A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's message is a little ambiguous, but a price is paid for unscrupulous behavior. The movie is largely about people who are stuck trying to work any angle they can to gain a foothold.
Positive Role Models
While the main character is a likable chatterbox, underneath it all he's pretty unscrupulous. He's willing to exploit others to help himself but unwilling to risk anything to help others.
Main characters are White, and women are shown only in relation to the male main character. The only Black characters are drug dealers.
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Violence & Scariness
Brief fight, with a man punched and kicked. Deadly freeway accident shown on news. Scene of threat and intimidation.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Graphic full-frontal male and female nudity. Main character (a former adult film star) has multiple sexual partners. Graphic sex acts depicted, in various positions. Frequent dialogue about sex and the adult film industry. Scenes set in strip clubs; a teen receives a private lap dance. Main character takes Viagra.
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Countless uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "motherf----r," "c--t," "t-ts," "a--hole," "ass," "goddamn," "bitch/son of a bitch," "damn," "hell," "slut," "fart," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main character deals pot. Characters smoke crack and pot. Social drinking. Cigarette smoking. Viagra use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red Rocket is a dramedy about a washed-up former adult film star (Simon Rex) who returns to his Texas hometown and tries to make a fresh start. Its breezy, funny quality tempers quite a bit of its darkness, but it's very mature. Expect to see several graphic depictions of sex and long scenes of full-frontal male and female nudity. The main character has several sexual partners, and much of the dialogue is centered around sex and the adult film industry. Language is also extremely strong, with constant use of "f--k" and "s--t," and many other words. The main character deals pot, and people are seen smoking pot and crack (as well as cigarettes) and drinking socially. A character is punched and kicked, and there's a deadly freeway accident. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.