Parents' Guide to

A Brilliant Young Mind

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Affecting drama about math whiz tackles loss, special needs.

Movie PG-13 2015 111 minutes
A Brilliant Young Mind Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 14+

X+Y (A Brilliant Young Mind) – Tells its Special Story With Great Care

This fine British film is a fictional/fact movie version of the documentary production ‘Beautiful Young Minds’ which was in turn about the real-life Math prodigy Daniel Lightwing. Asa Butterfield is perfect in the title role and has a strong cast of professional performers to compliment his performance. Prolific playwright James Graham’s debut screenplay is exceptional in almost every detail and carries the viewer through a rollercoaster ride of human emotions - as his youthful characters, etc, navigate unfamiliar human experiences. Solid direction and stylish cinematography keep it all on track, with Martin Phipps’ haunting music score nicely setting the moods for each scene. Sally Hawkins gives yet another of her introspective performance as Butterfield’s widowed mother - with good support from Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) as Butterfield’s somewhat tortured mentor. Superior entertainment for discerning viewers, with its DVD release big on transfer quality.
age 6+

A must! A study for all teachers & anyone who wishes to delve deeper in the human emotional mind!

A study for all teachers & anyone who wishes to delve deeper in the human emotional mind, to better understand how all children are totally different and need from day one a growing understanding so we as adults & teachers can learn more about ourselves and how to assist all the children in. their needs!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (5):

A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND isn't exactly brilliant, but it is a heartfelt, thought-provoking, well-acted drama. Central to the story is young Nathan's isolation, and Butterfield brings his character's complicated struggles to life in an authentic, heartbreaking way.

The film takes a detour to China, which is interesting and adds a layer of complexity to the plot -- but the characters Nathan meets there are, with one exception, very much single-note. Still, the film is a showcase for Butterield's talents, as well as those of the always-watchable Hawkins. Bottom line? A Brilliant Young Mind does a great job of exploring the world of a teenager on the autism spectrum, but the film could have used a more nuanced analysis of why Nathan approaches life the way he does.

Movie Details

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