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Parents' Guide to

My Boy Jack

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Daniel Radcliffe goes to war as Kipling's son.

Movie NR 2007 93 minutes
My Boy Jack 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 13+

Makes you think

This film makes one think about what constitutes a "good life." A long one in which you pass up opportunities that could be dangerous, or a short one in which you take chances? And the film does not -- as so many do-- offer sentimental, easy answers. Many films about people with disabilities seem overwrought and maudlin, but "My Boy Jack" is very well done, indeed, and nearly 100% factual. I am an educator and use this with grade 9 in conjunction with "The Miracle Worker" and "The Scarlet Ibis." Of course there is violence. Of course the language is not that of a Victorian parlor. Yes, people smoke. We spend part of the time on the battlefield in WWI in the early 1900s!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 12+

the sadest movie i have ever scene

COANTAINS SPOILER my favorite actor in the world is daniel radcliffe. So i rented the movie and watched it. and it was the sadest movie i had ever scene! when jack goes missing in the war his family does everything they can to find him. But then trgicly they find out that he had died ( and in the scene they show him being shot and falling to the ground and dies) i cried and cried and cried at that part. and one of the sadest things is that his father insisted that he went to war and when Jack dies he begins to realize that he basicly murdered his own son. a very sad story. ONLY FOR MATURE VIEWERS.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (10 ):

Well-acted and handsomely produced, My Boy Jack just doesn't have much to say about the title character or the challenges of growing up Kipling. Much like Christopher Columbus, Rudyard Kipling represents, for some people, an idol of the finest quality, and for others (especially those on the political left), he summed up the worst; a conquest-happy nationalist who never served a day in uniform himself, but who used his literary talents to propagandize for British armed strength and superiority worldwide. This story, based on fact (and a poem Kipling wrote in tribute to his son) could well have portrayed the author as a foaming fanatic who sent his boy to suffer in the trenches for his own personal glory. But -- and as My Boy Jack was first aired on British television for a national holiday honoring war veterans -- the filmmakers recognize that nobody at the time had that attitude. Thus, we have a fair-and-balanced script that doesn't judge harshly by making Kipling too extreme or his wife too reproachful.

In this treatment though, something notable got overlooked: John himself. He seems like a nice, capable, unpretentious young adult, not at all stuck up as a child of privilege. He's self-conscious about his weak eyesight and well accustomed to his dear domineering dad -- and that's about it. Viewers not especially spellbound with the time period may hunger for more drama and insight.

Movie Details

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