Parents' Guide to

Rain Man

By Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Drama about autistic savant has profanity, mature themes.

Movie R 1988 134 minutes
Rain Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 15+

Great message, great performances but not for younger kids unless you show them an edited version

This is a drama about Tom Cruise who is a self absorbed car dealer who learns to turn into a decent, selfless human being when he discovers he has a much older brother who is an autistic savant played by Dustin Hoffman. The acting is fantastic Hoffman definitely deserved his second Oscar for this, Cruise although maybe too young in reality to be Hoffman's brother (let's face it Hoffman is old enough to be Cruise's dad in real life), is equally excellent and the chemistry he has with Hoffman is among the finest in cinema history. That being said as other reviewers have pointed out the language is very strong. Cruise uses many f-words and while it helps us to understand his frustrations with Hoffman it is also excessive. There is a brief comic sex scene but both Cruise and his girlfriend are not shown having intercourse. They are hidden by a comforter and Hoffman walks in on them misunderstanding what they are up to. It is played strictly for laughs. Later Cruise's girlfriend is seen in the bathtub and a brief glimpse of her nipple may be visible. Were it not for the profanity and that one scene this film could easily qualify as a PG rated film but instead it is rated R for those reasons. Some of the scenes of Hoffman getting upset are intense, but it is to demonstrate what autistic savants can be like and it gives adults and kids a better understanding of who they are as people. This movie also glorifies Hoffman's characters abilities which is excellent and shows that people with his disability are extraordinary. It's a shame this movie is rated R because it really could be an excellent PG rated family friendly film but it does occasionally play on television and of course they have Clearplay machines which can edit out the strong language and sex and make the film on the PG level. Catch it on TV or watch it with a Clearplay if you have kids under 15 because the message in this movie about love and acceptance is fantastic. If your kids are 15 and up they should be able to handle this fine unedited. Its a movie with great messages for pre-teens and teens to learn. It's just a shame about the language and one sex scene.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
2 people found this helpful.
age 18+

Older teen

Mature theme Female breast nudity Sex scene

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14):
Kids say (40):

This is a quiet, understated gem of a film, one that richly rewards the patient viewer with an unforgettable emotional experience. Many films that depict those with mental or physical disabilities exploit the character's handicap for quick-fix audience sympathy. Rain Man never indulges in this. Despite it being responsible for autism becoming part of the common vernacular, Rain Man does not dwell on the affliction's parlor-trick-like aspects.

Instead, we follow the ups and downs of Raymond's relationship with Charlie and with the world at large. Each success is followed by a setback, until we begin to question how we define "success." Charlie longs for Raymond to change but gradually, subtly, changes the terms with which he loves him. The film refuses to take the easy way out by demonizing institutions of mental health. In the end, we are left to wonder what is best for Raymond and whether or not Charlie is any less emotionally isolated than his brother.

Movie Details

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