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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Conflict comes from mildly immature and insensitive behavior of four orphaned boys visiting a small village populated by principled, well-meaning adults. There are no villains here. Even a mentally unbalanced member of the community is treated humanely and with respect. As the boys begin to trust and depend upon the adults in the town, as well as each other, positive lessons are learned.
Violence & Scariness
Boy hits adult male once in face with fist; boys briefly wrestle angrily with no resulting injuries; younger boy hits older friend with a stick several times, bruising his face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young boys look at brassiere ads, spy on adult females undressing in shadows and silhouetted in shower. Adolescent girl seduces innocent hero, kissing him and showing him how to touch her. He unbuttons his pants and off-screen sexual intercourse is implied. No nudity or other overt sexuality in this scene.
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Infrequent mild swearing: "hell," "for Christ's sake," "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Boys hide cigarettes and smoke in numerous scenes; boys sneak beer and drink it; teen boy and girl share wine from bottle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that underage boys secretly smoke, drink beer and wine, and try to catch glimpses of women in states of undress. Their attempts are amateurish and relatively innocent. One scene dramatizes an adolescent boy's introduction to kissing and sexuality by a precocious girl slightly older, but experienced. No nudity involved, but there is kissing, suggestive touching, and a clear implication that sexual intercourse takes place when the scene ends. The fact that Maps, the boy involved, is played by Daniel Radcliffe, best known as Harry Potter, adds to the provocative nature of the scene. 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 is a beautifully photographed and deceptively simple film. Australia has never looked so wonderful. The people who impact the lives of the four orphans are revealed to have complex and often difficult stories themselves. Part of the boys' journey is learning how first impressions are often deceiving. Their coming-of-age involves more than the usual pain of self-awareness. DECEMBER BOYS takes into account the intricacies and nuances of the human heart, and respect for and deeper understanding of others. The sexual encounter between Maps and Lucy is the one element of the movie that makes it questionable for younger kids and not-quite-so-mature teens.
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Our Editors Recommend
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