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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sympathetic but lightweight drama has strong language.

Movie R 2017 98 minutes
LBJ Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Historical biopic is teen-friendly, but dull

Aside from the multiple uses of the f-word, this movie is fairly clean. However, most audiences (teens and adults) will find this movie extremely boring, due to its cheaply made style and excruciatingly slow pace. Unless you are hugely into politics, skip this one.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Approaching this true story with his usual tendency toward lightness and simplicity (i.e., without complexity or nuance), director Rob Reiner takes a compassionate look at an unsung president. It's been a while since Reiner took on political material -- you have to go all the way back to A Few Good Men, The American President, and Ghosts of Mississippi -- but LBJ fits right in with the earlier films. But it's not particularly deep; it's no Selma or Jackie. The goal here seems less about presenting the facts of the case than painting a sympathetic portrait of Johnson. And in that, it succeeds.

Behind his mountain of makeup, Harrelson gives a sturdy performance, barking commands at underlings but secretly looking for acceptance. He wanted to be president, but not like this. And in this movie, Bobby Kennedy -- who's usually portrayed as kind and benevolent -- is depicted as something of a petulant little boy, so it's easy to side with Johnson, especially when, in a private moment, the VP lets his guard down and asks "why don't you like me?" Unfortunately, Reiner glosses over a fair number of details that don't help with his themes. And for a movie about the Civil Rights movement, LBJ doesn't seem to have much use for African-American characters. But the result is still easy and entertaining.

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