Another Year



Drinking and middle-age drama in excellent, complex film.
  • Review Date: December 28, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 129 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie provides a strong example of a positive marriage in Tom and Gerri's solid, loving, supporting relationship. They extend their generosity to many friends and family members, some of whom manage to straighten out their lives and others who need a great deal more help. The couple shows tolerance, empathy, and inclusiveness, and they don't easily give up.

Positive role models

The helpful, tolerant, empathetic, and loving Tom and Gerri are positive role models, but the movie focuses more on the trials of Mary, who is nervous, under-confident, needy, and relies on alcohol as a social lubricant. She pays a kind of price for her behavior but never really reaches redemption.

Not applicable

Adult characters occasionally flirt with one another, but nothing comes of it. No kissing or sex.


Language includes very infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k," plus one use of "piss."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main character and one minor character drink heavily (wine and beer) and to excess; it's not made clear whether they're addicted, but they definitely use alcohol to drown their sorrows. Other characters drink wine socially throughout the movie.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this satisfying, emotionally complex drama from acclaimed British filmmaker Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky) focuses on the lives and troubles of middle-aged characters (the youngest is 30), so it's unlikely that teens will be very interested. But if they are, there's not too much age-inappropriate content to worry about -- In fact, the only significant concern is the characters' frequent drinking; most is social, but one main character relies on alcohol as somewhat of a crutch. Beyond that, expect a bit of uncomfortable flirting and infrequent strong language (including sparing use of "f--k" and "s--t").

Kids say

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What's the story?

Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a lovely older married couple living in London and spending time working in their allotment garden. Over the course of one year (divided into four seasons), they entertain various friends and family members in their home, including their son, Joe (Oliver Maltman), who breaks a long dry spell by meeting a new girlfriend; Ken (Peter Wight), an overweight working stiff who drinks and complains too much; and Mary (Lesley Manville), a nervous, needy secretary who also drinks too much and flirts uncomfortably with Joe. Some of these characters look forward to new futures, some old wounds are opened, and some hard lessons are learned.

Is it any good?


British director Mike Leigh is famous for his working methods, in which he develops his screenplays with the input and improvisation of the actors. It seems to work; he usually ends up with emotionally rich, dramatically complex movies with memorable (and sometimes funny) characters. ANOTHER YEAR is no exception.

That said, there's a bit of a lack of a clear central character. Tom and Gerri are the anchoring characters, and everything revolves around them, but Mary is the most prominent character and the one with the biggest dramatic arc (and, notwithstanding Manville's extraordinary performance, she's not particularly likeable). Still, on several subtle levels, this is a very accomplished movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the drinking in this movie. When Mary and Ken drink, they do it almost quickly and furiously. Why are they drinking, and what does it accomplish for them? What messages does the movie send about alcohol? What about the consequences of drinking?

  • What is the secret of Tom and Gerri's successful marriage? Can you think of other movies that portray positive, happy marriages?

  • Is Mary redeemed at the end of the movie? What has she learned over the course of the story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 29, 2010
DVD release date:June 7, 2011
Cast:Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
Director:Mike Leigh
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Run time:129 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some language

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11 year old Written byalanps May 28, 2011


This is a grown up movie - it is deep and complex, very funny in places and tragic. I loved it, it is up with the best of Mike Leigh's movies.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bykhan2705 March 19, 2011

brilliant dialogue driven human drama.

A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends, colleagues, and family who all seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness. i knew the kind of movie it will turn out. i loved the main idea of just an Another Year of this happy couple that covers the 4 seasons showing their friends and colleagues and their problems. Mike Leigh and his movies are one of their kinds. he is a brilliant director. this movie for some or many viewers will be painfully slow. its a simple dialogue driven movie, with just talking and long shots of talking. Lesley Manville's performance just shocked me, man she is brilliant. Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen and other supporting actors were good too. but Lesley steals the show. amazing superb performance. Screenplay is very intelligently written. story is good. a good film overall. this movie is very sad, depressing and captures true human feelings. must watch.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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