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Larry Crowne

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Larry Crowne Movie Poster Image
Hanks and Roberts co-star in well-meaning but treacly drama.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie's message is that while life can deliver plenty of bumps and bruises, there's happiness awaiting those who are willing to open their heart to the unexpected and embrace change. Getting laid off, breaking up, losing a home -- all of these can seem very negative, on the surface, but they can also lead to positive new experiences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Larry is an appealing everyman who's friendly to all and draws out the best in everyone he meets. Mercedes is a bitter woman in an unhappy marriage who exits one situation and learns to find joy in the other.


A couple gets into a heated argument. A man delivers steely glares to another man whom he thinks may have a crush on his girlfriend, despite evidence to the contrary.


Some flirting and one exuberant, drunken kiss. One character is briefly seen perusing women in bikinis on the Internet; he later discusses his habits and preferences.


One brief, intense argument between a married couple features "screw you" and the F-word. Also infrequent use of words like "c--k," "ass," "damn," "hell," and "oh my God."


Motor scooters play an important role in Larry's social evolution. He rides a battered Yamaha, while some of his new friends ride classic Vespas.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character drinks regularly to wash away the frustrations from her job, though she later begins to temper her habits. Another gets behind the wheel after drinking and is later arrested for driving while intoxicated.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this drama stars Tom Hanks as a recently downsized man adrift in life who decides to go to college. Julia Roberts co-stars as a bitter teacher stuck in a bad marriage who relishes her end-of-day drinks just a bit more than she should. The film's messages about finding unexpected joy in life are positive and uplifting, but unfortunately they're delivered in a superficial way. Expect some flirting and kissing, brief but strong swearing (including "f--k"), and ogling of online photos of bikini-clad women. One character drives drunk -- but there are consequences for that decision.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykhan2705 July 7, 2011

it was a bad movie, even with this two biggies :(

1.5/5 Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his tim... Continue reading
Adult Written byJEDI micah June 14, 2012

Probably Hanks and Robert's worst movie!

This movie is absolutely horrible. It is, without a doubt, Hanks and Robert's worst movie! It was a boring and complete waste of time! I feel bad for anyon... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn December 19, 2011

Kindhearted and postive thinking comedy does not change the fact that it is a complete mess

The Tom Hanks directed, co-written and acted comedy\drama Larry Crowne, which debuted back in early July at the beginning of summer 2011, which also stars Julia... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 14, 2011

My Aunt Saw It, Liked It

I asked my aunt about going to see this movie sometime while I'm visiting her, and she said she liked it, but didn't think that kids under 12 would re... Continue reading

What's the story?

Unmoored for the first time in ages after his company downsizes, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) finds the ground suddenly unstable. He's upside down on his mortgage and doesn't know what to do next. So he buys a second-hand motor scooter, signs up for classes at the local community college, and re-tools himself for this modern, confusing age. His economics professor (George Takei) is brilliant but eccentric; his new pal, Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is a free spirit who wants to make him over. But it's the alluring, unmotivated speech class professor, Mercedes (Julia Roberts), who really knocks Larry off his feet.

Is it any good?

This movie feels like it's shooting for indie sweetness, but, alas, no dice. We really want to like LARRY CROWNE -- the movie, not the man. The character is plenty likeable, seeing as he's played by one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, and the film is timely and potentially inspiring, focusing on a guy who's lost his job and needs to find a new path in a changing, economically shifting world. But instead of really digging into such fertile material, the filmmakers (including writer/director Hanks and co-screenwriter Nia Vardalos) have created a surprisingly superficial, tonally confusing movie that wants viewers to believe that Larry finds strength in being re-styled by a classmate and propositioned by a teacher who he says changed his life ... even though she doesn't want to invest too much energy in actual teaching.

The supporting characters are, for the most part, stereotypes (tough guy with a soft heart; quirky chick; porn-surfing, underemployed husband) and situations are wrung for profundity even when there's none. Still, the movie has a little charm thanks to its megawatt leads, who can sell almost anything. (Nearly.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. Who do you think they're most intended to appeal to?

  • How does the movie portray drinking? Are the consequences of drinking presented realistically?

Movie details

For kids who love drama

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