Breaking News in Yuba County parents guide

Breaking News in Yuba County Parent Guide

The plot offers its own kind of zany fun if you aren't put off by the violence and profanity.

Overall C-

Digital on Demand: Sue Buttons' husband has disappeared and there are signs of a struggle in the house. The ensuing investigation and media circus quickly shows the locals that much more has happened in their tiny county than they would ever have expected.

Release date February 12, 2021

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Breaking News in Yuba County rated R? The MPAA rated Breaking News in Yuba County R for violence, sexual content, language and some nudity.

Run Time: 96 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Sleepy Yuba County doesn’t see much excitement in a given year – but Sue Buttons (Allison Janney) is about to change that. When she catches her husband, Karl (Matthew Modine) in bed with another woman (Bridget Everett), Karl’s response to the surprise is to promptly drop dead of a heart attack. Sue sees this as an opportunity to get some attention (for once) and buries the body before reporting Karl missing. What Sue doesn’t know is that Karl has been involved in laundering huge amounts of money for a dangerous local criminal – and his henchmen, Mina (Awkwafina) and Ray (Clifton Collins Jr.) are on the lookout for the money Karl owed them. To further complicate matters, Karl’s brother Petey (Jimmi Simpson), is convinced that Mina and her crew kidnapped Karl in the first place. What a tangled web Sue has woven all over the county…and only Detective Cam Harris (Regina Hall) seems to have any interest in sorting it all out.

I’ll start with the positives, for a change. The cast is superb, and I’m not just saying that because I love everything Allison Janney is in. Awkwafina is phenomenal in this film, playing a very eccentric kind of crazy that works perfectly in a dark comedy like this. The plot has its own kind of zany fun, with the lies and confusions piling on each other until you can barely keep track of who’s telling which lie. Impressively, the different lies fit together like weirdly shaped puzzle pieces, which keeps the movie more or less on track.

That’s a shorter list of positives than I was hoping for when I saw the trailer for this movie. Unfortunately, Breaking News in Yuba County is basically a bargain bin version of Fargo, which is a legitimate classic. That’s tough competition. It’s not that this is a terrible film, but when you’re competing with a film that made the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress in the first year it was eligible, you’re facing an uphill climb. Dark crime comedy is hard to do well, and the balancing act usually involves more hindrances than successes.

If you like crime comedies, you probably won’t have too much trouble with the content in this film, but this is not a movie for younger kids or teens. There is a lot more profanity than most parents would be comfortable with, and the violence gets…creative. I mean, sticking someone’s head in a drill press is usually frowned upon regardless of genre (don’t worry, it happens out of frame). But without the dazzling Coen brothers’ comedy, this movie is just an intricate web of lies and deceit with an unfortunate body count.

Directed by Tate Taylor. Starring Mila Kunis, Allison Janney, and Awkwafina. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release February 12, 2021. Updated

Breaking News in Yuba County
Rating & Content Info

Why is Breaking News in Yuba County rated R? Breaking News in Yuba County is rated R by the MPAA for violence, sexual content, language and some nudity.

Violence: Several people are shot and killed. A man dies of a heart attack. An individual is headbutted in the face. A teenager is tasered in a police station. A man is non-fatally stabbed in the neck with a fork. A character is killed by having their head drilled in a drill press. One character is killed when struck in the chest with a hatchet. A person is shot in the kneecap as a means of intimidation and coercion. A man is repeatedly stabbed in self-defense.
Sexual Content: A man is shown having adulterous sex in a scene which features unpleasant sound effects and brief female toplessness. A large collection of adult toys is shown.
Profanity: There are 30 uses of extreme profanity and 11 scatological curses, along with infrequent mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are briefly seen smoking tobacco and drinking socially.

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This movie bears a lot of similarities to Fargo, the 1996 classic dark comedy by the Coen brothers. Other crime comedies (with varying levels of darkness) include Logan Lucky, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Throw Momma From the Train.