A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Much of the movie celebrates/laughs along with poor behavior, though eventually the behavior is -- for the most part -- punished. The movie is clearly also commenting on the relationship between war and profit.
Positive Role Models
Efraim lies to and cheats others, though he eventually pays a price. David is seduced into poor behavior; he enjoys his money and success for a while but ultimately decides that he values family and honestly above all. He's punished for his wrongs and rewarded for his change of heart. Women aren't presented with much depth or complexity.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and ammunition play major roles in the plot. Guns are drawn and fired. Kicking, punching, beating, and slamming.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Naked male bottom shown. Scantily clad women dance in a nightclub. Several raunchy sexual references. Kissing. A man says that he's "with a prostitute" (but nothing is shown). A man answers his hotel room door with a scantily clad woman seen behind him.
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Very strong language includes multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "motherf----r," "a--hole," "bitch," "d--k," "c--k," "c--ksucker," "ass,"" "hell,: "tool," "retarded," "piss," and "cum." Middle-finger gestures.
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Products & Purchases
Skype shown on computer screen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main characters regularly smoke pot and occasionally drink beer. Some cocaine sniffing. Drug dealers are shown. Some cigarette smoking; packages of cigarettes shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that War Dogs is an irreverent, fact-based comedy from the director of the Hangover movies about twentysomething arms dealers who landed a $300 million government contract in 2007 to supply weapons for U.S. allies in Afghanistan. So it's not surprising that guns play a large part in the movie's plot. And there's a fair amount of shooting, though very little blood or death. More often, characters are beaten up. The main characters also smoke pot frequently, as well as drink beer and sniff cocaine; there's also some smoking. Language is strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Expect quite a bit of raunchy innuendo and sex talk, along with some other minor sexual situations, kissing, scantily clad dancers, and a naked male butt. Teens could be drawn in by stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, and though the characters' bad behavior is played for laughs, there are eventually (some) consequences for what they do, and the movie offers something of a satire on war and the economy that could inspire interesting discussion. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Gleefully irreverent, with a so-crazy-it-must-be-true vibe, this exuberant comedy manages to be wildly entertaining while simultaneously finding alarming cracks in the fabric of American society. Director Todd Phillips started decades ago with a punk rock documentary about GG Allin & the Murder Junkies, and he's at his best whenever he's able to keep up that kind of energy in his work (i.e. Old School, The Hangover, etc.).
However -- unlike the similar The Wolf of Wall Street -- War Dogs can't quite sustain its zing, and, like many Hollywood comedies, the humor flags as the filmmakers settle in to wrap up the story. De Armas plays an unfortunately typical "girlfriend" role, and there are a few too many rock songs on the soundtrack; perhaps tightening up those things could have quickened the movie's pace. But Hill gives a fascinating, hilarious performance as the consummate salesman who's as diverting as he is calculating, and Teller is a good match. As it stands, the movie is very funny -- and a little bit smart.
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.