Parents' Guide to

Hearts in Atlantis

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Above-average coming-of-age story.

Movie PG-13 2001 101 minutes
Hearts in Atlantis Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Well acted, but has some rough material.

While I don't think this movie is extraordinary, I do think it has some good acting, and a somewhat interesting story. This shouldn't be recommended to kids or younger teens, however. There is some mild language, and some violent thematic elements that keeps this film only for mature teens and up. Some of those elements include a non-graphic rape, two brief beatings (one onscreen, the other implied and off), a man who is accused of being a child molester, and a teen/older kid who acts out of his fear of his cross-dressing habit. Overall, I found this movie to be just alright. 6.5/10
age 18+

A good piece of work if not just for one thing that did NOT have to be in there

I'll just cut to the chase, I don't think this movie portrays homosexuality well at all for upcoming youth, if they would ever even come across this movie to begin with. Being that the antagonist in this movie was a boy who Anthony Hopkins character basically blackmails because of how he "dressed in his mothers clothes" and later in the film they show this much older boy beat the hell out of some little girl with a baseball bat. For young children who take things literally, especially like the age I was when I first saw this…this can be easily taken out of context. Why did this cowardly bully have to be gay? I've noticed homophobic traces of this type of stuff a lot in movies based off Stephen King novels. I'm not sure what that means. I just think its just really sad that homophobia is still being incorporated into films made in recent years, and are still being overlooked.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

If you're allergic to the kind of movie that starts with a funeral and then goes into a flashback about a sensitive kid's last childhood summer, then stay away from HEARTS IN ATLANTIS. But audiences with an appreciation or even a tolerance of this genre will find this to be above average. It is based on a story by Stephen King. There is some tension and an element of the supernatural, but this is King's coming of age mode (Stand By Me) and contact with an extraordinary character mode (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile), not a horror movie.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 28, 2001
  • On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2002
  • Cast: Anthony Hopkins , Anton Yelchin , Hope Davis
  • Director: Scott Hicks
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: violence and thematic elements
  • Last updated: February 2, 2023

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