Reach Me

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Reach Me Movie Poster Image
Muddled, sometimes violent drama about a self-help book.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The plot has a lot to do with a self-help book that aids people in dealing with adversity, changing for the better, and finding their true potential. One man helps another quit smoking.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some characters learn to become better people and follow their heart (i.e. a gossip reporter stops smoking, falls in love, and becomes a "real" writer).


Guns, shooting, and killing, somewhat comical in tone. Women fight in prison; one is bashed with a chair. Violent stories are told with brief violent flashbacks. Thugs terrorize women. A car crash. A man bashed in the teeth. A dog bites a man's nose. Punching, fighting, and yelling. A woman is forced to remove her underwear on a movie set and is touched against her will.


A woman's naked bottom is shown (she drops her pants during a prison scene). A woman in lingerie. Kissing, flirting. While making a film, an actress removes her bra under the covers for a sex scene (tops of shoulders shown). The male actor touches her below (against her will), also under the covers. He's later seen with two women leaving his trailer. A man in underwear.


Several uses of "s--t," "t-ts," "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," "bastard," "crap," and "scheisse (German for "s--t")." A man has Tourette's Syndrome. Racial slur (rap music is called "jungle jingles").


Twitter and McDonald's mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character tries to quit smoking. Smoking shown. A character smokes an oregano joint in one scene.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Reach Me is a dramedy about the effects that a self-help book has on a group of people. One character is a trigger-happy cop who shoots and kills -- or beats up -- several characters. There's additional shouting and fighting, plus a car crash and a biting dog. The top of a female character's naked bottom is shown (another sports revealing lingerie), and a woman playing an actress is coerced into removing her bra (out of view) on a movie set (tops of shoulders shown); she's later touched against her will under the covers (also out of view). Language includes several uses of "s--t," "t-ts," "bitch," "ass," and more, and there's some smoking -- both cigarettes and a fake joint (it's oregano). The self-improvement aspect might spark discussion among teens and parents.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybetsyl December 1, 2014

Reach Me

Yes, there was a happy ending, but that’s the point of motivation. We want to know that we can be better, try harder, do more, and achieve our dreams if we take... Continue reading

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What's the story?

After turning her life around with the assistance of a self-help book called Reach Me, Colette (Kyra Sedgwick) is released from prison. She meets her niece, Eve (Elizabeth Henstridge), and they subsequently get in a car accident with trigger-happy cop Wolfie (Thomas Jane). Many others, including a rapper (Nelly) and a hit man (David O’Hara), have also been moved by the book, and a would-be novelist working as a gossip reporter, Roger (Kevin Connolly), is charged by his tough-talking boss (Sylvester Stallone) to find the reclusive author (Tom Berenger). But will bringing him into the open undo all the work he's done?

Is it any good?

Writer/director John Herzfeld (Two of a Kind, 2 Days in the Valley, 15 Minutes) crowdfunded this movie and must have called in every favor he had to find his incredible cast. Perhaps he was hoping to change the world with REACH ME, but what he ended up with is a toneless mess that's more chaotic than soul-searching, more irritating than meditative.

The high-pitched quality of the direction suggests that maybe all of this was supposed to be funny, but nothing here inspires laughter. The characters might have generated some sympathy if they weren't spread so thin and forced into awkward situations. A cop always seems to be shooting people and then goes to a priest to confession. An editor yells at everyone and then goes home and tries to paint. And a journalist falls in love with the one person who can best help him. Not even the wide-ranging talent of this hardworking cast can help fill in Reach Me's peculiar blanks.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Reach Me's violence. What purpose does it serve in a movie that's about personal growth? Could the story have been told without it?

  • Why are self-help books popular? Do they actually help?

  • Why did the author of the book wish to stay hidden? Why are the reporters so interested in exposing him?

  • How does the movie portray smoking? Does it have realistic consequences?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas and comedies

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