Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Intense drama, unforgettable story of post-Holocaust Poland.

Movie PG-13 2014 80 minutes
Ida Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

A slow and methodical stunner!

What a gut punch! A slow, methodical, beautifully photographed/filmed, calculated gut punch. I both saw it coming and was taken by surprise. The emotional manipulation is so good that I'm not even mad, I'm impressed. Top marks. It is a slow burn, but burn you it does as it lays blame at larger societal feet, firmly where this film insists it belongs. It took a lot of villages for all of this to happen and Pawlikowski reminds us that those structures are all still there, silently pointing many fingers in different places, but all with equal weight. An incredible film that insists on digging deep to recapture our humanity and face the harsh facts of never being able to be made whole again, if you were ever whole to begin with.
age 16+

Oscar winner is solemn, brooding

The cinematography and aspect ratio of "Ida" is so unique and picturesque that nearly every frame of the film looks like it could be hung in a gallery. Absolutely gorgeous, and glad it got recognized for its cinematography at the Oscars. The movie tells the story of young Ida, a nun about to take her vows, who is reunited with her aunt as they try to find closure to Ida's parents' deaths. The movie is so calm and still, interrupted by Ida's later possible love interest's jazzy explorations. Ida doesn't get along with her aunt at times, those frictions bringing to the surface some excellent doubt and character exploration. It's a bleak, mature piece with a lot of questions and tons of smoking. It's short and packs a powerful punch when the credits roll.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

IDA is a beautiful, sad, and ultimately unforgettable Polish film. Its evocation of post-World War II, early 1960s Poland captures so much in a mere 80 minutes, from the bureaucratic blatherings of Communist officials, to rural Poles struggling with the vacillations between resistance and complicity they experienced during the Nazi occupation, to young beatnik musicians finding a sense of joy and freedom in playing "Naima" by John Coltrane. This film fearlessly explores themes of identity, the Holocaust and its survivors, spirituality, ideology, and survival in the aftermath of deep personal and historical tragedy. The choice to film Ida in stark and vivid black and white heightens and underscores the burden of history on these characters, and the acting, across the board, is nothing short of brilliant.

There's so much beauty, despair, and even traces of humor in the journey undertaken in search of where Ida's parents -- who were killed during the Holocaust -- are buried. As Ida begins to experience the secular world, and Wanda continues to descend into cynicism and dissipation through alcohol and her career as a judge for the Communist Party, there is so much profundity of time and place, of the personal and political, of a search for meaning. Ida deserves a place among the very best movies ever made about the Holocaust and its survivors.

Movie Details

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