Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Chaotic coming-of-age drama with teen sex, drugs.

Movie R 2011 149 minutes
Margaret Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

An incredibly important thought provoking film for teens

A wonderful premise, a strong script and extremely powerful performances. Paquin nails this role! She embodies the character, but she has A LOT of help! Her supporting cast is top notch. A film about ideals and abstract concepts, narcissism and human connection and how much pain and suffering everyone has to tolerate all of the time. Are people terrible or are they always dealing with terrible things? It is moving, sad, annoying and terrible to watch. And I could not tear myself away. A fantastic film about existential loneliness and constant dull pain and suffering. The only reason it does not get 5 stars is because of some of the editing...yeesh.
age 15+

Highly thought-provoking work of art

After watching this movie with a group of teenaged students (a mix of 14-17 year olds), we spent almost an hour discussing the larger ideas it inspired. I believe mature teens will be able to handle this film and, indeed, will benefit from having seen it.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

What to say about MARGARET, except that it's both a mess and mesmerizing. Overlong and crowded with too many themes, characters, and plots to do most of them justice, it nevertheless rarely feels leaden. You watch hoping it will reach an ending that will make all of its loose ends -- some beautiful and powerful -- connected once more. But no. Director Kenneth Lonergan, whose You Can Count on Me was a lean, mean family drama machine, seems indecisive here, unsure about the kind of movie he's making. Is it a treatise on growing up a teenager in a post-9/11 New York City, or an examination of what guilt and tragedy can do long after the event that precipitates all these disturbing feelings is long gone?

Lucky for Margaret that it has Paquin as its lead. The way she talks and moves captures the roiling mess that are the teenage years. She's able to juggle three emotions -- defiance, ennui, fear -- on her face all at once. And the supportive cast is impressive, especially Jeannie Berlin as a woman beset and enraged by grief. But honestly, what's the point of having marquee names in your movie if you're not going to use them much? (Matthew Broderick as an inexplicable and, as it turns out, unimportant character is a major waste of talent.) Margaret has aspirations of greatness but falls short. That said, it's still sort of fascinating.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 30, 2011
  • On DVD or streaming: July 10, 2012
  • Cast: Anna Paquin, Jean Reno, Mark Ruffalo
  • Director: Kenneth Lonergan
  • Inclusion Information: Bisexual actors
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 149 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: disturbing images, strong language, some drug use and sexuality
  • Last updated: October 8, 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