Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

Lonely Hearts

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Noir-ish murder tale is far too dark for kids.

Movie R 2007 108 minutes
Lonely Hearts Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

LONELY HEARTS is a gritty homage to noir, complete with gravelly voiceover and color-drained cinematography. It's also a florid drama and a debate on capital punishment, an investigation into what state-sanctioned executions do to those who bring criminals to justice and, subsequently, witness their death. Writer-director Todd Robinson (grandson of the real-life Elmer), has a way with complex storytelling, layering the moments until it all adds up to a stunning, if sobering, landscape. As Ray, Leto is, for the most part, a success, though he's more fun to watch when he attempts to seduce. But when things turn ugly, he operates in only two acting modes: whispers and screams. Hayek is exactly the opposite -- she's more substantial with the serious bits, screaming "You must love me!" or sitting in the interrogation room, post-arrest, stripped of makeup and wearing only her pain.

For his part, Travolta fully inhabits the emotionally weathered Elmer, right down to the defeated shoulders. His performance is surprisingly nuanced (though he could have done with less scowling) and his struggle to ground himself after his wife's death is believable. But it's Gandolfini, the narrator, who nearly steals the show: He relays Charles' depth by a twitch in his mouth and by a lilt in his intonation. He's the one making sense of everything. Too bad we can't. Had viewers gotten the real why behind it all -- which Lonely Hearts might have been able to provide, had it taken a clear stance as either guilt-free camp or dark, somber police procedural drama -- this would have been a far more compelling movie.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 13, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: July 31, 2007
  • Cast: James Gandolfini , John Travolta , Salma Hayek
  • Director: Todd Robinson
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Latino actors, Middle Eastern/North African actors
  • Studio: Millennium Films
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 108 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence and sexual content, nudity and language.
  • Last updated: June 2, 2022

Inclusion information powered by

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