A Million Ways To Die In The West parents guide: Seth MacFarlane's comedy Western is not for families, guy

The Seth MacFarlane comedy was recently added to the Netflix catalog, but is it suitable for the younger folks?
"A Million Ways To Die In The West" - Los Angeles Premiere  - Arrivals
"A Million Ways To Die In The West" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals / Steve Granitz/GettyImages

When you think of Seth MacFarlane, you automatically think of his popular animation series The Family Guy, or his ingenious take on Star Trek with his intergalactic series, The Orville. However, MacFarlane has occasionally dropped a movie or two to deliver his brand of satirical comedy.

One such example is the 2014 western spoof-comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West, which was added to Netflix this month. MacFarlane stars and directs, with Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, and Liam Neeson are all in supporting roles. In A Million Ways, MacFarlane portrays a sheep farmer named Albert Stark living in the Arizonan frontier in the 1880s. He's dumped by his girlfriend and is hunted down by an outlaw for getting involved with his wife.

The movie has plenty of MacFarlane's trademark crude humor and Family Guy Easter Eggs for fans to crack open. I had fun trying to find as many as I could in the near-two-hour runtime duration. While humorous and it offers up plenty of American Southwest scenery, there's a reason why it's rated R and why you shouldn't allow your young'uns to watch A Million Ways.

A Million Ways To Die In The West parents guide: Explaining the R age rating

A Million Ways To Die To In The West was given an R rating for "strong crude and sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug material." In addition, there are racist overtones that were common in the frontier period, and viewers might feel uncomfortable when subjected to them.

Sex & Nudity: As this is the Old West, prostitution is present, and one of the supporting characters, Ruth (Sarah Silverman), is a working one. There's also innuendo, male parts referenced (in terms of sheep), and a mentions of incest. Foy and Louise (Seyfried) are shown in bed, engaging in foreplay.

However, no actual nudity is shown.

Violence: Throughout A Million Ways, there's gun-slinging violence and a saloon fight where one man dies. Disease-ridden death is frequent, and there's a near-sexual assault between Outlaw Clinch (Neeson) and Anna (Theron) that parents must be aware of.

Language: Swearing is present from the movie's start to its end. The "F" and "S" words are used in casual conversation and discussed in the literal context. For those familiar with MacFarlane's humor, profanity is a part of his material, but for those who are not, people might get turned off by it.

Drinking & Drugs: One of A Million Ways' main settings is a saloon, so, naturally, there's going to be alcohol consumption. At one point in the movie, Anna and Harris's character, Foy, have a "drink-off;" she laces his shot glass with a powdered laxative. Then, Albert hallucinates after ingesting some questionable cactus given to him by the Indigenous people.

Overall verdict: What age is A Million Ways To Die In The West appropriate for?

Family Guy fans 15 years and older will appreciate the film, and the R rating is mainly due to the swearing. Some parents may be okay with this, while others find it unsuitable. As a Family Guy fan myself, and have been since its 1999 debut, I'm okay with it, but at the same time, young kids shouldn't be exposed to it.

However, if you and your teen enjoy Seth MacFarlane and his comedy, then A Million Ways would be a fun movie to watch together. It might even get your teen to learn more about American history and the Old West.

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