Movie Review

Ted

MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2012
USA Release:
June 29, 2012 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: December 11, 2012
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

Who is director Seth MacFarlane? —atheist / mother died after long cancer battle / named the Harvard Humanist of the Year (2011) for “his active, passionate commitment to Humanist values” / campaigned for Barack Obama for President / active U.S. Democratic Party supporter / supports legalization of cannabis / passionate supporter of Gay “rights” and Gay marriage

What are the possible consequences of crude sexual talk and actions?

consequences of constant use of foul and profane language

use of illegal drugs

fornication

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

Featuring: Mila KunisLori
Mark WahlbergJohn
Giovanni RibisiDonny
Seth MacFarlane … Ted (voice)
Patrick WarburtonGuy
Laura Vandervoort … Tanya
more »
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Producer: Universal Pictures
Media Rights Capital
more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“the first motion pictures from the creator of ‘Family Guy’”

Ah, the joys of waking up on Christmas morning to find many surprises under the Christmas tree! But a young boy named John Bennett received the biggest surprise of his life when his new stuffed bear Teddy, came to life all because of a wish he made one Christmas night. John was a boy who didn’t have many friends so Ted became his first true and only friend. As we flash forward to the future John is now thirty-five, living with his girlfriend Lori, and working for a car rental service. However, Lori feels that Ted needs to move out of their apartment and move on with his life so they can move on with their own. But this causes problems for both John and Ted and this leads them on an unexpected journey that they will never forget.

“Ted” is a story about true friendship and brotherly love. But it’s also a story about drugs, alcohol, sex, and even more drugs. Before I weigh out the positive elements of this film, I will list some of the offensive content below:

Sexual Content: “Ted contains plenty of sexual dialog, including crude references to various sex acts and male and female anatomy. Many characters wear formfitting outfits which display lots of cleavage and exposed legs (especially in one club scene, which includes suggestive dancing). We also see Lori wrapped in just a towel, in one scene. In order to impress a co-worker at his new job, Ted starts to perform various sex acts at a cash register. We later see his furry backside trying to have sex with her (no nudity and only her legs are seen). Lori also walks in on Ted lounging on a couch with a group of scantily clad women, which he later says are hookers. Ted also grabs a woman’s clothed breast in public.

As I mentioned above, John and Lori live together, so we see one scene with them sharing the same bed and another scene where Lori starts to straddle him on a couch. They kiss passionately many times throughout the film. When Ted throws a party at his new apartment, he makes out with the same check stand girl, and we later see him drawing a picture on a woman’s bare breasts. During a fight between John and Ted, Ted pulls down John’s pants (exposing his rear-end) and starts to beat him with a TV antenna (played for laughs). There are also a few moments of homosexuality, when we see two gay men holding hands in one scene and later kissing in another.

Crude and Profane Language: The f-word is used more than 50 times, the s-word nearly 40 times, and the a-word nearly 15 times. Other milder profanities such as h*ll, b*tch, and b*stard are used a handful of times, as well. God’s name is abused nearly 20 times (twice paired with d*mn), and Jesus’ name is nearly abused 10 times (once or twice paired with the f-word). Words such as d*ck and p*ssy are used as put downs, and Lorie uses the c-word, directing it towards one of Ted’s girlfriends. The words sl*t and wh*re are used a couple of times, as well.

Violent Content: Although the violence can be a bit intense, at times, it is performed in a comedic matter and mostly played for laughs. There is some mild bullying in the beginning of the movie when a bunch of kids decide to beat up a boy because he’s Jewish. During a party scene, Ted performs a knife trick that goes awry, when he accidentally stabs a guy’s hand (we see the wound, and there’s blood). Later on in the scene, Ted’s angry neighbor comes over, which results in a fight between John and the neighbor and Ted and the neighbor’s goose. Ted and John get into a fight, with the end result of a TV landing on top of John. There is also a car chase with a few crashes, and John punches a young boy in the face (which knocks him out cold), after he tries to attack him. *Spoiler* Ted gets kidnapped and gets his ear torn off by the same boy John hits. Later, the boy’s father ends up tearing Ted in half, after chasing him through Fenway Park. There is no blood, but Ted’s stuffing flies everywhere. *End Spoiler*

Drug and Alcohol Content: Ted and John love to drink, but if Ted had a second best friend, it would probably be marijuana. In a few scenes, we see Ted smoking a bong, and in one of those scenes, John partakes, as well. There is also cocaine usage, and we later see the after effects it has on John, Ted, and well, Flash Gordon. John is also seen carrying a bag of marijuana in one scene. Shots of alcohol are consumed by the characters, and various types of beer get consumed numerous times, as well. John and Lorie also appear to be drinking wine and champagne at a restaurant.

Other Negative Elements: If there is one thing Seth McFarlane does best, it’s to make fun of everyone and everything. In the script, characters poke fun at Jews, Christians, Muslims, African Americans, Caucasians, homosexuals, and celebrities. There is also a disrespectful joke made about September 11 and jokes made about Parkinson’s Disease. Characters make crude jokes about “farting,” and we hear some of the noises. We also briefly see some feces on floor. We later learn that Ted dared one of his hooker friends to do it (Lorie later cleans it up in disgust). John and Ted also use their middle fingers in one scene, and in a television clip Ted’s middle finger gets censored. There are also many broken promises made by characters, but in some cases they learn their lesson.

Positive Elements: There are positive messages about moving on in life and messages about brotherly love. Ted also learns that sometimes being a “third wheel” in someone’s relationship can cause problems along the road and that sometimes you just need to move on. Marriage is also respected. As I noted above about promises being broken, the film displays that sometimes promises need to be broken in order to help someone who may be hurting or in need. Some viewers may have issues with this theme, but I believe as a follower of Christ that when it comes to tough decisions in life promises may need to be broken in order to prevent tragedy down the road.

The overall filmmaking quality is pretty impressive from first time director Seth MacFarlane. Although the story is a bit predictable and cliché, I still enjoyed it, despite the offensive material. The acting was impressive, the animators did a great job bringing Ted to life, and the entire film flowed smoothly from start to finish. I didn’t observe any holes in the plot, but the script could have used some improvements. Overall, this is a well made comedy.

If there is one negative theme “Ted” displays best, it’s “don’t take care of your body”. In other words, “Ted” displays numerous moments of drugs, alcohol, and sex with minimal to no consequences. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) states, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” In other words, God created us and intended for us to take care of our bodies; not just throw them away. We should also be reminded to “flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18) (ESV), and “wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1) (ESV). This Proverb is a perfect example of the party thrown in the film.

Although “Ted” sends out some positive messages about life and family, I can’t recommend it. The drug and alcohol content are very high in this film, and there is plenty of sexual content. Numerous religions and races are mocked, and there are many disrespectful jokes made about certain types of people, as well.

However, since the film does send some positive messages, is limited to one “sex” scene (if you really want to call it that), and has fewer profanities than most other films within its genre, I will knock it down from an “extremely offensive” to a “very offensive” (if that even says much). “Ted” may appear to be an innocent film about a man living with his magical bear, but its story is filled with lies, deceit, and immorality.

Violence: Moderate to heavy / Profanity: Heavy to extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme

“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This past weekend I went and saw Ted with my 13 and 15 year old daughters; although it did have bad examples, language, drugs, and drinking, I thought it was a good example of what NOT to do when they are older. But, overall, it was a really funny movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Erica, age 41 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—If you want to know what it’s like to be young and completely lost, watch this film. The true “Family Guy” fan is a stoner. This movie was made from the view point of a stoner. It has 3 layers. Firstly, it mocks God to the fullest. Secondly, it is full of perversion. Thirdly, it has what appears to be a true love relationship, and this layer sells the lie that: love exists in the universe without God. Of course, you would have to be stoned to pick up on these layers, as they are very subtle. Seth MacFarlane is definitely an intelligent man. If you weren’t high, this movie would appear to be: very basic, immature, and stupid. If you do watch it, note how many people in the audience cough.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Lionman, age 26 (New Zealand)
Negative
Negative—I took my girlfriend out on date night to dinner and a movie. “Ted” seemed to be a safe, endearing choice for a relaxed, fun, light, and full of laughs evening. After about 20 minutes of swearing f bombs and pot smoking. Crude and lewd jokes, I turned to her when she said “this is nothing like I expected!” I replied “me either! You ready to go?”. She replied “whenever you are”. I said “let’s go”. Off we went and did not really care if I got my money back or not.

Principals and values are more important. Graciously the theater gave us a rain check to return another time. Fortunately, I have since found this Web site and will do my research better for a suitable movie that is not absolutely and totally crude. I do understand society has deteriorated and washed down our tolerance. I signed the RESOLUTION to take a stand and be a MAN OF COURAGE! I will honor that to the best of my ability. The line is drawn, where are you men!!! STAND UP!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Man Of Courage, age 45 (USA)
Negative—Garbage in, Garbage out… If you’re looking for reasons to believe that mankind has nearly reached the bottom, this movie will confirm that view… I was outraged after hearing several teenagers commenting to each other on the film, and I spent time looking at all the clips from the film on YouTube. That was enough… It’s actually a shame we can’t seem to develop comedy today without tons of profanity and sexual content… That, in itself, says a lot about our society, for we ridicule decency and attack anyone with morals…

We have become the people and the society that the Bible warns us about… We’re the nation where “Everyone does what is right in their own eyes”… In fact, we’re so corrupt that we laugh and scoff at those who say we are… We’re the nation standing in a cess pool up to our necks, saying we don’t smell anything…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Bob, age 67 (USA)
Negative—The film is completely wasted with dis-tasteful content through and through. I didn’t let any of my three teens see it, for obvious reasons. Drug content is throughout the film, showing it as a normal activity to partake in. Anti-Semitic jokes are told, very offensive to a Christian. A close up of a woman’s breasts and her bare nipples are shown in a scene. Throughout the movie, there is constant crude sexual dialog. Does this sound like acceptable entertainment for a Christian? Of course not. And I am not going to let any of my teens fill their minds with drug, crude sexual dialog, and female toplessness. There is no way my daughters and son are going to be taught that all of this is okay, as long as it’s funny. Very disappointed with society, at this point. I told my brothers, sisters and their wives and husbands not to see it, because of the content… but they all saw it anyway and regretted it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Michelle, age 40 (USA)
Negative—“Ted” is disgusting and offensive. It represents all that’s wrong with the entertainment industry and society in general. Little wonder that we produce child killers when no respect is shown to anyone or anything. I should have heeded my daughter’s warning not to rent it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jerry, age 62 (Canada)
Negative—After reading the reviews, I was expecting this movie to be somewhat crass and crude, but I was at least expecting it to be funny. It was even more crude than I expected. I just hate it when all of the funny parts of a movie are shown on TV. That’s exactly what happened with this movie. By the time I saw it on DVD, there were no funny parts left. I made it about half way through the movie and then gave up on it. I have no desire whatsoever to see the rest of it. This movie was a complete waste of film, and very offensive to boot.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Frank, age 44 (USA)
Movie Critics

“…It has plenty of drug jokes, kinky sex, racist gags, showbiz putdowns and everything else MacFarlane fans have gotten used to on his TV cartoons, particularly ‘Family Guy.’ Plus, with an R rating, MacFarlane can go further than even the Fox network will let him… Too bad that ‘Ted’ manages to overstay its welcome without ever really coming to life itself.”
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

“…At first glance, a goofball comedy about a dim-bulb guy and his Christmas wish-enlivened teddy bear might appear quirky enough to be endearing. And to be fair, Ted could have been that. But it’s not. Instead this is an obnoxious and offensive one-joke skit that’s stretched out over a distressingly long hour and a half. The lone punch-line? It’s that the cute-and-cuddly bear is actually a filthy mouthed, pot-smoking, ethnic-slurring, gay-bashing, beer-swilling degenerate misogynist who parties with prostitutes like a oversexed rock star.…”
—Bob Hoose, Plugged In

“…Ted is a character overly familiar in current Hollywood comedies—the vulgar, boorish buddy who keeps the manchild protagonist in a comfortable state of arrested development.… the movie’s, bad-boy, gross-out comedies are the mainstream. And it’s hard for a movie to urge its protagonist to grow up when it is itself enamored of fart jokes.”
—Ann Lewinson, The Boston Phoenix

“…Ted is, no matter how you stuff it, yet another man-child buddy movie — and all that that implies.… let’s face it — we’ve seen it all before, in one form or another.”
—Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle

“…a raunchy comedy… TED meanders too much and contains a lot of crude, lewd, and abhorrent behavior and content, including frequent drug use and abundant foul language. …TED is unacceptable, abhorrent viewing for any audience.”
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

“…‘Ted’ is not merely an R-rated movie, but a very R-rated movie —‘for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug use, ’ according to the MPAA, and what they mean by ‘some’ is hard to figure, because it could hardly contain more. No matter how much kids want to see the teddy bear movie in the ads on TV, steer them to ‘Brave.’ Trust me on this.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“…There is really only one joke in ‘Ted’ —a toy bear comes to life and turns out to have a filthy mouth and a taste for weed…”
—A. O. Scott, The New York Times

“…a predictably irreverent satire that’s sweeter and, sadly, less funny than you might expect.… More surreal than the film’s ill-behaved bear is the fact this loony concept was greenlit by Universal and produced with CG instead of sock puppets…”
—Peter Debruge, Variety

“…It is rude, raunchy and repellent to the point of almost being a send-up of the Farrelly Brothers, Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler and the rest of the ozone polluters giving movies a bad name. (Address your complaints to the nearest sewer.) It contains dialogue and depicts situations that cannot be described in a family newspaper—including the ones that are read only by the Addams family. It has nudity, profanity and X-rated detritus unsuitable for anyone with an I. Q. Of 50. It is also creative, adorable, ingenious and devilishly, thigh-slappingly hilarious.…”
—Rex Reed, The New York Observer

“…‘Ted’ offers grins, but you have to bear it… This is a children’s story—that no child should be allowed near—as if told by Cheech and Chong.…”
—Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“…You might leave ‘Ted’ wondering where it all went wrong.… But the real question is why anyone thought it would go right.…”
—Joe Holleman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—“Ted” is not the kind of movie I want to see, and I feel no loss in skipping it. The only reason this movie is popular is due to Seth MacFarlane who produces NOTHING but godless junk, and he is an adamant, God-hating, atheist. There was a time before Family Guy where half of the cartoons taught godly lessons; nowadays, the least worst cartoons have rude characters who have no indoor voices and always repeat the same, stupid puns. The only good scene in the trailer is where the teddy bear and the little boy hug.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Peter, age 22 (USA)

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