The Social Ones

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
The Social Ones Movie Poster Image
Weak satire mocks internet influencers; some language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 86 minutes

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

Positive Messages

Mockumentary has no positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's no one here to like or admire.


Characters suggest that as more and more of our lives are lived out online, humans will have less reason to interact in person, and for that reason virtual sex, or #TouchingWithoutTouching, will be the way to go. A book about this phenomenon features a cover with a woman in sexy underwear looking at her phone.


"F--k," "s--t," "ass," and "douche."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Social Ones is a satire on the world of social media stars displaying on such platforms as Twitter and Instagram. A print magazine dedicated to chronicling their exploits is featuring the most-followed in a special issue. The filmmakers make fun of these content creators' narrow views and self importance. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "ass." An author writes about virtual sex as the wave of the future. Someone suffers a breakdown and disappears from the social media scene. A psychiatrist treats these social media stars and the mental and emotional issues arising from social media overuse.  

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What's the story?

In THE SOCIAL ONES, writer-director Laura Kosann and her sister Danielle play (uncredited) the editors of The National Influencer, an ironically print-based magazine that promotes high-follower Twitter and Instagram personalities. In this fictional documentary, the over-serious journalists celebrate their publication's fifth anniversary issue with five ten-million-follower influencers set to appear on the magazine's cover. Dixie (Desi Domo) has a test kitchen and posts videos illustrating her motto: "You Can Fry Anything." Kap Phat (Satareki Wainigolo) is known as the Meme King, a free-associater gone amok. Another dresses dogs and cats in costumes. Dan Summers (Colton Ryan), with the most followers of all, is famed for posting inane videos, including one in which he attempts and fails to climb a tree. Tongue is planted firmly in cheek here as Dan suffers a breakdown and threatens to derail the big photo shoot. In his despair, he consults with "The Architect of Social Media" (Richard Kind), a bitter middle-aged recluse carping about his divorce and advocating for a completely digital existence that will eliminate all need for physical human contact.

Is it any good?

If it had been more cleverly written, this one-joke mockumentary could easily have been an amusing three-minute SNL skit instead of the dull 86-minute slog it is. The Social Ones aims for but misses the satirical tone set in Christopher Guest films and Rob Reiner's iconic rock star mockumentary This is Spinal Tap. In this film, however, the audience has neither a character to like nor a point to eventually get to. The film seems to ignore the fact that social media consumers already mock self serious creators and their lame content, mostly with comments far sharper and more spontaneous than the insights offered here. While the movie doesn't hold together, Kosann's first outing as a director is still admirable, given how difficult it is these days to simply get a movie made.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a satire successful. Do you think The Social Ones offers humorous insights into social media? Why or why not?

  • Does the plot drive toward a climactic event that keeps an audience's interest? If not, what happens instead?

  • Do you agree with the film's portrayal of social media influencers as vapid, self important, and out of touch? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

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