Parents' Guide to


By Jordan Elizabeth, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Sex-trafficked stripper takes a wild, glamorized road trip.

Movie R 2021 86 minutes
Zola Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

"A" game character portrayals of a wild ride of a road trip!

Paige and Keough are tone perfect in their portrayals and Bravo's direction is superb. She captures the twitter feed story and its exaggerations with deft precision. The blackface portrayal by Keough offers maximum cringe. Paige's facial expressions speak volumes about the circumstances that she finds herself in as she works to survive amidst the violence, absurdity, and always connected yet also alone circumstances she finds herself in. Everyone is bringing their "A" game to the character portrayals. An epic road trip.
age 18+

Unnecessary visuals of complex sexual situations

You can’t unsee some of this, it is very hard to watch on so many levels and the type of tension that it builds is anxiety producing. Far too layered for kids, potentially traumatizing to watch and the gratuitous and sometimes lengthy sexual scenes just feel unnecessary.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

There's something refreshing about a story centering the experience of a Black stripper that's not about moral failure, tragic origin stories, or being "saved." Zola is a character whose story is too often marginalized; women like her are rarely intended for audiences to care about or empathize with.

Zola, it seems, is a movie that wants to change that. But it does so by glamorizing the non-consensual situations Zola finds herself in -- sex trafficking, kidnapping, gun violence. Zola and Stefani are shown perfectly coiffed, fashionably styled, and sometimes exhibiting Kardashian-level calmness as they navigate serious situations. Zola has the difficult task of striking a delicate tonal balance between not victimizing its main character while also not trivializing her experiences, particularly when many of her experiences are steeped in the discriminatory and violent behavior historically inflicted upon Black women.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 30, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming: July 21, 2021
  • Cast: Taylour Paige , Riley Keough , Nicholas Braun
  • Director: Janicza Bravo
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Latino directors, Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 86 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, and violence including a sexual assault
  • Last updated: July 28, 2023

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