The Campaign

  • Review Date: August 9, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Comedic superstars aim their raunchy satire at politics.
  • Review Date: August 9, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Age(i)

2
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9
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11
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14
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16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message is a bit muddled (and obscured by some of the over-the-top content), but essentially, it's that unless you know yourself and have the fortitude to withstand temptations and pressure from others, you'll be led astray from the path you once envisioned for yourself.

Positive role models

Both Cam and Marty behave rottenly, but in different ways: Cam is crass and boorish; Marty is fake and calculating. Still, they both find their way in the end.

Violence

Lots of cartoonish "fighting" between the two leads, with them swatting and yelling at each other. A man shoots another in the leg. Another man throws things around in a temper tantrum.

Sex

Racy, with tons of sex jokes. One character leaves a very lewd message on an answering machine that's heard by children. A few sex scenes with exaggerated movements and sounds. A woman is seen in public with her nipple visible. One candidate thinks it's a good idea to release a sex tape as part of his campaign. A woman sleeps with a man who's not her husband. A tween talks about feeling up a man's wife.

Language

Frequent use of very colorful language, including "f--k," "motherf----er," "s--t," "d--k," "p---y," "ass," "damn," "a--hole," "hell," "crap," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.

Consumerism

Labels/brands seen or mentioned include Google, MSNBC, Ruby Tuesday, Goldman Sachs, Under Armor, Honey Nut Cheerios, CNN, Facebook, Scrabble, Budweiser, Panasonic, Red Bull, and Yamaha.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of over-the-top stunts played for laughs, including one scene in which one man gets another drunk on hard liquor on purpose, then calls the cops on him when he lets him drive drunk. A few other boozing scenes in social situations. A woman smokes a cigarette in secret.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Campaign, which stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, is a raunch-fest from beginning to end, starting with a scene that shows a family with young kids listening to a very lewd, graphic answering machine message. There's some nudity -- a woman's nipple is visible in a social setting -- and plenty of jokes about sex and a married man's indiscretions. Expect lots of swearing, too, including various versions of "f--k," plus "s--t," "d--k," and more. Still, the subject matter -- a congressional election and the dirty campaigning that leads up to it -- is a gold mine for comedy, and it may leave you thinking about our electoral process in general, too.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Longtime North Carolina congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is up for re-election. With no one running against him, he's entitled and sloppy, finally leading to a major indiscretion that leaves his main financial supporters -- the wealthy, corrupt Motch Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) -- searching for another candidate to back (and control). Enter Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), the eccentric son of a once-rainmaker. Marty wants to do good in Washington, D.C., but little does he know that the Motch Brothers aren't about helping at all. In no time, Marty becomes consumed by the campaign, losing his identity much like Cam did.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like a comedy roast, THE CAMPAIGN is stuffed with would-be hilarious moments, egged on by stunt after stunt from the able stars. And fair is fair: Whichever genius came up with this pairing deserves a bonus. Combining Ferrell's oafy humor and Galifianakis' creepy-funny vibe is a win, especially in the context of the madness that is an election run-up.

But two-thirds of the way through, The Campaign starts to feel like the endless election, with no clear idea how to end or even when. We're happy to be laughing, but we'd like to know where we're going. Part of the fun of a riotous satire like this is that we know that, no matter how delicious every moment feels, in the end we'll be able to relish it in its entirety. But here we get an unsurprising and entirely conventional, finale. With The Campaign, the parts are greater than the whole. Let's vote already.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the main characters. Are they intended to be role models? Do you think they would resonate with people in real life? Which one would you vote for?

  • What is The Campaign saying about the American electoral system? Do you think candidates are manufactured or supported by rich people or companies that most voters aren't aware of?

  • What's the appeal of over-the-top raunchy comedies? What audience are they aimed at? Do they succeed?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 10, 2012
DVD release date:October 30, 2012
Cast:Jason Sudeikis, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis
Director:Jay Roach
Studio:Everyman Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:crude sexual content, language and brief nudity

This review of The Campaign was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old August 10, 2012
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

The Campaign

This was a funny movie. this was a good choice for political season, but Ted is overall funnier. There was some comedic violence, but not enough to highlight it. The sex jokes and situations were frequent, and there are two affairs. Cussing is frequent and should be 'Pervasive'. Drinking was seen but not bad. This was a good movie, but there are better comedies out.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 August 11, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Crude political comedy fine for older teens

Lots of sexual dialog and actions. Lots of swearing. Nothing a mature teen couldn't handle
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byMovied14 August 11, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great cast for the Campaign

Desent comedy has great cast, ok plot, unenteristing charecters (For Some of the movie)

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