Forrest Gump

  • Review Date: July 9, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Moving and wonderful, but parent preview a good idea.
  • Review Date: July 9, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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17

Quality(i)

 
Academy AwardGolden Globe

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie stresses the importance of family, friendship, and loyalty. Some historic events and figures are questioned but generally not in too much detail. Serious issues like child abuse and war are addressed.

Positive role models

Forrest, through his extreme naivety and big heart, seems to bring out the best in people. He stumbles into much of his good luck serendipitously, but he also works hard and devotes himself to whatever he's focused on. Other characters have more complex motivations and back stories -- and sometimes fall victim to their own personal demons -- but Forrest helps keep them pointed in the right direction.

Violence

Young Forrest has rocks thrown at him by some bullies; Forrest is repeatedly insulted throughout his life. There are also some fistfights and explosive/bloody Vietnam War combat scenes. The scene in which young Jenny hides from her abusive father is disturbing, as are a couple of major characters' deaths. Historical events discussed/alluded to include assassinations.

Sex

Jenny works as a stripper at one point. Some foreplay (including a scene in which Forrest puts his hand on Jenny's breast while her roommate is in the room; naked back is seen), kissing/groping, scantily clad women, and a non-explicit scene in which two adult characters make love. Characters look at a pornographic magazine, but no nude pictures are shown in detail. A child overhears the sounds of two adults having sex.

Language

Language includes "s--t," "f--k" (a couple of times), "goddamn," "ass," and more, as well as insults like "stupid" and "idiot."

Consumerism

Some brand names (like Apple computers) are mentioned, but generally within a specific historic/cultural context.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A central character takes lots of drugs during one part of the movie, with cocaine visible. Other characters drink, sometimes to numb pain/anger.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Forrest Gump's strong language ("s--t," "f--k," and more), violence (including some bloody/explosive Vietnam War scenes and the implication of child abuse), and sexual situations (foreplay, kissing, implied sex, and more) make it questionable for young kids, its ultimately positive messages and entertaining take on three decades of American history make it a fine choice for families with teens. Parents may want to preview the movie for its realistic treatment of serious issues like abuse, the Civil Rights movement, drugs, and war.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Life is like a box of chocolates … you never know what you're gonna get. This famous catchphrase also describes FORREST GUMP -- it serves up an abundance of surprising treats, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter. The movie's two and a half hours run the gamut from humor and charm to tragedy and poignancy. Although epic in length and symbolic in treatment, the movie never loses sight of the intimate love story at its center. The relationship between the childlike Forrest (Tom Hanks) and the disillusioned Jenny (Robin Wright) can be seen as an allegory for America's loss of innocence from the 1950s to the 1980s, reflected by pop culture and socio-political events. Rock and roll, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, Watergate, and more are touched on, sometimes seriously and sometimes satirically.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though its strong language, violence, and sexual situations make it questionable for children, Forrest Gump can introduce young viewers to prominent moments in the 20th century. Through the use of Oscar-winning visual effects, Forrest interacts with U.S. presidents, teaches Elvis Presley how to do his famous "pelvis dance," and inspires John Lennon to write the song "Imagine."

The encounters sometimes border on the absurd, but they're anchored by Hanks' extraordinary, Oscar-winning performance. He makes the slow-witted Forrest a sympathetic and believable character instead of a stereotyped simpleton. Superb acting by the entire cast, especially Wright as Jenny and Gary Sinise as Forrest's army lieutenant, add substance to this sentimental tearjerker.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about American history and how it's seen through Forrest's eyes. What are his impressions of the Vietnam War? Of a young Elvis? Of the hippie movement?

  • What would you say Forrest Gump's main message is? Are viewers meant to admire Forrest? To sympathize with him?

  • If you've read the book the movie is based on, how do the two differ? Why do you think the filmmakers made the changes that they did?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 6, 1994
DVD release date:September 30, 2014
Cast:Robin Wright Penn, Sally Field, Tom Hanks
Director:Robert Zemeckis
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Drama
Topics:Book characters, History, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:135 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:drug content, sensuality and war violence
Awards:Academy Award, Golden Globe

This review of Forrest Gump was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bywhyhellomister144 February 23, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Perfect for all/most teens....fantastic overall :)

Okay, I'm going to start on a positive note; this is one of the GREATEST movies of the '90s, maybe of all time :) Everything about it is great; I don't even need to name the specifics. That being said, my parents didn't let me see it until I was 11, and even then I didn't get some of the content (ex, AIDS, what's that white powdery stuff on the mirror?, the strippers, etc...) that I got later. But if your kid gets that stuff and isn't too sensitive...they're sure to fall in love with it :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old January 9, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Forrest Gump

I loved this movie when I saw it for the first time with my 11 year old cousin and her friends, but I had some concerns. Morgane (my cousin) is the type who askes questions about romance and other topics she's too young for, and being the eldest of the group, I didnt know how to answer. By the way, THIS MOVIE RULES!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byuhya May 30, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

excellent , but sad and has sex.

very good, but there's war violence, sex and language.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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