Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Quiet, talky character drama has exceptional performances.

Movie NR 2017 104 minutes
Columbus Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+


This might be a weird thing to say considering its Ozu-like, detached style, but Columbus feels like a hug

This title has:

Great messages
age 14+

Intensely beautiful film, not for the simple minded

In an age in which the only things people leave their houses for are bombastic action movies, it is refreshing to watch a carefully written and masterfully crafted drama like this. I challenge you to try something new. Just watch it.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Visually gorgeous, this exceptionally acted indie drama is a compelling character study as well as a love letter to a town that boasts some of the United States' most important architecture. After scene-stealing supporting performances in Edge of Seventeen and Split, Richardson does a beautiful job in a leading role, capturing Casey's intelligence, concern over her mother, and frustration that she's a bit stuck without a college education. But the emotion that's a true revelation is Casey's awe, which Richardson conveys every time Casey looks at (or, more accurately, meditates on) the amazing architecture around her -- particularly the Deborah Berke-designed Irwin Union Bank, whose drive-through features a gorgeous glass canopy. Casey shares her love of architecture with Jin, who admits he doesn't know much about it, despite his father's prominence. What Jin does want to know isn't the "tour guide talk," but how Casey feels about the architecture. Once she starts sharing, neither of them can stop, even though their time together includes a fair amount of companionable silence (and reflecting on their surroundings).

Director (and writer and editor) Kogonada is best known for visual essays or supercuts that explain the genius of auteurs; if Columbus is any indication, he has the talent to perhaps someday join his former subjects. The symmetry (or asymmetry) of nearly every shot is meticulous, highlighting the beauty of Columbus' architecture, whether it's award winning and historical, or, in the case of Casey's house, a lower-middle-class rambler. As for Cho, he plays against type here, with very little of the humor his early career was based on. Parker Posey and Rory Culkin are also quite good in supporting roles as Jin's father's protégé/former student and Casey's brainy library co-worker, respectively. Ultimately, though, it's Richardson, Cho, and Columbus itself that are the stars of this film, which may make audiences want to book a flight to Indiana.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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