Movie review by
Kathryn McGarr, Common Sense Media
Notorious Movie Poster Image
Suspenseful but slow-moving Hitchcock thriller.
  • NR
  • 1946
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The government essentially asks Alicia to prostitute herself, and the film features dated gender roles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's implied that Alicia has an affair with Devlin and her future husband Sebastian. Other characters frequently comment on her immoral character.


It's implied that Alicia is a "tainted" woman, but even when she's married, the beds are separate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Guests drink at a party. Alicia drives while drunk without real consequences.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie might bore kids. It's implied that Alicia has an affair with Devlin and her future husband Sebastian. Other characters frequently comment on her immoral character, but nothing is sexually or even romantically explicit. There's a scene in which Devlin allows Alicia to drive drunk. Moreover, gender roles are antiquated in that Alicia's only value is as a sexual being and her interest in a man motivates her decisions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byTsion July 1, 2009

The Ultimate Espionage Film...

Alicia Huberman's father has recently been convicted for treason against the US. He was helping the Nazis obtain inside information in WWII. This makes A... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 4, 2017

The mysterious movie that is Notorious still shines today

Notorious is a shockingly spine-tingling take on World War 2. It stars Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman, an amzing female character. This movie was so great. I... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares December 26, 2008

What's the story?

After her Nazi father is convicted of treason, Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) gets drawn in as a spy for the American government. Her assignment is to infiltrate the inner circle of Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), once in love with her, who happens to be part of a Nazi plot involving smuggled uranium. Alicia and her government contact T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) fall in love, but dutiful Alicia marries Sebastian in order to get access to top secret information. When she's discovered as a spy, Sebastian's mother urges her son to kill his new wife.

Is it any good?

Hitchcock directed it, critics acclaimed it, and Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are only the tip of the talented cast. So what makes NOTORIOUS less appealing than other films with the same parameters? Well, it moves painfully slowly. Its snail's pace might be a filmic reflection of Alicia's drawn out suffering. Even if it can easily claim this -- and more -- in artistic merits, the film will make you downright drowsy. Do not operate heavy machinery while watching it.

Devlin and Alicia's romance is predictable given what we expect from attractive leads, but you might wonder if you missed something. Their on-screen romance is quite sudden and short-lived. Still, inevitable tension results when Ms. Huberman becomes Mrs. Sebastian. The master of suspense does deliver on that count. By the end of the film, it doesn't look so good for Alicia and, though sedated, you might be biting your nails in anticipation of a potentially unfortunate finale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many moral dilemmas that Alicia faces. These include her loyalty to her father versus her country, drinking and driving, and using her sexuality to be a spy.

  • Do you think her marriage to Mr. Sebastian is a good decision? When does her sacrifice become greater than her reward? What is her "reward" anyway?

  • What makes the women in this movie unequal to the men? Can you think of scenes in which male superiority is taken for granted?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills and chills

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