Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Touches on many themes, although none very deeply, including climate change, consumerism, quality of education, drug use/dependence, and mortality.
Positive Role Models
Characters mostly just blunder through their days, making mistakes, making unwise choices, occasionally making it through.
Main characters are a heteronormative White family. Some professors at the main character's college are Black, including a Black woman chemist. At least two Black characters, while certainly secondary, have personality and agency.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Characters are shot, with blood spurts and bloody wounds. Bleeding victim dragged on carpet and loaded into car. Huge crash: Delivery truck smashes into train. Car chase, with pedestrians struck. Various car crashes. More images of car crashes from various films/shows. Creepy dream sequences include a scary figure, characters smothered in bedsheets, plucking flesh from face, etc. Scary, creeping, toxic cloud. Characters pushing and shoving. A drop of raw meat spatters on a person's face at a butcher counter.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dialogue describing an affair. Kissing. Strong sex-related dialogue. Pornographic novels shown. Sex workers shown. Crude drawing of naked woman, very briefly seen in trash.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Infrequent dialogue includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "piss," "crotch," "dumb."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Many brands shown throughout, especially in supermarket scenes (some specifically from the 1980s): Coca-Cola, Pepsi, KFC, Velveeta, Glass Plus, Pringles, Carefree gum, Sunny Delight, Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Sprite, Jack Daniels, Shell gas station, Yoo-hoo, Brillo pads, Doritos, Ritz crackers, etc. Radio ad for Eggo waffles.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Truck driver who appears drunk crashes truck while reaching for bottle of Jack Daniels. Character appears to be addicted to fictitious pill "Dylar." Frequent cigarette smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that White Noise is a drama adapted from Don DeLillo's 1985 acclaimed (and deemed "unfilmable") novel. It tackles many serious themes -- including climate change, consumerism, drug use, and more -- and is presented in a highly artificial style. Violence includes guns and shooting, some blood, and lots of vehicle crashes. There's also creepy, dream-like imagery and a threatening toxic cloud. Characters exchange sex-related dialogue, and there's kissing and a collection of pornographic novels. Infrequent language includes a few uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "piss." Characters smoke cigarettes, one appears to have a dependency on a fictitious pill, and a truck driver seems drunk, reaching for a bottle of Jack Daniels while driving. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A far cry from Noah Baumbach's usual talky character pieces, this adaptation of Don DeLillo's 1985 novel is big, ambitious, bizarre, wildly uneven, sporadically funny, and weirdly worth seeing. Those familiar with the book (which was long considered "unfilmable") may have a leg up on others, especially since White Noise features long stretches of blocky chunks of artificial-sounding dialogue that careen up against one another, creating a cacophonous soundscape. But it also starts with a lecture by Murray Siskind (Don Cheadle) about the beauty of car crashes that's flat-out hilarious. (In one scene, the movie pays film-nerd homage to Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film Week End, with its famous tracking shot full of stalled, ruined traffic.)
White Noise bounces back and forth between dialogue-heavy scenes -- including a verbose back-and-forth lecture comparing Hitler to Elvis -- and FX-laden sequences like a huge train wreck and a car chase scene. It seems to want to say a great deal, from the futility of the education system to the ridiculousness of consumerism and our overreliance on medication, but nothing hits very hard; nothing hits home. And Baumbach tries like crazy to be a "visual" director here, with poetic camera moves and pinwheeling shots around a room. But every so often, some odd combination of things feels just right, whether it be a sublime exchange between characters or a satisfying cut between shots. However, nothing is as totally wonderful as the end credits sequence: a musical number in a supermarket, with pastel colors popping and Andre 3000 from OutKast shimmying with a box of cookies. That alone is worth seeing twice.
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.