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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Talky, play-based political drama sheds light on history.

Movie R 2008 122 minutes
Frost/Nixon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 14+

Great acting!

I did not know this was originally a play until after I watched the film. The film focuses on a minor bit of Nixon history in the way that makes sense for the stage but that for a film feels a bit indulgent. Nonetheless, the acting is top notch all around. Langella is convincing as Nixon and Sheen shines as the plastic Frost. Others have spoken about Rockwell's bang up job, but to me that's like saying did you notice the sky was blue?. Rockwell kills his roles. Bacon brings up the rear very nicely...he's come a long Footloose way.
age 14+

Great dialogue, but might be boring for kids

The build-up to the big interview of Nixon by David Frost feels kind of slow, but the actual interview and the behind-the-scenes story of it are actually quite intriguing, especially if you're a history buff. Despite the R-rating, there is not much language to be worried about. It's there, yes, mostly s-words, but it's not excessive, and I don't recall there being more than twenty uses of it. There is one scene where a man is shown in bed with a woman with fleeting nudity, and another scene where a man goes skinny-dipping (his rear is briefly shown). Violence is minimal (with war footage shown). I think that the movie is worth watching, but only mature teens and older could really appreciate it. 7.8/10

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Director Ron Howard (working off a script penned by The Queen's Peter Morgan) keeps a steady hand at the tiller, balancing wonky political material with finely tuned dramatic pacing and framing. FROST/NIXON sets up the talks as if they were a boxing match, with Frost as the charismatic but overwhelmed fighter in one corner, and Nixon morphing from cautious and confident to cornered in the other. It's a power face-off, and Frost seems poised for victory. But is it a victory when your opponent allows you to punch him right on the nose? Or is it his victory for choosing to lose? As depicted, the interview humanizes Nixon, and the nation finally gets a denouement -- thanks to him. And Nixon, in the end, gets his "way back into the sun," if only briefly. It's no neat conclusion, but the film smartly embraces the ambiguity, which makes it appealing ... and frustrating. Despite two hours of hearing the two men talk, we know neither of them (nor their motivations) convincingly.

Langella deserves the kudos that critics began heaping on him when he first took on the role in the stage play on which the film is based. His Nixon isn't an exact facsimile but rather a weathered, haunting, hulking impression. As Frost, Sheen is on the nose, as is Kevin Bacon as Nixon's earnest protector, Jack Brennan. But Rebecca Hall is mere window dressing as Frost's girlfriend, there to amuse the president ever so briefly (she's charming, but the distraction diminishes the film's impact slightly). And while the embellishments in the storytelling may have political history aficionados crying foul, they make for fine drama.

Movie Details

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