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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A tween girl takes control of her own situation and destiny, but doing so involves a very iffy (and probably illegal) plan, as well as keeping secrets and lying, so it doesn't really balance out. There's a hint that she could face consequences, but the takeaway is that everything is going to be just fine. Deals with the impact of parental loss.
Positive Role Models
Despite her desperate, wildly miscalculated acts, Daisy is smart, kind, strong-willed, and good-hearted. She stands up for friends and shows empathy, but she's also quick to judge. She makes mistakes, but she acknowledges them. But she doesn't really face consequences for a rather enormous (and probably illegal) action.
Violence & Scariness
A key character dies of cancer; her pale corpse is shown in several scenes. Another major character helps bury her, in secret, in her front yard. Suicide by pills is discussed. Cancer is discussed. A minor character dies (off screen). Main character breaks her arm.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A blow-up sex doll, complete with naked breasts, is shown. Characters discuss a one-time extramarital affair that resulted in an illegitimate child. Kids find a copy of Playpen magazine; nothing is shown.
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A use of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t." Also "bitch," "twit," "goddamn" are used at least once each.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An older character gives a pot brownie to an 11-year-old. "Drugs" (generic term) mentioned by kids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daisy Winters is a drama about an 11-year-old girl (Sterling Jerins) dealing with her mother dying of cancer. Both death and cancer are discussed, and a pale dead body is shown. Suicide by pills is also mentioned. The main character makes an iffy choice in choosing to cover up her mother's death and bury her in the front yard. She also breaks her arm, falling from her bike. Brief language includes use of "f--k," a few uses of "s--t," and single uses of "bitch," "goddamn," etc. A blow-up sex doll (complete with naked breasts) is shown, and characters talk about an extramarital affair that resulted in a child. Kids read a copy of Playpen magazine, but nothing is shown. An older character unwisely gives a pot brownie to an 11-year-old girl, and drugs are mentioned elsewhere. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This drama is under-directed to the point of being alternately lifeless and awkward, but the main character has an appealing spunkiness that sometimes elevates the film. Daisy Winters is like a mash-up of an after-school special, a straight-to-video weepie, and a disturbing psychological portrait. But director Beth LaMure can't seem to establish much of a tone for any of these angles; everything is filmed in the most tiresomely basic way imaginable. Most scenes start on cue, with a character entering a room, a knock at the door, or a phone ringing, as if they were all practice exercises in Filmmaking 101.
When the unthinkable moment happens, it's handled with such odd detachment that it's almost shocking. Perhaps even worse is a soundtrack full of navel-gazing, mediocre pop music. The seasoned actors have a hard time with their thin characters, especially Preston, who doesn't seem to get where her Margaret is coming from. The younger actors are even stiffer, although Jerins, a veteran of movies like World War Z, The Conjuring 2, and Paterson, occasionally bursts to life with moments of thoughtful intuition; she makes Daisy a character who deserved a stronger, more daring movie.
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.