I Am Sam

Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
I Am Sam Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Moving but unrealistic film has mature themes, profanity.

PG-13 2002 132 minutes

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 13 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

I think this is a necessary and appropriate Movie!

I think that this is a great movie. I just watched it again but with my 12-year-old for the first time. It’s a 2001 movie but right now it’s 2019 about to 2020 in a couple of weeks. I’m truly surprised that a couple of parents left reviews that they thought there’s too much bad language especially those with teenagers. This is reality right now people use bad language every day, that is realistic. This movie does not use too much swearing just a couple of F words. I find it unrealistic that a reviewer said too much bad words for their 11 and 15-year-old. Seriously? The topics in this movie are real. Another reviewer said the topics and a couple of scenes might be too harsh for small children. This movie does a great job in portraying what it’s like for a person who is developmentally delayed and I think it would be a great injustice to want to shield children away from this. Talking about it or warning your children that there are others who are different does not exactly prepare them. Depending on the type of parent you are and what kind of children you are trying to raise, this movie does a great job NOT sugarcoating what it’s really like. I’m raising my daughter to be a kind, loving, understanding and open person to every human being. She loved this raw movie. This is what the world needs right now. Sean Penn And Dakota Fanning did an amazing job!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

My absolute favorite movie!!

Love love love this movie! Most moving and emotional movie i have ever watched and i have never cried so much during a movie. The cast did a phenomenal job! I have also never reviewed a movie but just watched this one tonight and fell in love with it soooo much i wanted to help inspire others to watch it!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Rain Man Poster Image

    Rain Man

    Drama about autistic savant has profanity, mature themes.

    age 16+
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Poster Image

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

    '90s drama about dysfunctional family has mature themes.

    age 14+
  • Forrest Gump Poster Image

    Forrest Gump

    Moving and wonderful, but parent preview a good idea.

    age 13+

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