Peep World

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Peep World Movie Poster Image
Flawed family comedy has plenty of conflict, little point.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Family members don’t always have your back, and, when angered, they know the most vulnerable places to stick the knife. One character has become a big success thanks to his novel about a dysfunctional family; his parents and siblings are upset because it's almost all true -- and it's all about them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though they're deeply flawed, some of the characters do at least try to be honest and do the right thing -- for example, a son who stands up to his father and another son who decides to take responsibility for his own poor choices. That said, most of the other characters are more one-dimensional, petty, and irritating. Instead of supporting each other, they throw low blows. And the patriarch of the family revels in displaying his contempt for his children.


Several heated arguments, often including extremely cutting words used as precision weapons. Two thugs threaten a man as they try to collect a significant debt.


One sex scene (no nudity) and a few sexual references and gestures. A character visits an adult film store, the titular Peep World, where a variety of sexual devices appear in the background. Another character consults a doctor to be treated for premature ejaculation -- the doctor uses a lifelike penis model to discuss the treatment. The character spends much of the film suffering from an erection that won't subside and is quite uncomfortable.


Strong, frequent swearing throughout, including “f--k,” “s--t,” “d--k,” “bitch,” and much more.


A battered Cadillac plays a minor role in the film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking by adults at a tense dinner party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this flawed indie comedy exposes all of the petty arguments within a deeply dysfunctional family. There’s plenty of swearing (including "f--k," "s--t," and more), and lots of intense, uncomfortable arguments. Some of the characters drink, and several others make it clear that they really need a drink or three. There’s one sex sequence (though no nudity), a few sexual references, and a scene that takes place an adult film store, with plenty of sexual devices glimpsed in the background. Most of the characters are petty and one-dimensional, and there are no worthwhile take-aways in the end.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMASSICLIKPERCYJ... March 29, 2011

peep world

Enough said.

What's the story?

It’s his father’s 70th birthday, and Nate Meyerwitz (Ben Schwartz) has just written a successful novel that trades on the quirks and struggles of his real-life siblings: ultra-responsible Jack (Michael C. Hall), tightly wound and perpetually wounded Cheri (Sarah Silverman), and always-struggling Joel (Rainn Wilson). All of them are flawed in their own idiosyncratic ways, and all of them have serious issues with their domineering father, Henry (Ron Rifkin). It’s certainly a recipe for a contentious family dinner.

Is it any good?

PEEP WORLD is a good example of how a great storytelling device sometimes just isn’t enough. The novel at the center of the plot is meant to be a time bomb, yet when that bomb explodes (metaphorically speaking) we don’t really feel it. The movie is inert nearly the entire way through, despite a cast stocked with both talented and wickedly funny (or both) actors -- including the Emmy Award-winning Hall, the always funny Wilson, and the bombastic Silverman.

Even Henry’s birthday dinner feels curiously unexciting, even though it’s meant to be where everything comes to a head. It just goes to show: Despite the technology and hyper-awareness about the art and business of film, movie-making still involves alchemy. When it works, it’s genius. When it doesn’t, it’s Peep World.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays the main family. Why is everyone so angry? Do you think this seems like a realistic family conflict? How does your family handle disagreements?

  • How does the movie depict parents? Is Henry a good father? Would you consider anyone in the movie a positive role model?

  • Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? How can you tell?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love quirky characters

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