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.
Marriages can be messy and unforgiving, but they can also withstand the most grueling losses and challenges if spouses remember to turn to each other for support, encouragement, and real talk. Other subjects dealt with include infidelity and infertility.
Positive Role Models
Roland and Vanessa aren't at their best here, but they're trying to make sense of things -- especially Roland.
Violence & Scariness
A couple fights, sometimes loudly. In one scene, the man grabs his wife's hand and uses it to slap his face, goading her to hit him repeatedly. Other scenes show her kicking him and him handling her face roughly.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown in the middle of sex; her pubic area is shown (albeit in shadow). Naked male and female bottoms are shown, sometimes during sex. Other scenes show bare breasts, both while bathing and during sex.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent use of everything from "f--k" and "s--t" to "damn" and "a--hole." Some scenes also include swearing in French.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Some brands/logos are seen, including YSL, Louis Vuitton, and Vogue.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character drinks day and night (a dependence on alcohol is suggested). Another character pops pills.
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 By the Sea is a searing, painful 1970s-set drama about a married couple (Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt) on the brink of either divorce, self-destruction, or a deeper marital understanding -- or perhaps all of the above. Its subject matter -- marriage, infidelity, and fertility -- is quite heavy and not likely to resonate with younger viewers. Just as well, since one character drinks day and night, and another relies on prescription meds to get through the day. Plus, sexual situations and nudity abound (mainly bare breasts and backsides, though a woman's pubic area is somewhat on display in one scene, albeit shadowed). There's also some swearing, including "s--t" and "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Languorous, flawed, and moody, BY THE SEA is beautiful to watch and well-acted, with Pitt and Jolie turning in performances that push against their usual types. The ideas the film submits about marriage -- that sometimes you have to endure it to its breaking point so it can metamorphose into something stronger and possibly better -- are interesting and complex, but it's somewhat hobbled by dialogue (from a script written by Jolie) that's stiff and constrained and doesn't allow the film to breathe.
It's also much too long -- editor, where were you? -- with at least one too many scenes of Jolie staring into nothingness and, to a lesser extent, Pitt doing the same. Nonetheless, it's a fine attempt at a circa-1970s aesthetic, one filled with both ennui and anguish.
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.