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Flakes 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

    Village Voice

    Despite a few good one-liners, the dialogue is overwritten, and director Michael Lehmann (Heathers, The Truth About Cats & Dogs) is in thrall with the hipness he tries to chronicle.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    A business course on cutthroat capitalism disguised as a slacker comedy: That’s the kindest way to describe Michael Lehmann’s Flakes.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    While Stanford is more annoying than endearing as the self-righteous slacker, the charming Deschanel provides the film with its few moments of genuine fun with her offbeat turn as the wily, put-upon girlfriend.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Quirky, mature hipster comedy is a bit too soggy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that though this comedy may appeal to teenagers because it stars indie fave Deschanel, it has plenty of strong language (including many uses of "f--k") and shows its characters smoking and drinking fairly often. And though it's good-natured, there's something a little disturbing about the one-upmanship between Neal and his girlfriend. Plus, the movie is cereal-obsessed; the characters live and breath cereal trivia (kind of like the way the folks in High Fidelity obsess over music) to the point that the movie almost feels like a cereal infomercial.

  • Families can talk about how the film pits art against commerce. Is it really that black and white? Can you be an artist and a successful businessperson at the same time? Would someone like that be an interesting subject for a movie? Why or why not? Families can also discuss Neal's relationship with his girlfriend. Do they act like loving partners? What's with all the plotting against each other? Why does Hollywood have a penchant for relationships gone awry?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The protagonist means well; he's so devoted to his boss that his own work suffers. The relationship between Neal and his girlfriend seems very loving, though when they fight they often hit below the belt. A businessman steals a franchise idea from an entrepreneur.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some yelling between couples. Neal kicks and smashes his speaker.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple makes out in their bedroom and are then shown in bed, under covers -- the man is naked from the waist up, the woman wears a camisole. Some innuendoes about having sex, but nothing too candid.

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent use of "f--k" (and another variation, "motherf--ker"), "sh-t," "a--hole," and more.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Name a cereal brand, and it's visible and talked about, including Count Chocula, Lucky Charms, etc. Signage for the two featured restaurants. The whole film seems like an homage to New Orleans, with its montages of the city's tourist haunts.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking (mostly beer, and only by adults) and smoking. In fact, in one scene, Neal smokes so many cigarettes that he arranges the butts to stand up like a phalanx of soldiers. Allusions to drug use, especially in relation to Willie.