Parents' Guide to

Children of Heaven

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Excellent subtitled Iranian coming-of-age story.

Movie PG 1999 89 minutes
Children of Heaven Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 7+

This title has:

Great messages
age 15+

Needs a mature child to appreciate this ending

I never write reviews, but my 7-year-old daughter pressed me to write one for this movie. I first saw it as a young adult and loved it. I remembered that it was about a poor Persian family, and I wanted my daughter to see something completely out of her milieu. She didn't like the first few minutes but stuck with it. It was her first subtitled film. I would say our whole family was completely into it after about 20 minutes. I won't give away the ending other than to say, it leaves some things open. To say that my daughter hated its inconclusivity would be an understatement. She was livid, and I understood. It is a beautiful, eye-opening film, but don't try to watch it with a child who is younger than a teen-ager, and even then one has to be very open to alternative endings to leave the movie feeling gratified.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This is an incredible coming-of-age film, a beautifully rendered encapsulation of the trials and suspense of childhood no matter where you live. It's a moving story about the universal bonds of family as well as the specific circumstances of a poor family trying to make ends meet in Iran. The climax of the film is exciting reinterpretation of the "comeback kid" sports movie, and it takes many unanticipated twists and turns.

This was the first Iranian film to earn an Academy Award nomination, and with good reason. The themes and characters are universal and the story is as exciting as it is poignant. Children of Heaven is one of those magical films that breaks down perceived barriers and differences between cultures, an enlightening and entertaining cinematic journey.

Movie Details

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