Bowling for Columbine

2002 R 1h 59m DVD

Bowling for Columbine

2002 R 1h 59m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Famed filmmaker and left-wing political humorist Michael Moore tackles America's obsession with firearms in this Oscar-winning documentary centered on the Columbine High School massacre of 1999.
Michael Moore, Marilyn Manson, Charlton Heston, Dick Clark, Matt Stone, John Nichols
Michael Moore
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Bowling for Columbine is a documentary about gun violence that includes a number of disturbing scenes to illustrate its points, such as footage of real-life people being shot, gun suicides, assassinations, battle footage, and so on. Perhaps most terrifying, the movie includes security camera footage from the Columbine High School massacre. These scenes are brief, but effectively horrifying. Bowling for Columbine also includes strong language, criticism of American political policy, a brief shot of a nude man with the private parts of a woman on an album cover, an interviewee who smokes and a few references to drinking.

Sexual Content

A couple of sequences feature guns being fired by scantily dressed women, or show armed women in revealing outfits. A Marilyn Manson album featuring a man with (fake) breasts and a vagina is shown briefly.


There is archival and very disturbing footage from the school shootings at Columbine High School; the footage is blurry and hard to make out but may nonetheless disturb young or sensitive viewers. There is also war footage from Kosovo, several sequences featuring cartoon violence, still photos and video of assassinations, murders and a suicide (though gore is light). These sequences are short, but still quite disturbing.


Some cursing and derogatory language, including "fag," "f--k" and "s--t."

Social Behavior

The movie's frequently stated message is to ferret out the reasons for endemic American gun violence so as to prevent violence in the future.


Many brands are mentioned, such as Lockheed Martin and Kmart; the actions of said companies are often criticized.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A few brief references to drinking and one interview subject smokes during the interview.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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