Broken Flowers

  • Review Date: January 2, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Minimalist melodrama for older teens+.
  • Review Date: January 2, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Protagonist has a long history of many abandoned girlfriends, a teenager is seductive to her mother's ex.

Violence

A very brief, brutal assault at the end.

Sex

Sexual references and brief images (nudity, not activity).

Language

Mostly "hipster" cursing (some f-words); angry cursing in one brief scene.

Consumerism

Car rentals, car race logos (briefly glimpsed in photos).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking, smoking, pot-smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the protagonist is a devout bachelor, now middle-aged, who has left behind many women. Characters use curse words (mostly in conversation, and at the end, during a fight), smoke, drink, and use drugs (as well as slang for drugs, especially marijuana). Stereotypical bikers briefly assault Don at the end, leaving him bloodied and unconscious. The film includes sexual imagery (a post-sex morning awakening, an adolescent girl nude [not explicit] and in her underwear) and references (to past relationships).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BROKEN FLOWERS follows aging lothario Don Johnston (Bill Murray) as he comes to terms with his life and likely legacy. A technophobe millionaire, Don is more a vacancy than an emotional center. He first appears seated on his sofa, watching Douglas Fairbanks in The Private Life of Don Juan, as his girlfriend Sherry (Julie Delpy) leaves in a huff. But then he gets a letter, on pink stationery, with no return address or signature, saying he has a 19-year-old son who may or may not be coming to look for him. He's prodded by his next-door neighbor, Winston (Jeffrey Wright), devotee of detective stories and the internet, who takes up the case as one to be solved. Based on a brief list of Don's old girlfriends' names and long-ago addresses, Winston arranges flights, motels, and rental cars, hands his friend an itinerary, and sends him forth to discover his progeny.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Organized into a series of vignettes, Jim Jarmusch's minimalist melodrama doesn't build a narrative so much as it deconstructs the idea of narrative, as well as the sense that a life leads to clear resolution. Don might be indifferent, pained, even remorseful about his serial abandonments, but it remains hard to tell.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the combination of regret and curiosity that motivates Don's effort to find his son. How does the film suggest that his self-understanding as a "Don Juan" is necessarily changing as he grows older? How does each woman reflect a different aspect of his personality and the variety of his desires? How do their fates suggest alternatives to his own? (In particular, how does the "animal communicator"'s desire to keep her dead dog with her in spirit a means to put off or deny death?) How does looking back on life provoke remorse or desire for change?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 4, 2005
DVD release date:January 3, 2006
Cast:Bill Murray, Julie Delpy, Sharon Stone
Director:Jim Jarmusch
Studio:Focus Features
Genre:Drama
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use

This review of Broken Flowers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byBestPicture1996 December 15, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Slow dramedy has subtle acting, great music

This was my first time watching a movie by Jim Jarmusch, the prominent indie director apparently known for making films with extended long silences. This movie is no exception, especially when you see Bill Murray not doing a ton of emoting at first, and mostly being very catatonic. This movie has a great premise though, and that's what keeps you invested. These women are all eccentric in their own way, even the seemingly normal ones. I wish Jarmusch would've done more with Tilda Swinton, an actress of her caliber shouldn't be wasted. I also wish he wouldn't hit us over the head with some things: yes a guy named Don Johnston is watching a movie based on the character Don Juan, and, oh, would you look at that, he was quite the Don Juan himself? Also, the...uh...very comfortable daughter of one of the women he dated is named Lolita, and she's very clearly hitting on Don. We get it, Jim. Otherwise, this has a great soundtrack, and when you adapt to Jarmusch's silent style, Murray's deadpan silences and unemotional expressions actually take on a great deal of meaning. There's just one scene that makes this more for older teens...and it features Miss Lolita.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byFishynmn May 28, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Entertaining dead-pan dramedy is hip but down-beat.

Broken Flowers is a a funny, quirky, occasionally dry, dead-pan comedy full of excellent performances and awkward moments. Broken Flowers is mostly light throughout its run time, however, it has it's down-beat moments, including the open-ended closing, which will leave many viewers disappointed. Broken Flowers, while teens may be interested in seeing yet another perfect pitched performance by Bill Murray, is not for kids or young teenagers. Some of the content problems are listed in the following: ___________________________________________________________________ - Occasional use of strong language._________________________________ - Full female nudity on a young woman (comic).________________________ - A post sex scene._________________________________________________ - A scene of drug use._______________________________________________ - A mature plotline referring to the main character's adulterous past._____ ___________________________________________________________________ Besides all that, Broken Flowers is obviously intended adults due to some mature, dark, dry, humor. Characters act selfish and irresponsible at times. The plot is obviously aimed at adults. Most of the humor comes from awkward moments. Also, immature audiences will not understand the ending. ___________________________________________________________________ *Spoiler Starts Here!* The ending is the most down-beat part of the movie. After Don checks all the women on the list, finding few clues about his son, he heads home. While traveling home, he sees on a young man, about the age his son would be. After encountering him again at the local diner, Don buys him a sandwich and coffee. Don tries to talk with him, hoping that the man might be his son. Once Don questions the young man about his father, the man runs off, telling Don that he had asked him the wrong question. Don is left staring out into the mostly empty city, alone. This ending will be very disappointing to many audience members, as it seemingly doesn't accomplish anything. *Spoiler Ends Here!* ___________________________________________________________________ The ending gives the movie a nice touch, however, something will undoubtedly feel out of place to some movie-goers. The movie's tone and feel as well as mood all are adult. While some will despise Broken Flowers , others who like Broken Flower's laid back style will find it irresistible. ___________________________________________________________________ Altogether, Broken Flowers is a hip, entertaining, dead-pan comedy that's only for adults and older teens that appreciate it's slow, laid back style. Even for older teens, parents should be aware of the language, nudity, and implied sexuality. Also the down-beat, open-ended closing will leave many viewers disappointed.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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