The Room (2003)

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Room (2003) Movie Poster Image
Cult-phenom amateur melodrama best left to adults.
  • R
  • 2003
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 33 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie obviously disapproves of Lisa's cheating on Johnny; most troubling is Johnny's fatal reaction to it. The message, if any, is that poor Johnny deserves better.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Johnny is described as kind, hardworking, enlightened, financially successful -- practically a perfect package (except for a weakness for alcohol when things don't go well). Yet betrayal still brings his life crashing down in the end (though bad acting does it from the beginning).


A fistfight. A climactic suicide via gun that shows spilled blood.


Some bare breasts and buns in lyrical, soft-focus sex scenes "enhance" the infidelity subplot.


The f-word and s-word in emotional moments.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking and a bad bout of drunkenness on behalf of one character. Talk of illegal drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this notorious midnight-movie sensation, though not gory or pornographic like some other "cult" pictures, has extramarital sex scenes showing plenty of bare skin. Characters swear and get drunk under extreme duress. Sexual infidelity is key to the story, and the plot, if it can be taken seriously, ends with a blameless character committing suicide, essentially "getting even" with people whose treacheries hurt him.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTornadosplash44 January 2, 2018

Great must-see film known for being BAD

I thought The Room was a hysterical mess. The acting was a complete mess, and there are plot points that go nowhere. However, because the acting was so bad, I t... Continue reading
Adult Written byDainish2114 September 10, 2017

The Best Worst Movie I Have Ever Had the Pleasure of Watching

I didn't join in on this bizarre fandom until a few months ago when I saw one of the movie's notorious roof top scenes, specifically the one where Tom... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjjsyn May 8, 2019

Tommy Wiseau is an Unintentional Comedic Genius.

This movie is the perfect movie for people with a sense of humor. The plotline is simplistic and the characters are easy to understand (and not the main point o... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycaptaingoosehead July 18, 2016


This is so terrible that it's fantastic, like Birdemic or Rapsittie Street Kids (look it up). Jus't don't watch it with kids around.

What's the story?

As with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, moviegoers with weird tastes flocked to this cheap, no-name, downbeat drama and made it an audience-participation experience, jamming on the bad dialogue, arbitrary scene changes, and what-were-they-thinking? production values. THE ROOM tells of San Francisco banking executive Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed, produced, etc.) engaged to marry live-in fiancee Lisa. Everyone thinks Johnny is a great guy, but two-faced Lisa cheats on him with Mark, Johnny's best friend. Even Lisa and Mark scold each other: "How could you do this? Johnny is my/your best friend!" That one's recited repeatedly, almost ritualistically. Meanwhile, Johnny mentors a teen in trouble with a drug dealer. Johnny chases the dealer away, but unfortunately that leaves the criminal's gun in Johnny's hands -- fatefully at the time he finally realizes how the love of his life (and his best friend, don't forget) have betrayed him.

Is it any good?

Unlike most Ed Wood-esque movies, THE ROOM isn't a creature feature or backyard filmmakers trying to be Quentin Tarentino; it's sincerely attempting Great Drama. Younger viewers might just get bored with The Room and its talky psychodynamics and wonder what the appeal is. Certainly while watched at home, and not in a raucous movie-theater audience (where avid Room-mates would dress up like the characters and throw plastic forks), the saga of relationships/acting gone wrong just isn't as fun.

By now every movie fan knows -- and many love -- Ed Wood, the bizarre actor-writer-director who, in his 1950s heyday, concocted inept little horror films, crime dramas, and exploitation movies that later audiences found hilarious because they were so awful. THE ROOM had many "admirers'" calling it a modern Ed Wood flick -- the mystifying way actors clumsily enter and exit, laughable love songs during bedroom scenes, the self-cast star Tommy Wiseau, with his odd foreign accent and Conan the Barbarian hairstyle.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of this movie despite the bad dialogue and poor production values. What makes it so popular? Why are some movies known for being "audience participation films"?

  • Talk about "cult" movies in general -- you'll find lots of books in the library on the subject. Many films (not necessarily horrible ones) like Harold and Maude and even Disney's Fantasia weren't initially popular, and even got rejected by critics and viewers, only to be later crowned way-cool. Do you have any cherished favorites that the rest of the world hasn't appreciated yet?

Movie details

  • In theaters: June 27, 2003
  • On DVD or streaming: December 17, 2005
  • Cast: Tommy Wiseau
  • Director: Tommy Wiseau
  • Studio: Wiseau-Film
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 99 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexuality, language and brief violence
  • Last updated: March 14, 2020

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