Parents' Guide to

Nim's Island

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Book-based tropical adventure is good family fun.

Movie PG 2008 95 minutes
Nim's Island Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 9+

Good for my 4th grade girl but scared her younger sisters

My 9 year old girl loved this movie, but it had my 5 year old girl in tears. The movie starts with the mom dead (and I don't even think Disney produced this!) and then there is a very long period where you think the Dad has died at sea and left her alone on an island. It has a happy ending (Dad returns) but my little one was so upset by then it didn't matter!
age 4+

Fun film for variety of ages; few moderate swear words/suggestive content

Our family movie tonight was Nim's Island. Hadn't watched it in years. Overall, it was really fun for kids aged 10, 8.5, 4.5 (who all loved it) and not miserably cheesy for grownups. Personally wish we'd played through filtering app as there were minimum two swear words (da*! and da*!ed). There was a scene where a male traveler was being suggestively inappropriate with a camcorder directed at younger women in bikinis, and said traveler's wife was extremely revealing in her bikini swimsuit top; there was also a scene where a female author was in a very full soaker bathtub (nothing is shown from armpits down) . Overall, it was a cute, adventurous movie for the whole fam (just recommend watching on filtering streaming platform if you prefer to avoid those scenes/words). Lots of giggles from kids; cute animals; lead child actor does a sweet job; enjoyed seeing two main adult actors in this type of role; ending is kind of meh. but - all for the kids. *We have not read the books and are only reviewing the film with zero background of original book

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20 ):
Kids say (28 ):

Aside from the central email plot device, this has the feel of a good old-fashioned family adventure. It's like the kind of film Jodie Foster made a couple of when she was a kid actor herself in the '70s (Candleshoe, anyone?). Kids will love Nim and Jack's tricked-out tree house, which is much more elaborate than the simple hut described in the book the movie is based on -- ahh, movie magic. They'll also love Nim's island friends -- Selkie the sea lion, Fred the marine iguana, Chica the sea turtle, etc. -- and Nim herself. Breslin is engaging and sympathetic as she copes with storms, invading tourists (the movie's closest thing to "bad guys"), and facing her fears about her missing father. Dirty, wild-haired, science-savvy, book loving; Nim is the anti-starlet, and just the kind of role model tweens could use more of.

The adult actors are also appealing. Foster is funny, relatable, and down to earth -- it's nice to see her doing something so lighthearted after a string of intense dramas/thrillers, and she's really one of the highlights of the movie. Butler is a bit corny as Jack, but in his other role -- he also stands in as the Indiana Jones-like hero of Alex's books, who comes to life when she needs someone to talk to -- he's roguishly charming. Along with the movie's strongly positive messages about believing in yourself and helping others, the three stars make it easy to overlook the movie's weaker areas (the script is a little bit cheesy in spots, and some of the plot twists require a pretty big suspension of disbelief even for a kids' adventure movie). Kids who go exploring with Nim will have a great time.

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