Parents' Guide to

Songbird

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Ambitious pandemic thriller chokes; guns, smoking.

Movie PG-13 2021 90 minutes
Songbird Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Sexual parts not suitable for kids under 17!!

I would NOT let kids below 17 watch this. I had to fast forward a motel scene where a young girl strip dances for an older man. GREAT MOVIE, just Not for kids!!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Technically, this qualifies as a "thrill ride" -- as in, it has unpleasant ups and downs, there's jerky camera work that leaves you queasy, and it goes nowhere in a hurry. Certainly, recognition is due for managing to make a movie while respecting quarantine restrictions: This is guerilla filmmaking with an exclamation mark. Shot on iPhones and laptops, it truly is a feat. But just like the quarantine-staple Zoom meeting, things sometimes get lost in the static. Songbird takes leaps in logic that are impossible to get past. The reliance on tight, handheld camera work is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. And it's all melodrama, all the time: The musical score gets a 5 out of 5 violins.

Most of the acting is solid. But the disjointed filming seems to have translated into performances that don't quite fit together. Where it's most noticeable is with Peter Stormare, an actor who's known for playing some pretty over-the-top bad guys. As the sleazy head of the Department of Sanitation, his power has run amok in a way that doesn't make sense. Tasked with getting the infected into the Q-Zone, he stabs the healthy from time to time for reasons that are unclear. Sometimes, they seem at cross-purposes with his own needs. And while his fantastically ridiculous character might be right at home in a Coen brothers or superhero movie (both of which are in his wheelhouse), he feels out of place in this film, which is attempting to focus on the humanity of those struggling with loneliness and human connection. "Attempting," though, is the best word. Songbird never quite achieves what it sets out to accomplish, but it certainly deserves a tip of the hat for trying to make a movie about a universally trying time.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: March 16, 2021
  • Cast: KJ Apa , Sofia Carson , Demi Moore
  • Director: Adam Mason
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Latino actors
  • Studio: STX Entertainment
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: violence including some bloody images, sexual material, partial nudity and some strong language
  • Last updated: December 8, 2023

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