Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Suspenseful, overlong drama isn't meant for kids.

Movie R 2008 140 minutes
Changeling Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 18+

Inappropriately disturbing and about 30 minutes too long

This film could have been well done, if about 30 minutes of running time was chopped off and there was more emphasis on the story and less emphasis on scenes designed to shock us. Women being treated horribly in a psych ward and a disturbing hanging execution were bad enough, but a stomach-turning scene in which a child is murdered with an ax while other children are screaming is downright disgusting. The filmmakers had no respect for the real-life children the story is based on by including that scene, nor did it respect its audience members who are left with nightmarish images they'll never be able to erase. In the end, that's what I took from this film, not the story or the acting - which is what this film should have been about. A cheap attempt at shocking viewers and a lousy way of telling a could-have-been compelling story.
age 14+

Changeling review..

I would have to say this film was really interesting.. But on the other hand, I also kind of wondered at first why this film isn't PG-13. On that note, I really wouldn't worry so much about the content besides the language (3 F-bombs), and the non sexual nudity in one scene. Otherwise, a great film for mature teenagers..

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13 ):
Kids say (21 ):

Suspenseful and stirring, Changeling is fine moviemaking in full display. Director Clint Eastwood's light touch is apparent, emphasizing storytelling above all else. And why not? The material is certainly compelling (though some details were changed). Jolie is impeccable as a mother shoved to the brink of sanity. Noticeably de-glammed, her grieving mother almost makes us forget that she's half of a very starry celebrity couple.

And yet: Changeling does suffer, if only for a little bit. While the first two hours pass by swiftly and movingly, the tale goes slack when it chases every last detail to its end. Christine's stay at the psych ward, two parallel court cases, even another mother's luck at finding her own boy -- they're fascinating plot threads, but they ultimately serve to diminish all that came before. Perfect (or near-perfect) movies know when to end; this one, sadly, does not.

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