A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A celebration of creativity, teamwork, integrity, and independent spirit.
Positive Role Models
Musical group Sparks is made up of brothers Ron and Russell Mael. Interviewees consistently celebrate their integrity, creativity, and influence on music. When interviewed themselves, they appear good natured, warm, and humble.
Violence & Scariness
Violence in archive clips from old movies includes a crowd rioting and a nail being driven into a hand. Short fight clips from old war and Western movies. Car falls off a cliff in archive movie footage. Clips from a rollercoaster disaster movie. A bloody head injury is recreated with a clay model. Reference to the death of a parent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Interviewee says their sexual persuasion is "slightly horny." Album cover shows someone wearing a see-through bra. Bare bottom shown in archive footage. Someone performs a theatrical striptease down to their underwear. Quick shot of someone nude with just a sock on their genitals.
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Infrequent language includes "f--k," "f--king," "hell," "s--t," "t-ts," "f--kers," "bloody," and "d--k around." The word "bollocks" is seen written down. "Oh my God" is used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
While not advertising a specific product, the documentary is a celebration of the music group Sparks, of whom multiple albums and merchandise is available to buy. There are also numerous mentions of other band's and artist's albums.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Reference to drinking beer. People smoke cigarettes in archive footage and photographs. Archive footage of someone drinking in a bar. Someone briefly talks about being on drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sparks Brothers is a warm and engaging documentary about the band Sparks, with some strong language, archive footage depicting violence, and a brief reference to drugs. Directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), the film features interviews with Californian brothers Ron and Russell Sparks -- best known for the 1974 hit single "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" -- as well as a whole host of other celebrities, including Beck and Mike Myers. The movie is a highly positive celebration of the brother's music and their integrity, influence, and individual style. The brothers are an enjoyable presence both musically and personally. Early on they talk about losing a parent at a young age. Infrequent strong language used by interviewees includes "f--k" and "s--t." A bloody head wound is recreated on a clay model. Archive footage from movies occasionally has brief violence scenes. But these are used for cultural context or as metaphors for the band's story. Archive footage also infrequently shows people drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. An interviewee mentions "having a beer" and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers briefly talks about an experience on drugs. A member of the same band appears in a photograph with a sock on his genitals and another man's bare bottom is show in archive footage. A man performs a striptease wearing woman's clothes in an old music video. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For anyone with an interest in the arts, this affectionate and enlightening music documentary will shine as a love letter to integrity, creativity, humor, and dedication. The Sparks Brothers benefits from Wright's kinetic, cut-up filmmaking style as he splices together interviews, archive footage, and clips from movies. Aside from speaking honestly about the death of their father at a young age, there's maybe not a huge amount of personal information for Sparks fans to unearth here. But new interviews with brothers Russell and Ron Mael -- who under the guise of Sparks have released 25 diverse albums -- and hand-picked clips that show them at their very best, makes sure it's a true greatest hits ride through their career.
For newcomers or dabblers to Sparks, the documentary lifts the lid on what the movie calls "your favorite band's favorite band," signposting great singles, albums, and performances to devour once the credits have rolled. At two hours and 15 minutes, it runs a little long. But that's a minor gripe. Far from the dour, warts and all style of other music docs, The Sparks Brothers is an often hilarious celebration of music, art, and two oddball brothers who've never compromised and still haven't stopped creating.
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.