Seven Years in Tibet

Movie review by
Tony Nigro, Common Sense Media
Seven Years in Tibet Movie Poster Image
Soul-searching story won't interest younger teens.
  • PG-13
  • 1997
  • 136 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots of guns, killing. War depicted in a harsh and realistic way.


A few instances of profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that unless their kids are fixated on Brad Pitt, the subject matter may not hold the interest of young teens. Based on one man's spiritual journey, it tells the true story of a mountaineer's experience in Tibet as it is occupied by Chinese Communists in the 1950s. The beginning of the movie shows some scenes of World War II combat, and there are images of Nazi propaganda.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMotherHubbard December 22, 2013

Excellent film

Excellent educational film about Buddism ,the Dalai Llama and Tibet during World War 2. Historically accurate and a starting point for delving deeper into the h... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bybuddy1072 July 24, 2012
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

I love this movie!!!

I am related to Heindrich Harrer and I thought that this movie was great. I disagree that young teens won't be interested. It was an interesting movie beca... Continue reading

What's the story?

As World War II heats up, gold medal winning Austrian mountain climber, Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) in his attempt to escape both impending fatherhood and the war, flees his country to climb the Himalayas. What was originally to be a four-month climbing adventure quickly turns into a seven-year odyssey when a sudden arrest and escape from a British prisoner of war camp, has Harrer and his German associate, Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), immersed in the new and exotic culture of Tibet. The two foreigners find contentment in the beautiful and legendary holy city of Lhasa. There, the young religious leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, is intrigued by the yellow-haired foreigner and seeks his knowledge on the contents of the world outside of Tibet. While advising this amazing young monk, Heinrich intellectually matures and begins to learn humility, coming to terms with his estranged son in Europe.

Is it any good?

SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET is truly an epic film. At once historically accurate and emotionally honest, the movie's taut construction keeps the story moving to the point that the 140-minute is largely accessible. It offers a plethora of positive lessons, particularly the peaceful, humane teachings of the Dalai Lama that inspire Heinrich's acceptance of paternal responsibility. Despite Brad Pitt's inconsistent German accent, his portrayal of Heinrich remains as compelling as the film's breathtaking Himalayan vistas.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Buddhism's role in East Asia and how the teachings of Buddhism motivated Heinrich to be a better father. They can also discuss World War II history and the subsequent Cold War era, and the effects of Communism in Asia.

Movie details

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