Monty Python's Life of Brian

  • Review Date: December 4, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1979
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sandaled Python pic too irreverent for young kids.
  • Review Date: December 4, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1979
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 17, 1979
DVD release date:January 29, 2008
Cast:Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, John Cleese
Director:Terry Jones
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:R

This review of Monty Python's Life of Brian 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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Quality

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; OK 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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Written byAnonymous December 20, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
It is arguably the most hilarious film ever, if your kids are old enough. If you have children that laugh a lot at nudity or find it funny when someone swears, you cannot let them see the film. But a mature child will find this film great. This film also includes the single most random/funny moment in film history, when Brian is falling from a tower and is randomly caught in mid-air by an alien spacecraft, which goes very far out in space, then encounters a maulfunction, and randomly comes right back to Earth on the exact same spot the aliens found Brian. The aliens die, and Brian somehow survives.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover27 November 19, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

:)

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 amount of blasphemy.
Teen, 15 years old Written byevolinag August 27, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Comedy classic is one of the funniest movies of all time, but has nudity.

"Life of Brian" by cult comedy group Monty Python is one of the most acclaimed comedies of all. And i also think that the gags are excellent, the plot is great and the actors are great in their roles (note that the Pythons plays several roles in one movie). Memorable scenes are Ceaser's barely understandable speech, a random space trip and a musical crucifixation among many other great scenes. An absolute masterpiece of work. There is one scene of full frontal male nudity followed by full frontal female nudity, but both scenes are not in a sexual context. There is much religious humour, but it was not as offensive as everyone says. It is a satire. Suitable for children 12 and up.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old January 19, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
this is a surprisingly clean and hilarious comedy classic that many parents of 12-13 year olds will have seen, and will be keen to show to their kids, however, some kids might get bored with the subtle/non-slapstick humour and might not understand the sly, clever jokes about religion etc. so if your kid knows a lot about religion and understands things like that then they will enjoy it more than someone who has no idea about the stories in the Bible etc. There is some salty language including f**k and some brief nudity, but nothing no 12 year old hasnt seen :) its very funni but you need to have a bit of understanding of christianity... maybe a talk about religion before or after viewing the film might help.. your choice :)
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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