Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Death of Dick Long

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Death of Dick Long Movie Poster Image
Pervy party-hardy dark comedy chock-full of mature material.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No clear positive messages to speak of, but it does serve as a cautionary tale that you should never do anything you wouldn't want your entire town to know about.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters aren't role models, and there are a lot of stereotypes in play. But there's also positive diversity/representation among the supporting characters.

Violence

Discussions of fatal injuries sustained through disturbing sexual acts, which are delivered for shock value but intended to be funny. An injured man is dropped several times. A hand is cut/injured after a character punches a plate of glass. A character is slapped many times, by both his wife and himself. One character hits another in the face with a household item.

Sex

Extended discussions of bestiality. Discussions of infidelity and marital trust.

Language

Extremely strong/frequent profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "spaz." "Gay" is used to suggest that something isn't masculine. After overhearing the word "c--ksucker," a child repeatedly asks what it means.

Consumerism

A couple of brands seem to show up incidentally in the background (Playmate cooler, Toyota truck, various beer brand signs in a bar), but Natural Light beer, Hostess treats, and Playmobil toys are seen more frequently.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Extensive substance use/abuse. Friends act recklessly and use poor judgment when "partying," which includes smoking pot with a gas mask, shotgunning beer, smoking, and lots of drug paraphernalia. One character vapes constantly; others smoke cigarettes. Law enforcement officers drink on the job and behind the wheel.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that dark comedies don't get much darker than The Death of Dick Long, which involves a deviant sex act that's played as much for sympathy as for shock value. It's set in Alabama, which doesn't come out looking too good, although the small-town police force is notably progressive -- even if they do drink on the job. In fact, there are few scenes that don't include drinking, drugging, or smoking/vaping. Characters swear colorfully and constantly ("f--k," "s--t," and much more), and a child repeatedly says "c--ksucker." And there are extended conversations about bestiality, as well as discussions of fatal injuries, plus slapping and other injuries. No matter what other concerns this film may hold (and there are many), it really comes down to the disturbing sexual violence: It's not actually shown, but it leaves an image that's impossible to scrub from your brain.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In THE DEATH OF DICK LONG, Zeke (Michael Abbott Jr.) and Earl (Andre Hyland) don't want anyone to know they were involved with the death of their friend/bandmate, Dick Long. But keeping secrets isn't their strength, and covering them up is a disaster.

Is it any good?

Director Daniel Schienert is a provocateur; here, he humanizes a "redneck" punchline by playing out the consequences of small-town Southerners partying too hard one night. The Death of Dick Long is a murder mystery in which the audience plays along one step ahead of the cops, trying to figure out why Dick's buddies are trying so hard to keep the truth from coming out. When it lands, it's absolutely shocking -- like walking barefoot on a beach just as a dirty diaper washes up, and its contents smear across your feet. There aren't enough W's to express the EWWWWWWW you'll feel.

Schienert seems to enjoy making his viewers uncomfortable, jabbing them whenever possible; it's uncertain whether small-town rural America is in on the joke or the butt of it (screenwriter Billy Chew started his career in Alabama). Another scene feels like the director is ribbing parents whose children watch this film: After one character's wife finds out what happened, she calls him a "c--ksucker," not realizing that her 9-year-old was in earshot. The little girl then repeatedly asks her dad what it means, until he reluctantly feels he has to explain. Consider that your warning: If your kids or teens see this movie, you'll have some explaining to do, and no one will be the better for it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about social taboos. Do you think films should explore behaviors that are typically considered unacceptable in mainstream society? Why or why not? 

  • Loneliness is the reason given in The Death of Dick Long for bad behavior. What are some positive solutions to curb loneliness?

  • How does the film depict drinking, smoking, vaping, and drug use? Do you think it's glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Do you think this film makes fun of the residents of small Southern towns, or do you think they'll laugh along with the film that satirizes stereotypes?

Movie details

For kids who love offbeat comedies

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate