Parents' Guide to

Network

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Biting '76 satire with a media-literacy lesson.

Movie R 1976 121 minutes
Network Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Prophetic and so true!!

If you are looking for a movie that compels you to examine the effect of media on our lives and the hollowness that it creates, you will be deeply affected by this masterpiece of satire and (sadly) comedy of our need fill the emptiness in our lives with trash.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

A scathing multiple Oscar nominee, NETWORK is often said to be the movie that predicted the advent of "trash TV." Though marketed as satire, it was not a belly-laugh parody like Scary Movie, but rather a stern, grownup broadside that set out to shock and outrage. In fact, over the years a few of its details are hardly farfetched anymore; not in the 21st-century tubescape of voyeuristic Reality shows, sleazy music-video channels, news sensationalism, and circus-freak daytime talk. Kids who come home from school to The Jerry Springer Show might wonder what the fuss is all about.

But Network bristles with righteous anger, featuring especially caustic dialogue by legendary writer Paddy Chayefsky, who was one of the great script authors of early TV drama. By the mid-1970s he didn't like what he was seeing, and the narrative takes place in a post-Watergate atmosphere of darkest cynicism, homegrown terrorism, Third World atrocities, oil shortages, inflation, recession, amorality, and all-around bad news. Just about every character, even minor ones, gets to do angry oratory that could blister the wallpaper. This movie begs the question three decades later: Has TV gotten better or worse? Network seems especially on-target about the idea of huge, anything-for-money corporations running the media (and everything else), a situation that's only intensified since the 1970s.

Movie Details

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