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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Brings attention to the number of people suffering from mental disorders and to the failings of the mental healthcare system in the U.S.
Positive Role Models
The parents exhibit perseverance and patience in the face of intense personal hardship. Social service workers display compassion, understanding and a commitment to service.
Violence & Scariness
A boy violently hits his sister and pulls his mother’s hair; the spate of recent school shootings is discussed and used as a point of reference; the boys threaten to kill themselves and others.
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"f--k;" "g--damn;" "son of a bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A mother is shown smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know A Dangerous Son is an intense documentary about three families with sons who have severe psychiatric disorders. These conditions often cause them to exhibit very aggressive behaviors, and it's clear that the mental healthcare system isn't equipped to treat them successfully. This brutally honest doc is sometimes hard to watch; there are some disturbing sequences showing one of the boys hitting his mother and younger sister and some rough language as his anger manifests in verbal outbursts. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary is an emotional, eye-opening documentary that will make viewers feel sad, disturbed, and frustrated. Through the personal experiences of the three families who are the subject of this documentary, the filmmakers seek the bring attention to the inadequacies of the mental health system in this country, particularly when it comes to minors who display aggressive behavior. It also wants to disabuse viewers of the idea that parents are responsible for the psychological disorders of their children. We certainly sympathize with the mothers of these boys as they reach out for professional assistance and struggle to provide some sense of normalcy and safety to the lives of their other children. Yet, it's hard to not question some of their parenting choices as we see them allow their aggressive and violent sons to play first person shooter video games or run around with realistic toy pistols. A Dangerous Son may challenge your current perceptions of the victims of mental illness and the medical establishment. It's not a comfortable viewing experience, but one that's ultimately worthwhile because of its ability to shake you up and admittedly, wake you up.
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Our Editors Recommend
Movies That Feature Characters Living with Mental Illness
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