Parents' Guide to

Mary and Max

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Animated indie explores unusual friendship, heavy themes.

Movie NR 2009 92 minutes
Mary and Max Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

It is a great movie but..

We thought this was a movie about a man and a girl we watched but there was a scene where mary was asking ''how many wifes do you have how many girlfriends have you've had sex?'' My children didin't understand but they ignored it also there was this scene where mary was about to commit suicide with a lamp and a very weird song my kids got scared a little but at the end they liked the movie there was also a scene where her crush went with his best friend and got married with his best friend THE MOVIE IS ALSO HILARIOUS SPOILERS!: MY KIDS CRIED WHERE THE SCENE THAT MAX died you can watch it depends on your kid

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 17+

Raunchy awful movie.

Not for families whatsoever.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (19):

This movie is at times funny and at times heartbreaking and real. Director Adam Elliot won an Academy Award for his animated short Harvey Krumpet, about a man dealing with Tourette's Syndrome, so it's no surprise that MARY AND MAX are two lonely misfits yearning for friendship. They are not always likable, and they're definitely not always relatable (few people are as relentlessly teased throughout childhood or socially awkward as adults as these two), but audiences will grow to love them warts, scars, and all. It's their flaws and foibles (Mary flirts with her neighbor only to be told she has poop on her shoe; Max exercises self-loathing by stuffing himself with chocolate before heading to overeating anonymous group) that endear them to the viewer.

The letters sent back and forth are so beautifully simple and honest that it's no wonder why Max feels compelled to lovingly iron, laminate, and save each one. They ask each other anything and everything -- from the very first query about where children come from (she thinks it's from the bottom of a cola can or beer bottle, as her grandfather informed her; he was told rabbis, nuns, or "dirty prostitutes" laid eggs that hatched into babies) to whether he's ever been bullied or she has a pet kangaroo (yes and no). Collette and Hoffman are so evocative with their voices (he especially, with his Yiddish-spiked New York accent). As they narrate their long rambling letters to each other, we see their flashbacks and thoughts come to life. We should all be so lucky to have even one friendship as true as Mary and Max's.

Movie Details

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