The Shipping News

  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001

Common Sense Media says

Not really meant for kids and teens.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Some scary moments, dead bodies (one headless). Rape.

Sex

Sexual references, including incest and adultery.

Language

Brief strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Character gets drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some mature material, including references to homosexuality, adultery, rape, and incest. Petal is selfish. cruel, and promiscuous. There are images of dead bodies, one separated from the head. Characters drink and smoke. When some characters get drunk, they destroy property and one embarrasses himself by behaving badly to someone he cares about.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

THE SHIPPING NEWS centers around Quoyle (Kevin Spacey), a huge, almost-silent lump of a man who married the first woman who spoke to him, a selfish good-time girl named Petal (Cate Blanchett). She ignores him and their daughter, Bunny. She spends most of her time out drinking, and when she comes home she brings men back with her. But Bunny and Quoyle love her, and keep hoping that she will love them back. When Petal is killed in a car accident, Quoyle goes to Newfoundland to stay with his aunt Agnis (Judi Dench). In that cold, desolate place, he learns enough about his past and himself to begin to heal.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Annie Proulx presented a real challenge to filmmakers. Its dense descriptions of crafts and weather do not translate to the screen. The real action in the story goes on inside the undemonstrative Quoyle, and only an actor of extraordinary range and power could communicate that to a movie audience.

Screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs and director Lasse Hallstrom have done a masterful job of adapting the story, with cinematic equivalents for some of the book's best prose. Kevin Spacey, one of the most brilliant actors ever to appear in movies, provides Quoyle with emotional eloquence, even when he does not speak. Every performance is jewel-like, including Judi Dench as Agniss, Cate Blanchett as Petal, Julianne Moore as Wavey (Proulx is a little cutesy with names), Bunny's teacher who befriends Quoyle, Scott Glenn as Quoyle's boss, and, incredibly, triplets who together play the part of Bunny.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why some families seem to be trapped by their history. Why was kindness so hard to come by in Quoyle's family? Why did Tert become so angry at Quoyle? Who in the movie finds it hard to talk about feelings? Why? What made Quoyle begin to think that he could change things for himself and Bunny? How did the lesson about headlines make Quoyle think differently? What would be your headline today? Quoyle learns that every boat has a story. Is that true about cars? Houses? Families? Anything else? What does water symbolize in the movie? The weather? Where is the beating heart at the center of your story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2001
DVD release date:June 18, 2002
Cast:Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Kevin Spacey
Director:Lasse Hallstrom
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Drama
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some language, sexuality and disturbing images

This review of The Shipping News was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 2 year old Written byPublic John Q February 24, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Never even saw the movie but was disturbed it was too WHITE? I hope the melting pot isn't finished, but there are ominous signs our day is done. I guess the ACLU didn't review it before its release.
God bless The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, or what is left of it. Forgive me for being white.
A real COMMON SENSE review, teaching kids to form an opinion bases SOLELY ON RACE and not content. Sad, this site is SAD!

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