A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nacho Libre is a 2006 movie in which Jack Black plays a Mexican monk who decides to become a Luchador in part to follow his dreams but also to try and help the children in the orphanage where he works. This movie contains a lot of comic action -- including some training sessions where Ignacio gets splattered by food and attacked by bees -- and some violence in the wrestling ring (body slams, flying leaps, one character gets a corn cob in the eyesocket). There's frequent and unrelenting comedic pratfall style violence -- wedgies, kicks, and punches to the crotch -- as well as gross-out humor involving mucous, feces, flatulence. Basically, the stuff 11-year-old boys everywhere will love with nothing to alarm the parents. Some of Nacho's opponents are quirky characters, including some feral dwarf wrestlers. Black's Mexican accent might seem like cultural stereotyping to some.
What's the story?
Ignacio (Jack Black) is a cook at the Mexican monastery where he was raised. But he just doesn't fit in. He cares deeply for the orphans he feeds, but the food is terrible. He decides to make money to buy better food for the kids, and while he's at it, impress the lovely Sister Encarnacion (Ana de la Reguera). When he discovers he has a natural talent for wrestling, he becomes "Nacho Libre," a masked wrestler who takes matches for cash. His training partner, Esqueleto (Hector Jimenez) puts him through his paces, but not without inflicting bodily harm during training sessions. A major flaw in Nacho's plan is that wrestling is strictly forbidden by the church elders at the monastery. So he's forced to lead a double life, concealing his true identity with a sky blue mask and painfully tight wrestling garb. For the first time in his life, Ignacio fits in and has something to fight for. He tries explaining this to Sister Encarnacion, but she tells him, "Wrestling is a sin. When you fight for someone who needs your help, only then will God bless you."
Is it any good?
NACHO LIBRE is quirky and silly, with some of the best writing and characters around. Given the offbeat nature of director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), the star (School of Rock), and the writer (Mike White, who wrote The Good Girl and School of Rock), this movie is destined to go down as a cult classic, with lines you'll be quoting for years. Jack Black (who also produced the movie) is surprisingly agile in the ring, and Hector Jimenez is a scene stealer.
Even if you don't "get" this type of goofy humor, Nacho Libre is still a sweet movie with a good message about caring for others -- even if Jack Black in tight pants is an image you'd just as soon forget.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about goofy movies. Who is the intended audience? How can you tell?
How is Mexican culture conveyed in this movie? Do you think it's an accurate representation of Mexican culture, or is even intended to be?
This movie frequently finds humor in pratfalls. Why do you think there's a timeless appeal for some in seeing characters hurt themselves or others in absurd ways?
- In theaters: June 16, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: October 24, 2006
- Cast: Ana de la Reguera, Hector Jimenez, Jack Black, Peter Stormare, Richard Montoya
- Director: Jared Hess
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Sports and martial arts, Misfits and underdogs
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some rough action, crude humor, and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.