A Beautiful Mind Movie Poster Image

A Beautiful Mind

Oscar-winning biopic is too intense for tweens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive role models

Main character, who copes with mental illness, is successful and respected.


Tense scenes, including a shoot-out, a child in peril, and domestic violence.


Includes some crude references.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know the material might be very upsetting for kids, or for anyone who has relatives with mental illness or who knows very little about it. There are some strong scenes of family tension and peril, including a child in jeopardy, scuffles, and potential domestic abuse. There are graphic scenes of shock therapy and self-destructive behavior. A character is in peril involving shooting. There is also some crude language with sexual references.

What's the story?

A man sees what no one else can, and we call him a genius. A man sees what no one else does, and we call him crazy. This Academy Award-winner for Best Picture is about a man who was both. It's the true story of genius John Forbes Nash, Jr., who revolutionized mathematics and struggled with mentally illness. More than 40 years later, as he edged back into sanity, his contribution was recognized by academics in Sweden. They awarded him the Nobel Prize.

Is it any good?


This is an extraordinary story, and it has been made into an extraordinary movie. Crowe is, as always, simply magnificent in a role that would provide irresistible temptation for showboating for most actors. There are superb performances by everyone in the cast, including Connelly (an Oscar-winner for Best Supporting Actress), Paul Bettany, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer, Judd Hirsch, and a dozen others.

What is really special here is the way that screenwriter Akiva Goldman and director Ron Howard have found a way to present both Nash's genius and his mental illness in such compelling, cinematic, and accessible terms. Both in essence become characters in the story as we go inside his head and wonder with Nash what to believe. This is what makes the movie more than a disease-of-the-week special with color-by- numbers "heartwarming" moments of triumph over adversity. This is what makes the movie itself a true work of art.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about mental illness, about how people with mental illness need to be treated, and about what is different now in the way we treat the mentally ill from the days depicted in the movie. Families who want to know more should check the Web site for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 21, 2001
DVD/Streaming release date:May 27, 2003
Cast:Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe
Director:Ron Howard
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:135 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense thematic material, sexual content and a scene of violence.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008
Incredible, emotional, intense, and fascinating film. Good for some kids--but it may be confusing to some kids, and too intense and sad for others.
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008

Wonderful masterpiece!

One of the best movies. Go see it!!!
Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviemogul April 9, 2008

One of the best movies ever made!

See this movie!!! If you don't, you are seriously missing out on one of the greatest pieces of art ever made. Some of the subject matter, such as sexual refernces, and the way the movie can mess with your mind when it comes to Nash's schizophrenia, is not app-roapriate for some children; for others, it might fly right over their head if they're young enough. All in all, however, this movie deserved all the awards it won, and more in my opinion. You would only be doing a disservice to yourself by not seeing it. PS: Russel Crowe should have won best actor for his performance