A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
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?
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
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.