Parents' Guide to

Anomalisa

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Existential, pessimistic animated movie is not for kids.

Movie R 2015 90 minutes
Anomalisa Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 18+

Loneliness in stop-motion animation

This film goes for it. Depicting intense loneliness in stop-motion animation. The sexual scenes are intense and the depth of loneliness is striking. The film is especially suited to animation and exploits the medium to a satisfying narrative that only animation could pull off. The film does a great job of revealing a black and white, mundane, depressed world that surrounds and consumes the main protagonist, but where the brilliance comes is in the morning after as it all falls apart bit by bit.
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (16 ):

Celebrated screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has fashioned this existential crisis as a dark, bizarre stop-motion animated movie, and while it's extraordinary in many ways, it's clearly not for kids. ANOMALISA began its life as a kind of radio play; then Kaufman enlisted animator Duke Johnson as a co-director, and they came up with an amazingly detailed, mundane, grimly comic world in which the puppets' seams are allowed to show. (This isn't a movie about smoothness.)

Fans of Kaufman's earlier, imaginative work -- like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -- will find Anomalisa a more dispiriting affair, with special attention paid to the imperfections of the human body and our sometimes-clumsy relationships with food, drink, and sex, not to mention longing for love and sense of purpose. The film pays special attention to sound -- not only spoken voices, but also music (Lisa sings a song that can break the heart). It's perhaps more hopeless than hopeful, but it's a deep, thoughtful experience.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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