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Parents' Guide to

Mary Shelley

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Interesting but uneven drama about famous female author.

Movie PG-13 2018 121 minutes
Mary Shelley Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 17+

PG-13 my a$$!

The trailer for this movie had me hooked and I couldn't wait to see it! With that being said, I was a bit caught off guard by certain content for a PG-13 rating. I didn't expect to see sex scenes between a "16 year old girl" and a "21 year old married man", one of which the girl's breasts are nearly fully exposed and her nipples are about a centimeter away from busting out of her dress!

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Fanning's performance shows off her talent, but the movie makes you yearn to learn more about the author's post-Frankenstein transformation. Director Haifaa Al-Mansour's exploration of Mary's scandalous love affair with Percy and the subsequent life challenges leading up to the writing of the book that changed her life isn't nearly as exquisite as her directorial debut, Wadjda, but it's also a feminist tribute to a young woman who was ahead of her time. Mary's state of mind swings from thrilled and excited to miserable and heartbroken, and the visuals signal that shift as well.

The film spends a bit too much time covering the more salacious aspects of the Shelleys' forbidden romance and not enough time on the reasons that Mary stayed with the beautiful, brilliant, but damaged genius Shelley. Although writer Emma Jensen and Al-Mansour's choice to delay depicting Shelley's writing of Frankenstein until the end of the movie is understandable, it would have been more satisfying to see more of how the book's publication (with her actual name attached) changed her life. Still, despite its flaws, Mary Shelley remains worth seeing for the riveting facts about the groundbreaking writer's backstory.

Movie Details

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