Lost in Translation Movie Poster Image

Lost in Translation

Excellent but mature film about finding a connection.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Explores times of searching in life for identity and purpose. And it also shows how precious it is to find a sense of connection when you feel like an outsider.

Positive role models

Bob has an affair, which upsets Charlotte, but otherwise they form a solid friendship.


Friends of Charlotte provoke a bartender and get chased with a gun that probably has rubber bullets. Someone throws a bottle at them and they get chased some more.


Bob has an affair, but nothing is shown. An escort is sent to Bob's door and tries to play-act getting her stockings ripped; Bob wants none of it. In a Tokyo strip club bare-breasted women in barely there G-strings writhe around and give friends of Charlotte a lap dance.


Song in strip club about "sucking on my "t--ies." Plus "s--t," "hell," and "Christ's sake."


Characters stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and many scenes take place in the hotel.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Charlotte smokes and her husband says "it's just so bad for you." She says, "I'll stop later." Plenty of smoking and drinking in the many bar scenes. Charlotte and friends smoke pot before singing karaoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lost in Translation shows many aspects of night life in Tokyo, including drinking and smoking. Characters also go to a strip club (where women are topless and wearing barely there G-strings and giving lap dances), get chased out of a bar with a fake gun, smoke pot before performing karaoke, and one character has an affair (with nothing shown). There's a little bit of strong language that includes "s--t."

What's the story?

LOST IN TRANSLATION centers on American movie star Bob (Bill Murray), who is in Tokyo to appear in whiskey ads, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), an unemployed wife who is there with her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi). Everything in Japan makes Bob and Charlotte feel out of place. Neither can get to sleep, and their bleary disorientation contrasts with the sensory overload of Tokyo. But it's not just their brains that are out of focus; it is their hearts and souls as well. Both have a lot of trouble connecting to others, both are in transition. Bob and Charlotte connect in a way they don't understand. But they do understand that it is precious to them to feel that way -- or just to feel. And they treat that feeling with touching delicacy. She takes him to a karaoke club. He takes her to the emergency room when she hurts her toe. They don't exchange life stories, discover that they love the same poem, or have any of the usual movie indicators that they are soul-mates. They just understand each other a little and like each other a little more. And that is a very nice thing to observe.

Is it any good?


Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides) has written and directed a fascinating film. Lost in Translation is less about a story than about the sights, the feelings, the moments, and the especially the connection between two Americans adrift in Tokyo.

The performances by Murray and Johansson are tender delights. Anna Faris (Scary Movie) is deliciously perfect as a starlet who has had too many people tell her how interesting she is. Coppola is a master of moments and details, and here they add up to a story that is beautifully bittersweet.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Bob and Charlotte are drawn to each other. What do they have in common? What is most different about them? Is their connection believable?

  • What do you think Bob whispers to Charlotte at the end?

  • Why do you think this movie was so critically acclaimed?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 12, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:February 2, 2004
Cast:Bill Murray, Giovanni Ribisi, Scarlett Johansson
Director:Sofia Coppola
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some sexual content

This review of Lost in Translation was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bymongofa June 15, 2010
This movie is great for teens, but kids will find it boring. I don't know why this site said it had strong language, there was almost none.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008
An amazing movie! One of my very favorites. And CSM's review on this film is totally wrong...did they watch the same movie I did? It's actually pretty clean for an R-rated film, there's one raunchy strip club scene but besides that it would definitely earn a PG-13 rating. They say it has very strong language but I bet there were less than 10 cuss words througout, and not one of them was the F-word. Wierd.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMovieFreak101 April 9, 2008

Blew me away....

I can say two words and I know everyone will be interested in what I have to say.....Bill Murray......Well, it turns my head anyway. When I first herd Murray was in this movie, I flushed. Murray in a serious, not comic, role. Something wasn't right. Sofia Coppola must have made a mistake. But he blew me away...the whole flim did. I was a flim that people who have been lost with themselves can relate to. Or, if you found some special in your life, but them have them taken off you, gone and never to be found again. The movie touched my heart and soul. Rarely that happens. It connected with me, you know? Thats why it is my favourite flim ever. Best Wishes, MovieFreak101 This flim is ok for: 15+