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 5 reviews

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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.


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.


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.


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


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
Teen, 16 years old Written byilhc December 12, 2020

American exceptionalism may not be as exceptional as people think

If you are at all interested in six weeks of paid vacation, an extra month's salary and a two-hour lunch break, you just might have to go to Italy to find... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byemmetarries February 24, 2017

Great Thought Provoking Movie.

There is a fair amount of violent scenes, where police or prison guards are beating up people (mostly black). I thought it was great, and very well done. even w... 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

  • In theaters: December 23, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: May 10, 2016
  • Cast: Michael Moore
  • Director: Michael Moore
  • Studio: Dog Eat Dog Films
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Character strengths: Curiosity
  • Run time: 119 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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