A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of family and gratitude.
Positive Role Models
Individual characters are portrayed as complexly human, with clear flaws. But the family's closeness, even if they push one another's buttons, is admirable. Family lovingly takes care of an ailing grandmother.
Diverse representations in terms of race, sexual identity, ability, and body type.
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Violence & Scariness
Creepy old house. Score and camerawork imply that something bad is going to happen. Loud noises and jump scares. Description of monster in a nightmare. First-person account of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexually suggestive joke. A couple is affectionate.
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A few instances of strong language: "bitch," "f--king," and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink wine and beer while socializing at dinner. Characters admit or are called out for being drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Humans is a spooky Thanksgiving dramedy adapted from a Tony Award-winning play. Featuring popular comedic actors like Amy Schumer and Beanie Feldstein, it's positioned as a horror-comedy, but it's not enough of either genre to satisfy most teens. Instead, it's a glimpse of a middle-class family gathering in the New York City apartment of the youngest daughter for Thanksgiving dinner. The humor comes from authentic interactions, the ways in which a family lovingly needles each other. And the message -- be grateful for family, because that's what really matters -- isn't just stuffing. But as a Thanksgiving selection for family viewing, it's a a turkey. The decrepit building, the tone of foreboding doom, descriptions of horrifying monsters and real-life tragedy, and the mature conversation (which includes words like "f--k" and "bitch") may leave you feeling icky -- and that doesn't pair well with pumpkin pie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Humans took home the Tony Award for Best Play in 2016, but great theater doesn't always translate into a great movie. This adaptation isn't likely to entertain teens or most adults, but there are still elements that deserve praise. Playwright Stephen Karam adapts his own stage production, which all takes place in one space, and makes it as visually dynamic as possible. The performances are easy and natural, with characters delivering dialogue that sounds like they're living it instead of saying brilliantly crafted words. Noises jolt and echo through Brigid and Richard's "new place," a pre-war apartment that's dilapidated, where plaster bulges from decades-old leaks, hallways are tight, and windows are clouded from age and grime. What we see has great authenticity, but it's not a story, it's voyeurism.
We're watching the Blake family on a "typical" Thanksgiving. We're the flies on the wall, hearing the gregarious dinner-table talk, seeing the sisters whispering in a side room, resting on Amie's (Schumer) shoulder while she's on the toilet in her many colitis-induced bathroom breaks. We're trapped with them inside a haunted house where the real ghosts are the secrets haunting each family member, waiting for the moment to escape and deliver a scare to the rest of the family. But nothing actually happens here, including personal growth. Those who enjoy the theater may appreciate the nuances in seeing this one-act play brought to the big screen. But most, especially younger audiences, will give thanks if they skip it.
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.