A Good Year

  • Review Date: February 26, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Predictable but pleasant movie for teens and up.
  • Review Date: February 26, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 118 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Max is greedy and selfish and will walk over anyone to get ahead. People hate him, and he relishes it.


Crazy driving while talking on a cell phone. Max falls into an empty pool and can't get out. Fanny floods it with water while he's in there.


Romance and flirting between characters, sexual banter, bedroom scene, female characters in tight dresses with cleavage.


Pretty mild: "Hell," "ass," "bullocks."


Sanyo; Max relies heavily on his Treo.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine, drinking, and getting drunk figure prominently in the storyline.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that main character Max is selfish and greedy and doesn't care who he hurts to get ahead. His whole life is about making money, and he revels in the fact that he's good at it, even though people hate him. Wine and drinking figure prominently in the storyline, and the romance between two characters gets a little steamy (they flirt, tear each other's clothes off, and end up in bed), but it's nothing teens haven't seen before. That said, most teens probably won't be too interested in this one, since it focuses on more mid-life issues.

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What's the story?

Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) is a rich, selfish, high-powered London stock trader. He's not interested in slowing down -- until his Uncle Henry (Albert Finney) dies and leaves him a beautiful country chateau and vineyard in France. Max spent many happy summers there as a child, learning about life and winemaking from his wise uncle. Max hasn't been there in 10 years, but now he's forced to take time off from work to handle his uncle's estate. He plans to quickly sell the chateau and return home. But Max misses his plane and gets stuck in France, dealing with all those pesky, warm memories. Before long, he starts to soften, but he's pulled in both directions. He enjoys re-living childhood memories, but he's not quite ready to give up his luxurious London life. Complicating things are feisty Fanny (Marion Cotillard) and Henry's illegitimate daughter, Kristy (Abbie Cornish), both of whom have Max thinking about his future.

Is it any good?


We've seen this movie before in various incarnations -- most notably, as Under the Tuscan Sun, with Diane Lane in the Russell Crowe part, discovering herself in the Italian countryside. Consequently, there are no surprises here. We know what's going to happen, and we know pretty much how it's going to happen.

That said, A Good Year is a nice production (with beautiful, sun-washed landscapes) by Ridley Scott, a great director who makes audiences care about his characters, even if everyone does know how things are going to turn out. Crowe does the bad-boy-turned-good role well, and manages to keep the pace moving along fairly well. All in all, this movie is a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours if you're not looking for anything earth-shattering.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what's important in life: money or family? Max has lived his life solely for himself and his own gain -- how has that affected his quality of life? How can people balance earning a good living with having time for friends and family? Is it possible to do both? What kinds of sacrifices are needed? What does Max learn in the course of the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 10, 2006
DVD release date:February 27, 2007
Cast:Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Russell Crowe
Director:Ridley Scott
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and some sexual content.

This review of A Good Year was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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