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Parents' Guide to

This Is Spinal Tap

By Afsheen Nomai, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Hilarious, ribald, drug-filled rock send-up.

Movie R 1984 83 minutes
This Is Spinal Tap Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 12+
A very tame R rated movie. It's about on the same level as something like Major League or the original Vacation. There are about 30 F-bombs and a few mild sexual references. There are also a few references to drugs and alcohol.

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Raw and awkward mockumentary has language and some sex humor

This Is Spinal tap is a 1980’s comedy “nockumentary” about a decking heavy metal rock group. It’s very similar to shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, and do contain its raw and cringe humor with its sex jokes and language, so here’s my full parent review in detail: VIOLENCE: Basically none, but there is some “violent behavior”. A man smashes things on an office with a cricket bat in a comedic sequence. A man smashes his guitar. LANGUAGE: In the second half of the movie, language such as f*ck and bullsh*t appear more frequently than the first, especially in one scene where the band constantly swears at each other in anger. All in all, the film has over 20 uses of f*ck and sh*t throughout. ALCOHOL/DRUG/TOBACCO USE: People frequently smoke, some people refer to liking drugs and nothing more is really shown than just references in no detail. SEXUAL CONTENT: Some sexual jokes are heard throughout. In one scene, a woman discusses with a man why his album picture is sexist, and explains that “a naked and greased up woman is shown on all 4’s with a dog collar on and attached to a leash held by a man” and the label is never shown. Later on in the film, a man also explains another artist had half naked women and him being whipped by them. A man says that his piece refers to oral sex, but it is mentioned so lightly that it would fly over a kids head. Most songs are about big bums and “sexy” people in all. Some other references, but all fly over the heads of kids. OVERALL: 12+

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (14 ):

Make no mistake, while Spinal Tap is a tragic failure of a band, this film is top-quality humor. When This Is Spinal Tap was released, people truly thought it was a documentary about a real band. People would even come up to director Rob Reiner, telling him that he made a great documentary, but should have filmed a better-known band.

This Is Spinal Tap is solid entertainment, especially for those who are huge fans of rock music. The film is mostly ad-libbed by the actors, who all give side-splitting performances. While watching this film, you can't help but cringe and laugh at the band members as they deal with repeated disappointment and disaster. Classic scenes include Nigel talking about amps that go up to 11, the band attempting to harmonize "Heartbreak Hotel" at the foot of Elvis's grave, and, of course, Stonehenge. Appropriate for rock music fans over the age of 13.

Movie Details

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