Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D Movie Poster Image
Dangerous stunts, teasing, injuries aren't entertaining.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The characters are ridiculed for being outsiders and then celebrated for their "courage" in performing these ridiculous stunts -- which unfortunately make them famous. Characters also tease each other while preparing for stunts. That said, the movie does come with the usual warning against trying these stunts at home, and there are consequences in at least one case: one stunt goes terribly wrong, and a driver is sent to the hospital.

Positive Role Models & Representations

One character, "Wheelz" -- who's in a wheelchair -- shows that people with disabilities can do exciting and dangerous things as well as able-bodied people. But overall the characters are immature and irresponsible.


No weapons or blood, but there are many scenes of gratuitous, life-altering violence, including dozens of car crashes, bicycle crashes, and many other crashes. Human bodies slam into the ground or water with horrible, painful impact. Some characters sustain bruises or painful injuries, and sometimes they're taken to the hospital for treatment.


The lone female member of the team, Jolene Van Vugt, is shown taking sexy pictures during the film's opening minutes. She wears a revealing, tight leather outfit. But during the rest of the movie, she appears normally and is just one of the "guys."


A couple of uses of "f--k" are bleeped, as are some uses of "s--t" (but not all). Other audible language includes "p---y," "crap," "butt," "vagina," "hell," "ass," "balls," "bastard," "damn," "oh my god," and "douche."


The cast members have corporate sponsors and are constantly seen wearing T-shirts and hats with corporate logos. Logos also appear on various vehicles. They're mostly for sports drinks: Red Bull, Muscle Milk, Rockstar, and Monster. Suzuki is also a sponsor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcoholic beverages are mentioned, as in "I'm going to go have a beer," but nothing is actually shown. "Moonshine" is mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D is a big-screen version of MTV's Travis Pastrana and his band of crazy stuntmen doing their usual dangerous, over-the-top stuff. Expect tons of wild stunts -- mostly involving sending various vehicles up and over ramps -- as well as lots of crashes and injuries; one character survives a horrible car crash and goes to the hospital. Language is fairly strong; "f--k" is bleeped, and "s--t" is sometimes, too, but not always. The team's lone female member is seen posing for sexy pictures while wearing a revealing leather outfit. There's also heavy product placement, as several sports drinks are corporate sponsors. These guys have many young fans who will be clamoring to see this movie and, despite a warning at the beginning about not trying this stuff at home, possibly eager to try similar stunts themselves. So beware.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRossicat May 24, 2019
An interesting documentary/film that kids will love however definite use of s**t and f**k which I wish had been bleeped.... as my 9 year old really wanted to wa... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 and 15-year-old Written byxtremefam August 20, 2012

Don't take life so serious.

Ok I read the other reviews and guess my family dynamic is a little different. Our family vacations are taken around extreme sports and my kids have seen Nitro... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 30, 2012
Teen, 15 years old Written byantoineisthebest August 30, 2012

don't go see it

jackass for kids
go see jackass it is way better
nitro circus suck

What's the story?

X Games motorsports competitor Travis Pastrana teams up with his old buddies, dubbed the "Nitro Circus," to perform many dangerous stunts and prepare for live show in Las Vegas. Stunts include leaping a bicycle between two 40-story buildings, trying to crash and flip a race car more than seven times, and being pulled up a ramp and into a lake by a motorcycle engine. Some stunts succeed, others fail, and many performers are injured. The movie culminates with a few minutes of footage from the Vegas show.

Is it any good?

Directed by two Nitro Circus team members, Gregg Godfrey and Jeremy Rawle, the movie's a bit confusing at the outset because of opposing tones. Pastrana earnestly tries to explain the significance of his group, claiming that they aren't deterred by the impossible. Then, in the next moment, the group members are introduced, accompanied by teasing and ridicule. As the movie unspools, the group members tease one another constantly, and it's difficult for newcomers to get to know them -- or care much about them.

The stunts are mostly effective when they go wrong, coaxing feelings of empathy for pain and human suffering. But otherwise, they're not particularly thrilling. Comparisons to the Jackass series are obvious, especially when Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine make appearances. Though not brilliant, the Jackass stunts are at least outrageous and disgusting, eliciting much stronger reactions. NITRO CIRCUS: THE MOVIE is equally dumb, and much duller to boot.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stunts. Movies like Nitro Circus highlight stunts that -- unlike those in blockbuster action films -- seem to involve neither planning nor safety. Which looks more exciting? Why? Which seem more "real" or more dangerous? Why do you think people choose to perform these kinds of stunts?

  • How does the impact of this kind of violence compare to that of action and horror movies? Are stunts more fun to watch if have more potential danger? Why?

  • Why do these kinds of performers become so famous? What message does that send to kids?

  • Why do the performers spend so much time teasing and ridiculing one another? Do they come across as real friends?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

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