Parents' Guide to

The Royal Tenenbaums

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Quirky extended-family story with dry adult humor.

Movie R 2001 109 minutes
The Royal Tenenbaums Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 15+

Great movie, but best for adults and older teens

This is an excellent film that is appropriate for adults and older teens. The common sense media guidelines are accurate and a good guideline. The CSM 7+ recommendation is reasonable given the subject matter and suicide attempt, though it is a little hilarious that they list "gypsy cab" under "products & purchases".
age 17+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (21 ):

Just about everything is a little off-kilter in this quirky story about a wildly dysfunctional family. THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS takes place in a whacked-out fantasy version of Baltimore, where hotels employ uniformed elevator operators, decrepit taxis literally labeled "Gypsy Cab" show up whenever someone needs to go somewhere and there is a YMCA on "375th Street." The production design is brilliant, especially the house (the children's bedrooms are magnificent) and the hotel.

Director Wes Anderson and actor Owen Wilson (who plays the Tenenbaum's neighbor, Eli) wrote the screenplay, and like their previous collaborations, Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, this movie defies categorization, combining elements of satire, fantasy, comedy, tragedy, farce, and drama. That's a combination that will make some audiences uncomfortable, but will seem to others to be the best possible way -- maybe the only way -- to truly convey a story of family conflict. The result is messy, even outrageous, but reflecting a singularity of vision that is welcome in a mainstream studio film starring three Oscar-winners.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate