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Parents' Guide to

Brene Brown: The Call to Courage

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Uneven docu about self-help guru has language.

Movie NR 2019 76 minutes
Brene Brown: The Call to Courage Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 18+

Entertaining and informative

Thoughtful and thought provoking précis of Brown’s research into shame, vulnerability, and whole-hearted living. In conversations I’ve had with people about this special, none have been as critical as the reviewer on this site. It’s a shame, as it has greatly reduced the Rotten Tomatoes score. It’s also a bit mystifying. Of all the criticisms one might throw at Brené Brown, incoherence isn’t one of them. She is refreshingly rigorous in her claims and conclusions, and successfully avoids trite self-help cliches.

This title has:

Great messages
2 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Live Life Fully

Brene' gives you tools and encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and face life head on. Watch it and you will be entertained while learning. She's awesome!!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (7 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a documentary best left for Brene Brown fans. What's annoying about Brown's glib, platitude-filled self-help presentation is the fuzziness of her message, which is odd given that she's a PhD. researcher who presumably has decades of data supporting her advice. Perhaps her message is clearer in her books. But on stage she says there's no courage without vulnerability, while the definition of courage is an ability to perform in the face of fear. It's not courageous to save someone from drowning unless you are afraid of the water and harm you might come to in the process. (Saving someone if you're not afraid is still great, just not courageous.)

The question arises: is fear the same thing as vulnerability? Not really. We might be afraid of losing our job but not feel vulnerable unless we are passed over for a promotion, which can cause shame and uncertainty about our ability. All that makes her entire message a bit misleading as portrayed in Brene Brown: The Call to Courage. Many popular writers and social observers offer similar, more cogent messages. Malcolm Gladwell reminds us that the highest achievers fail repeatedly and view failure as an ordinary part of the process of attaining high goals. Researcher Angela Duckworth uses the word "grit" to denote the choice to try again despite shame and failure rather than giving up.

Movie Details

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