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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real messages here -- except maybe that young people crave real connection, and if their families can't give it, they may go elsewhere.
Positive Role Models
Teens and young people don't follow any rules or typical standards of behavior. They lie to get what they want, have casual sex, do drugs, swear, etc.
Violence & Scariness
A gun is pulled and pointed at another person. Arguing, roughhousing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Vivid, lengthy, realistic sex scenes. Full-frontal male nudity. Naked breasts.
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Extremely strong, frequent language, including "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word (much of it heard via song lyrics).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens regularly smoke (mostly pot, some cigarettes) and drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American Honey is a coming-of-age road movie. Although it's all about teens and young people, it's packed with extremely mature, adult-oriented content, including full-frontal male nudity, naked breasts, and long, graphic sex scenes. The young characters also drink and smoke (both pot and cigarettes) frequently. Language is extremely strong, with lots of uses of both "f--k" and "s--t," plus some use of the "N" word (mostly in song lyrics). Violence isn't as strong but does include a character drawing a gun and pointing it at someone else, as well as some arguing and roughhousing. Although there aren't really any positive messages or role models here, the movie does view the characters with compassion and understanding, rather than shock or fear. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.