Misery

  • Review Date: August 29, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A quality film of suspense and manipulation.
  • Review Date: August 29, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The sociopathic main character carries out terrifying acts of violence and kidnapping.

Violence

The film begins with a terrible car accident and shows the resulting wounds. It revolves around a kidnapping and the ensuing torture.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Very little profane language, but one obscene finger gesture and several odd euphemisms for swear words.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The kidnapper repeatedly drugs her victim.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is highly violent. There are continuing acts of torture, repeated graphic and sadistic acts; kidnapping, bondage, broken bones and overall deception. Even mature teenagers may find this film highly upsetting.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, MISERY details the unfortunate exploits of a romance novelist (James Caan) and his obsessively sadistic "number one fan," Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Upon rescuing the writer from a snowy car crash, Wilkes uses extreme measures to keep the object of her admiration at arm's length.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Powerfully filmed, Misery grips the audience and presents a fascinating character study in psychosis. The truly in-your-face violence may prove to be too much for many adults and teens alike. Do not let the credits lure you into a false sense of security. Despite the inclusion of seemingly family-friendly names such as Rob Reiner (Stand by Me, The Princess Bride) and Kathy Bates (Fried Green Tomatoes, Primary Colors), you will find no warm fuzzy moments in this film as the story is filled with physical and emotional torture (including one of the most wince-worthy moments of film.

The film presents a sadistic story of manipulation and torture as Annie struggles to preserve her favorite literary character by torturing its creator. Misery reeks with tension and suspense from beginning to end, as the fate of the writer appears darker and darker. Ultimately, the film culminates in a gruesome battle of wits and will. Watch out for the "hobbling" scene). Nonetheless, Misery did bring Bates critical acclaim and her first Oscar. The film also includes charming performances by Richard Farnsworth and Frances Sternhagen as the small-town sheriff and deputy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how they feel about the violence in the movie. They can also use the movie as a basis for discussing safety and protecting themselves from strangers.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 30, 1990
DVD release date:December 22, 1998
Cast:James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall
Director:Rob Reiner
Studio:Polygram
Genre:Thriller
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence

This review of Misery was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 14 year old Written byMarvin Martian February 18, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

10-13 don't watch alone

I would rate it 12-15. One bit very disturbing (hammer scene), but rest fine, some strong language, and mild drugs
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byBKrootz March 21, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Loved it. Very intense and creepy. It does use some language (said and visual), and there is a very painful-looking violent scene. The title of the movie describes it... it is merserable to watch. But that is what makes it so good. recommend entirely.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bymeeru November 2, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Violent but suitable for mature 8 year olds.

Fantastic film, Although there are some scenes of extremely storng violence, I would let a mature 8 year old watch and enjoy this superb film. Entertaining, suspensful and well made.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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