Parents' Guide to

The Lighthouse

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Disturbing black-and-white horror has drinking, violence.

Movie R 2019 109 minutes
The Lighthouse Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 14+

age 15+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (20 ):

A deeply unsettling second feature from horror director Robert Eggers, this black-and-white period piece about isolation is intense and constricting. The Lighthouse has images that are so disturbing and pungent that casual viewers may well wish they could un-see them -- but the staunchest viewers may be tempted to revisit them, just to confirm that they saw what they think they saw. Eggers not only uses grim black-and-white cinematography but a narrow, squarish aspect ratio to trap viewers inside a small space, where it's never quite clear whether things are real or the product of isolation, imagination, and fixation.

Not so much scary as it is graphic and disturbing, The Lighthouse is nevertheless a skillful, enveloping work, with two dedicated performances that are so physically and emotionally devastating that the actors must have been left completely drained. In particular, Dafoe, whose character jauntily recites ancient sea poetry through a clenched wooden pipe, gets several long takes so ferocious that they may demand to be studied in future acting classes. Eggers, who also made The Witch, creates such a complete picture of the past that it almost feels like the movie was actually filmed there. And its theme of isolation still applies today: Our glowing screens may be our own lighthouses.

Movie Details

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