Parents' Guide to

Mr. Jones

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Drama about the 1930s Ukraine famine has distressing scenes.

Movie NR 2020 116 minutes
Mr. Jones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Tells Us much More About Holodomor

Mr Jones – An Idealist Tells Us Much about Holodomor This intriguing and well-cast film tells a timely story of the long-term historical conflict within the Ukraine/Russian tragedy. Highly suspect involvement by members of the international press (working within the USSR, England, USA, and Wales) is stripped bare - offering closer examination of the role played by members of international war correspondence staff. It carefully details their shady involvements in perpetuating communist propaganda – performed either in exchange for protecting their sleazy sexual activities or for financial reward – if not actually for both. A professionally made film dealing with several contentious political situations, which all deserve re-examination and more thorough investigation. Polish-born director Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa ’90) brings Andrea Chalupa’s searching script to life with all its important facts and possible new insights. Together they highlight the decadence of the era - exposing varied degrees of immorality perpetuating among 1930s Political and so-called ‘high society’ circles. Being closely examined, is the Stalin regime’s 5-year development plan that shockingly starved millions of inhabitants in local villages --effecting mass genocide-- and how this was assisted to be hidden by certain self-serving (dishonest) international factions. This work deserves to be seen as one of only a few, that cast an important spotlight on shameful acts against humanity, in the name of Communism. It also gives new understanding of why today’s Ukraine won’t submit to any form of Russian rule.
age 10+

Mr. Jones

I don’t feel good

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

A slow yet powerful movie, this leaves a lasting effect that's not easy to shake off. Nor should it be, as it befits Jones' determination to make the world aware of the horrific events that occurred in the Ukraine during the 1930s. Much of the death occurs off-screen, though the remnants are there for all to see, often in deeply upsetting scenes. Yet Mr. Jones feels as though it only touches the surface of the Holodomor famine, with no chance to explore the lives of the victims. As such, perhaps a story of this magnitude warranted a longer format in the shape of a TV series. Something akin to another of the Ukraine's darkest moments, Chernobyl.

In terms of the performances, Peter Sarsgaard shines as the unsettling Walter Duranty, a man whose true motives are difficult to determine. Is he a true believer in Stalin or purely a man with ambitions of power? But the film belongs to Norton, who's in nearly every scene. His Welsh accent may come and go, but the balance between fragility and courageous is handled expertly. It's yet another noteworthy addition to a resume of an actor many have tipped to play the next James Bond. The movie is full of contrasts -- of haves and have nots -- that occasionally feel signposted. For example, after returning from the Soviet Union, Jones attends a lunch where he stares almost in disgust at the carving of some ham. But this is a story that, come the closing credits, will have you reaching for Wikipedia to learn more about Gareth Jones and the appalling events of Holodomor.

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