In Secret

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
In Secret Movie Poster Image
Passionate period drama deals with infidelity, murder.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

On the positive side, the movie shows the downside of the oppression of women in days past, as well as the importance of love and passion in people's lives. On the other hand, the movie dwells on how passion can turn to desperation and mixes sexuality and murder in a disturbing way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Central characters are murderers or complicit in murder.


A man drowns another and it's a knockdown fight that might be hard to watch for sensitive viewers. A husband manhandles his wife in one of many arguments. A woman nearly drowns and two people attempt suicide. A corpse is shown at the morgue in a state of decay.


A fair amount of steamy sex scenes showing a couple in various compromising positions. Though we don't see any genitals, there are glimpses of a woman's breast from the side.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking, mostly in social situations. One scene shows an inebriated couple arguing.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that In Secret is a period drama with lots of steamy sex scenes, though there's no explicit nudity. The movie is light on joy and has a fair serving of intense scenes with couples fighting loudly, and sometimes physically. A man is drowned by another and several characters attempt suicide. The material is fairly mature, and tackles such subjects as infidelity, exploitation, and murder. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHarrypotterfangirl19 May 27, 2015

Love it!

I love this film! Its very dramatic and made me cry at some point in the film (which in my case, is good). My love of tom felton also contributes to my love of... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Based on Emile Zola's novel, Therese Raquin, IN SECRET tells the story of Therese (Elizabeth Olsen), a woman married off to her first cousin, Camille (Tom Felton), by his controlling mother, Madame Raquin (Jessica Lange), after growing up together. Her father had abandoned her when she was just a young girl with her aunt, and never returned. When they move from the countryside to Paris, where she works at the beck and call of the Madame in a little shop on a dingy side street in the city, they meet a childhood friend of Camille's, the enigmatic Laurent (Oscar Isaac). He ignites a passion in Therese that she never knew existed, and they fall headlong into a mad affair that drives them to get rid of anyone who stands in their way. But to what end?

Is it any good?

While teens might enjoy the doomed lovers storyline, the mix of sexuality and violence is too edgy for most. In Secret is a literary classic that gets bodice-ripper treatment here, a story of passion that at times begins to feel like a fascinating examination of guilt and conscience, but is undermined by a Harlequin romance vibe. Despite a bleak and dreary tableau, which fits the storyline, the film's gorgeous to look at; scenes look painterly, like works of art that deserve to be hung in a museum.

The acting's superb, too, though the mostly excellent Lange sometimes tips over into Gothic-horror-story caricature. Still, Isaac and Olsen share little chemistry, making it tough to buy into the stakes raised by their illicit coupling. A movie that could've brought Zola's words to life ends up failing to summon its urgency and depth.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how women were treated in the 1860s. Why is Therese not able to make decisions for herself? How is she treated? Does her situation excuse her behavior?

  • Talk to your kids about the role that secretiveness plays in the movie. How does it imprison the characters? Have you ever kept a secret? How did it feel?

  • How did the movie express that it was from a different time period?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate