The Dirt

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Dirt Movie Poster Image
Biopic celebrates bad behavior; drugs, sex/nudity, cursing.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Living a life without discipline, self-respect, or concern for others will lead to tragedy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models.

Violence

Violent self-destructive behavior: vandalism, drunken brawls and fistfights, self-mutilation, stabbing, setting fires, a fatal car accident caused by driving while under the influence.

Sex

Nudity, explicit sexual acts and anonymous sexual encounters, oral sex. Women seen only as sexual objects.

Language

Nonstop profanity: "f--k," "pr--k," "p---y," "s--t," "d--k," "c--t," insults and disrespect toward women.

Consumerism

Jack Daniels, multiple beer brands, Marshall amps, KLOS 95.5. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent, continuous drunkenness. All manner of graphic drug abuse (snorting, injecting). An overdose, a fatal car accident caused by substance abuse.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Dirt is an account of the rise and fall (and rise again) of Mötley Crüe, a rock band from the 1980s known for the shock value of their shows (unrestrained performances, distinctive costumes, pyrotechnics) as well as their music. Based on their book, The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, the movie follows the band members from their early days as Los Angeles "bad boys" to stardom and ends as they embark on a decades-long "sober" career. Viewers can expect nonstop self-destructive, amoral behavior for most of the film. Graphic hard drug use (snorting, shooting up, overdoses) plays relentlessly alongside drunkenness, vomiting, in-your-face urination (literally), and a scene in which a wasted singer snorts a poolside line of ants. Sex and nudity underline the basic misogyny of the band; women are used and discarded, sex acts are tabulated and emotionless. There's a fiery, bloody, fatal car accident; the overplayed, maudlin death of a child; violent, drug-fueled vandalism; and assorted drunken brawls. Countless obscenities ("f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "p---y," "a--hole," "pr--k") are heard, including from the mouth of a young boy. Not recommended for kids of any age.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCultClassic Reviews March 28, 2019
Adult Written byDigurr March 29, 2019

Motley Crew

Definately not for the kids and probably
not for most adults.
Die hard fans might like it though even though too
much emphasis on the sex and drugs and not eno... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bykaimerriam888 April 2, 2019

Brilliant biopic

Very well done, however it is very very very explicit in every way imaginable
Teen, 15 years old Written byDeanbrown05 April 27, 2020

Awesome

I don’t know what the hell people are saying and giving this movie one star. I thought it was really good. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This movie filled with... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), Tommy Lee (Machine Gun Kelly), Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), and Vince Neil (Daniel Webber) take the 1980s Sunset Strip rock scene by storm in THE DIRT. Their band, Mötley Crüe, with its penchant for shocking behavior and explosive musical performances, catapults from Los Angeles to international stardom with lightning good luck and a boost from a major record label. But these young men, unleashed and unfettered by insight or morality, implode on a grand scale. Alcohol, drugs, sex, and criminal behavior lead to a horrific downfall ... both victims and perpetrators of their fame and misfortune. After a series of near-death experiences and calamitous lapses in conscience, the men resolve to get sober, renew their vows as "family," and begin again, ultimately grinding out a decades-long musical career. 

Is it any good?

If viewers get past the terrible writing, bad performances, one-dimensional characters, and overall inept filmmaking, what's left is self-destruction, depravity, and a little music on the side. Director Jeff Tremaine brings all the subtlety and skill he showed in his Jackass movies to rock and roll's lower depths. In a startling lack of responsibility, the misbehavior, graphic drug use, drunkenness, sexual degradation, and disrespect for others make up about 80 percent of the film. The other 20 percent consists of sparse musical numbers, and one shot of the exterior of the Betty Ford Clinic represents their "journey" to sobriety. The Dirt is awful in every way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the extensive alcohol and drug abuse portrayed in The Dirt. Is it romanticized? What consequences are there for the characters? Why is that important?

  • Think about how filmmakers choose their projects. What were these filmmakers hoping to accomplish by making The Dirt? Who is their intended audience? If you are a Mötley Crüe fan, did the movie add to your understanding of the band members or your enjoyment of their music? Why or why not?

  • What is a "cautionary tale"? In what way(s) is this movie a cautionary tale? When does a portrayal of bad behavior cross the line and become exploitation of that behavior? How much is too much?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

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