The Rocker

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Rocker Movie Poster Image
Some laughs, but this is no School of Rock.
  • PG-13
  • 2008
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 6 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Fish encourages the kids to lie to their parents, steals his sister's van, and acts wildly. But it's all pretty tame, and he finally "grows up" by the end of the movie. The teenagers learn to take risks to follow their dreams.


Fish beats up a co-worker, trashes a hotel room, drunkenly hurls himself off a roof, and threatens to hurt the band Vesuvius.


Several discussions about "scoring" and "getting tail," references to "MILFs," etc. Groupies with visible cleavage ask to have their chests autographed. Several women flirt with Curtis. There are a few kisses, but nothing too passionate. Fish sits naked in front of a Web cam (a food box blocks the more sensitive bits).


Occasional use of words like "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," and "s--t."


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Zildjian drum kit, the Guitar Hero video game, Toyota Corolla, Mac laptops, and several camera phones are all featured in the film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Various adults drink at bars, parties, and -- in the case of one musician -- straight from the bottle.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy -- which stars Rainn Wilson of the popular sitcom The Office and singer Teddy Geiger -- has a tween-targeted marketing campaign and is likely to appeal to kids 10 and up. The jokes tend to be of the slapstick/physical variety, but there are occasional strong words like "s--t" and "bitch," a couple of kisses, and several references to "scoring" with the opposite sex. But as summer comedies go, this one is fairly tame.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMom R. March 3, 2017

Nudity overlooked in stars

There is some male rear nudity in this movie. It's innocent and nonaexual, but it's not listed in the stars rating.
Adult Written byilikemusik23 April 25, 2009

Rocker Rocks!

While there is some negative role models in this movie. it has a good message about following your dreams and is a pretty funny movie itself. i say its ok for t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig July 25, 2020

Awesome movie about music

Great movie about the rockstar life, anyone that likes music or rock n roll should definitely see this film.
Kid, 12 years old July 26, 2011


It has some cussing and says the word penis a few times but it's ok for kids ten and up barely make sure your kids are mature enough to know they can'... Continue reading

What's the story?

Robert "Fish" Fishman (Rainn Wilson) is a flabby, unemployed man in his late 30s with a broken dream. Back in 1986, he was the drummer for Vesuvius, a hard-rock band that fired him just before they hit the big time. More than 20 years later, Fish is still seething with jealousy and resentment. His fortunes finally improve when his nephew, Matt (Josh Gad), reluctantly asks Fish to join Matt's four-person high-school band, ADD, to play the prom. After a few other small gigs, ADD gets signed by a label and goes on a Midwestern tour with lead singer Curtis' (Teddy Geiger) mom (Christina Applegate) along to keep the kids -- and Fish -- in line.

Is it any good?

This is an amusing -- if not memorable -- musical comedy. Wilson -- who's pitch-perfect as kooky Dwight on The Office -- is a talented comedian, but he's not as hilariously manic (or musical) as Jack Black, so THE ROCKER pales in comparison to School of Rock. Singer-songwriter Geiger naturally knows how to be ADD's handsome, brooding teen frontman (he looks like a young, longer-haired James Franco), but when he's not in musician mode, his acting feels forced.

On the plus side, as Amelia, the band's beautiful-but-insecure guitarist, Emma Stone (Superbad) proves she's ready to take her place as one of young Hollywood's talented go-to actresses. Supporting actors like Jeff Garlin and Jane Lynch (who play Matt's parents), Applegate, and Jason Sudeikis as the band's greedy manager, lend their considerable comedic chops to their roles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how fame and celebrity are typically depicted in movies. Based on what you see in the media, how does a "star" behave? Do Curtis, Matt, and Amelia act like stereotypical rock stars? What about the members of Vesuvius? The ADD teens' parents were all supportive of their band. Is that realistic? Kids: What do you think of ADD's music? Also, what's the most important thing Fish learns from the kids, and what's the most important thing they learn from him?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate