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Parents' Guide to

Kramer vs. Kramer

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sensitive, truthful look at the breakup of a family.

Movie PG 1979 105 minutes
Kramer vs. Kramer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 12+

Rated PG-12 (emotionally intense scenes, nudity, brief injury detail).

MAIN CONTENT ISSUES - There are many emotionally intense and upsetting scenes. The film deals heavily with themes of divorce and the custody of a young child, resulting in some heated arguments between characters as well as scenes where characters are emotionally distressed, particularly moments that focus on how the young boy feels and reacts to these situations. There is also a scene depicting moderately graphic nudity, as a young boy wakes up and accidentally sees a naked woman walk out of his father's bedroom; her bottom is clearly visible, and there are brief glimpses of her nipples as she tries to cover her breasts. Her vagina is never shown as she completely covers it. This instance of nudity is not sexual and is merely an accidental encounter. Injury detail occurs when a young boy falls off a playground apparatus and heavily cuts the side of his face; sight of the injury is brief but bloody, and there is subsequent sight of blood on the boy's father's clothes after carrying him to hospital. | OTHER ISSUES - There is occasional use of mild language ("sh*t", "crap"), as well as infrequent mild sexual references. | RATED "PG-12" - Parental Guidance, some scenes may be unsuitable for children under 12. Contains some content generally suitable for persons aged 12 years and over, and parents/guardians are strongly advised to watch the film with any person below that age.
age 13+

Divorce in this film feels realistic in terms of how everyone can be both mad, wrong, and right at the same time

This film feels much like a film of it's time and a little bit more. It is difficult for us currently to acknowledge the complexity of divorce in 1979 when many people were not used to such actions. The scene stealer is Justin Henry who tugs on the sentimental heartstrings...perhaps it's the bowl haircut and his room painted with clouds that makes us all succumb. Streep's portrayal is believable...she accurately portrays feeling trapped in a closed circuit world of child rearing where society does not allow any discord. The film accurately portrays how everyone in the family has a reason to be mad at the other person, very realistic.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (6 ):

This film is a stellar example of collaborative filmmaking. For starters, it boasts extraordinary performances from Hoffman and Streep (both of whom won their first Academy Awards for the film) and probably one of the finest child performances ever from Justin Henry. In the artful, sensitive hands of Robert Benton (winner of the Academy Award for Best Director) and with the clear commitment of the performers, this movie maintains a constant focus on truth-telling and the in-depth examination of separation at a time during which divorce was becoming a primary force in the American landscape. It's true that the people portrayed are decidedly middle and upper middle class, but the humanity and honesty are universal. Older kids and teens may be inspired to talk with their families about this sensitive subject matter, and kids and parents who've been through divorce will find much that is relatable.

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