By Renee Longstreet,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Biopic celebrates bad behavior; drugs, sex/nudity, cursing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Living a life without discipline, self-respect, or concern for others will lead to tragedy.
Positive Role Models
No real positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nudity, explicit sexual acts and anonymous sexual encounters, oral sex. Women seen only as sexual objects.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Nonstop profanity: "f--k," "pr--k," "p---y," "s--t," "d--k," "c--t," insults and disrespect toward women.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 13 parent reviews
Report this review
Not for kids, even if they've been grossly neglected in life.
Report this review
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?
- On DVD or streaming: March 22, 2019
- Cast: Douglas Booth, Iwan Rheon, Colson Baker, Daniel Webber
- Director: Jeff Tremaine
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Movies About Musicians
Musicals for Kids
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