Mulholland Drive

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Mulholland Drive Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Fascinating movie for adults only.
  • R
  • 2001
  • 147 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.


A dead body and disturbing images.


Nudity, explicit lesbian encounter, masturbation, sexual references.


Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has very explicit nudity and sexual situations, including lesbian encounters and masturbation. It also has very strong language, violence, a dead body, and disturbing images.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychristian2011 March 12, 2016

Expertly crafted, highly elaborate psychological thriller.

Mulholland Drive is an amazing, spellbinding film, because it is one of those rare films that doesn't contain a blatant plot; there's multiple unexpec... Continue reading
Adult Written bymissielharper29 May 3, 2021

age appropriate thriller that the whole family can enjoy

I've seen other reviewers flag the sex scens. I didn't see any??? There were women in bathing suits but nothing promiscuous. Great for kids of all age... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byframptonhollis April 5, 2016

Great if You Like the Style

Very interesting film includes a lot of interesting themes and sequences. The soundtrack is nice, and the lesbian sex scene is more romantic than anything else.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMr. Mongo June 10, 2021

really good

I like it, And I dont feel like it was that explicit. yeah there were boobs but it was not that bad.

What's the story?

David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE is not a story but a mosaic of stories, eras, moods, characters, and themes that intersect, overlap, and parallel like a dream. A luscious brunette (Laura Harring) is about to be shot by a limo driver when a car filled with carousing teenagers slams into the limo. The brunette limps away and hides out in an apartment. She has amnesia, and when asked her name, she says "Rita," as in Rita Hayworth. Betty (Naomi Watts), a fresh-faced ingenue hoping to make it as an actress in LA, tries to help Rita find out who she is. Meanwhile, young director Adam (Justin Theroux) is pressured by some very dangerous-looking guys to give a particular actress the lead in his new movie. Themes of dreams and reality, identity and anonymity, innocence and corruption, creativity and conformity, ripple and resonate in the scenes that follow. Eventually, Betty turns into Diane, who used to be dead, and Betty's aunt's landlady, or is it Adam's mother, is played by 1940's musical star Ann Miller, and all of this does not seem as out of place as it otherwise might. Betty tells Rita that she wants to help her solve the mystery because "It'll be just like in the movies."

Is it any good?

If you like movies that make sense, Mulholland Drive isn't for you. On the other hand, if Twin Peaks was just too upbeat and linear for you and you feel that the references in Blue Velvet were just too obvious and jejune, then this movie is for you. Watts and Herring are outstanding. Betty practices her corny audition scene with Rita with a competent but conventional reading. Then, when she gets to the audition, she completely turns it around, leaving us as breathless as the characters in the scene. Watts later suddenly becomes an entirely different character who has an entirely different history with "Rita" and carries it off splendidly.

Lynch cast unknowns as the leads but populated the margins of the film with old-time stars and semi-stars. This embellishes his themes and adds to the dreamy, half-remembered quality of the story. In addition to Miller, the cast includes Lee Grant, Robert Forster, and the star of the 1960's television show, Medical Center, Chad Everett.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about David Lynch's avant-garde approach to filmmaking.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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