Lady Bird

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Lady Bird Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Touching, funny, personal, and mature coming-of-age comedy.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 68 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie is about the push of wanting to leave the nest vs. the simultaneous pull of the love and comfort of home. The movie doesn't particularly champion either of these things over the other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is smart and nuanced, but she's also a bit of a troublemaker and a scatterbrain; she gets poor grades, but she very much wants to get into college, and she works hard to make this dream come true. Sympathetic portrayal of a gay character who's still dealing with the complexities of coming out.


Arguing. Brief, verbal violent imagery.


An older teen has sex for the first time. She sits on top of her partner; he moans and finishes quickly. No graphic nudity, nothing sensitive shown. Fairly brief shot of photos from Playgirl magazine include male full-frontal nudity. Teen kissing, both between same-sex and opposite-sex pairs. Innuendo and flirting.


Not constant, but several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "c--t," "bitch," "badass," "penis," "d--k," "t-ts," "goddamn," "a--hole," "sperm," "boobs."


Doritos chips mentioned twice.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens smoke pot, cigarettes, and cloves. Teens drink alcohol; in one scene, a teen girl gets so drunk that she goes to the hospital. Prescription pills (for depression) are used.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lady Bird is the directorial debut of popular indie actress Greta Gerwig, who tells a semi-autobiographical story based on the time between when she finished high school and left for college (Saoirse Ronan plays the character based on Gerwig). It's a wonderful, funny, touching, and balanced movie, but only for older teens due to the mature content. Teen characters smoke pot and drink; in one scene, a teen drinks so much that she winds up in the hospital. A teen girl has sex for the first time: She's shown sitting astride her partner, who finishes quickly. Nothing graphic is shown in that scene, but another brief shot includes a quick glimpse of a Playgirl magazine that features photos of fully naked men. Same-sex and opposite-sex teen couples kiss. Language is quite strong, with several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "c--t," and "bitch." Violence isn't an issue, but there's a lot of arguing and some brief, spoken violent imagery.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 15-year-old Written byJodi Martinez August 13, 2018

fantastic mother daughter movie!

I went and saw this with my fifteen year old daughter and it was spectacular. We both recognized ourselves in the characters and she seemed to really enjoy it.... Continue reading
Adult Written bycupcake_gal11 November 30, 2020

Thoughtful journey of a teen girl

Lady Bird is a coming-of-age movie about a high school senior and the difficult relationship she has with her mother. Lady spends a lot of the film trying on he... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCamille. July 24, 2020

Lady bird review

This movie is one of the best things to ever come into the creation of the world. I know Some people have been giving this bad reviews because its attack on chr... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bygiozam58857 December 8, 2017

SO worth the hype

It was a wonderful movie and TOTALLy Worth The Hype. I saw this with my mom (rated R) and my friend, and it was age appropriate. Only one sex scene and only las... Continue reading

What's the story?

In LADY BIRD, Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who's nicknamed herself "Lady Bird," is finishing her senior year at a faith-affiliated private high school in Sacramento, Calif., and preparing to head to college. Her father (Tracy Letts) is unemployed, and the family doesn't have money to send her anywhere fancy. Meanwhile, Lady Bird and her mom (Laurie Metcalf) are fighting regularly -- about money and nearly everything else. At school, Lady Bird joins the theater club to meet a boy (Lucas Hedges) she likes, but it doesn't work out. Then she becomes attracted to a musician and his cool friends and is tempted to leave behind her nerdy best friend, Julie (Beanie Feldstein). All the while, Lady Bird -- who can't wait to get out of her hometown -- can't seem to stop getting into trouble. As she cooks up a drastic plan to get to New York, she starts to realize that home is where the heart is.

Is it any good?

A striking directorial debut by Greta Gerwig, this tender, semi-autobiographical love letter to Gerwig's hometown explores the gulf between childhood and adulthood with touching, witty humor. Gerwig first gained acclaim for writing and acting in "mumblecore" indies; she seemed to find her own voice and persona in films like Damsels in Distress and Frances Ha. Now she brings that persona, fully formed, to the nuanced, wonderful Lady Bird. (It resembles Frances Ha, which she co-wrote, in many good ways.) And, standing in for the director on-screen, Oscar nominee Ronan perfectly adopts Gerwig's trademark sweet/scatterbrain delivery, sprinkling it with soul and humanity.

The movie is more about a time, a state of mind, and an emotional place than it is a story, and Gerwig allows scenes to wander off track in a delightful way. Even if they have nothing to do with Lady Bird, scenes sometimes follow secondary characters for no other reason than Gerwig likely found them interesting, sad, or funny. Not everything is explained. Special care is given to Lady Bird's mother, Marion, who's no-nonsense and borderline mean, but also truly loving. Metcalf gives a fine performance in the role. The overall use of music, cityscape images, and feisty rhythms round out a wonderfully personal, open-hearted movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Lady Bird depicts teen drinking and drug use. Are they glamorized? What are the consequences? Why does that matter?

  • How does the movie show and talk about teen sex? How does it affect the characters? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How personal/autobiographical does this movie seem? Do any of Gerwig's experiences resonate personally with you? If so, how?

  • How does the film portray the character who's gay and dealing with coming out? Does the film judge him? Is he stereotyped?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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Themes & Topics

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