A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's fantasy elements, which aren't explained to viewers, don't leave a clear message in the end, but there are comments about appreciating friends and family while they're around, since you don't know how much time you have. Also, that which is already broken cannot be unbroken, but love helps.
Positive Role Models
Characters are three-dimensional and likable, but not particularly admirable. In one scene, a father expresses that he's proud of his son for "getting through" after a rough childhood. One positive note is that the main character tends to be honest and trusting in his conversations; he's not deceitful or withdrawn.
There are only four real characters in the movie; all are White. Main character Adam is gay (he's played by gay actor Andrew Scott) and enters a mature, loving relationship. Writer/director Andrew Haigh is also gay. A character uses the word "gay" in a derogatory way, and someone uses "tutti frutti" to describe homosexuality. "Mum" is the only female character (she doesn't have a name), apart from a server who takes an order in a restaurant. Mum is concerned about Adam's homosexuality because she worries that he'll get bullied or come down with HIV, but she talks with and listens to him. However, her entire existence in the movie is through him.
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Violence & Scariness
A character apparently dies of a drug overdose. Dead body shown. Discussions of death. Parents are killed by skidding on black ice. One character "lost an eye"; character describes going to look for it. Character violently bangs on doors and windows, breaks window with fist.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate sex scene, with moaning, bare bottom. Kissing. Lovers caress each other's legs, undress each other, but there's no explicit nudity. One kisses another's chest. Skin-licking. Oral sex implied (one character slides his head down toward the other's crotch area).
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Several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "d--k-sucking," "c--t," "Jesus."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character dies of a drug overdose; drugs, empty bottles visible. Characters snort ketamine in a bar, and a character goes on a scary drug trip, with hallucinations. Characters drink heavily, getting drunk and dancing in a bar. A character appears drunk, carrying a bottle of whiskey and drinking from it. Characters smoke pot together. Casual/social whiskey drinking. Cigarette smoking. Dialogue about characters who died while driving after drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that All of Us Strangers is a tender, gentle, beautifully performed romance with fantasy elements about a gay writer (Andrew Scott) who suddenly finds that he can speak to his long-dead parents. Sexual content includes suggested intercourse and oral sex, plus moaning, caressing, undressing, kissing, skin-licking, etc. Characters swear frequently: "f--k," "s--t," "d--k-sucking," "c--t," "Jesus," and more. A character dies of a drug overdose, a dead body is seen, and death is discussed, including description of a drunk-driving accident. A character bangs violently on a window until it breaks. Characters snort ketamine, and a character goes on a long, scary drug trip. There's also heavy drinking, with characters getting drunk while dancing in a bar. Someone also seems drunk while drinking straight out of a bottle of whiskey, and characters smoke cigarettes and pot. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This drama might sound offbeat, but director Andrew Haigh's gentle, exploring tones make everything seem quite natural. It's a ghost story, perhaps, but there's more than one kind of ghost. Based loosely on a novel by Taichi Yamada and adapted by Haigh, All of Us Strangers is an exceptionally quiet movie, lingering in the spaces between memory and time. Adam is lost, formed by emptiness springing from a tragic childhood and growing up gay during the AIDS crisis. While he seems settled in his life, he frequently answers "I don't know" when asked questions (Scott's performance is deeply affecting). Haigh often shows characters in reflection, indicating their indistinct, perhaps temporary, nature -- and, of course, he never directly answers the question of how Adam's parents are there; they just are.
The relationship between Adam and Harry is refreshingly easy, even tender. When Adam returns from a trip, feverish from having been caught in the rain, Harry draws him a bath. And the conversations between the parents and Adam are extremely open, exploring past hurts and Adam's sexuality, all with thoughtfulness rather than hysteria. In the end, All of Us Strangers doesn't leave off with a clear theme; instead, it suggests that maybe that which is already broken cannot be unbroken, but love helps.
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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.
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