Nurse Betty

  • Review Date: May 12, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Offbeat comedy has a few violent scenes.
  • Review Date: May 12, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 110 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Some gruesome violence, characters in peril.


Sexual references and situations.


Strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:September 8, 2000
DVD release date:April 3, 2001
Cast:Chris Rock, Greg Kinnear, Morgan Freeman, Renee Zellweger
Director:Neil LaBute
Studio:USA Films
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence, pervasive language and a scene of sexuality

This review of Nurse Betty was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and 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, but Zellweger and Morgan Freeman give it a touch of humanity. The only weak element in this film is Chris Rock's character; he's insensitive, loud, rude and downright unpleasant (going so far as using the C word). But Betty is a model of a friendly, compassionate and beautiful human being.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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.


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