Parents' Guide to

Project Nim

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Affecting chimpanzee docu is more than monkey business.

Movie PG-13 2011 93 minutes
Project Nim Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Project Nim Parent Guide

Nudity: The chimpanzee does not have fur on his bottom. Nothing sexual. Scary and disturbing scenes that are not good for kids under 12 is in the movie too. There is also rude humor. Profanity: Says the word "sex". They don't explain what it is or show sexual content scenes otherwise, this movie would be rated R instead of PG-13 and it would not be good for kids at all. The MPAA marks it down as "mild language" or "language". Violence: Not much. Some PG movies and PG-13 movies may have the same type of content that is in this movie.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Engrossing, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking, Project Nim makes you think about how scientists have treated animals for academic gain. Told as grippingly as a thriller but without the bombast, the film humanizes (for lack of a better word) Nim's story and brings to the foreground the men and women he came into contact with, some of whom are still wrenched by what happened to him after the study was shuttered overnight.

Some reenactments aren't as clearly labeled as they should have been, and certain questions -- Was Columbia University aware of the study's invent-as-we-go parameters all along? -- aren't satisfyingly answered, but no matter. What we have here is an important film that dares to examine who is truly the animal: the chimpanzee plucked unknowingly from his mother's arms, or the scientists who might not have thought through the ethical dilemmas regarding his fate after the data was gathered and the intellectual work long over.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: July 8, 2011
  • On DVD or streaming: February 7, 2012
  • Director: James Marsh
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 93 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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