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Branded 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.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Village Voice Michael Atkinson

    Branded has ideas, but unfortunately, the ideas are reeking batshit nuts, especially once the cheaply animated "brand" monsters, which might not actually exist, start flying around like Ghostbusters mistakes biting one another. You've been warned.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Robert Abele

    To borrow a hamburger chain's refrain, not lovin' it.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    This messy amalgam of mysticism, romance, satire, social criticism and cartoonish f/x seems destined for discount DVD bins.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    This fantastical fable takes aim at marketing itself with an intriguing if tendentious narrative.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Bizarre, unsettling, futuristic satire about advertising.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Branded is a bizarre, futuristic satire on marketing and advertising set in Russia. It will definitely get older teens thinking about the effects of marketing and advertising and how people can be made to believe that they "need" certain products. But at the same time, it's strange, humorless, and unpleasant, with some violent events (such as beatings) and lots of blood in certain scenes (including a cow being sacrificed off screen). Strange, unsettling monsters litter the skyline and battle each other during the movie's final third. Characters have sex on more than one occasion, but the only nudity is the male lead's backside in a non-sexual scene. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," and characters drink and get drunk in a few scenes. Fake products are used in the satire, but they sometimes resemble real products, and real products are also occasionally mentioned and/or shown.

  • Families can talk about what Branded has to say about consumerism, marketing, and advertising. What's the connection between fast food and images of beauty? Does that connection exist in real life?
  • In the movie, marketing gurus manipulate people to the point that they actually commit violence. Do you think it's easy for people to get caught up in a kind of mass hysteria? Can you think of real-life examples when that's happened?
  • Did this movie make you want to eat fast food or buy any kind of products? Or did it make you want to avoid them?
  • What is a satire? Is it supposed to be funny, or can it be serious? What did this movie satirize? Was it effective?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie is a satire on marketing and advertising, and as such it has plenty to say about the way that people can be manipulated into believing that they "need" certain kinds of products. The movie's good guys try to stand up to these forces, while the bad guys try to find newer and more devious ways to perpetuate them.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main characters are a bit muddled; while their intentions are mostly good, the means may not be. The male lead is a marketing genius who has discovered how his talents can be used for evil. But during the movie's final third, he tries to overcome these evil forces by, once again, using marketing to manipulate people.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The main character is punched, beaten up, and bashed in the head with a club. A fair amount of blood is shown. A cow is sacrificed; it takes place off screen, but there's lots of blood as a result. Bizarre, frightening creatures are shown flying around the skyline; they eventually begin battling each other, with attacks and some blood. Characters make trailers for horror movies, with images of a girl screaming and getting dunked in a tank of water. In a flashback, a man is burned alive in a kiosk (no specifics shown).

  • sex false3

    Sex: The two main characters fall in love and have sex in a car during a traffic jam. They kiss, but no nudity is shown. There's another brief kissing/foreplay scene later on. The main character takes off his clothes during the cow sacrifice scene; he's shown from behind. Two women strip to their underwear on a hot day while stuck in traffic. A TV ad talks about "impotence."

  • language false4

    Language: Language isn't very frequent but includes multiple uses of "f--k" (mainly from one character). "S--t" is also used a few times, in addition to "Christ" and "God" (as exclamations).

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The movie is about advertising and consumerism, but it's a satire and isn't actually promoting any real products. There are lots of fake ads and parody names like "Ooogle," "Yapple," "Vipsache," "Soda Soda," and "The Burger." Some of these deliberately look like real brands, however, and occasionally real names like "Coke," "Pepsi," "Adidas," and "Marlboro" are mentioned and/or shown in the context of the satire.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The female lead smokes a cigarette in one scene. Adult characters are shown drinking (either beer or vodka) and getting drunk on at least three separate occasions.