Parents' Guide to

Flash of Genius

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Inventor fights for recognition in feel-good film.

Movie PG-13 2008 119 minutes
Flash of Genius Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

I liked it...a lot.

This was a refreshing movie. It was nice to learn something about an inventor, something I never knew. There is a good message to be learned here, and also a not-so-good message. The good one is that you should never give up your dream, no matter what anyone thinks of it. For the bad, choosing your dream over family is not such a great thing, but hey that's life! And that was his life! He chose it. Having someone come along and rip your heart out of your sleeve will hurt bad, and that's what Ford did. I understood his pain. Young kids wont understand this movie, I think it will be too slow for them. I say 4/5 stars, especially Kinnear's acting, I love him!!
age 15+

Nice business story, not a good family lesson

The movie has a good David vs Goliath story in the business sense but unfortunately David pretty much looses his entire family in order to defeat Goliath. Not exactly what I would want young kids to learn. Older children may be able to understand that part of the story is not exactly a good life lesson. There is some bad language but it is brief and is rare.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Inspired by real-life events, Flash of Genius is -- like its lead actor -- amiable and likable. Its populist tug at the heart is hard to resist (big kudos for making windshield wipers interesting). Kearns is anti-establishment in the purest sense of the word; he doesn't even want the money. He just wants people to know that Ford stole his idea and that he deserves the credit (or so the movie goes). For this, Kinnear -- who appears to be gunning for James Stewart's good-guy-makes-good mantle -- is more than able.

But the film lacks, well, genius. As David-and-Goliath tales go, it's no Rocky. The characters feel flimsy and one-dimensional; had they been rendered more fully and less after school-special-like, the movie would have been far more compelling. (Kearns, after all, did neglect his family; why are they so forgiving? Were they in real life?) As it is, Flash of Genius, while it scores high on the feel-good factor, is a little flat and a lot unsurprising.

Movie Details

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