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Keeping Up With the Steins Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Lukewarm comedy turns to sledgehammer heart-warmth … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    57

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Garry Marshall takes over the movie (no mystery: his son, Scott, directed it), and Keeping Up With the Steins turns into a recipe to forget: chopped liver with ''heart.''

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Blends humor with heart for a satisfying, if predictable, experience.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    What could have made for particularly potent satire in the hands of an Albert Brooks or a Christopher Guest arrives in the form of a politely benign family comedy by first-time director Scott Marshall.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A fresh and lovable comedy about a dysfunctional Jewish family planning their son's bar mitzvah.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Keeping Up With the Steins reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

So-so comedy about over-the-top bar mitzvah.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know the film includes jokes concerning a 13-year-old boy's burgeoning sexual interests, as well as his anxiety about "becoming a man" via his bar mitzvah. Using broad Jewish, uptight-suburban, and "hippie" stereotypes, the film establishes a series of conflicts to be resolved by the end. The film includes mild language, several sexual allusions (as 13-year-olds begin to notice the opposite sex), and some underage drinking (three boys steal liquor from parents' cabinet, get tipsy, and then one throws up, whereupon his grandfather covers for him, understanding that "boys will be boys"). A grandfather and his younger girlfriend appear naked in a pool (the grandson sees their naked behinds). The grandfather pulls out a sword to fight off an angry driver.

  • Families can talk about the tension between Irwin and Adam, as this is premised on Irwin's abandonment of his family 20 years before: How can Adam forgive his father? (And how is it hard for him to accept that his mother forgives his father?) How can traditional rituals (like bar mitzvahs or birthday parties) simultaneously be exciting and stressful?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Children lie to parents; adult child is angry at his father, who left the family 20 years ago; kids tease Benjamin, burp, and throw up (after drinking parents' liquor).

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Slapsticky humor; Irwin pulls a sword on a driver who tries to fight him after a car accident (this upsets Benjamin's father).

  • sex false3

    Sex: Mostly jokey references to youthful desire (Ben has a crush on a girl and fumbles his way through asking her to his bar mitzvah); Benjamin has what looks like a sexy-girls site on his computer screen, which he hides when Adam enters his room; Irwin and his girlfriend appear naked in a pool (we see his back, and only hints of her breasts); wedding planner mentions a past job for a "Rastafarian gay marriage."

  • language false3

    Language: One s-word, several uses of "hell," "crap," and slang for sex act ("get laid") and genitals.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: References to Versace, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Bill O'Reilly, The Real World.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: 13-year-olds sneak drinks, get instantly drunk, then Ben throws up.

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