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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong sibling relationships can see you through even the worst traumas.
Positive Role Models
Though they're definitely scarred from their upbringing, Baxter and Annie watch out for each other and are essentially good people.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the Fangs' performance art, including pieces that feature children, have violent undertones -- like one in which a young boy flashes a gun in a bank, leading to a shoot-out. A car is found by the side of the road, passengers missing and blood smeared on the dashboard. A man is shot in the head with a potato gun.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An actress with a reputation for being wild parades around without her top on (she's seen from behind); afterward, a photo with a strategically placed black bar appears in a tabloid. In another scene, a man in his underwear is seen in the background, clearly looking for the rest of his clothing while a woman talks on the phone. References to infidelity.
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Frequent use of words including "s--t" and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Products seen/featured include Apple and Saab.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character admits she's drinking too much. Another seems especially quick to pop his pain pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Family Fang is a book-based indie drama (directed by and starring Jason Bateman) that deals with fairly intense subjects, including growing up in a dysfunctional home and a couple's apparent disappearance. As part of their eccentric parents' performance art pieces, kids are put in bizarre situations that have them pretending they've been shot or buried alive. There are also references to drinking too much and overdependence on painkillers, as well as swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"). A main character is accidentally shot, a car is found by the side of the road (passengers missing and blood smeared on the dashboard), and a topless actress is shown from behind. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on the novel by Kevin Wilson, THE FAMILY FANG is an unflinching look at what it's like to come of age as the child of very eccentric parents. As Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." And the Fangs are indeed unhappy in their own particular -- and deeply compelling -- way. Directed by Bateman with a deft, sensitive touch, this drama has humor mined from pain in its DNA, and it will resonate with many viewers, even if they didn't grow up with eccentric artists.
The shadows of Baxter and Annie's creative, self-involved parents loom large, but the movie doesn't rely on cheap shots that diminish the layers of a difficult-but-loving parent-child relationship. A mystery plot thread that runs through the film echoes the mysteries inherent in the way we all relate with our families of origin: Do we ever really know who our parents are? And are we just extensions of them? If so, how do we separate?
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.