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Parent reviews for On the Basis of Sex

Common Sense says

Well-acted if uneven biopic about RBG's early life, career.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews
Parent of a 9 year old Written byteenandtweenmom December 28, 2018

excellent family movie

I took my nine year old daughter to see this. (She also wrote a review.) She's a big fan of biographies about incredible women, and she's a big RBG fan already. For comparison, we also saw RBG together; she absolutely loved the first half of that one (the growing-up and coming-of-age details about RBG's life), though the second half, which was pretty heavy with the legal and political aspects of RBG's life, was a little less compelling for her. On the Basis of Sex did, obviously, involve a lot of details about politics and history, though compared to RBG, I think it was easier for her to follow and be compelled by, since the film was told as one story, as opposed to documentary. I assume that the 12+ rating Common Sense Media give this is more related to the content of the story than level of "appropriateness." (In general, I find CSM's age ratings to be spot on for my kids' ages--but that usually involves a question of how scary or appropriate the material is.) On the Basis of Sex does have some cursing: a single use of the word f***ing for emphasis (I forget the exact line, but something like, "Do you want to f***ing win or not?") and a number of a-holes and so forth--but frankly, nothing my 9 year old hasn't heard plenty of times. There was one scene where Ruth and her husband get intimate--all they show is her in a bra and slip (super conservative--almost no skin visible), them kissing, as he picks her up and they head toward the bed; then, the scene fades. My nine year old is very sensitive about seeing typical sexual content, even on TV or in ads, but neither of us really minded this much. (Honestly, I think maybe it's the kind of thing a young kid SHOULD see, if that makes any sense, especially to counter the INappropriate material they are inevitably exposed to. After all, it's a married couple, in a spectacularly loving and healthy relationship, sharing an intimate moment. And again, the scene fades before they even make it to the bed.) So, other than the cursing, it feels very PG to me. I wouldn't hesitate to let even a 7 or 8 year old to see it--though I don't think an 8 year old would likely be very interested. I'd say it would appeal to many 11 and ups. Jane, Ruth's teenaged daughter, has a fairly prominent role, which amps up the appeal to tweens and teens. The film is a tad Hollywood--dramatizing some things for the sake of the story (which is fine; it works). Personally, I might have liked it to be longer and more inclusive of more of the fascinating details of her life and work. But ultimately, I think it is a terrific and important and incredibly inspiring film for all families to see together--including the men and boys!! The film is as much a story about Ruth and Marty's loving and equal relationship as it is about her career. (He's the cook in the family and a very present dad, and his support of his wife is unwavering without being condescending.) Plus, the film does a very good job putting the start of the legal fight for women's rights in a historical context, illustrating what it meant (and still means) for women to NOT be treated as equals in the eyes of society or the law. Go see it! And take your men and boys!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byKiwi Sun123 December 31, 2018

Amazing movie with an amazing message!!

This is an AMAZING movie. It has a very good message and I notice the lack of understanding, education, and the ignorance, many people have in regards to the topic of women's rights and the hard climb women of generations embarked through to make what America is today, and after watching this movie, not only will you be utterly delighted in being able to watch such a well enacted and entertaining movie, you will surely have a better understanding of the many things people lack knowledge in today. I recommend this movie and once it finished, everyone is the theater clapped in awe and satisfaction. I give it a 10/10 and a must watch for adolescence, seniors, and adults of all ages. I would say that the movie is very iffy for 12 or 13 and under because I will mention one sex scene and although not graphic it is very obvious what is happening, showing the couple removing each others clothing, and entering the bed intimately embracing each other as the scene fades, and such. I did put "sexy stuff" down because although the sex scene was not graphic at all, if your taking someone under 11 or 12, it could be a little too much and you can't just ignore it either because it's there and very clear. There is drinking and smoking but not too much. There is some cursing, like "f**k", and a-hole, but nothing a pre-teen or teen can't handle. Great role models and a great message. Maybe IF the child is 10 or under (they honestly shouldn't be watching quite yet anyway), remind them who the real "bad guys" and "good guys" are, because kids can get confused sometimes. Overall, once again, a 10/10. :)

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Adult Written bynbharad15 January 4, 2019

Exceptional, Empowering, and Inspiring

This is by far one of the best films I've ever seen. Justice Ginsburg's story is incredibly compelling and intriguing. Her story of overcoming the odds, redefining gender norms, all while preserving such class and grace is a must see for everyone. Granted, from a cinematography standpoint, the movie is very ordinary in the sense that it is not very fancy, the cast isn't stacked, etc. However, the themes that the movie pulls together are crucial, especially in today's society. Additionally, the movie can only be found at select small theaters and there are only a few showtimes. To be quite frank, I feel like this is an injustice to not only Justice Ginsburg's pioneering efforts and career, but also the film itself. On the Basis of Sex should be adapted by more theaters nationwide, so that more people will have access to this phenomenal film.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written byAkasha H. January 8, 2019

Really good movie and not okay for preteens or children!

Movie was AMAZING! However it was sexist, and as a parent I want my kids to be safe and not subjected to the “f word” and other swearing. Other than that, the movie was fantastic and very moving!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Parent Written byCaz3000 February 10, 2019

Good fit with Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

I took my 8yo daughter to see this yesterday. I suspect it would not be of interest to all kids this age (a good part of the plot revolves around arguing a tax law case, where an unmarried man who cares for his elderly mother has been denied a tax break that is available to women), but she is a huge fan of the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls books, the first one of which has an entry on Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I think if your child is interested in those books, that's a good barometer of whether they'd be engaged by this film. In terms of complexity, my daughter is mid-way through reading the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and in my view this movie is no harder to understand than a book like that. Here are some of the things my daughter said she liked about it: 1) she loved the historical setting; 2) she liked Ruth's daughter because 'she's a bit of a rebel, and it was really great the way she spoke to those men in the street' (there's a great scene where 15yo Jane Ginsburg confronts some roadworkers who are heckling them, to her mother's proud astonishment); and 3) she likes people standing up to bullies. However, she also said that lots of kids in her class probably would be too busy giggling over the word 'sex' to pay any attention to the film. We had some great conversations the next day about how racial discrimination related to sex discrimination, and how in the 1950s part of the film while there were only a few women at Harvard, there was an even more glaring absence of black people. I was lucky too that we went to the film with a friend of mine who is a discrimination lawyer, and we were able to talk about how this is actually work that still goes on today. In terms of child-inappropriate content, the only thing to be aware of is: a bedroom scene where Ruth is in a bra and a skirt, kissing her husband passionately, and they lay down on a bed (then fade to black); and some swearing (including, I think, one of the lawyers telling Ruth that "you're gonna f*cking lose"). That's really it. If your child is old enough to be engaged with and follow the plot, this fairly low-level adult content is probably not going to concern you. Ruth, her husband, and their daughter are all super role models. The film provides a lot to discuss not only in terms of gender roles, but about different strategies for tackling inequality, and the bravery it takes to effect social change. It is wonderful to see such a loving, egalitarian marriage portrayed on the screen too. The Ginsbergs are #relationshipgoals.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bymovieman48 March 23, 2019

Well acted but terribly dull

A well acted but terribly dull biopic. If you're interested in women's rights in the US you might have found it more entertaining than I did. But 'Hidden Figures' managed to get the message across in a vastly more entertaining way!