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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters lie and commit adultery; a central storyline involves a convicted pedophile recently released from prison and harassed by neighbors (including graffiti on sidewalk and house); consequently, there's much discussion of pedophilia and the violent neighborhood tactics to punish him; adults tend to treat their children as accessories while behaving like children themselves.
Violence & Scariness
A few football scenes are hard-hitting (sound and images); a man mutilates himself off-screen (with very bloody on-screen results); an elderly woman suffers heart failure during an argument; a fall off of a skateboard jump leaves a man in a neck brace; discussion of a past shooting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adulterous affair includes sexual activity and some nudity (including bottoms and breasts); intercourse on a washing machine, on the floor, in a bed; a character visits an Internet porn site and masturbates with a pair of panties on his face.
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Several uses of "f--k," plus other profanity.
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Products & Purchases
Labels and brands glimpsed and/or mentioned include Porsche, FedEx, Goldfish crackers, Vanity Fair magazine, and Dunkin' Donuts.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking and some social drinking; one character discusses her "mostly psychotropic" medications.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this thought-provoking drama from the director of In the Bedroom probably won't be on most kids' radar. Just as well, since it includes some very mature images and ideas, including Internet porn and masturbation, adulterous sex and lies to spouses, child abuse (discussed, not shown), self-mutilation (off-screen, but with visible bloody results), and loud, intense football action. There are repeated references to a child predator who's been released from prison (neighbors campaign against him, TV reports discuss the case, parents go into a frenzy at a public pool when he shows up); he's also the center of a very disturbing scene in which he masturbates while his blind date cries helplessly, sitting next to him in her car. There are also several sweaty sex scenes between an adulterous couple, with nudity (bottoms and breasts), though these tend to be more "romantic" than explicit. Several uses of "f--k," plus other mild profanity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If Little Children -- an intricate puzzle of upper-middle-class suburban dread and desire -- is pedantic and sometimes smug in its judgments, it is also painful. As the characters try to define themselves, they are also self-deluding, which leads to tragedy.
Repeatedly, the lines separating adults and children are poorly defined. Adults are irresponsible, remaining children even as they take care of their kids. Parents pursue juvenile desires, trampling others to do so, while citing the "protection" of children as the ultimate and unassailable rationale.
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Our Editors Recommend
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