Parents' Guide to

Sorry to Bother You

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Very mature satire is unique, impossible to dismiss.

Movie R 2018 105 minutes
Sorry to Bother You Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 13+

One of the most important of the decade - weird but great messages.

This satire is like nothing you've ever seen. It's very clever, weird, and extremely entertaining. One of the most important movies of the decade with good moral lessons re our current society. (recognizing class struggles, empathy, dangers of group think, apathy) It's a hybrid of genres. Don't look up much about the plot especially the ending. There are mature themes and lots of swearing but most of it isn't anything most teens haven't seen elsewhere. 13 and up for cool kids. 15/16 and up for kids who are sheltered.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+

Takes a wicked turn...

This film starts off ah-mazing! Boots Riley knows what’s up. Talking white? Brilliant, poignant and funny. Then halfway through the film takes a wicked turn...and then it..I don’t even know...it was just...wow...unexpected and creep and sick and just wow...and then the very end...BOOM! Mic drop.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9):
Kids say (10):

This impossible to categorize movie starts off as a hilarious satire and then veers into territory so unexpected (and queasy) that it may alienate many. But others will find it a rebellious mess that's difficult to dismiss. Written and directed by Oakland rapper Boots Riley -- his filmmaking debut -- Sorry to Bother You has the makings of a cult film, à la other everything-including-the-kitchen-sink movies such sa Repo Man, Idiocracy, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. It can be exhausting, and even its hero frequently looks simply bewildered, but it's so full of ideas -- and so outraged over racism, capitalism, and stupidity -- that it's worth a second look, or more.

Certainly the movie is raw and unevenly paced, and it sometimes feels more angry than fun, but fine performers like Stanfield, Thompson, Hammer, Glover, and Terry Crews bring much-needed sympathy and energy to their scenes. They're funny and appealingly flawed. And Riley's screenplay keeps taking risky twists, introducing strange new environments and elements, which may settle into a groove on subsequent viewings. Art band tUnE-yArDs provides the haywire music, and Riley's own group The Coup adds a song or two, just to heighten the sense of disarray. To be sure, Sorry to Bother You is here to bother you, and it's definitely not sorry.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: July 6, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: October 23, 2018
  • Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer
  • Director: Boots Riley
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors, Latinx actors
  • Studio: Annapurna Pictures
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 105 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use
  • Last updated: April 2, 2023

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