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Parents' Guide to


By Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Perfect for warmhearted family entertainment.

Movie PG 1996 120 minutes
Emma Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 10+
age 10+

Always loved this movie but love it even more since seeing the remake!

This is by far the best version of Emma ever brought to screen. It is a clean movie; the acting and chemistry is great; the scenes and scenery are engaging; it's just a perfect classic romance with a touch of comedy throughout. In contrast, the newer version released in 2020 has brief nudity and is rated PG when it should be PG13, is long, drawn out and boring in a lot of scenes, although there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. Overall, I prefer this one with Paltrow.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (8 ):

This romantic movie is worthy, warmhearted family entertainment. As Emma, Paltrow is stunning -- funny and charming, but brave enough to give full weight to her character's occasional smallness and snobbery. Toni Collette, Alan Cumming, and Sophie Thompson ( as jabbering spinster Miss Bate) all turn in skilled comic performances.

While the story may seem a bit highbrow to attract a young audience, kids will warm to it. The mysterious behavior of Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax will catch their interest, and they'll find characters to identify with, regardless of the occasionally highfalutin dialogue. With its spectacular interiors and gorgeous swaths of English countryside, viewers with reasonable attention spans will find plenty to like. While die-hard Austen fans may cast a vote for the BBC version of Emma, this is a much more appealing version for a general audience.

Movie Details

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