Parents' Guide to

Where to Invade Next

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Michael Moore "steals" good ideas to improve the U.S.A.

Movie R 2015 119 minutes
Where to Invade Next Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

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 fortunate than us. This is not true. Every one should see this so they understand they are taking Americans to the cleanres.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

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 also a great moving for teaching how information can be presented to make a point. If you are going to watch it with children or young adults of any age, I definitely recommend watching it at home instead of in a theater. We stopped the movie several times to discuss the points Moore makes, to question his assumptions, and to ask how some of the things he proposes might work or not work in a country much larger, and in some cases much more diverse, than the countries he visits. Basically, it was a great lesson in critical thinking. And because Moore uses his trademark wry sense of humor throughout the film, it was a film our kids enjoyed while they were learning from it. The end of the film also presents a strong case for strong women, which was a bonus for us as we watched with our daughter. (My recommendation for "Great Role Models" relates specifically to this point, though there are others throughout the film.) The nudity in this film is not sexualized, though there are plenty of discussions about sex. Those discussions were mature, appropriate, and tend to be of the kind that more parents and schools should be having with teenagers. Again, we stopped the film in several places to discuss and, in some cases, explain what was being said. If you actually believe that preaching abstinence for the sake of abstinence works, however, and don't want your ideas challenged, definitely run for the hills on this one. The violence and swear words are appropriate to the context and are in the movie to make a point. In other words, they are not gratuitous or put there to titillate. Certainly younger children could be disturbed and have nightmares from seeing real violence, particularly since most of it here comes from the police. But, again, the point is that these are things that actually happen and, at some point, should be discussed and understood. Whether this movie is appropriate for your family / children will depend on the maturity of the children. But this documentary was far less of a problem to us than television shows like Criminal Minds or the plethora of movies that glorify violence for the sake of violence and pass as PG-13 "family" entertainment.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (5):

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.

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: April 1, 2022

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