By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Drama about sex, deception too creepy, explicit for teens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While the movie's ultimate message is that open, honest communication is key in a marriage and/or family situation, the characters put themselves through some very tough and deceitful times to avoid communication (and possibly uncovering painful truths). But when the characters finally do communicate, they discover that things aren't as bad as they imagined.
Positive Role Models
The movie has no real role models. Though none of the four main characters are actually bad people, they do not behave in a responsible or constructive way. Chloe seems to have fallen genuinely in love, but takes all the wrong steps toward winning that person's heart. Catherine does not trust her husband and employs a sneaky, dangerous plan rather than talking to him. Her husband David is equally guilty of not communicating, as is her teenage son Michael. Ironically, Chloe is the one who comes across as the most responsible, at first, but looks can be deceiving.
Violence & Scariness
The movie has some mild verbal confrontations and one medium-violent struggle with a shocking conclusion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One character, Chloe, has sex with multiple partners. We get plenty of kissing, flirting, and frank talk about sex and sexuality. There is infidelity, manipulation, and mistrust and a general air of illicit seduction and sex throughout. The movie has two explicit sex scenes, including partial nudity: one between Chloe and another, older woman, and another between Chloe and a young man her own age.
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The movie contains strong adult language, but not constantly. We hear more than one use of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "Jesus"used as an exclamation, and references to sex, sexual organs, and sex acts.
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Products & Purchases
Not an issue.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink in social situations, at parties or gatherings, and mostly wine. One character receives a bottle of fine scotch as a birthday present and he drinks a small sample glass, just to taste.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chloe is an adults-only tale of sex, betrayal, deception, and obsession. Teens might be interested in seeing the red-hot Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Jennifer's Body, Dear John), who appears partly naked here, in her first grown-up role, but families should beware: The movie is extremely frank with its sex scenes (including one between two women) and sex talk, and there is some strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), though drinking and violence are mild.
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What's the Story?
Gynecologist Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) suspects her professor husband (Liam Neeson) of having an affair (or affairs) with his female students, so she hires a pretty young girl, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), to seduce her husband and prove her suspicions. Chloe meets with Catherine to give her reports, and subtly tries to seduce the older woman and eventually succeeds. When Catherine subsequently rejects her, Chloe has sex with Catherine's teenage son Michael (Max Thieriot), as a way of "getting closer" to Catherine. Things grow dangerously out of hand as Chloe becomes more and more obsessed and unhinged.
Is It Any Good?
The strong characters and director Atom Egoyan's patient, thoughtful mood and pacing make this an above-average effort. The Canada-based, Oscar-nominated Egoyan has plenty of experience with adult dramas about sex, including Exotica (1995) and Where the Truth Lies (2005), and his new CHLOE -- which is a remake of the 2003 French film Nathalie -- comes with his usual brand of chilly intelligence and maturity. The four characters behave and relate to one another in emotionally realistic ways, and the fatal lack of communication that leads to their troubles seems painfully genuine.
Where the movie goes slightly wrong is in the thriller portion, wherein the Chloe character behaves more and more irrationally, out of love and/or obsession for Catherine. Her obsession turns homicidal, and the final act of the movie becomes an almost standard-issue Hollywood erotic thriller. Not to mention the odd coincidences that bring all these characters together.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the lack of communication drives a wedge in between these family members. Which makes more sense: to sneak around and find evidence, or to talk openly? Which is more difficult? Why? Do the communication difficulties in the movie reflect those in your family? What can you do to improve family communication?
What lessons about sex does this movie teach, if any? Do you think the movie portrays realistic intimacy between adults? If teens fans of Amanda Seyfried see the movie: Does seeing her in this adult role change the way you think about her? Do you like her more or less? Why?
Is Chloe a bad person? Is she crazy, or just in love?
- In theaters: March 26, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: July 13, 2010
- Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson
- Director: Atom Egoyan
- Inclusion Information: Middle Eastern/North African directors
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, nudity and language
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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