Nurse Betty

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Nurse Betty Movie Poster Image
Offbeat comedy has a few violent scenes.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some gruesome violence, characters in peril.


Sexual references and situations.


Strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie, while primarily a comedy, has some scary and violent moments. The scalping scene is pretty grisly. The movie also has strong language and sexual situations.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byFosterFan September 23, 2011

Great film, not for children.

One of Renée Zellweger's most accomplished performances, elevates this comedy-thriller to unexpected heights. Extremely violent and sexual scenes are here,... Continue reading
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008


Couldn't finish watching it. I was completely shocked at the violence and language and completely confused with the characters. Nothing to relate to at all...
Teen, 17 years old Written byMovielovenfreak March 2, 2021

Such a great movie

Non stop laughter and it's just great. I've watched this dozens of times. Although since the movie is R, cause of the language and violent images lik... Continue reading

What's the story?

NURSE BETTY centers on Betty (Renee Zellweger), a sweet, trusting woman married to a boorish used car salesman (Aaron Eckhardt). She does not know that her husband has stolen some heroin and hid it in one of his cars. When he's killed by a hitman, Betty goes into what psychiatrists call a fugue state. She has no memory of seeing the crime. Instead, she thinks she has left her husband to find her former fiancé, a soap opera doctor. She sets off to find him, unaware she's driving the car where her husband stashed the heroin. The two hitmen, Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and Wesley (Chris Rock), follow her. In L.A., she gets a job in a hospital, and meets the actor who plays her dream man. Charlie, too, is chasing a dream, wanting to finish this one last job so he can retire but growing more and more drawn to the woman he is supposed to kill.

Is it any good?

Zellweger's lips should be eligible for their own Oscar. As the waitress who is such a big fan of a soap opera that she becomes convinced she is a character on it, she does more to convey her essential sweetness and strength of character with her lips alone than most actresses could manage using a couple of bodies.

Betty's trip from Kansas to Los Angeles recalls the journey of that other famous Kansan, Dorothy. Both go to a fantasy land only to find that the answer is within themselves. As someone tells Betty, "Honey, you don't need anybody. You know why? Because you've got yourself." Both Betty and Charlie seek a dream that will let them leave their pasts behind.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Betty learned that she could solve her own problems and follow her real dream of becoming a nurse. Betty's husband describes the soap opera fans as "people with no lives watching each other's fake lives." Is that true of anyone who watches any television show or movie, including the people who watch this one? Is there a difference between watching for escape and watching for entertainment or insight? Why would Betty stay with such an awful husband for so long? Were any other characters chasing dreams? Who?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love offbeat movies

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate