Parents' Guide to

Brokeback Mountain

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Mature, intense film about a forbidden gay relationship.

Movie R 2005 134 minutes
Brokeback Mountain Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 13+

full disclosure: i am not a parent

As someone who is kind of between the categories of "kid" and "parent" (I'm 19) I feel like I have a good grasp on the age limit for this movie. My mom has been meaning to have me watch this movie since I was in eighth grade, but I only watched it for the first time 3 days ago. I would've been able to handle it a lot earlier. Like any rated-R movie, there are some things that would've flown over my head when I was 13, but the movie was not overly inappropriate language/sex/violence wise. I also think what the movie would've meant to me (affected me/ impacted me/moved me etc.) at 13 is different than what it means to me now as an adult. I think showing this movie to kids ages 13+ is perfectly fine. Parents should just be willing to answer questions on some heavy topics. (Also: I saw 21 Jump Street when I was 13 and it is wayyyyyy more inappropriate than this movie. It holds a 16+ on this website while Brokeback Mountain holds a 17+. Take a wild guess why that is.)
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10):
Kids say (21):

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is a thoughtful, lyrical, eventually frustrating examination of two men's romance over many years. Though Ennis and Jack never call themselves "gay" or "queer," they do love each other and share a sexual relationship. The film is as much about silence and repression as it is about passion. It's Alma's silence that makes the film feel so serious. Her pain is neither exquisite nor elegiac. It's only hard. As soon as she sees the men embrace, Alma becomes the tragic bearer of knowledge.

Ennis' lack of language, initially clench-jawed mumbling, is eventually subtler, especially in his relationship with his daughter, Alma Jr. (at 19, played by Kate Mara). She observes her father closely and does her best to keep him from taking up -- after his divorce from her mom -- with a perky barmaid. "You don't say much," notes the girlfriend as the two sit together at a table, watching Ennis lean over jukebox. "But you get your point across." Brokeback Mountain gets its point across, too: The men are anguished. They act on their pain in different ways, and the big wide Wyoming landscape -- so mighty, so simple, so overwhelming -- reflects their efforts to be together, to stay apart, to resist expectations and to succumb to them.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate