A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Tense emotional scenes, reference to suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief but explicit sex scenes and many sexual references.
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Very strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent drug and alcohol use and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has extensive substance abuse. Characters smoke, drink, and take a lot of drugs. There are brief but explicit sex scenes and many sexual references, including a young man who is unhappy about his mother's affair with a younger man. Characters use very strong language and engage in risky and foolish behavior. There is a discussion of suicide and mental illness. One character is a thief. A strength of the movie is its positive portrayal of a person with a disability. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While there are some clumsy detours, Garden State is filled with outstanding performances and moments of great authenticity, sensitivity, and heart. Going home again helps Largeman understand who he is and who he wants to be. What is just as enriching is seeing how this movie is helping writer/director/star Braff learn who he is and wants to be. A hungover breakfast with Mark, his mother (Jean Smart), and a young man in a suit of armor is a small masterpiece of acting. And a scene near the end in an ark-like structure at the bottom of a canyon is deliriously but matter-of-factly audacious.
Braff's control of tone, mastery of image and feel for creating moments of moments of great sweetness and insight, and his willingness to hold back and not tell us everything about his characters to make them feel like they exist beyond what we see on screen are the qualities of a great film-maker. He makes us want to follow Largeman's journey as a man and continue with him on his own journey as a film-maker.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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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