Odd, insightful movie best for mature teens+.
  • Review Date: January 14, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters make poor decisions, but the movie explores reasons and alternatives.


Violence depicted in paintings, a short fight between brothers.


Some sexual situations (including brief masturbation), tastefully represented.


Some cursing, including f-word.


Gallery owner wants to sell paintings, so marketplace is a theme.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink and smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes sexual language (including references to genitalia) and imagery (brief images of a married couple making love and a young woman masturbating). Characters smoke, drink, and curse (including the f-word), and a couple of them use the n-word. A character is glimpsed on the toilet, through a doorway.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

George (Alessandro Nivola), returns home to North Carolina with his new bride, Chicago gallery owner Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz). The trip is initiated by Madeleine's interest in a local \"outsider artist,\" David Wark (Frank Hoyt Taylor). And she meets George's family for the first time: His mother Peg (Celia Weston), who distrusts Madeleine as an \"outsider.\" George's father Eugene (Scott Wilson). His brother, Johnny (Ben McKenzie), who resents his older brother's escape, but feels caught: working at a kitchenware warehouse, he's pursuing his GED and means to support his optimistic wife (and former high school girlfriend) Ashley (Amy Davis), now about to have their first child. Through the trip, George and Madeline begin to see each other in a different light. With their new knowledge of one another, they must decide how to move forward.

Is it any good?


Odd, earnest, and insightful, JUNEBUG sneaks up on you. Viewers quickly see that George and Madeline's superficial differences (of habit and affect) aren't nearly as profound as their less visible differences (of values and ambitions). Madeline comes to see George in a different light, a man who escaped his past, but still solicits love and respect from his erstwhile community. When Madeleine focuses all her attention on securing her contract with Wark, she reveals to George a side of herself that he hadn't quite anticipated either.

Ashley serves as a connection among all the characters, admiring Madeline and George, loving her in-laws, and wanting more than anything for her frustrated husband to be like he used to be -- happy, energetic, and hopeful. But he can't imagine himself beyond his current life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the representation of cultural differences, for instance, regional, gendered, and generational. How do such disparities lead to assumptions and assessments? How do the various characters resent or feel jealous of one another, for seeming happiness or success? How does the movie turn around your expectations of who understands the stakes of these family relationships? How does "outsider art" become metaphorical for characters' feelings of alienation or loneliness?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 3, 2005
DVD release date:January 17, 2006
Cast:Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz
Director:Phil Morrison
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexual content and language

This review of Junebug was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • A bit melodramatic at times, but still charming.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byjcarole April 9, 2008

Got me thinking...

This is a good movie to watch with a maturing teen to talk about values, relationships and how we all come together at times. The movie does creep up on you and there's a watershed moment that keeps the discussion going after the movie is over. While it is rather slow moving - which makes yet another point - it makes it's point.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 March 5, 2014

An indie that's a little misguided!

I want to love "Junebug," because as someone who lives in one of these middle-class, quiet, southern towns with people I can relate to, this movie just loses sight of its own direction sometimes. Why do we care about the fact one of Madeleine's clients wants a fruit basket to secure an art deal? It goes aimless at points! I'll tell you when this film does shine though: when Amy Adams is onscreen. She truly is a joy to watch, her character is naive, but as sweet as can be, and you just want to give her a hug after you see the neglect her husband gives her. She also provides the movie its biggest laughs, which are frequent in the first half. We may not get to see a ton of character development from everyone here, but it's worth it if not just to see Adams shine onscreen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide