Parents' Guide to

Barry

By Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Bill Hader's subtle turn best part of dark hit man comedy.

TV HBO Comedy 2018
Barry Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 14+

This dark-comedy drama is good for mature teens

Barry (2018) is a television series following Barry, a hired gun who, while on a hit mission, discovers his love for acting and realizes that his life behind the gun is the only thing standing in his way. Expect violence, lots of swearing and brief sex. —S1 EP1: Make Your Mark— VIOLENCE: MODERATE A man is shown with his head riddled with bullets and blood pouring out from the bullet holes on his face and onto his pillow and body after he was shot. This is the very first shot in the series. A man is shown with a bullet through his head with blood pouring from the hole. Three men are shot in a car, this happens from a distance so not much blood or details can be seen. The violence in this episode isn’t graphic and mostly offscreen, but there is quite a bit of blood shown in the aftermaths of killings. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Several uses of “f*ck”, “sh*t”, “motherf*cker” and “d*ck” throughout the episode. SEXUAL CONTENT: MODERATE We see a man and a woman having sex on a computer, which was secretly recorded through a lipstick camera. The woman, who is fully nude, is shown thrusting and bouncing on top of the man and loudly moaning, this is shown from behind, but her breasts are shown bouncing up and down. This is pretty brief and ends quickly, but it is pretty bad. OVERALL: 13+ for brief sexuality, language and some bloody images —S1 EP2: Use It — VIOLENCE: MODERATE A man is beaten and kicked in the background of a very comedic scene before he is dragged out of the room and kidnapped. A torture scene where a bloodied man has his teeth filed down, this isn’t graphically shown but the audio is quite cringey and afterwards he spits out shavings of his teeth, this scene is pretty comedic but still disturbing. LANGUAGE: MILD Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t”, but less frequently than the episode that comes before and after it. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Some sexual references. OVERALL: 13+ for some violence and language —S1 EP3: Make the Unsafe Choice — VIOLENCE: MILD A man suddenly shoot’s himself in the head offscreen, we hear the gunshot and then we see his body on the floor but only his legs sticking out. This scene is darkly comedic and pretty funny, however, and not overly disturbing. A man is slowly choked to death, not extremely graphic or disturbing but still dark. Milder violent images. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” along with milder profanities. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Implied sex, nothing more. OVERALL: 12+ for a violent image and language —S1 EP4: Commit… To YOU. VIOLENCE: NONE This episode is completely without any sort of violence. LANGUAGE: SEVERE Constant, pervasive use of “f*ck” throughout the episode, especially towards the end sign with use of “sh*t” and the middle finger along with milder swears. This episode has the strongest language out of any so far. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Sexual references. OVERALL: 13+ for language throughout —S1 EP 5: Do Your Job— VIOLENCE: MODERATE Towards the end of the episode, over a dozen men are shot and killed in a raid. First, a man holding groceries is shot repeatedly with an automatic rifle, he falls dead with little to no blood shown. After, 4 unarmed men are shot and killed with small, barely noticeable amounts of blood sprays, and then 3 men running out of a doorway are shot dead bloodlessly. After, a man is kicked out and wakes up to around 6 men dead on the floor. The violence in this scene is a little intense but not graphic or bloody. Moderate violence towards the end. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t” throughout, as per usual. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Two posters are shown, the first is of a topless woman and the second is of a fully nude woman. These are only shown for rather brief periods of time. DRUG CONTENT: MILD Cocaine is shown in large quantities at a stash house. OVERALL: 13+ for a sequence of violence and language —S1 EP6: Listen With Your Ears, React With Your Face— VIOLENCE: MILD A man is shot through a car window, no blood is shown on impact, but afterwards blood is shown splattered behind him and on his shirt before he is shot 4 more times offscreen, killing him. Two men are sniped through the front of the car, blood splatters in front of them and the car flips. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” throughout. SEXUAL CONTENT: MODERATE A man is shown watching porn on a TV, we don’t see anything graphic or in full detail but we do see movement from the top corner of the TV which appears to be thrusting. We also hear loud moaning, grunting, sexual talk and screaming in the scene which lasts an incredibly long time and is important to the plot as it shows two characters talking over it. Arguably the most sexual content in a scene from this show, even more so than the scene in the first episode which actually shows sex, when this doesn’t fully, all we actually see is a blurred patch of a man/woman moving up and down on the corner of the screen. OVERALL: 13+ for some sexual content, brief bloody images and language —S1 EP7: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going— EPISODE RATING: 9.6/10 VIOLENCE: MODERATE A car is shot and it flips, the same shooting is shown in the last episode in a more bloody fashion. Two dead bodies are shown inside covered with blood, one is shown with a bullet in the head, this cannot be explicitly seen on the other. A man is gunned down with an automatic rifle, blood sprays out and he falls dead. A man is suddenly shot in the head. This is shown from outside the car, and we see the window shatter and a splatter of blood on the windshield. Afterwards, we see the victim set up with a gun in his hands from inside the car, as it is made to look like he committed suicide. We see the blood splatter again from inside and outside the car and the scene ends. This scene is very heavy and emotional, and although the killing isn’t graphic it is very upsetting to the killer and to some viewers. A man punches and smashes a mirror in anger, and then grabs and throws a chair. His hand is shown bloody. This is a very emotionally riveting episode although the violence isn’t graphic or bloody. LANGUAGE: MILD Some use of “f*ck” and “sh*t”. OVERALL: 13+ for violence and language —S1 EP8: Know Your Truth— VIOLENCE: SEVERE A man is punched in the face twice. He is later punched in the face again and spits out a tooth, his nose also bleeding. Then, he is threatened with a saw and we hear him being “chopped up” several times until it is revealed the man was just carving wood. A man has a gun pointed at him, he whimpers in fear before we hear a gunshot, and then it is revealed that the man (who was holding the gun) has been shot through the head. We see a huge hole in his head, revealing brain as blood squirts and sprays everywhere from the exposed half of his head as he walks around, still alive and sits down in a chair, eventually dying. Blood is still shown squirting down his head and onto the floor as he sits upright still bleeding like a fountain. The scene is very comedic, although the most graphic scene in the first season. 3 men are shot and killed with blood spray, although the deaths aren’t lingered on like the previous victim. They are shown with blood pooled around them later on. We hear a woman being shot, absolutely none of it is shown except a few flashes of light from inside a house. LANGUAGE: MILD Use of “f*ck”. The last 2 episodes have less language than the others, yet not by much. OVERALL: 13+ for some bloody violence and language —S2 EP1: The Show Must Go On, Probably?— VIOLENCE: MODERATE At the very start of the episode, a man is shot with a shotgun, blood spurts out of his back. The killing is very brief. Afterwards, another man is shot with the shotgun, and then another time while he is on the floor. Some blood is shown splattered on the walls. This scene alone is heavier than most violence in the previous season, although still darkly comedic. A man shoots a safe, but the bullets ricochet into his leg, his damaged leg is briefly shown. Comedic and non-graphic. A man is shot several times with blood spray each time and dies. A man jumps out of a window and slams against a car. This isn’t graphic, and it isn’t revealed if he lived or died. A girl stabs herself in the hand, there is no blood at all and she doesn’t react. The scene is comedic and entirely non-graphic showing no blood or emotion, although the idea of this happening can be cringey. A marine snipes 3 people off camera. The scene is more emotional than violent, and we don’t see the actual killings, just the sniper. This episode is on the verge of becoming “severe” yet the violence isn’t super graphic. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck”, “sh*t” and “motherf*cker” in the episode. DRUG CONTENT: MILD Brief references to trading heroin and drugs. If it implied 2 men sell drugs. OVERALL: 13+ for violence/bloody images and language —S2 EP2: The Power of No— VIOLENCE: NONE Several people shoot at a car which eventually crashes. The driver exits unscathed and without a scratch but holding his side. No violence or gore. LANGUAGE: MILD Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t”, nothing worse than any of the other episodes. OVERALL: 12+ for language —S2 EP3: Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday— VIOLENCE: MODERATE A man is very suddenly shot in the cheek, blood sprays out before he falls to the ground violently shaking and convulsing as another man holds down and compresses his wound, the image itelf is bloody but not overly graphic, the scene is still a shocker. A dead donkey is briefly shown without detail. A man is shot in the shoulder, some blood is shown during and after the shooting but it is more comedic and funny than anything, and the man is shown dancing and talking as if barely anything happened. Yelling and references to a domestic dispute. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck”, “sh*t”, “wh*re” and “b*tch”. OVERALL: 13+ for violent images and some strong language —S2 EP4: What?!— VIOLENCE: MODERATE During a flashback sequence (the same as the previous episode) a man is shot in the cheek and his bloody wound is compressed. Just like the last episode, bloody but not graphic. After the man is shot in the cheek, in extreme anger and rage, a man barges through the door of civilians and repeatedly shoots an innocent man while screaming and cursing. Blood sprays out while the man’s wife screams in terror. The scene is heavy and disturbing. Domestic threats of violence and screaming throughout the last bit of the episode. This includes a man screaming at his ex girlfriend, slamming the wall beside her and threatening her. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” throughout the episode, sometimes in sexual context along with use of “b*tch” and “sh*t”. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD A man says he “f*cked” a woman first and “got it while it was tight”, we also hear that a man is “f*cking” another man’s wife. —S2 EP5: ronny/lily— VIOLENCE: SEVERE Almost the entire episode is a ridiculous and violent fight scene. It starts at the very beginning where 2 men fight in a house throwing kicks, heavy punches, smashing each other into walls etc. and at one point one man punches and shatters a man’s wind pipe, he then fights even more violently and wheezes when he breathes throughout the rest of the episode. The fight ends with one of the mens face covered in blood and the other with a broken windpipe, he passes out onto the ground. After this, the other man enters the kitchen where he discovers the man’s daughter who begins acting feral and attacks the man, lunging at, scratching, punching and kicking him. At one point he tosses her over a table and a loud bang is heard, leaving us to believe she hit her head, but instead she continues crawling about throwing a can, a phone and other objects at the man while also hitting him over the head with a frying pan. She gets up onto the table, grabs a knife and then begins continuously stabbing the man in his back before she leaves the house. The man is shown exiting the house with blood realistically pouring down and spreading over his white shirt. When he gets into the car his large, open bloody wound is revealed. He passes out from blood loss, and when he wakes up his back is stitched, but incredibly poorly as the stitches snap and his wound opens up again shown in an up close and graphic shot. Later, the same girl from the kitchen bites a man in his cheek and tears off the skin from it, his cheek is shown bleeding rigorously and the large open wound is shown. The same man from earlier, from the house, is found again in a supermarket with a neck brace. The two men begin fighting again, throwing punches and kicks, and in the middle of the fight an employee tries to stop them causing one of the men to beat and stop him. Eventually during the fight one of the men is shot clean through his cheeks, blood splatters and his cheeks are shown burst open. To the other man’s surprise he gets up again with two open and busted sides of his face, kicks a man in the head killing him to then be shot several more times in the chest spraying blood. That is essentially EVERYTHING that happens in the episode. It is one the most, if not the most, violent episode of the show. LANGUAGE: MILD Some use of “f*ck”, but not as much as other episodes because it is mostly not dialogue oriented. 13+ for brutal violence, bloody images and for some language —S2 EP6: The Truth Has a Ring to It— VIOLENCE: MILD A woman is shot twice in the chest during a flashback, 2 brief blood spurts are shown along with a glimpse of the man being shot from previous flashbacks. He is shown lying on the ground with blood pouring from his bullet wounds. A man is punched in the face and knocked out. Some milder violence. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t”. 12+ for some brief violent images and language —S2 EP7: The Audition— VIOLENCE: MODERATE Several men are captured and locked in a bus with gasoline being poured into it. The men escape, and wind up grabbing a man, dragging him onto the bus and killing him with bare hands (mostly offscreen, non-graphic) before taking the captors guns and shooting them, they are shown getting shot and dying with minimal sprays of blood before the bus, with a man still on it, lights on fire, however he is saved. Countless corpses can be seen surrounding the scene before a man is dropped to the ground and shot in the face, little blood is shown if any. The scene is pretty intense but partially comedic and mostly without blood or graphic details. A woman’s corpse is shown in the trunk of a car, only her legs are shown. While her boyfriend mourns from seeing this, a man lifts a gun and aims it at the back of his head. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t”. 13+ for some violence and language —S2 EP8: berkman > block— VIOLENCE: SEVERE During the final minutes of the episode, there is a bloody rampage. It begins with a woman being shot in the head, a bullet hole appears in her head and the vase behind her shatters. Then several men are shot and killed spraying blood out. After this, while the man shoots up the room full of countless people, he shoots several men in their heads lined up. One of them, who was shot in the neck, is shown walking around while holding his neck with blood pouring down his hands and out of his mouth while he is heard choking until he eventually falls dead. Then, a man is shot in a hallway where the murderer kicks in a door where he finds 3 men, 2 innocent. He begins by shooting one of them twice, the man falls back against a filing cabinet. While focusing on the struggling and dying man, we hear the unarmed men being shot and killed followed by the dying man getting shot in the head, splattering blood all over the boxes and the cabinet behind him. Then, a man is shot in the head briefly spraying blood followed by another man in the room. After the massacre, the killer finds the body of the man who was shot in the head with blood pooled around it. We also see several other bodies. The entire scene is very dark and intense. Very graphic violence during the last minutes of the episode. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Many uses of “f*ck”, “sh*t” and “b*tch” along with some use of “wh*re”. DRUG CONTENT: MILD Lots of talk of heroin dealing followed by heroin shown on a table. 13+ for some strong violence and language —S3 EP1: forgiving jeff— VIOLENCE: MILD 2 men are shot in the head, we see bullet holes appear in their foreheads but nothing else. The scene is brief and not very graphic. Throughout the episode, Barry hallucinates bullet holes in the heads of people he knows. Blood is shown running down their heads, and sometimes they suddenly appear with a gunshot, however they are unharmed in reality. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Use of “f*ck” and “sh*t” along with one use of “c*ck”. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Talks of an affair. A man is shown showering naked (waist up) and another man strips naked (waist up) and gets in the shower with him but this isn’t shown. —S3 EP2: limonada— VIOLENCE: NONE A few slapstick moments of dogs jumping on a man, after he is shown with his shirt ripped, people falling off fences and other comedic moments. A man snaps at his girlfriend, violently screaming at her. No violence during this episode. LANGUAGE: MILD A few uses of “f*ck”, but much less than most, if not all, episodes before this in the series. —S3 EP3: ben mendelsohn— VIOLENCE: NONE A man is socked in the face. Nothing else. LANGUAGE: MILD Some use of “f*ck”, once again the language in this episode is considerably tame compared to others in the series, however language is still quite present. --S3 EP4: all the sauces-- VIOLENCE: MODERATE Brief violence in which a man is shot in the head. Blood and matter splatter on the wall behind him before blood runs out of his mouth, nose and the back of his head spilling out onto his pillow and everywhere else. A house is exploded, killing many people inside. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Several uses of "f*ck" and "sh*t" with one use of "c*cksucker" along with other insults. —S3 EP5: crazytimesh*tshow— VIOLENCE: MILD During a flashback which has been shown several times since season 2, man is shown shot in the cheek with blood pouring out while several men aid him while he is on the ground. During a raid, a man is shot in the shoulder with a bloody patch shown after the trigger is pulled, this is funny because this has happened once before. After this, the armed men open fire on the compound, presumably killing several people, however this is shown out of focus and from such a distance where details can’t be seen. The situation escalates when police roll in, but the armed men shoot into a cop car crashing it into a tent and then causing collisions making a big explosion. The scene is very comedic and funny, and not at all violent. A woman accidentally shoots her (adult) son. Blood is shown on his shirt. Milder violence. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Uses of “f*ck” and “sh*t”. —S3 EP6: 710N— VIOLENCE: MILD A man is shot. He falls to the ground and a bloody hole is shown on his chest. Later he is patched up and the wound is shown being compressed. During a chase, a car suddenly smashes into motorcycle. Then, a car hits a motorcycle and a man flies through the car window. Afterwards there is lots of shooting between bikes and at one point a man accidentally shoots into a stationary car and crashes his motorcycle, he flies across the top of a car. Then, the chase stops at a car dealership where one of the gunmen starts shooting down into the dealership with people in it, they run out unarmed and one man shoots the gunner twice with his rifle showing no blood. The sequence is bloodless and comedic all the way through. A man is poisoned and falls over. LANGUAGE: MODERATE Uses of “f*ck” and “sh*t”. —S3 EP7: candy asses— VIOLENCE: MILD A man is shown dead with a bullet hole in his head along with a hard to see blood splatter on a window next to him. It is implied this was a suicide. LANGUAGE: SEVERE Very frequent uses of “f*ck” and 8 uses of “c*nt” and a couple uses of “d*ck” in sexual context. This episode has some of the most offensive and strongest language in the show. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD Brief crude references to oral sex using terms like “suck and eat d*ck” while talking about how a woman is unable to have sex. —S3 EP8: starting now— VIOLENCE: SEVERE There are scenes of heavily disturbing and graphic violence. A man is punched in the face and knocked out by a home intruder. The intruder than repeatedly slaps the man’s girlfriend across the face, slams her against a wall and throws her to the floor where he viscously strangles and chokes her on the floor. Her face is shown turning painfully red as she grabs and smacks at his face to escape until she eventually (very suddenly) stabs him in the neck with a knife. He stands up, with the knife still in his neck. Blood starts pouring down from his eye while the knife is in his neck when he begins asking “did you poke me in the eye” as he walks around, implying that the knife poked his eye all the way from his neck. He walks into a room when the woman grabs a bat and violently beats him to the ground with it. After, we see her repeatedly bashing him over and over again with the bat and blood spews and splatters all over the window, however we only see her swinging towards the ground, the victim is slightly off camera. The boyfriend wakes up and takes her out of the room, she is covered in blood and traumatized. We hear several men being devoured by some sort of animal. We hear frightening noises and lots of screaming and laughing coming from the room when one of the men vomits under the door and blood begins pouring from underneath the walls. Then, an armed man breaks into the room and the man inside beats and incapacitates him before shooting at the wall. The holes create a window into the room and we see blood caking then walls inside. A man is repeatedly electrocuted while forced to watch a man in only a thong dance in front of him in order to “cure” his homosexuality. He eventually dies from this. A woman is shot in the head, blood can be seen for a split second before the other person in the room is shot without any blood shown. This episode is very disturbing and graphic. LANGUAGE: SEVERE Several uses of “f*ck” and 4 uses of “c*nt” (one is very hard to hear). Stronger language than what is usually used in the series. SEXUAL CONTENT: MILD A man mistakes the name of a play for “cum f*ck”
age 15+

Really good for older teens

Was an amazing series but for older teens

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (19 ):

Half dark comedy about a hit man trying to find himself and half Hollywood satire about struggling actors and their pompous acting teacher, this series is held together by the subtle gravity of Hader's performance. He does remarkably restrained work here that expertly communicates his character's waywardness and need for purpose. It's a very different kind of role for Hader. That being said, if you're expecting big laughs from the Saturday Night Live alum, Barry may feel like a letdown. Viewers willing to stick with it will experience a show that offers a more sly style of humor as Hader gets the chance to inhabit a real person and use his natural physicality and expressive face to convey a depth of emotion that's surprisingly effective.

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