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Parents' Guide to

Boy Erased

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Moving, mature conversion-therapy drama has strong cast.

Movie R 2018 114 minutes
Boy Erased Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+
age 16+

I love this movie but one scene is very disturbing

You left out in the sex section that around 30-40 minutes in the main character is raped in college!

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (8 ):

This powerful drama benefits from moving performances and a thoughtful script that tells the heartrending story of a young gay man who's tackling faith and identity. Hedges, who earned an Oscar nomination for Manchester by the Sea and leads Boy Erased, impresses as a kind, intelligent, and loving teen who's struggling to reconcile his sexual identity with his upbringing in a conservative Baptist church. And while Aussies Crowe and Kidman may not have perfect Arkansas accents, they're very believable as well-meaning but confused Christian parents. Hedges plays Jared with nuanced restraint. He loves God and his parents, and he figures that "praying away the gay" must be worth it if it will take away the confusion and guilt he initially feels.

The stellar ensemble also includes the always fabulous Cherry Jones in a memorable cameo as an Arkansas doctor who holds science in one hand and God in the other, meaning that she knows there's nothing "wrong" with Jared. Her role is small, but it's important, as is Kidman's; Nancy ultimately puts her love for her son above the desires of her husband or the elders of his church. There's no denying that this movie, like the memoir it's based on, has a clear message: Conversion therapy is harmful at best and hateful at worst. Those who agree will find this film a moving reminder of how disenfranchised LGBTQ+ teens in certain religious communities are -- until they can live freely and be true to themselves.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 2, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: January 29, 2019
  • Cast: Lucas Hedges , Nicole Kidman , Russell Crowe
  • Director: Joel Edgerton
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Drama
  • Character Strengths: Courage
  • Run time: 114 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexual content including an assault, some language and brief drug use
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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