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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of the importance of tenacious investigative reporting, courage in coming forward, and enduring personal risk to help others. Together, we can create change.
Positive Role Models
Women investigative journalists balance their personal lives with the pursuit of truth in hopes of stopping future victimization. They're forthright in pursuing their story, demonstrating integrity, tenacity, and grit, and they're not deterred by threats or intimidation. Women (including Ashley Judd, who appears as herself) and some men show real-life courage in aiding an investigation that threatens irreparable professional damage to themselves.
White women star in the film and hold key production roles: director, writers, producers, and cinematographer. One main character is Jewish, and aspects of her culture are expressed in her daily life. Nuanced portrayals of women address meaty topics, including the challenges of postpartum depression and parenting a newborn; the fact that women can be hands-on, involved parents while also having a satisfying career; and the positive impact of women speaking out to help other women. Cast is almost entirely White except for a senior-level Black male journalist in a supporting role and a Chinese British woman in a small but key role.
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Violence & Scariness
Subject matter is sexual coercion and rape, and victims recount experiences of both. While no abuse is depicted on camera, in one flashback, young women are seen fleeing or crying after sexual abuse. Story of a suicide attempt. Chilling verbal threat of extreme violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Description of man masturbating. Kissing between a married couple, and husbands are shown as supportive. Sexual come-on from a random guy in a bar. (Additional sex-related content is of a violent nature and is included in Violence & Scariness.)
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Strong language includes "s--t" and "f--k." Exclamatory use of "God!"
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Products & Purchases
Camera shot centered around an Apple logo on a laptop, indicating likely product placement.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters meet at a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that She Said recounts the New York Times investigation that revealed the rampant sexual misconduct and assault by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The movie showcases the tenacity involved in investigative journalism and offers nuanced, layered depictions of womanhood. The reporters and editors are unwavering in their strategic effort to get to the bottom of the story so they can help disrupt a system that protects abusers. Their actions led to meaningful change, including the ousting (and, in some cases, criminal prosecution) of men who abused their power to coerce, intimidate, and rape female subordinates. Victims share stories of sexual abuse, but the incidents aren't shown -- although flashbacks do include women in deep distress after leaving encounters with Weinstein. Women are shown as much more than their stories or their careers, with the story touching on issues from postpartum depression to career-lifestyle balance to battling breast cancer. There are so many meaningful messages here, but the strongest is that a group of people can create change if they lock arms and move forward together. Mature content includes an attempted suicide and some profanity ("s--t," "f--k"). Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This drama is a cinematic earthquake. Audiences will be moved by She Said's powerful storytelling, focused tenacity, and the courage of the women who went on the record to help topple a monster. The movie elicits a physical reaction: Viewers may feel their insides rumble with outrage, frustration, and disgust that a powerful mogul was allegedly able to sexually abuse so many women and that a (nearly) insurmountable system was in place for decades to protect him and other abusers. There's a sense of breaking free as we watch the ground finally rupture under an industry, see more predators get shaken out of the shadows, and welcome substantial change. And there's a bit of instruction here, too: Change only lasts if we continue to demand it.
The drama, made quite soon after the events it covers, creates a record that enlarges the footprint of the news reporting of 2018. This is now a time-travel movie, a visual synopsis that could be revisited decades in the future that will accurately portray the attitudes of the era. That's why it's all the more rewarding to see a film that depicts the modern-day female experience with such reality. With so many years of mostly men behind the camera, much has been missed in depicting how women really interact with each other, how women can relish their work life as much as their family life, how some women may have faith intertwined with their being, and how women often face an extra layer of life to punch through because of the men who see women only as sexual beings. She Said also allows viewers to see how journalists can be heroes through their pursuit of the truth. But it's important to note that the movie doesn't make all men out to be villains -- just this one. When they're provided with the full understanding of what was happening, other men in the story provide aid to the investigation. The title clearly indicates that this story is coming from the female perspective, but it's an essential and fulfilling watch for everyone.
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.
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