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A Walk to Remember

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
A Walk to Remember Movie Poster Image
Syrupy, predictable tale has some cursing, mature themes.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 55 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Movie's themes include not giving in to peer pressure and not letting high school cliques determine who one's friends are. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jamie thinks for herself and does not care what others in her high school think about her or her beliefs. She volunteers at a nearby school as a science tutor. She doesn't let her illness define her. Landon learns to move past the arrogance and snobbery of the clique he hangs out with in high school. He matures, learns to take responsibility, learns to treat others with respect. 


Two teens get into a fistfight. A teen boy, giving into peer pressure in order to gain acceptance from the cool crowd in his high school, jumps off a high metal structure and bellyflops into the water, causing near-death injuries. Drinking and driving.


One of the characters in the lead character's peer group makes several sexual insinuations over the course of the movie, including acting out sex between two people while making sexual noises. 


Occasional mild cursing: "s--t," "bulls--t," "chickens--t," "piss," "damn," "hell." Responding to a verbal insult, one of the characters points at his crotch. Verbal bullying from teens, making fun of the clothing worn by one of the characters. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A group of teens are drunk; no alcohol consumption shown, but mentioned. Wine drinking by adults at dinner. Two friends pantomime smoking a joint. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Walk to Remember is a 2002 coming-of-age movie loosely based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. A teen boy is peer pressured by a group of popular teens (who have been drinking and act drunk) into jumping from a high distance into a body of water below, resulting in near-fatal injuries. Before Landon cleans up his act, he drinks and drives. Popular teens in a high school verbally bully the way another teen girl dresses. The movie explores peer pressure and cliques, and characters learn to move beyond such childish and conformist social groupings. It's clear that Jamie is very principled and she shares only chaste kisses with Landon. At one point, she asks, "Are you trying to seduce me?" and he replies, "Are you seducible?" She says she is not and he respects her for it. Landon's best friend is African American, but the character's dialogue is so stereotyped that he seems like the "token black guy" in Not Another Teen Movie. He and Landon have an elaborate special friendship handshake -- including a pantomime of smoking a joint -- and there's an unintentionally hilarious moment when, after an exchange of sympathy and support, they soberly go into their handshake moves. Occasional profanity, including "s--t," "bulls--t," "chickens--t," "piss," "damn," and "hell." Themes of terminal illness might be too much for sensitive kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 12 year old Written byRhonda.w January 8, 2011
Adult Written byisland April 9, 2008


Well not that good.
Teen, 13 years old Written byJesusfreak37 June 6, 2016

Loved it

Heart warming story!
Teen, 13 years old Written byElizabeth M. January 12, 2018

Didn't Compare To The Book, At All

At school, we had to choose a book that had been made into a movie, and then watch the movie version. Afterward, we had to write a piece of argumentative writin... Continue reading

What's the story?

Teen Beat pin-ups Mandy Moore and Shane West star as high school seniors Jamie and Landon. Landon, the glamorous bad boy in Beaufort, spends most of his time with friends, partying and pumping up their own egos. After one of their pranks seriously injures a boy, Landon's sentence is to tutor a disadvantaged kid, sweep up, and star in the school play(!). Landon keeps running into Jamie, a plain, Bible-toting girl who always wears the same sweater and does not care what other people think about her. He asks her for help learning his lines. When he sees her for the first time on opening night, all dolled up to play a nightclub singer (apparently their play had no dress rehearsals), it turns out that she is very pretty. He finds himself drawn to her, and, through her, drawn to a better notion of his own potential.

Is it any good?

There's nothing here that anyone over the age of 15 hasn't seen a dozen times. Tweens may swoon but parents will just see a syrupy re-tread of Love Story set in a Beaufort, North Carolina high school. Some of the overly familiar situations include the plain girl who loosens her hair and turns out to be beautiful, the reunion with the estranged father, and that old favorite, movie star's disease, in which the actress becomes more beautiful as she gets sicker. The direction, cinematography, and performances are barely adequate, but the Beaufort setting is lovely and the movie manages a couple of affecting moments. But A WALK TO REMEMBER is a movie to forget.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they have lists of things they want to do before they die, and how we can help each other realize our dreams. 

  • This movie was based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. The novel is set in the same town, but is set in the 1950s. Why do you think the movie is set in the time when the movie was released? Would teens be less likely to watch a coming-of-age movie not set in their time? Why or why not? 

  • Did scenes involving peer pressure and cliquish high school behavior seem realistic, exaggerated, or inaccurate compared to teen realities? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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