Much Ado About Nothing

Movie review by S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Much Ado About Nothing Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Joss Whedon makes teen-friendly Shakespeare; some drinking.

PG-13 2013 109 minutes

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 1 review

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

It's Shakespeare so...

I liked this version of Much Ado. If I wanted to be picky...Conrade and Benedick weren't great. But overall it was very good. Very modern and classy. However, it's Shakespeare so... there's some language and a lot of suggestive dialogue. Admittedly it takes a couple times to discover most of the content. There's a bit of violence that could frighten younger children (though they probably wouldn't have much interest anyways) - a father smacks his adult daughter, a faux funeral procession. Also, there's one scene of implied sexual content. Nothing's explicit but there's an overtone that Don Jon may have forced himself on his lover. Overall it's a lovely film. Beautifully shot and well acted. But probably not appropriate...or interesting...for most young teens and below.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

Much Ado for adults

A dark, more mature take than the joyous Branagh version, in cool black and white with more sinister overtones. Everything works out in the end, just barely, but there's an underlying sense of menace. Implied casual sex and LOTS of drinking. I think of this as the "nice" version of Taming of the Shrew; the same battle of the sexes banter, except both parties end up giving a little and neither is totally humiliated or subjugated. Hero and Claudio may be the Dullest Lovers in Shakespeare, but who could resist the reluctantly lovesick Benedict: "I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is that not strange?" Yes, wondrously strange. And wonderful that this is a story of two former lovers who broke each other's hearts, and must conquer their mutual distrust before the happy ending. A mature Romeo and Juliet, no longer starry eyed, but old enough to know what they're doing and yet still fall rapturously in love.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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