Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

In America

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Moving but slightly graphic; mature teens only.

Movie PG-13 2003 103 minutes
In America 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 13+

A good movie for family discussion

I can’t believe that whoever wrote on this does not feel that there are any positive characters or messages in this movie. Mateo is an extremely positive character, seemingly troubled at first, but one of those “got to get to know them” people. The two little girls, one who is the narrator for the movie, almost the utmost definition of positive. The positive message of never letting life get you down. It could always be worse, but especially if you stop trying. Facing what you don’t want of face can sometimes be that roadblock, which in a moment in the movie, becomes a center of that theme. Whoever commented and rated this for Common Sense, please be sure from now on you eat or whatever you need to do to be in a better mood when you are reviewing to be a critic. As for the age, this movie, though it has very young characters in the movie, is definitely not for younger viewers, not so much for content, sex scenes can be fast forwarded through and doing so in the case of this movie will take nothing away from the plot. But the themes in this movie are much to complex for younger viewers, harder to judge if they get it. But definitely a movie that can be watched with your teenagers and good for long discussions afterwards.
age 17+

In America good movie

This movie, I Think is a very good movie. But talk to your older children about it afterwards...I would not recommend it for young children.

Is It Any Good?

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

Indeed, the entirety of IN AMERICA is exquisitely tender. The girls' sense of wonder brings a softness and a glow to whatever they see, whether it is a street fair or a broken-down air conditioner. Lovely, touching performances by all, especially the Bolger sisters and Hounsou, add delicacy and lyricism. The story may be predictable and it teeters on the edge of corniness with its references to angels and aliens. But thankfully it is messy and episodic enough to capture the attention and even the heart.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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