Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Mumford Movie Poster Image
Great characters, but for older teens and up.
  • R
  • 1999
  • 112 minutes

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some nudity, several sexual references.


Some strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, drug abuse, casual marijuana use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of mature material, including nudity and sexual references and drug abuse. Mature teens will appreciate the struggles of the teen-age characters to find a way to feel good enough about themselves to enter into a relationship, and the disconnect between the words and the feelings of Mumford's teen-age patient.

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What's the story?

After moving to the small town of Mumford, psychologist Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) becomes very popular after just a few months, despite his unconventional methods of treatment. But he is a good listener, he's insightful, and his patients like him. Most important, he really helps them. Among his patients are a pharmacist who lives in a world of pulp-fiction fantasies; a wealthy woman who's a compulsive shopper; a teen who wants to look like a fashion model; a beautiful young woman (Hope Davis) with chronic fatigue syndrome, and a lonely high-tech billionaire named Skip (Jason Lee). To Mumford, it's clear that they all have the same problem -- a need to connect to another person, and a fear that they are not worthy. And Mumford has the same problem, too. He had come to Mumford (the name and the town) to escape the mistakes of his past. When he finds a real friend in Skip, he begins to finally reveal his past. And when he falls in love with one of his patients, he realizes that he has to tell everyone the truth and be accountable for his past mistakes.

Is it any good?

MUMFORD is a cleverly updated version of a 1930s movie staple -- a genial comedy with eccentric but endearing characters and a leading man who is not what he pretends to be. Writer/director Lawrence Kasden brings his Big Chill ability to create a believable world with many interesting and engaging characters struggling with issues of intimacy and risk.

Doctor Mumford says that his hope for his pharmacist patient is to make him comfortable enough to star in his own fantasies. In a way, that is what he does for all of his patients, even himself, only to find that they can then move on to the real thing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that families play in the way each member sees himself, and how the families in the movie help or hurt each other.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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