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Parents' Guide to

Across the Universe

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Beatles musical hits strong notes amid sex, drugs.

Movie PG-13 2007 133 minutes
Across the Universe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 2+


age 13+

good family movie

Loved it a very sweet movie, for parents with younger children wait till they are older they probably won't understand it, a good family movie night movie

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (35 ):

Across the Universe is an audacious feat for which director Julie Taymor deserves much praise, but the movie falls short. While Taymor's fantastical concepts are admirable, musicals -- even fevered ones like Moulin Rouge -- tend to work better when the singing is organic and the setting naturalistic (as naturalistic as a musical can be, anyway), with characters launching into the perfect song to evoke emotions they need to express. From that perspective, Across the Universe succeeds. But when the film segues into nonsensical bits -- Eddie Izzard's "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," for instance -- it loses its way. Plus, some of the numbers are so stylized that they're best left to the Broadway stage.

An insubstantial script also hobbles the film; despite the grave subject matters it addresses -- war, art, love -- and the fact that characters dabble in sex and drugs, Across the Universe remains lightweight. It's painted in strokes that, albeit stunning, are too broad. By the time the credits roll, it feels less powerful than when it began, and that's a shame. It could have been a contender; as it stands, it's a memorable, wonderful confection with too much unrealized potential.

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