Dear Frankie

Movie review by Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Dear Frankie Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Moody but uplifting tale of deaf boy. Get your tissues!

PG-13 2004 105 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yet.

Add your rating

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.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Beautiful, touching film...with a few strong words in the middle

Dear Frankie is a wonderful film. However, it has a few things that prevent me from fully enjoying it. The bad news: There is one scene with strong language, which only comes from Lizzie's abusive husband. The only other language (that I recall) is mostly from the grandmother, who likes to use the Lord's name in vain. There is also a scene in which one of Frankie's new classmates tells a vulgar joke. In another scene, one of his friends divulges the contents of her mother's closet, and none of it is clean. There is some smoking and drinking by adults. The drinking by the main characters is all in the context of true camaraderie. No wild parties, although there is one scene in which Lizzie enters a pub and the atmosphere is loud and a bit intimidating. The good news: No sex. No nudity. Positive portrayal of friendship and family. While Lizzie's family situation is not ideal, we can see that she and her family members have a love for each other and any conflict that arises between them is out of simple human imperfections and concern for each other. It's clear that the past abuse inflicted on Lizzie by her now estranged husband has taken its toll on the family and they are trying to make the most of it. While there isn't much laughter in their home, they do communicate and want the best for each other. This movie has a lot of depth, within both the dialogue and the silent moments. Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler are wonderful at communicating so much without saying anything. I also feel that this film is a good example of how abusive people can manipulate others, taking advantage of their good nature, and can convince them to continue being with them. You get the sense that Lizzie most likely did not run away from her abusive situation the first time her husband went on a rampage. As a side note, the scene with Lizzie's husband getting angry and violent is a bit startling and made me cringe, especially with the strong language, but it's brief and doesn't bring the whole movie down. I appreciate that we see Lizzie grow stronger and become even more resolved to protect herself and her family. (*possible spoiler*) I also appreciate that - while Lizzie allows a stranger to pretend to be Frankie's dad for a day, even though he was recommended by her friend - she shadows him and Frankie all day, never allowing the two to be alone together. Dear Frankie is filled with many touching moments and some pleasant surprises. I think it's worth seeing. Just be aware of the few objectionable elements. I recommend screening it before letting your older children see it. Side note: If you are able to watch it with the commentary after having first seen the film in its entirety, I also recommend it.

This title has:

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

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Billy Elliot Poster Image

    Billy Elliot

    Terrific story of young ballet dancer has strong language.

    age 13+
  • Whale Rider Poster Image

    Whale Rider

    Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.

    age 11+

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