Five Nights in Maine

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Five Nights in Maine Movie Poster Image
Quiet drama has strong acting but needs more story.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Grief and mourning are strong themes. But the underlying message is that even people with little in common can be brought together if they share a strong bond.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sherwin is consumed with grief after his wife's death, but he manages to pull himself out of a tailspin. Meanwhile, Lucinda outwardly seems composed, but inside she's grieving just as much. The two of them help each other come to terms with their shared loss.

Violence

Alone in the woods, a man hears gunshots in the distance and fears he's being shot at. Arguments.

Sex

A married couple kisses tenderly and later discusses trying to have a child.

Language

Occasional swearing, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism

The main character drives a Jeep Cherokee.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man drinks often while mourning his wife's death. He also smoke cigarettes frequently.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Five Nights in Maine follows recent widower Sherwin (David Oyelowo) as he visits his mother-in-law (Dianne Wiest). They're both grieving, and the shared sense of loss starts to heal what's been a frosty relationship in the past. While there's not much in the way of violence or sex (aside from a married couple kissing), the heavy subject matter and serious tone make it best for teens and up. Expect some smoking and drinking, plus occasional swearing (mostly "s--t" and "f--k").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Consumed with grief after the tragic death of his wife, Fiona (Hani Furstenberg), Sherwin (David Oyelowo) accepts an invitation to visit his mother-in-law Lucinda (Dianne Wiest), who lives in a remote part of Maine. While the two have never had the best relationship -- and Lucinda was on even worse terms with Fiona -- they find a way to bond over their shared grief during Sherwin's FIVE DAYS IN MAINE.

Is it any good?

This drama is a showcase for two fine actors, but other than watching them mourn, there's little to see in this film. The two characters are very different: Sherwin's grief is on display for all to see, while Lucinda keeps her feelings bottled up inside. But it's clear they're both struggling to keep it together, a journey that's both painful and moving to witness.

But that's all there is to Five Nights in Maine: Two sad people being sad together. Sometimes they bond over their shared connection to someone who's not there, and sometimes they snipe at each other because of the long-frayed mother-daughter bond. While the film captures the journey of grief, it doesn't dig deep enough and doesn't move beyond the grief, and that means there's not much else for viewers to see.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Five Nights in Maine portrays grief. How do the actors express their characters' feelings, and how does their grieving differ? Is there a "right" way to mourn?

  • Talk about Lucinda and Sherwin's relationship. Why do you think they don't get along? How does Fiona fit into their complex relationship?

  • How does this film compare to other movies that center on the untimely death of a loved one?

Movie details

For kids who love drama

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate