The Disaster Artist

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Disaster Artist Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Loving, funny portrait of infamous filmmaker; sex, language.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Celebrates the idea of following your dreams, despite all obstacles -- including lack of talent and know-how. Though it easily could have, the movie doesn't ridicule anyone; rather, it celebrates the act of creation, as well as the joy of entertaining people (even unintentionally).

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tommy Wiseau is a very do-it-yourself, go-getter kind of guy, although he's not particularly admirable. He's difficult, very strange, and quite mysterious. Greg Sestero is a little more admirable; he's shown following his dreams and not giving up, as well as maintaining incredible loyalty to his friend (even to the point of turning down a promising job).


Arguing, shouting. Gun shown. Fake suicide performed for camera.


Male full-frontal nudity (penis partly covered). Naked male bottom. Simulated (comical) sex scene, with thrusting. Innuendo. Flirting.


Strong language includes several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "p---y," "motherf----r," "c---sucking," "d--k," "goddamn," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).


Red Bull energy drinks shown/mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink socially in a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Disaster Artist is a dramedy based on the true story of filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero (played by brothers James and Dave Franco) and the making of their infamous 2003 cult hit The Room. While the movie could easily have ridiculed its characters, instead it celebrates their attempt, and it's very funny and touching. But it also has extremely strong language, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "c---sucking," and more. There's also near full-frontal male nudity (the character wears something protective on his penis) and a naked male bottom, plus a simulated sex scene performed for the movie-within-the-movie. Expect a little flirting and innuendo, too, as well as plenty of shouting and arguing. A gun is shown, and a simulated suicide is performed for the cameras. Adults drink socially in a bar.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous June 1, 2020

A phenomenal achievement in emulating awkwardness

The Disaster Artist covers the production of one of the worst multi-million dollar movies ever made: "The Room."

As seemingly unlikely to be made as... Continue reading
Adult Written byDarylTheStudent February 21, 2018

The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist is an excellent film about the making of one of the worst films of all time, The Room. James Franco gives a superb performance as Tommy Wise... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bychrisleeyung December 29, 2020


A lot of swearing and one sexy scene I skipped
Don’t watch if you start swearing after that
Teen, 17 years old Written bylubango12 December 10, 2020

Not as bad as you would think

This movie only has 1 sexual/ nudity scene. A man walks around naked on set (Penis briefly seen) and then he films a sex scene (Nothing shown) but very comical.... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE DISASTER ARTIST, young San Francisco actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) takes classes and dreams of the big time. During one class, he's blown away by the intensity and fearlessness of Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and asks Tommy to be his acting partner. The two become fast friends and move to Los Angeles together. After a few years of trying and failing in show business, they get an idea: They'll make their own movie. The heavily accented, enigmatic Tommy starts writing and -- using his own mysterious, apparently bottomless, bank account -- buying equipment, hiring crew, and casting. When filming starts, it becomes clear that Tommy doesn't really know what he's doing. Tensions mount, and the movie goes over schedule. But Tommy's passion somehow manages to keep things together. Finally, the movie, called The Room (2003), is finished. But what if they've made the worst movie of all time?

Is it any good?

Taking a cue from Ed Wood, this loving portrait of a terrible filmmaker could have indulged in ridicule, but instead it's about passion and dedication. And it boasts a powerhouse lead performance by James Franco. Also produced and directed by Franco, The Disaster Artist feels like a perfect fit for this hyper-prolific jack-of-all-trades; he must understand more than most the drive to create and the pleasure/pain of the creation's ultimate completion and exhibition. (The real Wiseau has a cameo in the movie, indicating that he must have approved.)

Without ever inventing any kind of backstory for Wiseau -- and never solving the triple mystery of his birthplace, his age, and his financial situation -- the movie gives us a fascinating, dynamic character who, miraculously, never outstays his welcome. As Greg, Dave Franco (James' real-life brother) has the much harder job, driving the plot forward, convincingly being Tommy's friend, and showing what it was like to also be in his shadow. He does all this admirably. Packed with fascinating, so-odd-they-must-be-true details, The Disaster Artist is consistently funny and touching, and, like The Room itself, enjoyable in its own weird way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Disaster Artist portrays sex. Why do you think the character insists on doing a nude scene and a sex scene? Why is the scene funny instead of sexy?

  • How violent is the movie? Does it raise tension through arguing and yelling? What actual scenes of violence are there?

  • Does the movie mock Tommy Wiseau? Does it admire or respect him? Do you want to like him? How does the movie achieve these things?

  • How does this movie change or enhance your experience of viewing The Room?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love quirky movies

Themes & Topics

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