Parents' Guide to

Above the Shadows

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Slow-burn fantasy/romance has some sex, sports violence.

Movie NR 2019 111 minutes
Above the Shadows Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Has a great message, too much sexual references, drugs/alcohol and is around a MMA fighter and a women for all her life was invisible to those around her.

It was a good movie with an amazing lesson. I don’t know why it says 13+ from other reviews because of all the nudity and inappropriate content that I wouldn’t let younger kids in middle school to watch this. Watch out for this parents so your kids can stay protected.
age 13+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A slow-burn romance is rooted in a magical-realism premise in this quiet but affecting drama about comebacks and connection. Viewers have to suspend disbelief to go with the central plot point: Somehow, Holly exists in the world without being seen or heard by anyone ... except Shayne. Thirlby gives a nuanced performance as Holly, the loneliest girl in New York. A creature of habit, she doesn't realize what she's missing until she and Shayne meet. Ritchson (looking at first glance like a cross between Chris Hemsworth and Sam Worthington) usually plays vain, arrogant characters, but his role in Above the Shadows demands him to be both a confident fighter and an empathetic friend-turned-potential love interest.

Writer-director Claudia Myers' setup is interesting, and she casts the film well, but there are a few niggling issues -- like uneven pacing and a clichéd third-act resolution -- that keep the movie from being a true standout. Still, Myers definitely knows how to treat romance from the female gaze -- not because Ritchson is eye candy, but because the love story is more about intimacy than just physical attraction. Considering that the other woman in Shayne's life is Julianna (who turns back up in Shayne's life when he makes his comeback), it's a worthy takeaway that, even when compared to a supermodel, another woman is equally worthy of love. In the end, the two lead performances make this a better-than-expected relationship drama that's worth watching.

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