a few lead to injuries. Guns, bombs, and explosions are visible. Women's self-defense maneuvers are also featured/discussed. Screams are occasionally audible as a result of painful beauty regimens. A sexual assault is briefly discussed.


Contains some sexual innuendo, including mild references to virginity, male genitals, breasts, porn, homosexuality, and having sex. Beauty contestants are shown in bras and skimpy bathing suits.


Occasional strong words like "ass," "crap," "Goddamn," and "s--t" audible.


Logos for Starbucks, Bud Light, Ben & Jerry's are prominently visible. The Alamo Dome is visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (beer, shots, wine, cocktails) is occasionally visible. An extended club scene features some drunken behavior.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Miss Congeniality features lots of fun, lighthearted comedy and well-delivered punch lines, but also contains a fair share of sexual innuendo and sexist jokes. There's lots of punching, kicking, and one explosion (though injuries are few), and a reference to a sexual assault. There is some profanity ("ass," "crap," "Goddamn," and "s--t"). Drinking (cocktails, shots, wine) is occasionally visible. Logos for Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, and Bud Light are prominently featured.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Sandra Bullock plays Grace, an FBI agent who lives for her job. She gets in trouble for not following orders and is considered so expendable that she is the one sent to Starbucks for coffee. She is more at home subduing a suspect than having a conversation with an attractive man, and spends more time with her gun than she does with a hairbrush or make-up mirror. When the FBI needs an agent to go undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant, she is the only one who might be able to pass. So the Bureau hires Victor Melling (Michael Caine), a consultant, to oversee her transformation and her transition into the world of big hair and baton twirling.

Is it any good?


Bullock the producer found a pretty good vehicle for Bullock the actress in this variation on the classic Hollywood "makeover movie." As in predecessors from Cinderella to My Fair Lady to Pretty Woman, MISS CONGENIALITY is at its core the story of an ugly duckling who finds empowerment and a boyfriend after a few pointers on good grooming and accessorizing. But Bullock's performance and a couple of new twists on the classic formula make it a pleasant and entertaining effort.

There are few new jokes to be made about beauty pageants, but Bullock delivers the lines as though no one had ever said them before. The plot is flimsy, but Bullock plays it as though it is really happening. She gets some fine support from Caine and from Candice Bergen and William Shatner as the pageant's director and master of ceremonies, both far more three-dimensional than Benjamin Bratt as Grace's FBI colleague/Prince Charming.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about beauty pageants. What are some of the stereotypes about women and beauty pageants? What about women in law enforcement?

  • How do movies reinforce and/or challenge stereotypes? Is it appropriate to rely on stereotypes for humor?

  • How is this film a typical Hollywood "makeover" movie? How is it different?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 22, 2000
DVD release date:June 1, 2004
Cast:Benjamin Bratt, Michael Caine, Sandra Bullock, William Shatner
Director:Donald Petrie
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual references and a scene of violence

This review of Miss Congeniality was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old January 18, 2011

Happy film that every girl will laugh at Bullocks tomboy character.

This giddy little movie starring Sandra Bullock is about a tremedously boyish FBI agent that has to go undercover as a pagent princess in Miss America. She HATES pagents, but to keep her job she has to. She has to change her wardrobe,hair, actually put on makeup, walk normally, and look good in a bathingsuit while trying to hide the FBI badge she has stored under sleeve. There is really nothing bad but an explosion. Also pagents is a product of consumerism. Some of the pagent girls do get drunk. Nothing bad happens. It is a very funny and good movie. All ages is actually good for this movie. But I would recommend it for 10+.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bylaughingbear. July 29, 2009
I loved this movie and so did my kid.
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 10, 2010

Amusing undercover comedy for teens and up

Sandra Bullock has again proven she is a delight to watch, and with Michael Caine as one of the best co-stars in any comedy I've ever seen, you can't miss this. Parents: There is a lot of sexual humor, language, and some violence. Bottom Line: With action, heart, and humor, this is a great pick for any families with teens. Thanks for reading! - Movie Man
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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