Monty Python's Life of Brian

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Monty Python's Life of Brian Movie Poster Image
Sandaled Python pic too irreverent for young kids.
  • R
  • 1979
  • 94 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Brian becomes an unwitting martyr for a revolutionary group.

Violence

Brian's mom smacks an unseen baby. The Sermon on the Mount turns into a fist fight. A brawl breaks out at a stoning. Dismembered body parts are strewn around the Coliseum, but they look obviously fake. An imprisoned man is kept in a torture position. Roman centurions beat several people. Criminals are forced to carry crosses. And of course, people are crucified (no blood or nails are visible).

Sex

Male and female full-frontal nudity that's shown in a humorous, not-sexy manner. Judith and Brian kiss and wake up next to each other, but the nudity comes a bit later. Another man's naked behind is shown, but his front is coverd by his long, long hair.

Language

Slightly less swearing than the usual rated-R film: "f--k," "bastard," "damn," "bloody," "titty," "balls," "d--k," etc. Also, Brian calls himself some off-color words for Jewish: "kike," "Hebe," "Red Sea Pedestrian."

Consumerism

None, except for the popularity of the Monty Python comedians.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie, like other Monty Python films, pokes fun at religion, death, politics, and ancient history. Although the film is not about Jesus, it does jokingly convey the life of Jesus' contemporary, a man named Brian. The Monty Python crew lampoons not just religion but also revolutionaries, committee politics, and the Roman hierarchy. There is some violence, but it's cartoonish -- even the sight of dismembered bodies in the Coliseum. And while there are scenes of full-frontal nudity (male and female), it's meant to be humorous not sexual.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byMattmchugh February 14, 2011

Brilliant satire, but kids need to be old enough to absorb it

This movie definitely has more overt violence and sexual humor than Monty Python's Flying Circus (TV show) or even "Holy Grail." Still, that... Continue reading
Adult Written byFiggy66 July 26, 2010

OK for 11 year olds

Vewy funny the wife of bwian was some sex and a wittle viowence too the wanguage is not awl that bad.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow January 15, 2013

Really? This is the best you can do?

Of all things related to Monty Python, this is my least favorite. I don't know, am I the only person who thought this movie kind of sucked? The story is un... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover27 November 19, 2011

:)

As long as younger teenagers shut their eyes for the nudity bit, I don't this movie is a problem, but some people may get offended because there is a good... Continue reading

What's the story?

Brian is born at the same time as Jesus, and the three wise men mistake his birth for Christ's until they quickly realize their error and take back their gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Thirty-three years later, Brian is a concession salesman at the Coliseum, where he encounters a Judean revolutionary group trying to overthrow Roman rule. Meanwhile, a Messianic fervor has taken hold of people. Other self-proclaimed prophets are also claiming to be the son of God, so when Brian literally lands on the pulpit of one to escape the Romans, he just goes along with the charade.

Is it any good?

The Life of Brian isn't the comedy masterpiece that is The Holy Grail (nor is it as family friendly), but if you're a fan of the witty Monty Python gang, this a must-see comedy.

THE LIFE OF BRIAN is still known as a controversial film that was deemed blasphemous by leading Catholic and other Christian groups when it was released in 1979. However, the comedy doesn't mock Jesus Christ himself, although he's shown and mentioned briefly a couple of times. Instead, the film makes fun of large-scale biblical epics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the kinds of films Monty Python was lampooning. What stereotypical aspects of biblical epics does the film include? Is the film offensive or just funny, or somehow both -- why?

Movie details

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