Proof Movie Poster Image




Sometimes insightful, sometimes banal. Teens+.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters wrestle with difficult issues (how to determine insanity and sanity), but all mean well.


Discussion of suicide.


Some conversation about sex, a brief, sweetly imaged sex scene.


Some cursing, including f-word.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking and smoking (at a post-funeral party attended by academics), some discussion of drugs (prescribed and illicit).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie includes discussion of suicide and insanity. With the focus on conflicts within a family -- between father and daughter, and between two sisters -- the film includes several tense scenes, arguments, and tearful recriminations. It also features some cursing, a brief and gently rendered love scene, and references to drugs (medical treatments as well as illicit drugs). Characters smoke and drink.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Following the death of her father, Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) begins to worry that she might be insane. Her father, renowned and brilliant mathematician Robert (Anthony Hopkins), for a long time suffered from mental illness and Catherine had dropped out of school to care for her him. Following the funeral, one of Robert's former students, Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), finds a proof that he believes to have been Robert's, yet Catherine claims it was hers. While Hal seeks to validate the authenticity of the proof, Claire (Hope Davis), Catherine's sister, convinces Catherine to come with her to New York.

Is it any good?


This complex film presents a knot of questions, twisted up inside a knot of delicate performances and a fragmented narrative. Based on David Auburn's long-running play (on Broadway and on London's West End, among other venues), John Madden's PROOF poses questions of trust and doubt, grief and guilt, ambition and selfishness, as well as the sisters' competition and resentment. Catherine is also presently dealing with Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), an aspiring mathematician and drummer in a local band, who comes by to sort through Robert's papers, hoping, perhaps, to find a lost instance of genius, something recorded during a rare lucid moment, a last sign that his madness was not utter and all-consuming, even as it may have seemed that way.

The film's central, concrete problem is the revelation of the proof, not quite elegant but exceptional and potentially math-world-changing (again), hidden away inside a locked drawer in Robert's home office. Flashbacks reveal that he and Catherine spent some time working on a problem together, separately, but at the same time, each writing out pages of proof, working late into nights and bent over desks and tables in deep concentration. As their handwriting is similar, it's unclear whether the newly discovered proof is Robert's or Catherine's. She claims it is hers, but neither Hal nor Claire quite believes it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationships among family members -- two sisters and, in flashbacks, father and daughter. How do these relationships affect one another, as the sisters compete for the father's memory? You might also consider the movie's questions about insanity and brilliance: how are these subjective states connected or different, and also determined by social as well as medical standards?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 16, 2005
DVD/Streaming release date:February 14, 2006
Cast:Gwyneth Paltrow, Hope Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal
Director:John Madden
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual content, language and drug references

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Adult Written bywonder dove October 17, 2013

Excellent film!

I first saw Proof a long time ago when it first came out. I rented it and liked it. I haven't seen it again until recently and I appreciate it even more now. It's a great film with a terrific cast and excellent acting! This is not a chick flick! It centers around 27 year old Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) who dropped out of school to take care of her mentally ill father and mathematician Robert (Anthony Hopkins) whom she seems to be very close with. When her father passes away, one of his students Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a liking to Catherine and later finds a proof of a mathematical anthem that has never been solved that he believes was her fathers, but Catherine argues that it was hers from when her father taught her math. They start a sweet romantic relationship. Meanwhile, her overbearing sister Claire (Hope Davis) comes to visit to help settle their fathers affairs, but Catherine hasn't seen her in a long time and doesn't particularly like her. But Claire only wants one thing and hopes to leave everything behind and take Catherine away with her to live in New York. The story is very interesting yet sometimes sad and emotional. The language is pretty harsh for a PG-13 and contains about 2 f-words, plenty uses of sh*t, sexual slang words like d*ckhead and getting laid, hell, @ss and @sshole and more than a couple G0dd@mn's. Violence includes brief talk of suicide, a character knocks down books out of anger, two sisters bicker a lot - one being a big yelling argument. Sexual content is mild with one innocent sex scene followed by mild sounds, the scene is quick. There's drinking at a funeral, a character appears tipsy. Male student of Robert's talks about drugs in one scene. Overall, very enjoyable drama for the 13+ range!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Adult Written byRLINDSE1 April 9, 2008
Adult Written bybethlthomson April 9, 2008


its for teens not for kids to see.