Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Flat James Dean biopic has swearing, some nudity.

Movie R 2015 111 minutes
Life Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 5+
age 14+

LIFE is worth seeing, it's a very good film

Dane DeHaan is excellent as James Dean. He's not a clone, but he has the essence of Dean, he captured his flavor and made he seem like a real person, not some far removed idol. He was totally believable, and this review is not reflective of what a majority of the critics thought. His scenes with his young cousin are very touching, and his interaction with Pattinson has exactly the right chemistry. On the whole, Life has an unassuming quality that draws you in and makes you feel like you were a part of the 1950's scene, with fantastic work by the location, set decoration and costume departments. Wonderful, moody jazz score, too. It's available on iTunes and on demand, and I highly recommend it.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The biggest issue with LIFE is DeHaan's portrayal of Dean -- and that's a big issue in a James Dean biopic. DeHaan plays the iconic actor as all swagger and little depth, more like his defiant character in Rebel Without a Cause than his own person; it's an affected performance that doesn't reveal the charisma that propelled the young actor to stardom. Pattinson's Stock seems more real, and we feel his frustration as he juggles deadlines, family, and an uncooperative subject as he tries to get the shots he needs.

While Life is told through the lens of Stock's experience, the story is all about Dean, and without a compelling James Dean, there's not much reason to watch. People who don't know much about his off-screen life probably won't feel like they've learned much about him from the big-screen Life.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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