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Parents' Guide to

American Honey

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Very mature coming-of-age story is harsh but lovely.

Movie R 2016 163 minutes
American Honey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 17+

Tender, terrible, and taut film about being young, poor, and wandering

This film feels indulgent at times, but it just takes its time allowing you into the world of the film and into the complex workings of the characters, especially Star's. She is the star of the journey and of the film. The sex scenes feel real, and by that I do not mean that it seems like they are having sex, but rather Arnold is able to capture the feeling and emotion around what it means and feels like when you have sex with your first love...a tough task. The film is engrossing as the US landscape is the other character that we get to know, and the systemic poverty that permeates the entire film. The poverty ebbs and flows, but never wanes.
age 18+

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (7 ):

With curiosity and compassion, this epic-length coming-of-age story looks at the hard corners of a splintered, dislocated America, but at the same time finds moving moments of beauty. English director Andrea Arnold -- who won an Oscar for a live-action short film -- previously worked this kind of magic in her films Red Road, Fish Tank, and Wuthering Heights. Now she seamlessly brings it across the pond. As she did in Fish Tank, she's cast a charismatic, potent young actress in American Honey's lead role. Lane embodies beauty and longing for connection in a wonderfully organic way.

The long 163-minute running time may seem daunting, but Arnold creates a soft, drifting rhythm that prevents the movie from getting boring or reaching a high pitch too early. And, despite all the swearing, sex, and drugs, Andrea uses her time to show that these things aren't for shock, but are rather coping mechanisms. The kids long for something simpler, but the risks are too great. Back in the 1990s, Kids tried to scare adults with its young characters' over-the-top behavior, but American Honey finds the heart of the matter.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 30, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: December 27, 2016
  • Cast: Shia LaBeouf , Riley Keough , Sasha Lane
  • Director: Andrea Arnold
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 163 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout, drug/alcohol abuse-all involving teens
  • Last updated: June 3, 2023

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