A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Acts as something of a warning about prizing beauty above all else. A minor character argues that the most important things are inside a person (not outside), and the movie seems to agree with this sentiment. Searing indictment of the modeling industry.
Positive Role Models
No admirable characters here; even the main character, who starts out as innocent and seemingly pure of heart, eventually turns on the people who trust her, behaving selfishly. Virtually all of the other characters think only of themselves first and consider looks the most important factor of a person's being.
Violence & Scariness
Very gory: Images of dead bodies (both real and fake), covered in blood, with pools of blood around them. A central character dies. A woman is tied up for a performance. A woman breaks a bathroom mirror, and another woman cuts her hand on a shard of its glass, leading to blood everywhere; the first woman tries to drink the blood. A woman vomits up an eyeball, and a second woman eats it. A woman stabs herself. Dead bodies shown in a morgue. In a dream, a man threatens a woman with a knife in her mouth. Violent sounds -- including those related to sexual assault -- are heard through a wall. Women punch each other and threaten each other with knives. A man gets angry at a woman and pushes her once, threateningly.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman has sex with a corpse; this includes kissing and fantasizing about another woman (who's shown touching herself sensually). Three women are shown topless; two shower together, washing blood off. A character lies on the floor naked, and a fluid (blood?) emerges from her. A character tries to seduce another character, but she resists. A photographer makes a model take off her clothes (nothing sensitive shown). Women shown in their underwear. Occasional sex talk. References to "Lolita" and having sex with underage women.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A few uses of "f--k," plus "hell," "God," "p---y," "a--hole."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke. Casual background drinking.
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 Neon Demon is an unusual drama from acclaimed cult favorite director Nicolas Winding Refn, who's best known for Drive (2011). It's extremely mature, with shocking violence: dead bodies, lots of blood, murder, death, suicide, punching, painful wounds, threats, and the sounds of a possible rape. And that list doesn't even include the most startling image of all, involving an eyeball. Women are shown topless, and there's strong sexual material, including a woman having sex with a female corpse. Language is infrequent but includes a few uses of "f--k," "p---y," and "a--hole." Some characters smoke cigarettes, and there's some background drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This exquisite nonsense from director Nicolas Winding Refn, best known for the excellent Drive, has very little substance -- it's not exactly art -- but it does have plenty of style and tension. Drawing inspiration from David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma, and others, The Neon Demon is a variety of surfaces and reflections, characters looking and being looked at. It purports to explore the nature of beauty while itself trying to be beautiful. But it really doesn't dig much deeper than that.
The movie is filled with crazy, breathtaking moments -- such as a mountain lion suddenly appearing in Jesse's room, a blood-soaked photo session, a lights-out photo session, and a strobe-lit performance at a party. It all leads up to a shocking, giddily disgusting conclusion that doesn't exactly complete the thesis but is at least memorable. The cinematography is always dreamily vivid, and an electronic score by Cliff Martinez frequently sends the images floating off into ecstasy.
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.