Arlington Road

  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 1999

Common Sense Media says

Scary movie about terrorism. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 1999

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Issue of hate groups

Violence

Very intense

Sex

Mild

Language

The usual four letter words

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie will give thoughtful teens some things to think about -- balancing the need for security against individual rights, the difficulty of deciding whom to trust, and the factors that lead to hate crimes.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In ARLINGTON ROAD, Jeff Bridges plays Michael Faraday, a professor who specializes in terrorism, still grieving for the loss of his wife, an FBI agent who was killed in a Ruby Ridge-style shootout. He is befriended by a new neighbor, Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins). At first, Lang's family seems like an all-American family straight out of an "Up With People" concert, but Faraday begins to suspect that under their bright smiles and peppy friendship might be something very sinister. Faraday's friends think that he has become a little unhinged from his wife's experience. But as he continues to investigate, he discovers more and more disturbing information about the Langs.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Arlington Road is a very scary movie about a very scary subject -- terrorism. Indeed, its release was delayed due to concerns about the sensitivity of the material. This movie will give thoughtful teens some things to think about -- balancing the need for security against individual rights, the difficulty of deciding whom to trust, and the factors that lead to hate crimes.

The references to acts of terrorism in the US are so close to reality that they make this thriller more thoughtful than standard films in the genre. The very first image, of a boy walking in an immaculate suburb, bleeding from an accident, sets the stage for the unsettling story, and the ending is not only scary, but hauntingly so.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about balancing the need for security against individual rights, the difficulty of deciding whom to trust, and the factors that lead to hate crimes.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 9, 1999
DVD release date:December 11, 2001
Cast:Jeff Bridges, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins
Director:Mark Pellington
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Thriller
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of Arlington Road was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bystreborkb January 27, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Adults or mature teens only - no kids

My son is very mature for age 14 - HE could probably 'handle' it. However, I don't plan to show it to him (we don't even do most PG-13 with him yet!). As stated, it is 'hauntingly' realistic and VERY thought-provoking. It is an intense thriller that can be a real eye-opener for adults. As a former soldier and concscientous conservative patriot, I enjoyed the movie immensely, however, I cannot say that I recommend it for ANY one under the recommended age for Rated-R movies (age 17). The four stars is for adults - children should NOT watch it.

What other families should know
Too much swearing

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