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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While the band members are comically tragic failures, they do pursue their dreams. And nobody engages in anti-social or criminal behavior.
Positive Role Models
The group overcomes obstacles by sticking together. That said, there's some bickering, and characters are generally oblivious.
Violence & Scariness
One cartoonish scene in which a man smashes things with a cricket bat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of sexual innuendo; almost all song lyrics are about sex. Not much actually shown.
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All major curse words used during conversations, mostly when people are angry.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking, some casual drinking. Lots of references to drugs and alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spinal Tap is a fictional band, and Rob Reiner's classic "mockumentary" about them highlights their failure. There are moments when the language gets a bit heavy with curse words, but they tend to be short and sporadic. Violence and sex are almost non-existent except for the songs, which tend to be heavy with sexual innuendo. Lots of references to drugs and alcohol. But much of the humor will go right over younger kids' head. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.