Parents' Guide to

A Man Called Otto

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Neighborly love warms comedy about suicidal curmudgeon.

Movie PG-13 2022 126 minutes
A Man Called Otto Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 18+

Multiple Realistic and Long-Form Depictions of Suicide

The entire plot of the movie is centered upon 4 separate suicide attempts. Each is long-form, drawn-out, and realistic, with depictions of the initial setup, and imagery of the actual execution. The first attempt involves Otto attempting to hang himself in his living room, the second is him filling his car with carbon monoxide by routing exhaust from his engine, the third is him standing on train tracks, and the last is him attempting to blast his head off with a shotgun. I'm not one to place heavy restrictions on violent content — the blood and gore in most movies is not based in reality. However, the extremely realistic portrayal of suicide is not fitting for most audiences, and is irresponsible to distribute to anyone not yet emotionally mature. For this reason, the film should only be available to those who are over 18 and willing to endure such depictions. Do not see this movie unless you are comfortable with seeing intense and realistic depictions of suicide.
age 13+

Could be triggering to those with mental illness

This is a feel good movie about a man suffering from depression after the death of his wife and how he learns to find joy in living again. There are four suicide attempts by him, which could be triggering to those who suffer from mental illness or have an experience with loss or a mentally ill loved one. Please know your children’s emotions and triggers before watching this movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (23 ):

With this remarkably warm and fulfilling film, Hanks and director Marc Forster pull off the impossible: making a family-friendly suicide comedy. Even though the 2015 Swedish original starring Rolf Lassgård was quite successful, after watching A Man Called Otto, it feels impossible to picture anyone else in the starring role. Hanks' grumpy old man trumps all of those who came before him: Clint Eastwood, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, etc. He's so beloved that every rude thing he says is likely to make you laugh, and Forster smartly balances the crankiness by surrounding Otto with warmhearted souls who return his barbs with a knowing look and a smile: Yep, that's Otto! They don't take his mean streak to heart, and it allows viewers to go on the journey and care about him.

While we might understand that Otto "is something special," he's also the dark to the light that is Marisol (Mariana Treviño), the very pregnant woman who moves across the street from Otto. She's a flutter of radiant energy that just refuses to be pushed aside by Otto's hostility. And she's just one strong example of positive diverse representation in the film. The residents in Otto's townhouse complex represent "community" in every sense of the word: They're a family in their own unique way, with residents from all stages and walks of life who look out for each other in good times and bad. While Otto's suicide attempts do make the film too mature for younger children, it's a strong choice for movie night with teens and grandparents.

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