Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Poster Image
Samberg's funny but raunchy comedy skewers fame.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 86 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid the over-the-top content is the message that when your professional and personal life take hits, you should keep one foot moving in front of the other. (Or dancing.) Also, true friendship is irreplaceable and can't be bought. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Conner loses his way on the road to fame and betrays his friends, but at heart he appreciates them and their role in his professional and personal life. His best friend stays by his side and refuses to be a yes-man, even if that means upsetting the star. On the other hand, plenty of irresponsible behavior is on display.

Violence

Estranged friends scuffle; one character mouths off, screams nasty things on stage, and generally seems unstable. Men slap each other, and one punches another in the crotch. Graphic song lyrics describe how Osama Bin Laden was killed. Pop star Seal is shown being attacked by wolves, along with other bystanders, and shots are fired. Men scuffle and use a flamethrower to fend off a violent bee attack.

Sex

Female fans flash their bare breasts at a famous musician; in one scene, a man exposes his penis to be autographed. Some song lyrics include graphic sexual content/references. Lots of innuendo. Brief discussions of sex acts. 

Language

Frequent use of pretty much every swear word you can think of, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "p---y", "t-tty," "hell," "damn," and "Oh my God," plus many variations on them all.

Consumerism

Conner is shown driving a Mercedes and a Lamborghini. Plenty of other brand names/products make appearances, too, including Yelp, Apple, US Weekly, YouTube, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the Onion, and Entertainment Tonight.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes show people in various stages of inebriation, including one sequence in which characters do shots. One scene shows a middle-aged mom doing cocaine with her grown son and his friends, and many segments have people smoking pot. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a fresh, fun -- and very racy -- musical mockumentary from Saturday Night Live veterans Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone (collectively known as The Lonely Island, a group that has tons of teen appeal). Lots of other SNL alums pop up, too, and there are plenty of celebrity cameos -- as well as lots of sexual innuendo and both partial (bare breasts) and full-frontal nudity (a man exposes his penis to be autographed). The lyrics of the featured songs almost always deal with sex, drugs, and/or violence, and there are some scuffles and other moments of danger played for laughs. Expect frequent swearing (including "f--k," "s--t," and more) and plenty of drinking and pot smoking, as well as a scene of characters doing cocaine.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStevie111 June 3, 2016

Popstar is well done and funny

Popstar is surprisingly fairly mild for an R rated film. The main issue is full frontal male nudity and female nudity. There is another scene with a fully nude... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycsm3 June 10, 2016

If you have never seen an R rated movie, don't see this one

This movie is super funny to me because I am aloud to see most R movies. My parents were slightly concerned about me seeing it, but my friends and I thought it... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 29, 2016

Hilarious and very entertaining mockumentary is clever but very racy and raunchy.

This raunchy and very mature comedy focus's on a (fake) male popstar who's name is Connor Friel. He's a bit socially awkward, and although his so... Continue reading

What's the story?

As the title, POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING would suggest, Conner Friel (Andy Samberg) is the hottest pop star in the country. He starts out as part of a beloved boy-band/rap group. But over time, Conner grows more popular than the rest, causing tension and, later, a band break-up. Now billed as Conner4Real, his first solo album is a massive success -- but all eyes quickly move to the follow-up, which is expected to smash records. But, sadly, given how rarely Conner gets honest feedback from all his "Yes" men, it's hard for him to see how bad it really is.

Is it any good?

It's pure fun to watch a movie in which the actors clearly enjoy being in it, especially Samberg, who taps into all of his cheeky charm. As Conner himself puts it, "Ever since I was born, I was dope." And this hilarious -- and raunchy -- comedy is, too. Building on Samberg's infectious energy, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping pokes fun at pretty much everything -- packaged pop stars, social media, celebrity culture (especially US Weekly-ready romances), EDM, tabloids, entertainment shows, award shows, tour sponsors, friendships -- and even itself. (The celebrities who make cameos -- including Seal, Michael Bolton, Usher, Nas, A$AP Rocky, Questlove, Mariah Carey, and more -- are willingly the butt of the jokes, too.)

The boy-band controversy verges on overlong and not entirely original, which may be the biggest quibble with Popstar. And the raunchiest parts are sometimes the un-funniest, or they go on too long. Still, Popstar has too much fizz to be brought down by these relatively minor complaints.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Popstar depicts sex and substance abuse -- is the film condoning or glorifying this kind of behavior? Why does that matter?

  • How does the movie portray the music business? Where's the line between branding and personality? What role does sex play in the world of pop music? Why do you think that is?

  • What's the appeal of over-the-top comedies like this one? Does humor need to revolve around sex, substances, or swearing in order to be funny? Why do you think different types of humor appeal to different audiences?

  • How does fame impact Conner, his friendships, and his professional development?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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