McCoy on Movies: Blockers

McCoy on Movies: Blockers

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It’s a female-directed R-rated movie where girl power shines through both teenage toils and mid-life melodrama, but is it worth seeing in the theater? See what our movie critic has to say.


“Help – I don’t have an opponent for Wrestlemania yet … And if I don’t find one, they’re gonna make me star in The Marine 7! L to R: Ike Barinholtz, John Cena and Leslie Mann star in a scene from first-time director Kay Cannon’s comingof age comedy BLOCKERS. Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2018 Universal Studios.



KEY CAST MEMBERS: John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, Ramona Young, Sarayu Blue, Geraldine Viswanathan, Miles Robbins, Graham Phillips, Gary Cole, Gina Gershon and Jimmy Bellinger

WRITER(S): Brian and Jim Kehoe

DIRECTOR(S): Kay Cannon 

WEB SITE:’S THE STORY: The directorial debut of Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect series), Blockers tells the story of two parents – Mitchell (John Cena) and Lisa (Leslie Mann) … And one they drag along for the ride in Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) – who accidentally discover their respective daughters Julie (Kathryn Aldon), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon) have made a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. And, as you might expect, the parents’ quest to stop their daughters from becoming women isn’t going to go quite as they would expect … But neither is the daughters’.

What ensues is a lesson in adolescence that might teach parents as much as it does their kids …

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? “Cool” parents who are open with their kids about sexual situations and how they relate to their overall life; teenagers who are coming into their own; people who enjoy raucous comedies with heart/a positive message like Bridesmaids, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Trainwreck, Superbad and Girls Trip; the LGBTQ community

WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Anyone who does not want to think about the LGBTQ community, teenagers having sex and/or feels movies like this normalize young people have sex by promoting it (even though the film does not); anyone who does not want to support anything that allows sex out of wedlock (or at least a committed relationship)

SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? A film that is not what it seems – in a very good way – Blockers is the perfect, anti-#metoo movement sex-related comedy that is more mature than you might believe. 

Blockers works for a very simple reason: It explores a very common subject with a funny-yet-mature honesty missing from many films of its ilk coupled with a sense of non-stupidity in its approach. Sure, there may be a few scenes involving body parts, bodily fluids and a way 99.9% of its audience will most likely NEVER want to think about beer, but there are plenty of moments that approach the film’s core topics – sex, growing up and growing apart, etc. – that are as poignant as they are comedically profane. 

The three young actresses of the film almost serve as a bit of the straight(wo)men for Blockers‘ hijinks, leaving most – but not all – of the heavy lifting to Cena, Barinholtz and Mann who expose all the various fears parents have about their children leaving the nest. Whereas Cena plays his seriously muscular presence for laughs as a man with a overly sensitive nature, Mann goes tiger mom with Barinholtz being the screw-up who may be more sensible than the quote-unquote sensible parents. You get well-developed characters that grow over the course of the story, those whose problems may be outrageous but relatable and jokes that pop, shock and make you laugh. 

Director Kay Cannon and writers Brian and Jim Kehoe deserve an equal amount of credit for delivering a body-positive, funny film that takes one of the most awkward things in life and trying to render it  part of growing up as it can. There are plenty of “OMG” moments, but they are all well-balanced by plenty of “wow – that makes a lot of sense” moments, too.

In other words, Blockers is a lot like sex itself the first time you have – only hopefully this experience is filled with more laughs.


Columnist - Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. An award-winning stand-up comedian who also works as the public relations director at Cincinnati Museum Center, Tabari McCoy is the creator of McCoy on Movies, a blog about movies for film fans. The blog is written by someone who also likes movies that is smart enough to know his opinion isn't always the right one but is willing to express that opinion in public. McCoy also used to review movies for his college paper and a major metropolitan publication, so that helps add to his "street cred." Contact him at You can also check out more of his work on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy.