Parents' Guide to

Red Rocket

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Tons of sex, swearing in freewheeling dark dramedy.

Movie R 2021 128 minutes
Red Rocket Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 17+

Red Rocket - Review: A darkly comedy/raunchy look at foul ex porn star from Texas.

Red Rocket is the latest indie feature from writer/director Sean Baker (Tangerine, The Florida Project), and follows an ex porn star known as Mikey Saber (Simon Rex), who comes back to his home in Texas; with his wife and mother in law who want nothing to do with him. As he returns back home, he finds a job at a donut shop, where he meets a 17 year old girl who he plans to make a porn star. As you can tell by the synopsis, this is a very sick - but funny - movie. But it is NOT for kids!! While Red Rocket does focus on an ex porn star, the character is also a complete and utter douchebag. He cheats on his wife, gets his friends in trouble, and has sex with a minor. Obviously, there is strong sexual content in this feature. Plenty of scenes featuring two people having sex in various positions, with moaning, grunting, slapping, and explicit talk. A man has sex with a minor a few times, and in one scene he takes an iPhone and records his penis and the girl's vagina in motion. He does anal sex with the girl in the back of her truck. When having sex with his wife, he slaps her, and calls her dirty names to keep their love making extreme. There are also scenes in a strip club with topless women dancing seductively. There are two shots where a man is fully naked with his enlarged penis fully erect. With violence, a man gets beaten by a teenage boy and his parents. A guy gets harassed in a mall. A group of drug dealers threaten a man in a few scenes, as well as punch and push him. Domestic abuse occurs with the man and his wife. Profanity is strong. Plenty of F-bombs, sh*t, c**k, c**ksucker, c**t, pussy, N-word, pimp, jesus f**king christ, dick, slut, whore, and so many other obscenities. Drug use is visible. Characters smoke weed, and buy drugs from dealers who play supporting roles. Sean Baker is one of the best modern filmmakers working today who depicts the most raw parts of American society, and Red Rocket is no doubt another depiction of a part of America. This is a good movie, but it's not for everyone. Kids, at least, 17 and up can see this, otherwise don't even bother.
age 17+

An incredible performance of an anti-hero

A film where one performance elevates the film to a different stratosphere. Simon Rex definitely elevates the material and takes Baker's direction to a space where Rex's character's humanity has a chance to breathe. There are many awkward moments as Rex's character uses and leaves a painful trail in his wake. Rex's nonstop banter keeps the audience hostage but it is a lot like watching a car crash that you cannot look away from.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Sean Baker's dramedy about an former adult film star is layered in realism and a sense of place, but it also tells its relentless story of sex and power plays in a disarmingly freewheeling style. Baker's previous films all also dealt, in some way, with the business of sex, but Red Rocket is funnier, and trickier, than his earlier efforts. The movie benefits most from star Rex, who has been a rapper, comedian, model, MTV VJ, and, yes, something of an adult film actor (he performed in a few "solo" videos). His sly, jabberjaw performance hinges on his ability to charm -- or badger -- anybody into doing anything.

Mikey's chattering is so tenacious that it eventually becomes funny. Rex makes it look so breezily effortless that he disguises just how despicable his character really is, at least until the point when the movie is ready to reveal that truth. The rest of the unseasoned cast are remarkable finds, too. Even more important is the backdrop, a rundown Texas town peppered with smokestacks and electrical grids (the Texas Killing Fields are said to be nearby), suggesting an American lostness and a sense of being stuck without much leverage. More ominously, we get background hints of the 2016 election and its results. In a country that cares so little about people on the margins, Red Rocket is a story of the desperate lengths and depths that a free-thinker and scoundrel will go to in order to succeed.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: December 10, 2021
  • Cast: Simon Rex , Bree Elrod , Suzanna Son
  • Director: Sean Baker
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 128 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language
  • Last updated: February 18, 2024

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