Far from the Tree

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Far from the Tree Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Touching docu about parents raising uniquely different kids.

NR 2018 93 minutes

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 1 review

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.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 14+

Deeply regret deciding to watch this with my 10 year old

So an incredible documentary on all levels, absolutely; however, it's incredibly disturbing to any child to hear the details of a completely random, unexplained, premeditated murder of an 8 year old by a regular teenager, who has no mental illness or signs of abuse. My daughter has been very traumatized by this and says she will never go outside alone again, walk on trails, as there could be a random "normal" person lingering in the forest who just wants to slit her throat, as this teenager did to this child for absolutely no apparent reason. It left us all deeply disturbed to think our daughter can't have this removed from her mind now and we deeply regret not pre-screening this for her. Without that particular story in the movie, the topics are heavy, perhaps okay for an 11 or 12 year old, but with the particularly disturbing situation, it's for older teens. I can't imagine commonsense media suggesting this as suitable for 10 year olds. I feel really let down by this review and listening to the age suggestion.

This title has:

Too much violence
4 people found this helpful.
age 10+

Every School should Screen this as a Class

If you're a Big fan if the recent hit song by Carrie Underwood "Love Wins" you will fall in love with this Movie. Far from the Tree is the most loving depiction of authentic humanity I have seen on film, and like Ms. Underwood's brave indignation towards prejudice and persecution, Andrew Solomon obliterates any argument for segregating any group of people under summary judgment for who they are. For any Parent that has dealt with incomprehensible family events that derailed the course of their lives, this Movie will exhaust you. As you and the families journey through the struggle of emotions that survivors often bury to remain functional you may find closure to your own nightmares. The Movie in brief moments captures the subtle judgemental bigotry that the parents themselves suffer through as they try to navigate what's best for their children. It's marvelous that the movie captures societies segments that fear anything that is different from themselves in the parents loving but misguided yearning to guide their children to their version of happiness. That is the Miracle of this film. It does crucify the bigots of our culture, nor glorify militants who could grab you by the throat and shake you for your narrowmindedness. It looks at families from both sides through the prism of love. Educators and Parents alike should demand that thousands of hours be spent discussing all the various nuances in each story told. For all the ugly incivility that plague's our daily lives, this film will change the perspective of the coldest of hearts who see the world only in Black and White. I want to keep in touch with those in this film and see how their lives grow personally as the years unfold. What Movie makes you want to do that? I realize that this review is hardly objective, I am prejudiced by tragedy raising a normal son on my own while his parent remains behind bars. I identify and live with the burden the Texas family lives with having their own son Trevor, separated forever. Looking in their eyes is like looking in a mirror, where life will never make sense again, ever. Of all the stories, Mom never being able to look at the legacy of family photos of joyous times without understanding what was a lie and what was true is so agonizing and so true. Dad expressing "That you carry the guilt with you forever" and continuing to love his son is so brave. They are much braver than I. Please share my review, and "Re-Release" this movie so it gets the recognition it deserves and reaches those who so desperately need it, just don't forget a fresh box of Kleenex. This Film is proof that "Love Wins."

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
2 people found this helpful.

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Life, Animated Poster Image

    Life, Animated

    Unforgettable doc about autism, communication, Disney.

    age 12+
  • Wonder Poster Image


    Earnest, emotional book adaptation has strong messages.

    age 10+
  • Phantom Boy Poster Image

    Phantom Boy

    Poignant crime caper follows sick boy with ghostly ability.

    age 10+

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Little boy whispering to a girl
    See all
  • Holding hands
    See all
  • Young girl staring at her dad
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all

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