Parents' Guide to

Ultra City Smiths

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Stop-motion musical noir has sexual humor, some violence.

TV AMC Comedy 2021
Ultra City Smiths Poster Image

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Good murder mysteries often stun the audience by pulling together seemingly unrelated threads into an elegant, surprising solution -- this series nobly attempts to do this throughout the entire journey. The plot contains many different strands, each exposing a unique side of the seedy Ultra City, while the tone of the stop-motion series draws on everything from noir to satire to musical comedy. Movie references pop up throughout -- the main character is lifted straight out of David Fincher's Se7en and even named after Brad Pitt's character, and street gangs straight out of 1979's cult classic The Warriors roam the sidewalks and alleyways. The cast is similarly bonkers, featuring a recognizable cross-section of sitcom supporting characters alongside luminaries like Kristen Bell and John C. Reilly (and narrated by Tom Waits!). Ultra City Smiths may or may not ultimately be able to pull all the disparate stylistic threads together, but its willingness to throw anything and everything against the wall and see what sticks makes for a fun watch that's full of suprises.

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