Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Kinsey Movie Poster Image
Great movie, but not for kids.
  • R
  • 2004
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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

Tense emotional confrontations, some scuffles.


Very explicit sexual references and situations, clinical discussions of many sexual acts.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has very graphic and explicit sexual references and situations, including clinical and informal discussions and depictions of a wide range of sexual experiences and activities, including adultery and homosexuality. Characters use extremely strong language including clinical and slang terms for sexual acts. Characters drink and smoke. The movie includes some tense emotional scenes and some minor scuffling. A strength of the movie is its depiction of early concerns about equal treatment for women and minorities, including gays and lesbians.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 10-year-old Written bymathmom April 9, 2008

Not a kids movie at all - but great work

The common sense review of this is very good. It points out the extremely good values that end up getting passed along in this movie. The idea of being "... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written by[email protected]@ngo Guy April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written bydamoviecritic April 9, 2008

It tries to say something, but typical studio filmaking brings it down

In the end, I did not think Kinsey was a very good film. The film seems determined to shock us. It wants to show us the true story behind Alfred Kinsey. But it... Continue reading

What's the story?

KINSEY explores the life and career of pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey was not a physician or an anthropologist, the disciplines that would seem most likely for the study of human sexuality. He was an entomologist and zoologist who devoted the first 20 years of his career to the study of gall wing wasps. He collected and examined over six million specimens. Kinsey was, above all, a taxonomist, specializing in the "classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships." And that turned out to be the ideal background for creating the first institute for the study of sexual behavior.

Is it any good?

Writer/director Bill Condon and star Liam Neeson brilliantly show us how Kinsey's passion for categorization and information transcended the distractions of morality or squeamishness. The cast is superb. Neeson brilliantly conveys Kinsey's scientific curiosity and the single-mindedness that is both admirable and infuriating. In a brief cameo near the end, Lynn Redgrave makes a moving statement that is a perfect capstone to the story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Kinsey's work created such an uproar. How do we know -- how do we decide -- what "normal" means? Could anyone be as controversial today as Kinsey was in the 1950s? Why does Mac laugh after meeting Kinsey's parents? What does that tell you about her? What made it possible for Kinsey to be a different kind of father to his children than his father was to him? What did Kinsey learn from his interview with his father? Why were Kinsey and his staff so wrong about the impact that their sexual experimentation would have on their wives?

Movie details

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

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