Come Away

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Come Away Movie Poster Image
Peter Pan/Alice in Wonderland origin story has grief, peril.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The power of imagination is at the center of the story, as is grief and how people deal with it differently -- not always in positive ways. Characters show curiosity and a willingness to help others. Snobbery is shown by some.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The three Littleton children are all adventurous, with plenty of imagination. David looks out for his two younger siblings, but also teases younger brother, Peter. Peter is told he must try harder at school and goes about achieving better grades. He shows some jealousy toward David, but it's clear he loves him dearly. Likewise Alice is kind and loving toward her family. However, she does show a snobbishness -- a result of her Aunt Eleanor teaching her about a "lower class." Rose and Jack initially appear to have a loving marriage, but after a tragic event, Rose begins to turn to alcohol, while Jack gets into debt through gambling. The cast is very diverse with the Littleton family being made up of a Black man, White woman and three biracial children.

Violence

Fantasy action sees children playing with spears, bows and arrows, and having sword fights with "imaginary" pirates. Pirates are stabbed and seemingly killed, although there is no bloodshed. A young child falls into the water and drowns -- a photograph of them laying in their coffin is later seen. A child has the back of their hand slapped with a wooden instrument. A group of children are chased by someone wielding a knife, before tripping them over and stamping on their hand. A character has their hand branded, which although it occurs off screen, they are seen in pain and with a bloodied bandage wrapped over the wound. People are tied-up. During one mass sword fight, a character has their hand cut off and it falls into the mouth of a crocodile. The severed hand quickly grows back in the form of a hook. A parent slaps their child across the face. During a fit of anger, someone destroys their workshop. Characters suddenly transform into scarier versions of themselves.

Sex

Some kissing and affection showed between a married couple.

Language

"Blimey" and "stupid" are as extreme as it gets. Characters use the term "Indians" when playing.

Consumerism

Character gets into debt through gambling.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer and spirits. Wine is seen during a dinner. A character begins drinking in private as a means to cope with their grief. A young child steals their parent's bottle of alcohol and downs it in one as a means of escaping their worries -- the result is a fantastical scene in which they shrink in size.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Come Away is a drama/adventure based on the premise that Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan were siblings. It has fantasy violence and strong themes of loss and grief. Much of the action is played out through Alice (Keira Chansa) and Peter (Jordan A. Nash)'s imagination. They have sword fights with pirates, sometimes resulting in characters being stabbed to death -- but there's no gore or bloodshed. One character's hand gets cut off, landing in a crocodile's mouth; it quickly grows back as a hook. A child drowns in front of a sibling, and a photo of the dead child (lying in a coffin) is later seen. The child's mother, Rose (Angelina Jolie), turns to alcohol in her grief, while the father, Jack (David Oyelowo), starts gambling and falls into debt. That leads to his hand being branded: It takes place off screen, but the injury is seen. In one scene, Rose slaps Alice hard across the face. The Littleton family is multiracial, and there's positive representation throughout the cast. Viewers may enjoy trying to spot the movie's multiple references to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Despite these moments, the movie's fantastical elements, and its positive messages around the value of curiosity and imagination, the theme of family loss is prevalent enough to make it too intense for litle kids.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynicoledx558 November 18, 2020

HORRIBLE, TRAUMATIC AND DEPRESSING!!

Spoiler alert. There is litterally nothing good about this movie I have no idea how it's PG it should be PG13. This is not a kids movie its a traumatic dep... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byasdfghjnhbvcdxs November 16, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byBrooklyn14 November 15, 2020

Good but deeply depressing

It was a very good movie, but be prepared to cry. I would recommend, it had beautiful lessons about dreaming and to have imagination!

What's the story?

COME AWAY tells the story of how siblings Alice (Keira Chansa) and Peter (Jordan A. Nash) found their way into Wonderland and Neverland respectively. Following a tragic accident, Alice and Peter must try to console their parents, Rose (Angelina Jolie) and Jack (David Oyelowo), while their imaginations blur the lines between what's real and what's not.

Is it any good?

Come Away promises much but delivers little. A movie that brings together Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan sounds like the makings of a wonderful fantasy tale. Sadly director Brenda Chapman's first live-action venture -- following The Prince of Egypt and Brave -- lacks any of the magic of her two previous animated adventures. For a movie about childhood imagination, little is left for the audience to unpack. The subtext is laid on far too thick, with any peril telegraphed with lazy cliches. The references to Lewis Carroll's and J.M. Barrie's original material are also often crowbarred in, with no real benefit to the story.

Ultimately the movie suffers from not knowing who its audience is. By focusing so much on grief, it's a film that is too heavy for the very audience that may have got the most from the more whimsical elements of the story. The blend of fantasy and real life also makes it difficult to empathize with any of the characters' predicaments. With the likes of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Caine, Derek Jacobi all cropping up to support Jolie and Oyelowo, Come Away, sadly, feels like an opportunity missed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Come Away portrays grief. Discuss the different ways each member of the Littleton family deals with their family tragedy. Who did you relate to most? Why?

  • Discuss the peril and violence in the movie. Did the movie's fantasy tone affect how you felt about it? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Why is it important for us not to lose our imagination?

  • How does having a diverse cast impact the story? Why is representation in media important?

  • How many references to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan did you spot?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantastical tales

Themes & Topics

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