Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

42 Grams

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fascinating portrait of a young chef has some cursing.

Movie NR 2017 82 minutes
42 Grams Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This documentary is a fascinating look at a chef's creative process and the grit, grueling hard work, and determination necessary to create a restaurant that reflects an artist's culinary sensibility. This is a rarefied world closed to all but those who can afford such pricey fare, and the issue of Jake's admitted alcohol problem is glossed over perhaps a bit too tidily. But more germane is the fact that director Newell uses jump cuts, side-by-side screens, sped-up timing, and close camera work to aptly give us a sampling of the passionate and seemingly delicious work Jake does. It's as if close-ups are meant to add the missing ingredient cinema can never capture, a hint of how these dishes actually taste. His cinematic compositions mimic and represent the bold, self-conscious, colorful, sculptural combinations Jake arranges on raku pottery plates and in wooden amoeba-shaped bowls.

And neither Jake nor the director prettify Jake's flawed character. By the time the divorce is announced in elegant typeface at the end of 42 Grams, no close viewer will be surprised that Jake and Alexa couldn't make their marriage work. In fact, beneath the celebration of Jake's creativity, there's an unstated sense throughout of impending doom, that Jake's explosive temper will do irreparable harm to himself or others, or that positive feedback might ruin him rather than make him strive to be better. In all, a viewer is left sympathetically wondering what happens next to Jake and Alexa.

Movie Details

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