A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's difficult, but possible, to face death on your own terms. Two cancer patients -- one a wealthy father who's lived a full life, the other a teen girl who's barely experienced life -- show how to recognize the inevitable and make the most of their final days.
Positive Role Models
Jonathan has been estranged from his father for years but is willing to reconcile when he realizes that his dad is sick and on the verge of death. Both of them show humility and love as they discuss how they've wronged each other and why they're wiling to make up.
Violence & Scariness
Family members bicker and squabble. A man puts his fist through a door during a heated moment.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two exes briefly discuss their past relationship. A group of children afflicted with cancer discusses whether they'll get to have sex before they die. A 17-year-old girl kisses a guy during a tender but wistful moment.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent strong language includes "f--," "s--t," "d--k," "bitch," "hell," and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
One character uses a Mac laptop.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The very first scene opens with a close-up of the main character smoking a cigarette, and he has many more throughout the film. Another character, a 17-year-old girl dying of cancer, also smokes regularly. A family drinks wine at a celebratory meal, and two characters drink whisky together during a stressful moment of bonding. Two women do drugs in the back of a limousine.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lullaby is a family drama centered on a dying patriarch who's decided to be taken off life support, over the objections of his wife and adult children. There are some intense arguments as they hash out old conflicts, but also some tender moments as they find ways to reconcile. Expect a good deal of swearing (including "f--k," "s--t," and more), some drinking, and a scene of drug use, as well as many scenes that show the main character (and another) smoking cigarettes. His nicotine addiction is actually a minor plot point. Characters also kiss and talk about sex, but there's nothing graphic. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It may, in fact, be impossible for Richard Jenkins to play a false note; he is superb here. The immensely talented and often underrated actor plays a dying father who adores his family but has also managed to alienate them many times over. He's a cauldron of pride, pathos, and disappointment as he reflects on what he has achieved, all while remaining relatable, too.
But the story actually centers on Jonathan, not his dad, and Hedlund unfortunately pales in comparison to Jenkins. While Jonathan is supposed to come to terms with his family, Hedlund seems stiff (some of which can be attributed to the character, but not all) -- he's good with the anger and frustration but not the thoughtful reckoning. Still, the film's message is potent: Families are messy and lovely, and farewells to them are even more so.
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.