Come Away Home

  • Review Date: November 30, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Touching movie about the importance of family.
  • Review Date: November 30, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 102 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although Annie is a little bratty at first and disobeys her grandfather, she ultimately learns a lesson and comes to appreciate her grandfather.


A possibly haunted house and forest are a little creepy. In a scene that may frighten sensitive kids, Annie nearly drowns.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief scene involving smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Annie acts like a typical sullen tween when she finds herself shipped off to spend the summer with her grandfather. She sneaks out of the house, attempts to run away, and takes the boat she promised her grandfather that she wouldn't touch. However, she soon learns that her actions have consequences and makes amends for her behavior. There's a frightening scene where Annie almost drowns, as well as a spooky scene in a dark wooded area. A character is devastated by the death of his daughter. Annie becomes upset when she finds out her parents are considering putting Grandfather Donald in a retirement home -- you may want to have a conversation with your kids about the different ways people take care of their elderly relatives.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

It's finally summer, and 12-year-old Annie Lamm (Jordan-Claire Green) has big plans: hanging out in New York with friends and flirting with boys. She's horrified when her parents (Lea Thompson and Thomas Gibson) ship her off to Hilton Head to stay with her Grandfather Donald (Paul Dooley), whom she barely knows. Grandfather's "beautiful house right by the beach" is in bad shape, and Annie couldn't have less in common with him. Bored out of her mind, she decides to take a bus back to the city, but her escape fails and she ends up back at her grandfather's house. His ability to forgive her makes Annie see him in a new light. As she starts to make more of an effort to get to know her grandfather, she finds that they have more in common than she thought and she gains a new respect for him. But just as she's settling in, her parents arrive intent on putting Grandfather Donald in a retirement home. Annie must find a way to convince them to let her grandfather stay in the place he loves.

Is it any good?


Kids will definitely relate to Annie, who is a little bratty at the beginning of the movie. Like any tween, she wants to spend her summer hanging out with friends, and she resents that she's being shipped off. Adults will empathize with Annie's parents, who face the dilemma of an elderly parent who isn't ready to give up his independent life. Everyone will enjoy the gorgeous South Carolina setting, and those familiar with Hilton Head will get a kick out of seeing local legend Gregg Russell as a carpenter with a secret.

Overall, COME AWAY HOME is a fantastic film to share with your kids. It's refreshingly free of profanity, sex, and violence, and the message about the importance of family is always a valuable one. Warning: Although the movie ends on a positive note, you may want to keep the tissues handy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what Annie learns about herself by the end of the summer, and what she learns from her grandfather. Why does Grandfather Donald's gift mean so much to Annie? Kids may be inspired to talk to older family members and find out what fascinating stories they have to share. Some children may even decide to take up chess!

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 29, 2005
DVD release date:February 5, 2008
Cast:Jordan-Claire Green, Lea Thompson, Paul Dooley
Director:Doug McKeon
Studio:American Family Movies
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mature themes and a brief frightening scene

This review of Come Away Home was written by

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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Learning ratings

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

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Parent Written bynobbsy June 8, 2013

She Really Screams a Lot!

A standard formula for movies is: an irritating, spoiled young girl from a big city is sent away to live in a rural location. While there, she becomes less irritating and finally actually likeable, or even lovable. Usually there a horse is involved in the transformation. There is no horse in this movie and the girl remains irritating for a long time. Too long. She screams at everyone all the time. Where her doddering old Grandpa opens his bathroom door and sees her wrapped in a towel, she screams at him. When he turns away she screams at him again, insisting that he come back and shut the bathroom door. When he comes back, to close the door, she screams at him again. Later when she falls out of a motorboat, she screams at the guy who saved her life. By that time I was sort of wishing she had drowned. Eventually she starts to mellow out and act like a normal human being, a side of her that remains hidden during the first half of the movie. Another problem with this film is Annie's parents, especially her mother, who acts like an unbalanced shrew during 95% of the movie. Not much family value in that! I watched this movie twice, and liked it much more the second time, knowing the irritating girl was going to change. Some viewers might not last that long.
Adult Written byJulie Wagner April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Take your kids!

This was a touching family film with moments of humor and warmth. The bratty behavior of the pre-teen is real, as is her transformation as she understands that her grandfather really understands her. I was so happy to sit in the theater and see real people who don't have to use foul language and who understand the importance of family.
Adult Written bycarla meissner April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

What I've been waiting for!

I have 3 girls ranging in age from 4 to 9 and we don't see many movies because of the nasty language, sexual references or numerous other reasons. This was a refreshing movie about a REAL girl (good at heart, but not a perfect "goody-goody") with realistic family issues. My husband and I loved it as did our girls. We need more choices like this!!!


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