Mystery Team

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Mystery Team Movie Poster Image
Vulgar parody of kids' movies is definitely NOT for kids.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Makes sex, bad language, drugs, alcohol, etc. seem like a big joke; kids may not understand that this is a parody.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite the constant vulgar humor, sex and drug references, and occasional violence, the movie's three teen heroes are untouched by all of it. They are naïve and morally upright. They spend the film working to fulfill their dream of being detectives. They work together, solve problems, and rely on each other's strengths. That said, the bad behavior here cannot be ignored.


Our teen detectives try to solve a murder case, which leads them to dead bodies, threats, some fighting, and one mild shoot-out, in which one of the teens is wounded. There is minimal blood. In one scene, a girl is accidentally thrown out of a car and crashes into a sign, leaving a gaping wound on her neck. Perhaps most disturbingly, a younger kid carries a gun.


Most of the sex stuff comes in one long sequence, in which the teen detectives search for clues inside a sex club. We see several topless strippers, some lap-dancing, and other teens squeezing and touching female body parts. There's a weird room in which a perverse sex act is taking place, involving breast milk and a naked man lying on a table with his legs in the air. The three heroes are seen walking with "woodies" in their pants. The scene is likewise filled with sex talk and innuendo (as is, actually, the rest of the film). Some minor characters try to have sex with a pie and a loaf of bread, though offscreen. There's a brief, vague reference to pedophilia, as a joke.


This movie contains a constant barrage of profanity, though, interestingly, hardly any from the three lead characters, who are stuck in a state of perpetual adolescence. Language includes many, many uses of "f--k" and "s--t" in various permutations. There's also one use of the "N" word, plus "p---y," "c--t," "faggots," "asshole," "hell," "'tards," "bitch," "muff diver," "cooch," "vagina," "damn," and "piss."


One mention of a "No Fear" t-shirt, though not shown, and used as a joke in a line of dialogue.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A secondary character is a drug dealer, and the heroes pretend to "buy" cocaine from him, without really knowing what they're talking about. One of the heroes sneaks into a costume party, drinks bourbon with an older man, and gets drunk. A homeless person is seen passed out with a rubber tube tied around his arm and a needle sticking out of his vein.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that though Mystery Team looks like a kids' movie, it is most definitely NOT a kids' movie. It's more or less a parody of a "Encyclopedia Brown"-style kids' movie, filled with foul language, nudity, and sex -- including some slightly depraved sex -- drugs and booze, and some violence, including guns, shooting, and blood. The three lead actors, who also wrote the screenplay, are part of a college comedy troupe known as Derrick Comedy; their videos are popular on YouTube, and most of them are pretty vulgar. Oddly, the three actors play naïve and uncorrupted teens who do not participate in, and are not even aware of, most of the bad behavior in the movie. They come out squeaky clean. Only older teens and parents who have seen one too many kids' movies need apply.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 16 years old Written bykojitheman November 11, 2011

great movie

Really good. My rating:some violence, strong language, and a disturbing sex act.
Teen, 13 years old Written bycreamcheese7 June 26, 2011


The kids have good hearts but they are doing it for the humor of the movie.there is a lot of ba languge.nudity is also present ath "The Gentlemans Club... Continue reading

What's the story?

Best friends Jason (Donald Glover, from TV's Community), Duncan (D.C. Pierson), and Charlie (Dominic Dierkes) have been running a detective agency since they were seven. Oddly, now that they're nearly through with high school, they're still doing it. While under pressure to grow up and quit their kids' games, they are hired to solve their first real case: a murder. The parents of Kelly (Aubrey Plaza) and Brianna (Daphne Ciccarelle) were mysteriously killed in connection with some dirty dealings at the lumber mill, and police are baffled. The naïve detectives' adventure will take them to a sex club, a drug dealer, and other shady areas; will they be able to solve the case without getting killed? And will Jason win the heart of Kelly?

Is it any good?

Mystery Team looks deceptively like a kids' movie, but it surprises right out of the gate with unhinged vulgarity, sex, and drugs. Happily, even when the shock wears off, the movie -- written by and starring the members of the college comedy troupe Derrick Comedy -- remains funny, thanks to the decision to make its three hapless, stuck-in-adolescence detectives totally naïve and untouched by all the depravity.

These likeable misfits wander, morally clean, through the dirty landscape, and each side is able to humorously comment upon the other. The movie doesn't exactly provide non-stop laughter, but it does have a fair share of titters and chuckles. Director Dan Eckman could perhaps have picked up the pace a bit, but at least the jokes don't stop in the third act to make room for the conclusion of the mystery, like so many other comedies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's excessive profanity. Was it shocking? Was it funny? How necessary was it for the story?

  • The characters seem to be blissfully unaware of things like foul language, sex, alcohol, and drugs. Did this make them more appealing? Did it make the movie funnier?

Movie details

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