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Miss Congeniality

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Miss Congeniality Movie Poster Image
Pleasant and entertaining; some innuendo and profanity.
  • PG-13
  • 2000
  • 109 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 34 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywonder dove May 3, 2013

Lots of fun for 13+ crowd!

Much better than the 2nd movie, Miss Congeniality is super fun & entertaining! There is a perfect amount of humor here, Sandra Bullock is one fantastic... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byLauren D. December 13, 2017

Mildly Innapropiate

Was watching the movie with my daughter (12). Language is OK, except for a brief "oh sh*t" and "damn" "ass", words like that. Only... Continue reading
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 HAT... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylolakitty12 October 7, 2010

Perfects for Teens

Funny movie but also has a very good role model near the end when Gracie finds friendship in the other contestants.

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 clever 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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love comedies

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