Monty Python's Life of Brian Movie Poster Image

Monty Python's Life of Brian

Sandaled Python pic too irreverent for young kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1979
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Brian becomes an unwitting martyr for a revolutionary group.


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).


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.


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."


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.

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.

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/Streaming release date:January 29, 2008
Cast:Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, John Cleese
Director:Terry Jones
Studio:Sony Pictures
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:R

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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 amount of blasphemy.
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 ungodly hard to follow, with several points that really just didn't add up at all (the scene with the aliens was so strange it was cringeworthy). I mean, The Meaning of Life was allowed to be incomprehensible, because it's a sketch comedy; but LOB is a film with story, so it just feels out of place. And aside from a few mildly amusing jokes, the humor is very mediocre, some of which is just rehashed from Holy Grail. I guess I do sort of respect the movie for attempting to make fun of religion in a way that a lot of other people wouldn't risk doing, but they just didn't do it the right way at all. On the upside, the actors do a fine job as usual, and the sets and costumes were very well-constructed. But even that's not saying much. The only part of the film that I thought was really good was the part at the end when (SPOILERS!) Brian and some other guys are being crucified, and to cheer themselves up, they all sing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I thought that was a very touching moment, because it captured the idea of life and death in a realistic way (it should have been in The Meaning of Life). But aside from that, the film really falls flat, with lame jokes, a muddled story, and nowhere NEAR enough sex for an R rated film. Go watch the other two movies.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old January 19, 2010
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