Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Beware the Gonzo Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Its serious intentions notwithstanding, Beware the Gonzo is essentially a comedy with a mean streak; its portrait of the big man on campus is truly venomous.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    The directing debut for screenwriter Bryan Goluboff, Beware the Gonzo isn't bad, it's just that for a film aiming to celebrate media rebellion it feels timid and unadventurous.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice Melissa Anderson

    Too cute by half, Beware the Gonzo will appeal to the 20 people left on earth who insist on broadsheets over iPad apps and/or those bewitched by star Ezra Miller's pretty cheekbones.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Beware the Gonzo reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

High school reporter exposes bully in teen comedy with edge.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this indie teen comedy about a high school student who starts an underground newspaper and must overcome opposition from the school and his classmates deals with teen-relevant topics like bullying and cliques. It brings some mature content to the table in doing so, from frequent swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") to drinking, sexual situations, and a scene in which characters watch a video of an attempted rape.

  • Families can talk about Gonzo's decision to start a newspaper. What were his motivations? Is it ever OK to use any kind of media to reveal others' secrets?
  • How does the movie portray bullying? How does physical bullying compare to cyberbullying?
  • Are the movie's characters relatable? Teens: Do they remind you of anyone at your school? Do you and your friends deal with similar situations? Does the movie have realistic consequences for the characters' behavior?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Gonzo and his friends learn that you shouldn't be intimidated by bullies; they all have a weakness, just like the rest of us. That said, Gonzo also bends a few rules (and exposes others' secrets) to pursue his dreams.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Gonzo and his friends are the social misfits of Parker Prep, but they aren't doormats. They stand up for what they think is right and refuse to let a crowd of popular bullies rule the school, despite opposition from the administration. Some stereotyping of different cliques at the school.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A few physical encounters between high school students, including fistfights, wrestling, and violent bullying. One scene features people watching a video of an attempted sexual assault.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Several discussions about sex. A few scenes show teens kissing and suggest that more is about to happen.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "whore," and "bastard." A few people make obscene gestures.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Gonzo often works on an Apple laptop and craves Red Bull energy drinks.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One scene shows adults drinking beer while relaxing at home, and a few scenes feature teens who appear to be drinking at a party.