About Schmidt

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
About Schmidt Movie Poster Image
Heartfelt Nicholson, not for kids at all.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 125 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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


A sad death of a spouse.


Nudity and explicit sexual references.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, and drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie includes very strong language and sexual references and situations, including adultery. Characters drink and smoke. There are tense and sad family scenes that may upset some viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDuncanDerund August 24, 2014


Some swearing and mild profane humor. 13+. Great drama with a plot.
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe May 26, 2010
Jack Nicholson is always amazing, can't wait to see this movie!!
Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 January 29, 2014

Deceivingly simple, loaded with huge questions!

Payne is the king of authenticity in dramas. I've loved his work from "Nebraska" and especially "Descendants," and he brings that ingen... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byasecoolish February 3, 2011
there isn't even strong language that i recall but this movie is immensely enjoyable, there's brief nudity that doesn't look realistic but that... Continue reading

What's the story?

Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) has coped with a life of disappointment and emptiness through rigidity. He is stingy with words, money, and emotion. He does not confide in anyone but viewers and a little boy in Africa he "adopted" by agreeing to send him $22 a month. Schmidt's daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) is getting married to Randall, a man with a mullet who sells waterbeds (Dermot Mulroney), and this is just one more in a series of disappointments. When Schmidt's wife dies, and then when he finds out that she was keeping a secret from him, he becomes completely unstuck from his moorings. He takes the huge motor home his wife made him buy and sets off in it toward his daughter's house, intent on stopping the wedding.

Is it any good?

Nicholson is mesmerizing in ABOUT SCHMIDT. His character is funny, irritating, pitiable, and utterly heartbreaking. Kathy Bates, as Randall's mother, is magnificent in a performance that is full-bodied (in both senses of the word). The details of middle American ceremonies -- the retirement party, the funeral, the wedding -- are all just right, sharply observed but affectionate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Schmidt confided in a little boy he had never met instead of any of his friends or family. What do you think he will do next? What should he do? What should he have done that would have made him happier?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramatic comedies

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