American Idiot

Common Sense Media says

Punk rock opera actually rocks!





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teen angst. Teen rebellion. Teen aspiration. Anti-establishment sentiments. All that and dreaming and hopes for the future.


A few disturbing images, one sad song about a suicide.

Not applicable

Some four-letter words, used in literary context as well as some Jesus references that some might find offensive.


CD contains an insert for other products and cell phone accessories.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few references to drugs, drinking, and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are four-letter words and a few drug and alcohol references that make contextual sense in this long-awaited punk rock opera. Your mileage will vary, but there's nothing to worry about for most literate, sophisticated older teenagers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It's been four years since the last Green Day album, and the long-awaited AMERICAN IDIOT turns out to be an elaborate punk rock concept album, blazing through new musical territory. The world's most popular punk band takes some real musical risks that mostly work. Musically, the songs reflect a variety of rock influences, from the Beatles to Pink Floyd to the Foo Fighters. Power ballads, Indian strings, and even a bit of pop sentiment combine with the band's classic punk sensibilities to deliver a complex and interesting album with a clear narrative flow. Many kids will relate to the frenetic pathos of "Tales of Another Broken Home" and "I Don't Care."

Is it any good?


The writing on American Idiot is vivid and compelling, if not always squeaky clean. Most literate, smart teenagers have heard far worse and will have no problem with the lyrics. The musicianship is both powerful and poignant; the singing is terrific. The album contains some disturbing, but articulate, images; but the music makes it worth talking through the hard stuff with mature teenagers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this album is referred to as a punk rock opera. What are some of the real-life issues that are dealt with? How do the different music styles contribute to the meaning of the songs?

Music details

Artist:Green Day
Release date:September 21, 2004
Label:Warner Brothers
Genre:Punk Rock
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:No

This review of American Idiot was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old November 20, 2010

Great Band

This is my favorite Green Day album, and it talks about important stuff like the government. All kids in Junior High should be able to listen to this, and if younger kids' parents are okay with it then they should listen to it too.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byparamour March 31, 2011

The american suburbs in musical form

This album, though it has some language, is good. It describes what happens in a typical suburb that parents don't know about. So if you want to know whats going on wit your kid, I suggest listening to it, especially if your child is a high schooler
Kid, 7 years old February 23, 2011
this album is an instant classic


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