Edward Scissorhands

 
Dark yet sweet underdog tale for older kids.
  • Review Date: August 8, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An inventive take on the ugly-duckling motif, Edward proves once again that real beauty is on the inside.

Positive role models

The neighbors are modern day witch-hunters, but the leading characters, including Edward and his 'foster' family, are soft-spoken, friendly, and open to diversity.

Violence

Edward accidentally nips his face, then a little boy's. Edward is beaten with a stick repeatedly, and he stabs an attacker in the chest, causing him to fall out a window to his death. Mention of rape.

Sex

A woman wears figure-hugging outfits and attempts to seduce Edward. She is seen on top of Edward wearing a lace bra, using his scissors to cut off her clothes.

Language

Only three occasions of suggestive talk, one expletive.

Consumerism

Mom is an Avon lady, but besides the focus on make-up and hair, film is brand-free.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Dad serves Edward a drink, after which Edward gets visibly drunk and sick.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is sporadic violence in this film. Aside from a woman attempting to seduce Edward wearing a lace bra (she mounts Edward while he is on a chair and attempts to use his scissors to cut off her clothes), sexuality is limited to courting rituals (kissing and hugging). Some of the garish set pieces, like Edward's haunted mansion, and the title character, with mean-looking, scissors for fingers, may be terrifying for young children. There is a mention of rape.

What's the story?

Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) is a down-on-her-luck Avon representative shopping around her small, sunny neighborhood for prospective clients. When skewered resources force her to pay a visit to the local haunted house, she meets Edward (Johnny Depp), a recluse living in the attic who shyly appears in a zany 80s punk bouffant and leather getup, with scissors for hands. When the matronly Peg adopts Edward and brings him home for dinner, the whole family must deal with the razor-sharp consequences of Edward's scissorhands; most notably Kim (Winona Ryder), the doe-eyed daughter who becomes Edward's object of affection. At first, the townies welcome Edward with patronizing curiosity, but, after he rejects the advances of the neighborhood hussy, the town shows its true colors. Edward proceeds to get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time and is pursued by the police. Cornered, he is forced to make a choice between staying with the girl of his dreams or returning to his dark palace alone.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The film, lovingly directed by Tim Burton, is a darkly sweet (self) portrait of adolescent angst. We can all relate on some level to Edward's social awkwardness, and Depp's deer-in-headlights self-consciousness is adoring enough to soften the sharpest of pointed appendages. The pastel-colored township cuts a drastic figure against Edward's looming mansion in the distance. Like the best of David Lynch, the film exposes the cynical underbelly of front porch Americana, forcing us to find beauty and truth in the grotesque when we allow what is "good" to run more than skin-deep.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the film is an 'Ugly Duckling' fable about a misunderstood, soft-spoken underdog who does not fit the cookie cutter mold.

  • What is normal?

  • How does conformity play a role in the townspeople's treatment of Edward?

  • Can you think of instances in real life when people have judged others based on their appearances?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 7, 1990
DVD release date:November 5, 2000
Cast:Dianne Wiest, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder
Director:Tim Burton
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, brief language and sexuality.

This review of Edward Scissorhands was written by

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Quality

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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; OK 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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Written byAnonymous August 26, 2014
age 13+
 

Dark, Intelligent

WARNING, POSSIBLE SPOILERS This movie is one Johnny Depp's first roles as a strange pale guy, while he was still pretty early in his career. Not quite as good as "Benny and Joon" but still great. This movie comes from a time when Burton was still inspired and Depp was still a powerful actor. This story is very dark and some may find the ending unsatisfying. I personally feel that any "happy" ending would have been insulting to the integrity of the story. Right from the start we can see that Edward isn't going to fit in and that in the end things are not going to work out well for him. The character's emotional damage is never fully explored but rather powerfully hinted at. The character is so full of past emotion and personality and this is adequately conveyed by Depp. One problem with this character is that in an effort to make him seem "charming" "shy" and "uncertain" he was given very few lines. This made his powerful character fade a little; Edward was far to similar to Sam from "Benny and Joon" because of this detail. Another problem is that the romantic interest is not given a very interesting character and she sometimes seems to fall flat. However in her most important scenes she really pulls through and manages to support the movie. The ending is heavy and depressing. Still, the overall story doesn't carry quite the emotional weight it could have had its potential been fulfilled just a tiny amount more. that I really enjoyed this movie but I don't recommend it to younger children because of the violence.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byrobinrunner March 26, 2011
age 10+
 

Cool for watching around Halloween but any other time of the year works too.

Edward Scissor hands is a tale of Romance, Action, and absolute horror (that kids 10 and up can handle). An assortment of of bad words are said. Sexual scenes affect the way parents are looking at this. Theres one major scene that Mom and Dad will want to fast forward where a middle aged woman who was trying to help Edward start a buissness tries to take her top off in front of him, which I think she does but I don't remember. A lot of clevage is shown from her in that clip. The ending is bloody and sad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old June 24, 2009
age 10+
 

Possibly the perfect film! =D

I absolutely love this masterpiece by dark director Tim Burton. It has developed a cult following among older kids, and it remains a dark, romantic and deeply deeply moving lesson about accepting differences. I really cannot stress how incredible this film is... The acting is incredible, Johnny Depp plays a lost, frightened Edward so well that it seems real. The only concerns in this film for me would be sex, violence and themes. The stereotyping of suburbia could go over young children's heads, and the themes are often dark and sad, but it is great! The violence is often gory, but not TOOOOOOO bad... there's only two very bloody scenes. The sex, however, is different. There is references to rape, and Edward is seduced by Joyce. She climbs on top of him, exposes her bra, pushes his head into her breasts and they make out before the chair falls backwards. All of this is done in a comic but sexual manner, and for this reason I would reccomend it for OLDER children (10+) However, this is probably the perfect film: it has everything: drama, comedy, romance, horror, fantasy, action, everything. It's a bittersweet and lovely fable about trying to be accepted. It's beautiful, and I would give it 11 out of 10. A must see for EVERYONE!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old September 6, 2010
age 12+
 

Perfect for tweens

It might creep kids out
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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