Parents' Guide to

Brokeback Mountain

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Groundbreaking film about forbidden love has sex, violence.

Movie R 2005 134 minutes
Brokeback Mountain Poster Image: Ennis (Heath Ledger) stands in profile, with Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) behind him, against a backdrop of mountains

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 11 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.)
age 14+

A lesson

My daughter has a strange obsession with the actor who plays Ennis in the movie. When she came to me with a copy of it she had purchased, I wasn't sure how to react. I told her she couldn't watch it, but being a 13 year, she old did anyway. She came to me crying at the end, but it was okay! She was sad, but this movie taught her an amazing lesson. It's not just a movie about scandalous love, it's got a message. If a teen or preteen comes to you wanting to watch this, they can handle it. There's one sex scene from what I can remember and a few topless shots. The profanity is present, but it's reality. It's based completly on real lives of cow boys. How they spoke and acted. Same as a child learns about history in school, they can learn about how ruthless it truly was back then.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (22 ):

This thoughtful, lyrical, eventually frustrating examination of two men's romance spans 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. 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). But one thing is crystal clear in Brokeback Mountain: Ennis and Jack 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

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