A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores complicated relationships in families: sibling rivalry, parental approval or disapproval, effects of tragedy on fragile connections. Asks if redemption is ever possible, and under what circumstances.
Positive Role Models
Complexity is key: lead characters undergo significant changes, mostly for the better, as the story is told. Dishonest, unforgiving behaviors slowly, and painfully, give way to compassion, loyalty, and unconditional love.
Violence & Scariness
An early brutal scene in which a man's hand is chopped off by a machete. Beatings, threats, and intimidation in a juvenile detention center. A lengthy sequence finds an angry man spewing excrement from a sewage truck with abandon.
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Occasional profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Sun is a Taiwanese film released in Mandarin that's streaming on Netflix with English subtitles. At more than two-and-a-half hours in length, the movie covers several years in the lives of one intricately complex family. It's a highly emotional film, with finely-detailed characters confronting and negotiating difficult, life-changing events and relationships. On-screen violence includes an early brutal scene in which a man's hand is gruesomely chopped off by a machete. Later sequences show fighting and a young man intimidated and beaten by a gang of delinquents. In addition, there are both suspenseful story elements and very sad moments. Viewers can expect occasional expletives, i.e., "f--k," "s--t," and "ass." Characters smoke. A lengthy sequence finds an angry man spewing excrement from a sewage truck with abandon. For mature teens only, this movie may evoke thoughtful discussion about the dynamics and universality of "family." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Writer-director Chung Mong-Hong has created a gem. Stunning performances breathe life into masterfully-drawn characters in a story that is as relevant and surprising as it is emotionally satisfying. The universality of experiences and family relationships in this tale set in Taiwan are what make this multiple-award winning film especially effective. A Sun is long, but remarkably compelling. Scenes are deliberate, but never feel slow. Most viewers, in any language, will be fully engaged, rooting for these flawed, relatable, struggling people as they make their way through difficult times. Kudos to the entire production: cinematography, editing, music, and art direction are all excellent. Highly recommended for mature teens and their families.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.