Parents' Guide to

Under the Gun

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Emotional gun control docu addresses complex issue.

Movie R 2016 110 minutes
Under the Gun Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

Great Insight into 'Common Sense' Gun Legistlation

This film gave me an insight into the sort of 'gun loving' culture that exists amongst a large portion of American people, and how the issue of gun deaths and mass shootings can be reduced, but is legistlation is constantly rejected. It also gives me a great appreciation for living in a country with strict gun control (Australia) where the population doesn't fear mass shootings. The use of interviews with the families and friends of victims, and victims themselves, in this documentary shows the viewer the people that this has affected, and that further atrocities can be prevented.

This title has:

Great messages
age 18+

Sorry this website has become political

When my son was little I trusted this site to help me research his media choices. It was helpful, but not the only tool I used. It has become clear this site has taken a political position and is no longer a source of information I can rely on. I will not say right or left but only I am sorry to say goodbye. Goodbye.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This decidedly pro-gun control documentary offers an in-depth, emotionally charged look at the very complex issue of gun violence. It uses the tragic stories of some of the country's most notorious assassinations and mass shootings as a platform to examine (and, from its perspective, ideally dispel) concerns about gun legislation, especially background checks for gun purchasers. It also seeks to drive home the research and statistics that the filmmakers posit support the need for these rules. While government agencies' apparent inability to enforce these policies is addressed, it's the political power of the NRA -- and its efforts to pressure Congress to eliminate any and all restrictions on gun acquisition and ownership -- that's a central theme throughout most of the film's conversations.

In an attempt to move away from the polarizing, never-ending conversations about 2nd Amendment rights, the film calls for a willingness to take a harder look at the reasons why people engage in violent gun behavior, while moving away from conversations about crime and the stigmatization of some communities. But it's the stories of those who've lost loved ones, and some of the chilling footage shown from these and subsequent events, that are the most powerful. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there's no doubt that Under the Gun will leave you feeling sad, and possibly very angry.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 13, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: May 31, 2016
  • Cast: Katie Couric
  • Director: Stephanie Soechtig
  • Studio: Epix
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 110 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong language including a crude reference
  • Last updated: February 23, 2023

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