White Noise (2022) parents guide

White Noise (2022) Parent Guide

This is a quirky, absurdist comedy about family, love, and the fear of death.

Overall C

Netflix: A typical suburban family's life is turned upside down by a nearby chemical leak, which triggers a large scale evacuation.

Release date December 30, 2022

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

Why is White Noise (2022) rated R? The MPAA rated White Noise (2022) R for brief violence and language.

Run Time: 136 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) and his wife, Babette (Greta Gerwig) are on their fourth marriages and are raising four children together – Jack’s two children: Heinrich (Sam Nivola) and Steffie (May Nivola); Babette’s daughter Denise (Raffey Cassidy); and their shared child, Wilder (Dean Moore). Jack is a professor in the field of “Hitler studies” at the local college and has started learning German in preparation for a large international conference to be hosted by his college. All appears fine on the surface, but trouble is brewing….

Jack and Denise discover that they are both concerned about Babette, who is behaving strangely, frequently forgetting things and staring off into space, and crying for no apparent reason. She is also sneaking mysterious pills from a bottle labelled “Dylar”, about which no information is publicly available. To make matters worse, a chemical truck carrying extremely toxic waste has just collided with a train carrying fuel and resulting explosion triggered a cloud of toxic gas which is floating over their town.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. I mean, the toxic cloud isn’t a great development, but that’s not really the point of the film, and the story isn’t about to morph into some post-apocalyptic nightmare. White Noise is a quirky, absurdist comedy about family, love, and the ever-present fear of death that plagues our every waking moment. Again, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Instead of being bleak and depressing, the film is more interested in exploring how essentially human it is to fear death, and how weird it is that we get over it.

Given the dark subject matter, this movie is obviously not a great choice for younger viewers. In addition to the morbid themes, there are some sexual conversations (between a married couple) and a smattering of violence and profanity, with a bit of prescription drug abuse thrown in to round things out. White Noise is not a hard “R”, but it’s more than younger audiences are likely to be comfortable with – or, more accurately, it’s more than the parents of younger audiences are likely to be comfortable with.

For adults, however, with a proclivity for snappy, quirky dialogue and flawed but interesting characters, there’s a fun time to be had with White Noise. While it never really gets around to explaining all of the topics it touches on, I think it works better as a vague, ephemeral look at existential ennui. And yes, it can be exactly as pretentious as that makes it sound, but I was an English major. I like a little bit of pretension every now and then.

Directed by Noah Baumbach. Starring Adam Driver, Raffey Cassidy, Greta Gerwig. Running time: 136 minutes. Theatrical release December 30, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for White Noise (2022)

White Noise (2022)
Rating & Content Info

Why is White Noise (2022) rated R? White Noise (2022) is rated R by the MPAA for brief violence and language.

Violence: People are injured in car collisions. A man is presumably killed in an explosion. Several people are non-fatally shot.
Sexual Content: Suggestive book covers and titles are briefly seen. There are references to sex and adultery.
Profanity: There is a single sexual expletive and infrequent use of scatological curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are occasionally seen smoking tobacco or drinking socially. An adult abuses an experimental prescription medication.

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Related home video titles:

Other absurdist films exploring the human condition include The Dead Don’t Die, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Sorry to Bother You, Don’t Look Up, Greener Grass, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things.