Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature content in beautiful story of friendship, compassion.

Movie R 2021 110 minutes
Palmer 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 12+

A good but sometimes heavy film with a happy ending

The film talks well about opposite parental qualities. About the unusual attractions of children and how to understand this to parents. The film is easy to watch and save interest from start to end. But it doesn't stand out too much because the story is quite primitive. Therefore my rate is 4. In general I recommend this film for viewing. P.S. Justin Timberlake looks so brutal that I wouldn't say that his songs are aimed at a teenage audience ))
age 14+

Great performances and a powerfully inclusive story

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It's familiar material, but Fisher Stevens' fine drama proceeds with care and compassion, using excellent performances to help create a moving, thoughtful, and inclusive experience. There have been dozens of movies about plucky kids who help grumpy adults become better people -- from Charlie Chaplin's The Kid to Driveways -- but Palmer does the old chestnut proud. Timberlake's Palmer appears to be shielding himself against pain, with his jaw jutted out. But he's also full of regret and gratitude and willing to do whatever it takes to become a better person. His first scene with Squibb effortlessly draws smiles and sets the movie's tone.

Young Allen (8 years old at the time of the movie's release) makes his feature film acting debut with absolute confidence and openness, quickly creating a believable bond with Timberlake. He carries Sam's gender identity with beautiful grace and empathy. The rest of the cast is also impressive; there's not a weak link anywhere. Director Stevens is, of course, a veteran character actor himself (perhaps best known for Short Circuit), as well as an Oscar winner (for producing the documentary The Cove), and he clearly brings his long experience to Palmer. He creates a vivid, logical small-town environment, where things may be a little grayish and stuck, but they're not without hope.

Movie Details

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