Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Well-acted and well-written, for mature teens+.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is about a seemingly "ordinary guy" becoming a government-hired murderer. The main character painstakingly lies to loved ones in order to cover up his participation in brutal crimes. There are many instances of strong language, and crimes are depicted graphically. Furthermore, parents should know that the film features many popular actors (George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Drew Barrymore), thus increasing the chance that children are going to know about the film and want to see it.
- Families can talk about the consequences of secrecy and betrayal. How does Chuck Barris's career as a contract murderer influence his "regular" job as a television producer? What are the effects of this on his relationships with loved ones? How do Chuck's relationships with other women influence his relationship with Penny? Families can also discuss the notion of "quality entertainment" in relation to this movie. Why do people react so strongly (positively and negatively) to the television shows that Chuck produces? Why might people be concerned about the effects of television content on families and children?
The good stuff
Positive messages: One of the themes of the movie is how "nice" people might do cruel things in secret.
What to watch for
Violence: Not frequent, but graphic: shootings, hand-to-hand violence, etc.
Sexy stuff: Several references and depictions of sexual activity.
Language: The f-word is used freely and frequently.
Consumerism: Barris' game shows are a focal points in the film.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The characters drink frequently, some reference to LSD.