Parents' Guide to

Freud's Last Session

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dry drama about Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis.

Movie PG-13 2023 118 minutes
Freud's Last Session Movie Poster: Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode are pictured on a gold-colored poster

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This drama might have been more engaging as a play than it is translated into film. While it's great to see stellar actors like Hopkins and Goode chomping the scenery with each other, it would have been even better if we could have seen more of their performances without them being intercut with flashbacks, which slow the film down. It would also have been better if the dialogue was as punchy as it is pithy; the conversation does flow, but somehow there isn't as much gravitas in the script as the filmmaker might seem to think there is. At the end of the day, Freud's Last Session feels a lot like two people talking in circles about theories they won't concede on, which would be boring in real life, let alone in a film.

Perhaps if more urgent camerawork had been used -- or if the film had provided a more solid reason why the two men's conversation about God's existence is important -- the end result would have been more compelling. A debate about God's existence and what it might mean could make for great intellectual drama, but the stakes surrounding the conversation here -- what it means to each character and why they feel they must prove the other person wrong -- must be spelled out for the audience to get invested. As it stands, Freud's Last Session feels elitist just for the sake of being so, void of any real resolution or change in the characters. Ultimately, that lack of change makes the film feel like it was just an exercise that would have been better left on the page than drawn out into a film.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 22, 2023
  • On DVD or streaming: February 20, 2024
  • Cast: Anthony Hopkins , Matthew Goode , Jodi Balfour
  • Director: Matt Brown
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Queer actors
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: History
  • Character Strengths: Courage
  • Run time: 118 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic material, some bloody/violent images, sexual material and smoking
  • Last updated: February 20, 2024

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