Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of family is displayed as relatives come together and connect emotionally.
Positive Role Models
Ridley is a 13-year-old boy from New York who relocates to Australia with his mother after his dad dies and he has trouble at school. He is an aspiring filmmaker and learns survival skills. Spencer is Ridley's stand-offish Australian grandfather. He had a strained relationship with his son but has a code of loyalty to family. He learns to show emotion. A former schoolfriend of Ridley's dad is Jules, an indigenous Australian character. There are only two female characters -- Ridley's grieving mother and a female police officer.
Violence & Scariness
Reference to the death of a parent. Tense scenes include a young teen clinging to a crumbling cliff while being pursued by kidnappers and riding rapids before going over a waterfall. They are also taught to shoot rifles. Dingoes (an Australian animal) are shot at but not hit. Guns are described as "not a weapon, it's a tool for survival." A character points a shotgun at a group of people. Two characters attempt arson but fail. Dingoes snarl at characters and surround them. A dingo is rescued from barbed wire but uninjured. Additional tense scenes involve snakes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent language includes "bugger," "bastard," "poncing," "bloody," "jerk," "arse," and "hell." Comedic scene about a town called "Budgie's Knob."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Main character wears Ray-Ban sunglasses. Two characters have Apple iPhones and Apple MacBooks are shown with logos glowing.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters hold beer bottles at a barbecue.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Buckley's Chance is a family drama/adventure set in the Australian outback with some moments of peril and mild but frequent language. Ridley (Milan Burch) is a 13-year-old boy from New York who relocates to Australia with his mother after his dad dies and he has trouble at school. When someone who wants to buy land from Ridley's grandfather, Spencer (Bill Nighy), tries to burn down a barn, Ridley gets involved in a wilderness adventure, evading kidnapping and the elements while learning survival skills along the way. Tense scenes include Ridley clinging to a crumbling cliff and riding rapids before going over a waterfall. Guns show up; they're described as tools rather than weapons by Spencer, who at one point threatens a group of men with a shotgun. Dingos are fired at but not hit. One dingo gets tangled in barbed wire but is freed uninjured. Snakes feature in some tense scenes. Language includes several uses of "bastard," "arse," and "bloody." There's little female representation, with just two female characters: Ridley's grieving mother and a police officer. Ridley's father's old schoolfriend is an Indigenous Australian character. A number of clearly branded products are seen and used during the movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's a curse when a bad performance overshadows the rest of a movie. Unfortunately that's the case with Buckley's Choice. Nighy's Australian accent is so off-course, talking about it is unavoidable. The British actor's attempt veers wildly mid-sentence, even with his painfully slow and detached delivery. The good news is, young Burch is assured in his feature debut as Ridley and Australian actor Victoria Hill manages to keep her American accent from causing Nighy-like distraction and delivers a solid performance as Ridley's mother.
The movie tells a well-worn "fish out of water" story, but it's not without some moments of charm. An implausible relationship Ridley strikes up with a dingo adds a touch of magic and the section when he's evading two bungling crooks comes just in time to pick up the pace. Between these points though is a plodding, dusty old story as lifeless as the desert in which it's set. When Ridley and his grandfather venture into the bush, the thought of spending time alone with this glum boy and his barely engaged grandfather feels like a burden rather than an adventure.
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.