A Beautiful Mind

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
A Beautiful Mind Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Oscar-winning biopic is too intense for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 2001
  • 135 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 29 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking


What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 11-year-old Written bykvirgin July 12, 2010

thanks for the reviews below: I'll wait til my son is older for him to see this

i saw this movie when it first came out, and own it on DVD and was wondering if it would be OK for my son to see (age 11) The reviews here reminded me of the i... Continue reading
Adult Written byMedia Wary Parents April 1, 2011
Stressful mature themes with depictions of mental illness, rude sexual language and marital sensuality. Painful depiction of delusional thought. Beautiful depic... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 6, 2020

Intense, sad but classic film that explains the life of John Nash

I enjoyed this film a lot but was shocked of how intense and even slightly violent this film was. There were many emotionally intense sequences. There were some... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byIRSPistol February 22, 2021

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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