Away We Go

  • Review Date: June 3, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Parent-to-be drama meanders but wraps up poignantly.
  • Review Date: June 3, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 97 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The lead characters are very mindful of the enormity of their responsibilities. But a mother ridicules her kids and talks openly about wanting to leave their father, and another couple is openly judgmental of other people's parenting decisions. Grandparents-to-be don't seem to care to stay for the birth of their first grandchild. A lead character flings a stream of insults at old friends he feels are
acting self-righteous. And a tipsy mom is rude to her children and much too
generous with back-handed compliments.

Not applicable

An earthy couple gives off a very sexual vibe; they drop hints about wanting sex in front of others. The wife inadvertently reveals her breast as she adjusts after breastfeeding. Another woman does a sensual dance on a stripper stage; it plays with melancholy, though, as her husband shares a tragedy with his friend while his wife dances.


Frequent use of words like "s--t," "f--k," "damn," "c--t," "tits," "ass," "goddamn," and "oh my God." Overall, though the language is strong, it's less gratuitous than in some movies.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking in bars and over dinner. One couple drinks all day long.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that older teens may be intrigued by this indie drama because of star John Krasinski and writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. Its unvarnished look at different types of parenting, though exaggerated for cinematic effect, hits home and could very well prompt some internal analysis. Expect a range of strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), some sexuality (including a glimpse of a bare breast), and social drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Unmarried but decidedly committed to each other, 33-year-old Verona (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (John Krasinski) learn they're having a baby, a discovery that sends them on a journey to a handful of cities to find out where they ought to settle down and raise their family. Their travels take them to Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, and Canada, where acquaintances, friends, and relatives live. The visits are memorable for the catastrophes that Burt and Verona encounter, churning up worries both geographic and existential: Which is the best place to live and, more importantly, just what kind of parents will they become?

Is it any good?


Put it this way: It sure takes a long time for AWAY WE GO to get anywhere, but once there, the full impact of its storyline hits you behind the knees. Director Sam Mendes, who frames his scenes beautifully, meanders, and consequently, the film can grate like a too-long road trip. But, just like most long car rides, the destination feels worthy of all the trouble it took to get there, even if it doesn't erase it altogether.

Written by novelist Dave Eggers and his wife/fellow writer, Vendela Vida, the script feels fresh and new, stripped of the usual mileposts (the caricatures, the not-so-surprising twists). The actors do their work justice: Maggie Gyllenhaal is hilarious as an Earth mother far too earthy for her own good, and Krasinski is a lovable, slightly lost teddy bear of a boyfriend, wonderfully giving and sometimes inept. But the film is all Rudolph's. A comic veteran of Saturday Night Live, she's surprisingly potent in a drama; when the camera lingers on her, the worry is palpable. And when she gets her heartening ending, it's hard not to care.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about parenthood. How is this movie different from typical movies that take on the issue of parenting? Does it have any definitive answers about what makes someone a good or bad parent?

  • What are Bur tand Verona's worries about parenthood? Does all their

  • fretting make them seem like they’ll actually be great parents -- or

  • just neurotic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 5, 2009
DVD release date:September 29, 2009
Cast:John Krasinski, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maya Rudolph
Director:Sam Mendes
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some sexual content

This review of Away We Go was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

Great handpicked alternatives

For kids who love dramas and travel

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 12 year old Written byWizard18 June 6, 2009
Adult Written bystephengladstone3 June 21, 2009


Ok, and hilarious.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bydwiggit101 December 29, 2009

Good for pretty much everyone!

This movie has some infrequent strong language and a semi-sex scene at the beginning (No nudity.) It is a very sweet movie with some good insights on how to build good family values.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide