Closer

  • Review Date: March 28, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Searing story of betrayal isn't for kids.
  • Review Date: March 28, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

None of the characters act very honorably.

Violence

Intense emotional confrontations, slap.

Sex

Extremely explicit sexual references and situations, strip club.

Language

Extremely strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is filled with extremely adult material, with exceptionally explicit sexual references, including adultery and oral sex. There are scenes in a strip club. Characters drink, smoke, and use very strong, explicit, and graphic language. There are tense and upsetting scenes of jealousy, anger, and betrayal.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

With an anguished wail, Larry (Clive Owen) asks where he can find intimacy. In a private room in a strip club, where the rules say that you can look, but not touch. The stripper's ex-boyfriend Dan (Jude Law) is now romantically involved with Larry's ex-wife, Anna (Julia Roberts). Does he really want intimacy or does he want revenge? Or does he just want the stripper to bend over and touch the floor? Probably all of the above. This is a searing story of hurt and betrayal with two couples who reach for each other in almost every combination. They may get, as in the movie's title CLOSER, but do they ever really get close? Larry is a dermatologist. Anna is a photographer. Alice (Natalie Portman) is a stripper turned waitress turned stripper again. And Dan is an obituary writer who has written a novel.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This film is more clever than wise. Those who have been angered and betrayed by love might find it validating, but that does not make it insightful. The characters toss around the l-word a great deal, but there is no evidence that any of them even see each other, much less know or love each other. Both female characters are somewhere between a fantasy and a narrative convenience, their only function to drive the men crazy. The film's center is the relationship between the two men. Their connections with the women have more to do with the struggle between them over power and territory than with knowing or caring for Anna and Alice.

Portman is dazzling to watch. Owen and Law do well, but this is not the best use of Roberts' considerable talents; it may be that director Mike Nichols was relying more on the shock value of hearing America's sweetheart speak about oral sex in explicit terms than on her ability to convey a superficially conceived character.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the characters were really looking for. What did playwright/screenwriter Patrick Marber want to show us with the occupations of the four characters? What do we learn from the name on Alice's passport? Were Dan and Anna using Alice by writing the novel and taking her photo?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 3, 2004
DVD release date:March 29, 2005
Cast:Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman
Director:Mike Nichols
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sequences of graphic sexual dialogue, nudity/sexuality and language

This review of Closer was written by

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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Adult Written byMmickeymyheroV April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Inappropriate For My Age

This movie was incredibly intriguing, but I most definitely would not recommend it for anyone my age. The sexual dialogue was harsh, as was the language and general subject matter. The only prolific drug use that could be a problem would be the cigarette use, but generally, I didn't find that to be much of a problem. Honestly, this movie just simply wouldn't be appropriate for children because the subject matter would be of no interest to them. The movie ingeniously depicts love, infatuation, and betrayal, all of which really aren't big sellers for high school kids my age, or any younger. Make no mistake; I really did enjoy this movie immensely. It included performances by Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman that were beyond my realm of comprehension, and the story unraveled in a way that it held my attention and emotions. It was brilliantly directed by one of my most idolized directors, Mike Nichols. For an adult night out, this movie would be a recommendation from me. It brought a lot of issues to the surface of my mind, and I predict I will still be thinking about it for some time.
Parent of a 11 year old Written byjsharpe October 17, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

no kids

no kids
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bygodspuppet April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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