Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film pits classroom education vs. real-world experiences -- but in the end, life demands a far more complex solution. Nevertheless, the importance of knowledge-seeking is made very clear, especially in the way it elevates the status of women.
Positive Role Models
Jenny is admirable in many ways, especially her thirst for knowledge and respect for book learning. Realistically for a teenager, she's also impulsive and drawn to what is mysterious and possibly dangerous -- perhaps not literally, but emotionally (she’ll also fib to get what she wants sometimes). Still, she's able to face her mistakes and herself when necessary. Her parents are both permissive and controlling, which contributes to the situation in which she finds herself -- but they clearly love her.
Violence & Scariness
A couple argues loudly; two guys pilfer a map from a house and brusquely instruct their girlfriends to jump in the car.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man in his 30s courts a 16-year-old virgin. In one scene, he asks to see her breasts, and she acquiesces -- there’s no nudity, but she's shown opening her blouse. Later, they have sex, though they're only shown after the fact. Some kissing and much flirting. There’s also a somewhat frank discussion about intercourse and a risqué joke about a banana.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
“Bloody hell,” “idiot,” and “stupid.”
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Car, cigarette, and perfume brands (like Chanel) that evoke luxury are mentioned or shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A 16-year-old smokes French cigarettes (Gauloises). Some social drinking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this smart 1960s-set drama written by popular author Nick Hornby explores a teenager's efforts to define her future, which includes making a mess of her well-laid plans -- most notably by becoming involved in a relationship with a sophisticated man nearly twice her age. Virginity, education, class -- they're all up for discussion and questioning. These are mature themes, but older teens should get a lot out of the movie. There's some sexual content (implied nudity and intercourse, kissing, and some risque discussion), as well as some era-accurate social drinking and smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are quibbles aplenty with AN EDUCATION -- Sarsgaard's wreck of an accent, to start, and a third act that attempts to wrap up too quickly to boot. But neither detracts from the period drama's considerable heft. This is a seriously good film. Nick Hornby, who wrote the screenplay based on a memoir by Lynn Barber, keeps the feel modern despite the 1960s setting (which is gorgeously rendered) with dialogue shot through the heart with essential truths.
And with Mulligan reciting Hornby's words, he can't lose. Watching her navigate the perils of near-adulthood is like an epiphany, and while Sarsgaard's accent is a throwaway, his acting isn't -- few actors can make creepy seem so appealing. Director Lone Scherfig presents London and Paris with a knowing glow -- Jenny is a firefly, and her wings, as we can only expect, will get scalded, if not burned. And yet we can't stop watching.
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.