Tick, Tick…Boom parents guide

Tick, Tick…Boom Parent Guide

Sing your own songs.

Overall B-

Netflix: This Lin-Manuel Miranda musical stars Andrew Garfield as a composer trying to make it in the New York City theatre world of the 1980s.

Release date November 19, 2021

Violence A
Sexual Content A-
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is Tick, Tick…Boom rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Tick, Tick…Boom PG-13 for some strong language, some suggestive material and drug references

Run Time: 115 minutes

Parent Movie Review

With his 30th birthday creeping up on him, aspiring theater composer Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield) is feeling the pressure. He’s been working on a satirical sci-fi musical for the past 8 years between shifts at a local diner, coasting on positive feedback he got from theatre legend Stephen Sondheim (Bradley Whitford) at a workshop a few years into the process. With a major public reading of the play coming up, he doesn’t have time for anything else…so, of course, everything else in his life starts coming apart. His girlfriend, Susan (Alexandra Shipp) has been offered a great job out in the Berkshires and wants to know if he’s willing to move with her, his childhood friend and roommate Michael (Robin de Jesus) is moving out, and one of his co-workers has been hospitalized with complications arising from HIV/AIDS. And, just to round things off, he’s missing a major musical number and has what feels like terminal writer’s block. With the clock ticking, not just on his project, but on his relationship and his youth, Jonathan is going to have to figure out what he wants from his life…and soon.

If there’s a world Lin-Manuel Miranda knows, it’s musical theater, and his love for that community is very apparent throughout the film. Apart from the subject matter, the background cast is populated by stage performers, including cameos from members of the original casts of Hamilton and Rent. If you, like me, are not a huge Broadway fan, this is all going to sail straight over your head. But this isn’t a movie for the non-musical crowd anyway.

Because, apart from being a biopic, this is very much a musical. There are musical numbers, written by the real Jonathan Larson. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, walk away now. I will say, however, that you’d be missing some solid vocal performances. Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp in particular stand out, especially in their shared number “Come to Your Senses”.

For those of you with a younger audience in mind, rest assured: Despite being written by Jonathan Larson, this does not share some of the more salacious subject matter which you find in Rent. If you’ve got a teenaged musical theater nerd, then there isn’t anything in here that’s going to be too shocking. More to the point, they’re sure to enjoy a more intimate look at how a show gets made, complete with singing, dancing, and the general surrealism of a musical.

Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Starring Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release November 19, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Tick, Tick…Boom

Tick, Tick…Boom
Rating & Content Info

Why is Tick, Tick…Boom rated PG-13? Tick, Tick…Boom is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some strong language, some suggestive material and drug references

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: Individuals are briefly shown kissing passionately and undressing, but no nudity is seen.
Profanity: There are five scatological profanities and one extreme profanity, with very infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking socially. There are vague references to drugs and one specific reference to marijuana, although no drug use is seen.

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Jonathan Larson is best known for the hit Broadway musical Rent, which was adapted for the screen in 2005. Screenwriter Steven Levenson also wrote Dear Evan Hansen. Lin-Manuel Miranda is best known for another hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, and has since had another project adapted for film, In the Heights. He also appears in Mary Poppins Returns, Vivo, and wrote the music for the upcoming Disney animated film Encanto.