Parents' Guide to

Little Women (2018)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Well-intentioned Alcott modernization misses the mark.

Movie PG-13 2018 112 minutes
Little Women (2018) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 12+

Awfully disappointing adaptation

Adapting this great book to a modern setting was a wonderful idea, but I'm afraid they missed their target. It was overacted, thoughtless and the characters came off mostly as shallow and selfish. One of the silliest movies I've seen for a long time.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Too much booze and anger issues

This is not a good adaptation. I was interested in the concept of a modernized Little Women. This just seriously misses the mark. Jo is especially unlikable. When her sister is diagnosed she throws an epic tantrum destroying property and her character never really develops the way she does in the book. There are multiple scenes with alcohol consumption. This includes the wedding where Jo is walking around with an entire bottle of wine or champagne and drinks repeatedly from the bottle for absolutely no reason than to be drinking alcohol. Several scenes show underage drinking including drunkenness to the point of vomiting but there are zero consequences or counter-messages to this drinking. It is just drinking for drinking's sake. At the end when the sisters are reminiscing over pictures the only comment about their drinking is actually a lesson to all kids watching the movie to not mix their liquors. One scene verges on date rape and my be hard to explain to young childen. Just skip this version and go with one of the proven and much more wholesome versions.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (1):

By transporting the March girls and Marmee to the present day, this earnest modernization loses what's special, even revolutionary, about Alcott's original story and its previous adaptations. When the story takes place during the Civil War, it's obvious how progressive the Marches -- particularly Marmee and Jo -- are, thanks to their transcendentalist, pacifist, abolitionist ideas. In this version, the sisters aren't modern, free thinkers who are challenging the status quo. They don't even seem to live in the real world, considering the shots of Jo in New York City don't include anyone who isn't white, for example. But it's not just the movie's obvious lack of diversity that's off-putting. The idea of Jo not wanting to marry Laurie (or anyone, at first) in order to pursue her love of writing felt shocking in the book's original era but is simply idiosyncratic here.

Marmee's guidance and teaching of the March family's values and philosophies is also seriously downplayed. Thompson is a fine actress, but her Marmee doesn't have nearly as much to say as Susan Sarandon in Gillian Armstrong's lovely 1994 adaptation. Overall, the cast is fine but not particularly memorable. Davenport is so beautiful that Amy's funny line "your one beauty!" falls a bit flat. And Grabeel lacks the charismatic gravitas to play Laurie. Kudos to Niederpruem for attempting a contemporary vision for the March sisters, but the present-day context erases and ignores too much of what was remarkable in Alcott's classic story.

Movie Details

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