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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Forgiving others and yourself goes a long way toward healing and redemption. Also, open yourself up to new experiences.
Positive Role Models
Brian Gilcrest may be damaged, but he's open to change. Allison Ng is optimistic and true to herself (more problematic is that Ng, a part Asian/Hawaiian character, is played by a Caucasian actress).
Violence & Scariness
References to being in Afghanistan and getting injured there (though nothing is shown). A certain menacing vibe pervades some scenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A kiss, plus references and innuendoes about hooking up.
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"S--t," "hell," and a use of "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Some visibility of brands including Sony Vaio, Dakine, Ray Ban, and Facebook.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking by adults, sometimes to the point of getting drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Aloha, a military-themed romantic comedy written and directed by Cameron Crowe, follows the adventures of a military contractor (Bradley Cooper) who returns to Hawaii for a job and faces an ex-girlfriend (Rachel McAdams), a former boss whom he feels betrayed him, and an Air Force pilot whom he can't resist (Emma Stone). In short, it's a complicated affair about love, work, and redemption that's thematically a better fit for teens and adults than for younger viewers. Expect some swearing ("hell," "s--t," and a use of "f--k"), social drinking by adults (sometimes to the point of getting drunk), some innuendoes/comments about hooking up, kissing, and references to hardship in Afghanistan. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
That Cameron Crowe is a gifted director has never been under debate, but his gifts aren't on full display in Aloha. It's an interesting but muddled mix of romance, personal journey, marital strife, wartime reckoning, and environmentalism, all sprinkled with a hint of mystery and mysticism. In short, the film is confusing, and it feels a little manipulative, too. We sense that Crowe wants us to feel things, and we sort of want to, but it also feels a little forced. And tone-wise, the movie jumps around, alienating viewers. Just when we settle into the romance, the focus shifts to mysticism, and the two don't exactly feel connected.
Aloha does work on the human level, especially when Gilcrest has to reckon with his ex. Cooper and McAdams bring humanity to their roles. But Stone, while she's still delightful (though it's worth noting that she plays a part-Asian, part-Hawaiian character, neither of which she is), seems to playing in a different key, turning in a performance that's a little too broad for such a personal movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate