Jane Eyre Movie Poster Image

Jane Eyre

Drama based on classic novel is moody, complex.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's take-away is that, yes, life can be chillingly, relentlessly difficult, but you have a choice: You can let it defeat you or embolden you. Also, that true love finds its way.

Positive role models

Jane herself is a determined young lady, but for the most part, women and children are treated like chattel in the movie's 19th century setting. It’s very difficult for women like Jane to find someone who will treat them as equals. It’s disheartening to see how men (and other women) approach her and behave toward her; some are dismissive, and others are heartless -- but at least one man is prepared to buck conventions and see her as an equal.


A woman lunges at a man with brute force; he and others have to hold her down. A teenage boy hits a young girl with a book. A headmaster pretty much invites a young girl’s classmates to shun her for supposedly having misbehaved; he humiliates her in public. Talk of how a character commits suicide (jumping to her death).


Passionate embraces and kissing between a young woman and her older male employer. Images (relatively brief) of a painting of a fully naked woman.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Era-accurate social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jane Eyre is a haunting romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel. It doesn't have any strong sexual content (kissing/embracing is as steamy as it gets), foul language, or graphic violence, but the story at its core is still quite adult. The tale of a young governess -- a role that, in the 19th century, was neither seen as a servant nor as lady of the house, which made for a difficult situation in a class-based society -- who falls in love with her mysterious employer might seem tame by today's standards, but it’s filled with complexities. The film is often somber and sometimes spooky, and some scenes depicting how wayward children were treated in those days may seem downright cruel.

What's the story?

Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), an orphan with an abusive childhood, grows up to become a governess at Thornfield Hall. There she falls in love with the dark, brooding master of the house, Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). When strange occurrences at the house cause Jane to uncover Mr. Rochester's terrible secret, she flees Thornfield Hall and seeks refuge with a clergyman and his two sisters, unsure whether her tragic love will ever be fulfilled. 

Is it any good?


JANE EYRE does Charlotte Brontë’s novel justice -- no mean feat considering how many adaptations have come before. It’s scrupulously conceived for the screen by a director (Cary Fukunaga) with a steady hand who has infused so much feeling and power into such a murky, craggy, swoony landscape. And it's brought to life by actors who don’t simply interpret but actually dwell in their characters. Simply put, the movie leaves an indelible impression. Wasikowska is incredible; her Jane is a young lady determined not to let the cruelties thrown her way still her vibrant soul. From carriage to walk to stare, Jane is firmly rooted, ruffled only when the promise of happiness turns shaky.

Wasikowska shares loads of chemistry with Fassbender, whose Rochester is as vital in the present day as he was in the 19th century -- never mind the period dress and formal language. Dame Judi Dench and the rest of the cast are equally strong. Fukunaga favors a gothic approach, and it serves the story well. Complicated love, after all, can be forbidding. Despite a long-ish run time and some small literary liberties, ultimately Jane Eyre feels like it’s unspooling as it should and is a happy reminder that, yes, they do sometimes (if rarely) make them like they used to.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship at the core of the story. Is Jane and Rochester's romance right or wrong? How do you think today's society would react to a similar relationship?

  • What is the movie saying about how women and children were treated in the 19th century? Which characters can be considered positive role models?

  • If you've read the book the movie is based on, which do you prefer? Why? If you haven't read the book, does the film make you want to?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 11, 2011
DVD/Streaming release date:August 16, 2011
Cast:Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender
Director:Cary Joji Fukunaga
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content

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Teen, 15 years old Written bybananalover March 16, 2011

the book is better

the book is better but this movie is still awesome!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Adult Written bykhan2705 June 27, 2011

a nice movie, worth watching.

Raised by her aunt Sarah (Sally Hawkins) after her parents die of typhus, young Jane Eyre (Amelia Clarkson) is later shipped off to a stark boarding school as the result of her perceived insolence, and suffers greatly at the hands of the cold, unusually strict administration. Upon turning 18 and completing her education, Jane (Mia Wasikowska) finds work as a governess for Adle Varens (Romy Settbon Moore), the ward of Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender), master of Thornfield Hall. It doesn't take long for the young Adle to warm to Jane, and upon returning home the charming Rochester, too, falls under the spell of his modest yet captivating governess. On what was supposed to be the happiest day of Jane's life, however, a scandalous secret is revealed, and the emotionally shattered governess takes flight. well this is i don't know 5th or 6th movie version of this beloved novel by Charlotte Brontë. i personally haven't read the novel but i do wan't to read it now. i have seen one of its movie, don't remember which one because while watching this movie i was having these Deja vu feelings. this movie was one of my anticipated movies of this year, i was really looking forward to this movie and i am so glad the movie didn't disappointed movie. its a good production and if not perfect but a good adaptation of the novel. this is the story of a girl Jane Eyre, she had a really tragic, lonely and rough childhood. she is in a different isolated type of school system. once she is grown up she goes out into the world and becomes a governess at a place. she is doing her job really well and soon the owner of the house arrives. he is really cold, dark and abrupt master of this house soon and slowly she started feeling for him. both of them actually. but he has a secret, a past that may destroy not just their relationship but their life too. and then the movie goes on but i am not gonna tell any details. Directed by Cary Fakunaga is a good direction if not excellent. Cinematography is superbly perfect, the cold dark atmosphere created in this movie is so delightful to watch as if it casts a magic spell on you. superb visuals of the beautiful countryside that alone makes it a worthwhile adaption. Screenplay is well written but overall lacks a big punch. story is good. i was really into the movie and enjoyed it. art direction and costumes are perfect too. Editing was nice too and so was score. it stars Mia Wasikowska, perfectly cast. i really liked her in this movie, she really did a nice job this girl has a lot of potential. Michael Fassbender was good too, nice job by him, he is so good looking and i am his big fan. it was nice to see him. their overall chemistry was nice too, not much good but still nice and it surprisingly develops slowly and you least expect it too in the beginning but it does. other actors are my favorite Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Imogen Poots and others. nice performances. this to we is a nice and watchable movie. one of the best movies of the year. Do watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byawesomenesss June 16, 2014
ok movie I read the book nothing like the movie. there is one scene where he beets and shoots a horse in the head for tripping in a race.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking