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A Beautiful Mind

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

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

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
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008

Wonderful masterpiece!

One of the best movies. Go see it!!!
Parent of a 11 year old Written bySternAndFair February 24, 2014

Is this a Real Mathematic?

The man, who is a crazy person, was strucken by his ability to watch a circumstance, connect the dots and make a mathematic problem or equation for the audience... Continue reading
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.
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 re... Continue reading

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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