Parents' Guide to

Close

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Wrenching Belgian drama has suicide, homophobia, swearing.

Movie PG-13 2023 104 minutes
Close Movie Poster: Actor Eden Dambrine embraces Gustav De Waele

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

For mature teens who are ready for a slow European movie

This film is a great cinematic work. This is a European movie with lots of scenes with no words but the music and close ups communicate the inner feelings. It also develops slowly. If you are used to holywood be prepared for a different experience all together. The plot does not prepare us for the suicide. I wish that, for the educational value and as a more realistic portrayal of suicide, the director included some warning behaviors. The relationship dynamic is relevant to all breakups and the challenge of moving on after rejection. It's an opportunity to talk with boys about the challenges of negotiating boys’ and men’s friendships.
age 13+

Emotionally heavy film with a compelling message about male friendship

I would love many people to see this film. Close explores the theme of male friendship and how society snuffs out these beautiful friendships at a crucial age. I think parents, teachers, youth leaders, and pastors would benefit from seeing the movie and using it as a platform to have meaningful conversations. Please do be aware that it can be difficult to watch emotionally, as the pains of rejection and loss are depicted. Parents should use their judgment about whether their children are ready to see such a film. For those young people, particular young men, who do watch the movie, I hope it can give them the courage to experience closeness in friendship even when the outside world may react negatively.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This Belgian drama about childhood friendship, growing up, and the impact of social conditioning and peer pressure on boys is a beautifully shot and emotionally demanding film. Close marks director Dhont's follow-up to Girl, which centered a transgender dancer. This film has similar themes related to the acute challenges of identity formation and the social pressures that teenagers experience. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the International Oscar in early 2023.

Close stands out for its beautiful cinematography and an orchestral score that, combined with star Dambrine's incredibly intuitive and sensitive performance, conveys more than the film's somewhat sparse dialogue. The family of one of the boys harvests flowers, so viewers watch as the seasons and sunlight change and flowers are slashed to the ground and then rise up again. The symbolism isn't particularly subtle, much like Leo's broken-and-then-healed arm, but it all works together to paint a vivid and emotionally charged coming-of-age story.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate