Jackie

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Jackie Movie Poster Image
Intense, complex film about assassination and aftermath.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

When you're tested, you discover what you're made of. You'll be surprised at what you're capable of, even in your saddest moments. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jackie is the epitome of grace and fortitude under the worst possible circumstances. 

Violence

The movie doesn't shy away from the assassination at the heart of its story; one scene shows a bullet and the deadly injury it causes to President Kennedy. Also loud arguments under times of strain, conversations about people targeting JFK, and footage of Lee Harvey Oswald's death. In a scene where Jackie showers, her back has blood dripping from it. In another scene, she wipes blood off her face. Bloodstained clothing.

Sex

Allusions to JFK's affairs, but nothing is seen. Jackie's bare back is seen in a shower scene.

Language

"Damn," "goddamn," "a--hole," and a couple uses of "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In the days after the assassination, the First Lady pops pills, smokes, and drinks wine to steady herself and medicate feelings of despair. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jackie is an intense, deeply moving portrait of First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman). It takes place on the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the days right after. The film delves deeply into the pain of mourning and the aftermath of a national tragedy. Viewers will see the moment when JFK is shot in the head, as well as the first lady being overwhelmed by a grief that sometimes threatens to overcome her. She's also shown with blood on her clothes and body, and her naked back is seen during a shower scene. She drinks, smokes, and takes pills to dull her agony; swearing isn't frequent but includes "goddamn" and a couple uses of "f--k."

User Reviews

Parent of a 17 year old Written byKim99 March 31, 2017

A boring watch

If you enjoy a view of a very small portion of Jackie O's life and you don't mind sitting through a total monotone voice and dull scenery, then this i... Continue reading
Adult Written byCinnamonJoy June 23, 2018

Wonderful exploration of another side of a well known story

Excellent film for adults and mature teens; not appropriate for children, mostly because they'd find it immensely boring. It's all dialogue; there... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGronkfade 87 April 8, 2017

Intense but AWESOME drama!!!!!!!!!!

Great movie, but watch out for a glimpse of a gory assassination, a smoking problem, and heavy depression. Overall, Portman is fantastic in a well done historic... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byPipeCine May 31, 2017

No More Tweed & Puerility; Larraín & Portman Reinterpret The Truth That Almost No-One Knows About the American Canon

Chilean filmmaker's second feature film—also Hollywood debut—in this same year is ambivalent. Due to his ambitions and wills based on national politics, he... Continue reading

What's the story?

We all know what happened in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, half an hour past noon, when then-President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson) was assassinated while riding in a motorcade, his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman), by his side. But in JACKIE, we learn what happened in the hours and days after the horrific tragedy -- and how Jackie coped with the monumental loss of her husband, with whom she had a complicated marriage. We see first-hand the toll that grief takes, even as Jackie prepares to preserve JFK's legacy while also finding a way to hang onto her true self. Told in a series of flashbacks as Jackie recounts those days to a journalist (Billy Crudup) during an often-thorny interview, this moving drama is a portrait of the iconic first lady as we've never seen her before. Peter Sarsgaard and Greta Gerwig co-star.

Is it any good?

This intense drama is a must see, not just for history buffs, but for anyone who wants to understand what mourning and the stewardship of an important but complicated legacy is like. Jackie tells a well-known story in a new way by adjusting its focus. Rather than putting the spotlight on the assassination's weight on the country as a whole, it centers on a woman, her children, and her struggle to make sense of a loss that doesn't just feel historic but also deeply personal.

Director Pablo Larrain creates a movie that's both lyrical and arresting, as well as a stunning exploration of grief brought to life by Portman. Her face is a canvas of ever-changing emotions as she struggles with rage, heartache, confusion, fear, and love. And Larrain adds depth to an already complex tale by refracting Jackie's story through the prism of a journalist. At first the interview-with-flashbacks device feels worrisomely artificial, but in the end it helps give voice to larger questions about legacy (questions that's also been explored in the Broadway hit Hamilton): Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? Who's in charge of your narrative? Jackie isn't a perfect film, but it perfectly captures the messy power of grief and United States' challenges as it cycles from one administration to the next, from periods of prosperity and triumph to struggles and dissent, always cast against the almighty backdrop of history. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Jackie so intense. Is it the subject matter? The actors' performances? How is it different from what you might read in a history book?

  • How historically accurate do you think the movie is? Why might filmmakers decide to tweak/change some facts? How could you find out more about the actual events and people portrayed in the film?

  • How can truth and a specific person's version of the truth clash when it comes to history? Are they one and the same? What role do the press and historians play in shaping these versions? 

  • What did you learn about Jacqueline Kennedy from this story? How could you find out more about her?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love dramas

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

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 and learning potential.

Learn how we rate