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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores big ideas, questions related to social media. What's behind drive to achieve social media fame? How far would you go to get it? How far is too far?
Positive Role Models
As likable and as funny as some of the characters are -- and as great as it is to see a Black woman in a strong role -- they're frankly awful people who aren't worth emulating. A White supremacist appears in one scene, saying things like "I'm White and I'm proud"; the movie doesn't condone his behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Many characters are killed, with strong blood and gore. Methods of attack/death include power drill, stabbing, guns/shooting. Huge blood puddle, blood spray, a bloody face. Character run over by a car; blood spatter on windshield. Punching. Strangling. Character drinks poisoned water, chokes, dies. Car drives recklessly through encampment of unhoused people. Car crash. Attacking dog. A cruel spoof YouTube video is about "pranking the homeless."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong sex-related talk. Reference to a character having a "sex tape." One character creepily hits on another; she rebuffs him.
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Extremely strong language, with constant use of "f--k," "motherf----r," "f--kin' A," "bulls--t," "p---y," "c--k," "d--k," "bitch," "goddamn," "badass," "f--got," "LMFAO," "GTFO," "WTF," "libtard," "retard," "boner," "cream your jeans," "fap," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Mentions of several online/social media services, including Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr. Fox News broadcast shown. Dell computer shown. Smart & Final shown. Apple iPhone face shown. Apps (Shazam, etc.) shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot smoking in more than one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spree is a satirical horror-comedy thriller about a ride-share driver who goes on a killing spree and livestreams everything. It's presented entirely on surveillance cameras, phone cameras, and livestreams. Violence is very strong, with killings and dead bodies, lots of blood and gore, guns and shooting, fighting, strangling, stabbing, car crashes, etc. A car also drives through an encampment of unhoused people. Language is extremely strong, with constant use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "f--got," and "retard." There's also sex talk, references to a sex tape, and creepy flirting. Pot smoking is shown more than once. While it doesn't shy away from being offensive, it generally works because of its smarts and a strong performance by Joe Keery of Stranger Things. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While its themes are nothing new, this demented, envelope-pushing satire somehow balances its sadistic violence with smart humor and Keery's lovable, lunatic puppy dog performance. Like so many movies before it, Spree attempts to skewer obsessions with online fame, continually readjusting where the line is crossed and for whom. Its ultimate conclusion -- that we're obsessed with social media and that it's almost impossible to quit -- isn't new, but the road to get there is certainly fascinatingly teasing. That said, plenty of viewers are also likely to find many of the movie's scenes offensive.
Spree is presented through a combination of surveillance footage and footage shot on phones, as well as livestreams, complete with a never-ending scroll of emojis and comments. Director Eugene Kotlyarenko uses these for maximum creepiness, employing split-screens that offer two different perspectives at once. Zamata is perfectly cast and does great work, but the key to the movie is Keery. As he did as Steve on Stranger Things, he finds a link between extremes. In the midst of Kurt's good-natured, happy-go-lucky attitude and his deep psychopathy, there's a deep loneliness and neediness that Keery beautifully draws on. It's very difficult to create such a brutal character that we can also feel sorry for.
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.