Good Boys Parent Guide
A comedy with flat jokes and eleven year old boys watching porn, playing with sex toys, drinking beer, and buying drugs We don't think it's funny either.
Parent Movie Review
Max (Jacob Tremblay) and his two best friends Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) have just moved onto the sixth grade, which launches them into middle school. This new world beckons with exciting adventures, including setting records for sips of beer (which stands at three) and attending kissing parties. That is, if they can figure out how to kiss, where to get beer, and how to get Max’s dad’s drone back from the neighbor girls who kidnapped it as the boys spied on them.
One of the first things to understand about this movie is that, despite the age of the cast and the story, this is not a film geared at (or appropriate for) young teenagers. The intent of this film, I think, is to appeal to an adult sense of nostalgia – for a simpler time before we had to have a job or even understand trigonometry. Sixth grade is sort of the end of childhood proper, and this film is trying to net viewers who are long past that and well into adulthood who want to look back at how uncomplicated things were, especially when they didn’t understand anything going on around them.
That said, it’s deeply unsettling to watch eleven-year-olds running around with sex toys, buying drugs, watching porn, and drinking beer. The swearing is more or less realistic for some eleven year olds, although it might be unappealing for most audiences. On the other hand, the constant sexual references are really heavy handed for the sixth grade. I don’t remember hearing most of that stuff till at least grade nine, but maybe that was just my school. At any rate, it’s not especially nostalgic to watch. Just…unpleasant.
Beyond parental concerns, this movie’s biggest problem at the box office is probably going to be that it’s not actually amusing. Aside from a few scenes of physical comedy, and a couple of visual gags, most of the intended humor just isn’t funny enough to earn any laughter from the audience. A quiet theater is a bad sign for a comedy, and apart from those few exceptions, you could have slept in the screening I attended. Whether it loses butts-in-seats due to the creepy combination of mature subject and young cast or for its more general failure as a comedy is an open question. Either way, I can’t imagine this performing too well.
I can’t really think of anyone who would want to see this flick, but there are lots of people who should, under no circumstances, ever see it. The Restricted rating is well earned and children should not see Good Boys. Nor should anyone else who isn’t charmed by the idea of watching eleven year olds behave like it’s hazing week at a frat house. I suppose the movie’s best feature its brevity- clocking it at 89 minutes, Good Boys may offend you a lot, but it won’t be for long. It’ll just feel that way.Directed by Gene Stupnitsky. Starring Jacob Tremblay, Molly Gordon, and Will Forte.. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release August 16, 2019. Updated August 16, 2019
Rating & Content Info
Why is Good Boys rated R? Good Boys is rated R by the MPAA for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout - all involving tweens.
Violence: A boy crashes his bike into a truck, dislocating their shoulder. This shoulder is then forced back into joint. A car accident occurs, although no one appears to be injured. A large brawl breaks out which includes individuals being shot with a paintball gun, hit with a large paddle, punched, and thrown into furniture.
Sexual Content: There are dozens of sexual references, most of which come from children, and none of which I can describe on a family website. Children are shown watching pornography (which is not shown in any graphic detail) to learn how to kiss. Various “adult toys” are also shown, although never used for their intended purpose, as the children think they’re regular toys and don’t understand the implications.
Profanity: There is frequent use of profanity, primarily in the “Extreme” and “Moderate” categories, numbering approximately 170 uses.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Children are shown drinking beer. A central plotline revolves around finding MDMA (ecstasy, primarily referred to as “molly” in the film), although none is directly shown. Several individuals are shown under the influence of MDMA. An individual is shown smoking marijuana. An individual is shown snorting cocaine.
Page last updated August 16, 2019
Good Boys Parents' Guide
This is the opposite of a family film. Please don’t take your kids.
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Steven King’s classic novella The Body is the story on which Stand by Me is based.
For a family friendly story about tween friendships, readers can turn to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This magical story begins with eleven year olds heading to Hogwarts to study magic.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain remains the classic story of boyhood adventures. Full of action and stocked with memorable characters, this unforgettable novel also delves into deep social and philosophical themes without being pretentious or dull.
Related home video titles:
Family audiences looking for a lighthearted look at adolescence will enjoy Sky High, which focuses on a group of friends and their changing relationships in high school, which happens to be for superheroes.
Older teens might be interested in Perks of Being a Wallflower, which follows a sensitive and shy boy trying to find his way in high school, and the deep emotional conflicts he and his friends have to cope with.
For an honest look at the perils of middle school, check out Eighth Grade. This Restricted movie has some non-explicit sexual content but it’s worth watching for parents who are trying to understand the tween school experience in the age of social media.
Teens will likely enjoy the classic film, Stand by Me. This film follows a tight-knit group of friends who hear about a fatality in a train accident and go looking for the body. Meanwhile, they realize that they’re growing up and growing apart.