Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dark, violent sci-fi noir has memorable performances.

Movie PG-13 2021 148 minutes
Reminiscence Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 15+

So much money for that!

A great cinematography to support a boring and cheesy story. The fight scenes are a big miss, not filmed properly but much more like a drama instead of dynamic moves and closer frames. The project is not bold enough and some risks should have been taken considering the futuristic semi-post apocalyptic context where the overall mood is too sanitized and proper. The bad guy character played by Daniel Wu is out of subject, limit hilarious, and should have been replaced by Sam Medina who has much more charisma and fits the part perfectly. Overall, we feel the Nolan family influence and understand a directing job and deal were given by relationship and political context of diversity and inclusion… which excludes prioritizing talent which is common mistake by studios nowadays. A huge budget for a deception at its level.
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (6 ):

Writer-director Lisa Joy's directorial debut has much in common with her previous work in Westworld and shows her taste for dark, depressing universes populated by broken characters. Jackman is compelling as Nick, a man who spends most of his time guiding customers into their favorite moments, until Mae breaks down his walls with one torch song. Newton (fabulous in Westworld) gives another nuanced performance here, even though her character isn't as well-rounded in this supporting role. Ferguson, who had a pivotal role opposite Jackman in The Greatest Showman, once again plays a character who can use her voice (and, in this case, Jessica Rabbit-meets-Kim Basinger femme fatale looks) to seduce any man she targets. The movie's action sequences lean heavily on orchestrated shoot-outs; one in particular makes memorable use of the song "Tainted Love" and is thrilling to watch.

Many have pointed out the similarities between the style of Reminiscence and that of Joy's filmmaker brother-in-law, Christopher Nolan (especially in Inception), as well as parallels to movies like Blade Runner, noir classics, etc. But all movies can be reduced to elevator-pitch equations, and some of those criticisms border on being sexist. Joy's world-building is intriguing; she just leaves a lot of fundamental questions about what happened to that world unanswered, chief among them what exactly the "border wars" were about and how they affected everyone, beyond the tattoos that all of the war's veterans seem to have. In some ways, the first two-thirds of the movie would have made for a thought-provoking TV series like Westworld -- but as a self-contained film it's a bit scattered. Joy knows how to build mesmerizing dark places filled with broken people looking for hope, love, and redemption; now she just needs to refine and polish that vision.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 20, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming: November 9, 2021
  • Cast: Rebecca Ferguson , Hugh Jackman , Thandiwe Newton
  • Director: Lisa Joy
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Run time: 148 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence, drug material throughout, sexual content, and some strong language
  • Last updated: May 31, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate