Where to Invade Next

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Where to Invade Next Movie Poster Image
Michael Moore "steals" good ideas to improve the U.S.A.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Moore and his politics can be controversial, but the movie explores many intriguing issues and ideas, including curiosity, acceptance (especially for other religions, ideas, cultures, sexes, etc.), and sharing. Argues that people should take care of one another, with everyone benefiting in the long run.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Interviewees include the world's first elected female president, Iceland's Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who's undoubtedly a strong female role model. Moore himself is a powerful activist who's attempting to change the world by pointing out alternative ways of living; but he's also a button-pusher, one-sided, and more of a propagandist than a journalist.

Violence

Brief images of American police violence and disturbing prison violence (i.e. beatings and humiliation). Brief images of the Ferguson riots. References to a mass murderer in Norway. Images of protests and revolutions.

Sex

Brief non-sexual full-frontal nudity, male and female, in a health spa. Male prisoner's naked bottom shown. Brief shot of a poster of a topless woman. Kissing, references to sex. Oral sex reference. References to teen pregnancies, STDs.

Language

A few uses of "f--k," plus "ass," "s--t," "motherf----r," "penis," "scum."

Consumerism

Moore prominently drinks a Coca-Cola. Whopper and Facebook are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief montage of people using various drugs (pot smoking, etc.).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Where to Invade Next is a Michael Moore documentary in which the famously controversial filmmaker "invades" various countries to "steal" good ideas for the United States -- specifically services geared to help ordinary citizens (more paid vacation, better food in schools, less homework, prisoner rehabilitation, sex education, etc.). There's occasional strong language (a few uses of "f--k," etc.), mentions of mass murder, and brief violent images: police beatings, prisoners being humiliated, riots, and protests. Viewers see brief, non-sexual male and female full-frontal nudity (in a health spa setting), and a man's naked bottom is shown. There are references to sex acts, sex education, STDs, teen pregnancy, and abortion, as well as brief images of people using drugs. Despite the sometimes-strong material, high school teens could get a lot out of this (although anyone not on board with Moore's lefty politics will want to beware).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIsandxan May 8, 2016

Great Movie for Thought Provoking Discussions

We watched this thought provoking movie at home as a family, with our 13 year old twins (boy and a girl). There are strong, good ideas in the movie, and it is... Continue reading
Adult Written bydrgnfli1 June 27, 2016

Every Adult American should watch this.

I travel internationally a lot and this movie really hit home. When I tell other people what I see they think I am nuts. We think of the world as being less for... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 17, 2016

Brilliant and outstanding Michael Moore documentary has lots of nudity, violence, drugs.

This violent, funny, and outstanding documentary stars and is directed by Michael Moore. In this movie, Michael imagines that he's asked by the government... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHey boy August 14, 2016

This site is biased

Every conservative movie on here is 1 star for having a political slant what gives until you stop being biased I and many others will not respect your business... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, filmmaker Michael Moore imagines that he's been asked by Washington to come up with some new ideas for America, so "steals" ideas from other countries. In Italy, he finds the concept of paid vacations for workers, which results in more productive workplaces. In France, he finds gourmet school lunches and sex education, resulting in happier, healthier kids. He visits Finland, which has the highest-ranked education in the world and discovers their secret: no homework. He also finds a free college, a place where drugs are legal (and drug-related crimes are down), and a place that rehabilitates its prisoners. Can Moore effectively bring these and other ideas back to the United States?

Is it any good?

By now we know that Moore is far from an objective maker of documentaries; his films always have their own slant, but despite that, it's hard to refute some of the good ideas here. "Socialism" may be a dirty word to many Americans, but Moore argues that it's merely about sharing. He posits that, as hard workers, we ought to get out of the system as much as we put in -- and that we'd do better as a helping community than as struggling individuals.

It's not clear exactly what Moore isn't showing us, but according to what we do see, these systems adopted by other countries (and largely, Moore reminds us, based on concepts pioneered in America), result in longer lifespans, fewer unwanted pregnancies, less debt, and less violent crime. Images of American schools juxtaposed with images of Finnish schools are a strong indicator that our country could use some help. Ultimately, despite his usual dopey attempts at humor, Moore's movie is overwhelming and a little depressing, but also hopeful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which of the ideas that Moore "steals" in Where to Invade Next could actually work in America. Do all of them sound like good ideas? If so, why do you think they aren't already implemented in the United States?

  • What are the downside to these ideas? What might Moore have left out of the movie? Why might he choose to do that?

  • Some of the interviewees say that "being the strongest one has stopped [America] from being curious." What does this mean? Is it true? How does Where to Invade Next promote curiosity? Why is this an important character strength?

  • Why do you think Moore shows images of violence, sex, and drugs in Where to Invade Next -- and include strong language? Do these things help his argument? Could he have reached a wider audience without them?

  • Do documentaries have to be objective? Why or why not?

Movie details

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

For kids who love documentaries

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate