Parents' Guide to

Birthday Girl

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Uneven thriller isn't for kids. Kidman's great.

Movie R 2002 91 minutes
Birthday Girl Poster Image

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Birthday Girl is a very uneven thriller-romance brightened by dark comedy and another magnetic performance by Nicole Kidman as the 21st century equivalent to a mail order bride. Unfortunately, the film's resolution is as uneven as the movie's tone.

There are some signs of real talent here in John's generic performance evaluation and the bank's "trust" exercises, Nadia's monologue about her binoculars and her bright red knitting. The movie's director, screenwriters, and producer (three brothers) clearly intended to make a movie that transcends genre, but it does not really work. It just feels unsettlingly muddled.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 1, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: August 13, 2002
  • Cast: Ben Chaplin , Mathieu Kassovitz , Nicole Kidman
  • Director: Jez Butterworth
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 91 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexual situations. language, and violence
  • Last updated: January 26, 2023

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