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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Persevere and follow your dreams, stay true to your own voice, and have fun while you're at it -- even if that means making mistakes and sometimes losing your way.
Positive Role Models
Conor may be a bit defiant to the priests who run his school, and he's sometimes cheeky, but at heart he's a well-meaning, hugely creative, and collaborative guy who just wants to make his art, deepen his friendships, keep his family together, and go out with the girl he likes. His parents' marriage is falling apart, which affects him and his siblings, but his siblings are protective and supportive of him.
Violence & Scariness
Loud arguments between parents within earshot of their children; a bully at Conor's new school punches him on the first day and tries to get him to do something that makes Conor uncomfortable. Frequent schoolyard fights. A priest/school administrator roughs up a student for wearing makeup and clothing that doesn't conform to the dress code, shoving his face under running water in a sink.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Siblings discuss their mother possibly cheating on their father. Some talk about sex. A mom is shown switching on a sex toy (though not using it), and there's talk of a twentysomething man running off with a 16-year-old girl.
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Language includes "s--t," "bitch," a homosexual slur, and more.
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Products & Purchases
Brands/products glimpsed/mentioned include a VW Cabriolet car and MTV.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A 15-year-old boy's older brother smokes weed and cigarettes in front of him.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sing Street is a winning, thoughtful musical drama from the director of Once that celebrates creativity. There's some edgy content: Characters swear (mainly "s--t," plus a homosexual slur and some other rough words) and smoke (both cigarettes and pot), and there are some disturbing scenes of teen bullying. A marriage falls apart in front of the family's children; there's also some sex talk, and a mom is shown turning on a sex toy. And adults/authority figures aren't always shown in a positive light, but that helps make the movie what it is: a rallying cry to be bold, take chances, and make mistakes on the way to self-expression. It's steeped in music and will likely make adults who watch it with their teens nostalgic for the 1980s -- and motivated to help their kids discover classic acts. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Few films are truly perfect, but this one comes pretty close. A clear labor of love from John Carney, the filmmaker who brought us Once and Begin Again (two films in which music plays a key role in the protagonists' turnaround), Sing Street is a coming-of-age film that doesn't stick to the usual cliches but instead taps into a teen's genuine yearning for experience, wisdom, and transcendence. And it does so while making significant observations about marriage, religious dogma, education, and the economy -- all institutions on which we rely and which can either fail us or teach us at crucial moments.
Movies that pay homage to other creative endeavors -- in this case, 1980s music -- often come up short because the versions they replicate pale in comparison to the originals. But in this case, as with Carney's other films, the songs are clever, catchy, original, and nostalgic all at once. Bravo!
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.