Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Heartbreaking, mature, unforgettable coming-of-age drama.

Movie R 2016 110 minutes
Moonlight Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 5+

I really enjoin watching this movie! It is simple but profound. It is the life written by the most personal experience but tells the most universal human life. The movie tells the coming-of-age story of a gay black boy. Unlike a scripted movie, Moonlight is more like a documentary talking about three main points of a black boy. I think the way of presenting the story which makes all the problems of the film super real and open, very close to reality. The plot of the film very sharply shows the problems that black gays face in society. The main character of the film, Chiron, is bullied because he doesn't meet the standards of masculinity and has a different personality. His peers also compare him to women to show how different he is. As an adult, Chiron decides to fit in with social norms and take on the look that people expect of him. But this doesn't change who he is at heart. The film shows how the environment continues to support toxic masculinity as a social norm that devalues all other forms of identification for human beings. Also, it emphasizes that it is worth keeping your identity, even if you must adapt to challenges and stereotypes. I am obsessed with three sections of the story which make the movie beautiful and feel like it is the memory of someone. However, such a three-part narrative approach also leads to the problem of not being able to go too deep into the content of each part of the story. That is not a big deal. At the end of the movie, I was still affected by the sad tone of the movie and expressed my understanding and sympathy for the change of the main character. I follow the path of Chiron’s growth. At the same time, I sympathize with him, shout for him, and feel sadness about him. I am sad and angry about his situation and understand why he builds up strong muscles to protect himself. Despite race, gender, and any difference, I think I understand Chiron by watching the movie. As a student of education, this film is very important to watch and study. Not only because it is important to understand the worthlessness of social stereotypes, but also because this movie does not distort the image of gays, but reveals the essence. Moonlight provokes thinking, and this is the most essential part.
age 15+

Breathtaking and stunning!

Breathtaking movie about transformation of an "outcast" according to today's standards. It has tons of swearing, neglect, and some mention of drugs. There is a brutal fight scene and a fast but noticing sex scene.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (18 ):

It's difficult to distill the power, grace, and grit that make this drama so unforgettable. Anchored by profoundly stunning performances from the entire ensemble, Moonlight manages successfully to be so many things at once -- a tough coming-of-age movie set in a rough part of Miami, an inspiring tale of a child so resourceful that he finds the light in the darkest of worlds, and a story of love and friendship. From the opening moments, it's clear that director Barry Jenkins is the capable captain of this ship, steering it through three main sections of Chiron's life. There's nothing at all contrived about it; the structure serves to illuminate the three stages of Chiron's life while ensuring that they're all connected.

The power of this movie is in how it strips all its characters of clichés, even if the situations they face have been seen in cinema many times before. The addict mom who barely takes care of her son is also a mom who loves him deeply; the drug dealer who kindly takes interest in a lost child can also be the intimidating criminal; and the pumped-up 20-something ex-con can also be a closeted gay man who longs for love. Bravo to Jenkins for juggling all of this beautifully. Moonlight is a beacon for those still trying to figure out who they are and how to become that person -- as well as for those who've already undergone that very difficult journey and come out on the other side. It's a triumph.

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