Nocturne

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Nocturne Movie Poster Image
Slow, predictable horror movie has some disturbing images.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Negative examples show the down side of putting your ambition above everything else. It's also possible to infer that you should be careful what you wish for, because you'll pay a heavy price to have your wish granted and there will be unintended consequences.

Positive Role Models

Juliet lets her ambition and jealousy drive her to extremes. Her twin sister Vivian is supportive but condescending toward Juliet, and is having an affair with her teacher. Their parents are frivolous and pay lip service to supporting their daughters' careers in music while not really believing it has value. Except for the principal, adult faculty members at the prestigious boarding school are mysterious and flawed. The twin sisters are white, but students and faculty at the school are diverse and include a Black woman as the principal.

Violence

A couple of depictions of suicide by showing someone stepping off a high ledge. A bloody face and mangled body are shown in the aftermath of one. Disturbing images, like a bloody face and head with half the skull missing. An accidental fall from a cliff shows the person at the bottom with limbs at wrong angles. A teacher slaps a student in the face. An accident shows a head banging hard on a piano. A couple of instances of bloody images related to menstruation like bloody legs, bloody bedsheets, and a pile of bloody tampons used in a prank.

Sex

A sex scene shows kissing, taking tops off, a bare male torso, and simulated sex with no sensitive body parts shown. A couple of other kisses, including a teen kissing a teacher. A couple of female characters wear low-cut tops once or twice. A medieval-style drawing shows a couple having sex, the only body parts shown in the picture are a woman's breasts. Mention that a student is in a sexual relationship with a teacher. The teacher says he didn't do anything she didn't consent to.

Language

"S--t," "f--king," "p---y," "t--ts," "c--kless," and "bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens have wine and champagne at dinner in a restaurant. An adult gives a teen a glass of brown liquor. A teen frequently takes prescription medication for anxiety, clearly showing her taking three pills at a time that are later revealed to be Propanolol. A teen is shown smoking a joint and rolling a cigarette, implying that it's marijuana. At a party, a teen gives another a baggie of unspecified contents. Teens share a pill at a party and the point of view of one shows eerie, distorted images. Later she vomits. An adult lights a cigarette. Several adults smoke cigarettes at a dinner party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nocturne (2020) is a horror movie about twin sisters at a prestigious performing-arts school who both dream of becoming famous concert pianists. There are disturbing images, including some bloody ones, and an eerie, tense atmosphere and music. There are depictions of suicide, with teens stepping off high ledges, and the aftermath of one shows a bloody face and mangled body. An accidental fall shows limbs at odd angles. A teacher slaps a student in the face. Several bloody images, some relating to menstruation. Strong language includes "s--t," "f--king," "p---y," and "c--kless." A teen takes what is likely an overdose of prescription medication for anxiety several times. Teens smoke marijuana and exchange a baggie at a party. Teens drink alcohol with adults. Adults briefly shown smoking cigarettes. A student is in a sexual relationship with a teacher. A sex scene shows kissing, taking tops off, a bare male torso, and simulated sex with no sensitive body parts shown. A couple of other kisses, including a teen kissing a teacher. A medieval-style drawing shows a couple having sex, the only body parts shown in the picture are a woman's breasts. The supporting cast is fairly diverse, showing many Asian and Black students and faculty.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byLoranikas303 February 10, 2021

Lifeless movie about teen kissing the teacher and swearing!

Thank you for copying Billie Eyelash's tears from When the Party's Over! This movie is trash with lifeless plot! Don't watch it! #HorrorMovieRant... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byhanbah April 4, 2021

Severely underrated

I started watching this movie after reading reviews and expecting the worst, and it actually was pretty good. While it is very dark and violent, it has lots of... Continue reading

What's the story?

NOCTURNE (2020) is about twin sisters Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) and Vivian (Madison Iseman) who're attending a prestigious performing-arts school, each hoping to become a famous concert pianist. Vivian is more talented than Juliet, and Juliet's jealousy and ambition start to come to the surface. Juliet discovers a strange notebook that belonged to a student who committed suicide recently. The notebook's filled with strange writing and even stranger pictures. As Juliet is drawn more and more to the notebook and the student it belonged to, things shown in the pictures start to happen in real life to Juliet, things that advance her musical career and jeopardize Vivian's. How far will Juliet go to make her dreams come true?

Is it any good?

Despite a solid, if not very original premise, this horror movie never manages to build up much momentum, dread, or excitement. Nocturne (2020) is pretty slow paced, and expect lots of shots of piano playing in between disturbing images. The biggest problem, though, is that almost every twist or event is broadcast well ahead of time, so the only real surprises are the visual ones, and they aren't all that strong, either. Fans of horror movies are likely to be disappointed, and it's unlikely to win anyone over who wasn't already a fan. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Nocturne depicts teen drug and alcohol use. Is it realistic? Does it matter if it is? Is it glamorized, or are there consequences?

  • What about the sexual content? How much is OK in movies and other media?

  • Why are horror movies so popular? What do we love about a good scare, or even about being grossed out? What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate