A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While breaking and entering is an unconventional -- not to mention illegal -- form of bonding between fathers and daughters, the theme of the film is to love and trust your parents, no matter how crazy they might seem.
Violence & Scariness
A disturbing flashback shows Charlie trying to hang himself on a chandelier.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Charlie flirts with a female police officer, who is later shown leaving his house early in the morning. He kisses her and smacks her on the rear end. Miranda attends a "swingers" party, but no swinging is shown.
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A couple of "f--k"s, plus "s--t" and "a--hole."
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Products & Purchases
Costco is prominently featured, as is McDonald's; eBay and Volvo also appear.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Charlie and Pepper smoke cigarettes; Charlie drinks alcohol alone; Miranda is told she's drinking a "virgin" cocktail at a party, but she later feels dizzy and throws up.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this indie drama features mature themes about mental illness and parent-child relationships. The main character is a manic depressive who has just been released from a mental institution, and his 16-year-old daughter has quit school and works double shifts to support herself and her dad. There are a few curse words (including a couple of "f--k"s), a little smoking and drinking, one brief kiss, and a disturbing image of a suicide attempt. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Michael Douglas is charming and convincing as a mentally unstable man who loves his daughter. He and Wood mesh well on screen -- their characters' emotional needs and vulnerabilities are always on full display. Regardless of whether Charlie and Miranda uncover the long-lost treasure, their elaborate scheme to look for it is heartachingly tender to watch.
Douglas, like many other actors who've reached his level of acclaim, can obviously be very choosy about the roles he accepts. Most A-list actors would probably prefer not to star in a directorial debut, but Douglas' unpredictable character in KING OF CALIFORNIA makes it clear why the Oscar winner would take a chance on newbie director Mike Cahill.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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