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Citizen Duane Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Lackluster teen election tale with extra drinking, swearing.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this teen political comedy uses expletives throughout: especially "s--t" and "ass" in numerous forms, as well as one use of "f--k off." Also, several characters consume beer and other alcoholic beverages, including teens and the lead's "favorite uncle" who is known to be a gambling alcoholic. The character Hero has a fierce temper and tries out several methods of revenge, with little success, including fighting and building an elaborately comical but ineffectual "weapon." All of the action is played for comic effect and no one is seriously hurt or injured. Sexual content is pretty mild -- a boy asks a girl if he can see her naked.

  • Families can talk about how, in the movie's opening, Duane is affected by the activity of an ant. How did watching the ant motivate him and give him purpose? How did the presence of insects during the opening credits connect to the final resolution of the movie?
  • How did your feelings about Duane's father change over the course of the movie? Do you think the way the facts about Cecil Balfour are revealed little by little made the story more compelling or confusing?
  • How were the school elections in this film different from the elections in your school? What are some of the issues that you think are important to kids when they're voting for representation?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Main message is to stand up and fight hard for what you believe in. Hero's father is shown to have given his life to fight against ignorance and corruption. Teacher tries to help student learn to "pick his battles," and "set sights higher."

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Teen attempts to turn his negative impulse for petty revenge into a positive run for political office. High school teacher is portrayed as caring, intuitive, and helpful. A beloved uncle is shown to be a powerful support for Duane, despite his own messy and unhealthy personal life. Duane's father, who was thought to be crazy and eccentric, is proved to have given his life for a cause in which he believed.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Two brief schoolyard fights, wrestling, and some flailing punches. An angry woman slaps a reporter's face. Someone throws a shoe at the hero's head. Mentions of Duane's father's death.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Boy asks girl, "Can I still see you naked?" Teen stares at girl's breasts.

  • language false3

    Language: Typically teen swearing: several uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "asshole," "damn," "Goddamn," "penis," and "what the hell?" One "f--k off." "Gay" and "retarded" used as slurs.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Pepsi, Tylenol, Pearle, Always, featured on grocery shelves. Carter's Beer and Volvo also shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Student smokes marijuana cigarette. Featured character is portrayed as a bar owner with an alcohol (and gambling) problem. Teen is seen drinking beer to excess and getting drunk. Beer is consumed at a high school party. Teen smokes.