Parents' Guide to

Of Mice and Men

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Elegant adaptation of classic novel has mature themes.

Movie PG-13 1992 110 minutes
Of Mice and Men Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 15+

Of Mice And Men – And Much In-between

This review is for the 1939 version: John Steinbeck is up there with the great scribes of any era and this story of an odd but sensitive friendship is out to prove it. Lewis Milestone’s direction is both at times stagey and great, and he has a terrific cast to help bring this tale to vivid life - while veteran Master Director of Photography, Norbert Brodine’s fluid camera never misses a dramatic visual moment (AKF: Little Man What Now ’34, Kiss Of Death ’47). There’s much to like about this classic adaption of a fine piece of American literature, even if contemporary viewers might need to remind themselves it’s just 9 years after the introduction of sound. The addition of a descriptive score by iconic composer Aaron Copeland, adds an extra dimension to this sweeping drama of struggling itinerant workers - etching out a living during the 1930’s oppressive dustbowl. Eight years later, Copeland would again create a score for another Steinbeck work ‘The Red Pony’. All the fiery characters are there, each tormented in their struggles, taunting each other as if everyone around them is to blame for their tiresome situation. And for Steinbeck’s Lennie, as if being mentally challenged isn’t enough - he has to co-exist with angst-ridden men and women - each wanting to take out their troubles on someone in easy reach - almost if somehow, to relieve their own gnawing suffering through channels of torment and selfishness. Its grand vintage moviemaking, with a vast array of grand vintage performers, all breathing life into a slice of unrelenting history. It’s difficult to find a quality DVD transfer, with the GMG Media copy offering quite reasonable visuals – but unfortunately, for some reason, it’s been transferred with the Sound Auto Leveller on! This could do with correction.
age 8+

Great Book vs Great movie

This movie might make you cry. Depending on how you take this movie it can give a positive message. Don't think about what just happen you have to think a little deeper. I think this is a great old fashion movie that can teach you a lot. The book and the movie were a little different. When they found Curlys wife in the book she was buried under the hay but in the movie she was on top of the hay. They had trains and showed how they got kicked out of weed in the beginning of the movie they never mentioned that. They said they got kicked of the bus in the book but they didn't in the movie. The end of the movie was way different

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (32):

OF MICE AND MEN is a modest, sincere adaptation of John Steinbeck's Depression-era classic, a must-see for both teens and parents. Bringing John Steinbeck's heartrending short novel to the screen is a difficult task, in large part because of the often parodied character of Lennie (think of the lumbering Warner Bros. cartoon dog who called everyone George and had a special fondness for Bugs -- "I will love him and I will pet him...").

As caricature has a tendency to overshadow character, John Malkovich's performance may be a bit jarring. His Lennie isn't a comical simpleton or a mere child in a grown man's body. There are layers of complexity to him, and yearning, not only to tend the rabbits but to be good and to please his friend. It's a difficult role, and Malkovich forgoes sentiment to make it both tragic and very real. The on-screen chemistry between the stars, Sinise's surefooted directing, and a faithful-to-the-novel script by Horton Foote all are factors that contribute to Of Mice and Men's success.

Movie Details

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