Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Scorsese's difficult, gory, but magnificent religious epic.

Movie R 2016 161 minutes
Silence Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 16+

Long, slow and long...yep, long twice.

Long, slow, beautifully shot, meticulous, quiet, existential and long. Yes, I said long twice because it is just under 3 hours and you feel it. It is a journey that does not feel like its resolution offers any kind of respite for the soul, perhaps that is Scorcese's point. But it is a point that is grueling to make and to witness. The film feels like it is good for medicine, as opposed to just being good. The acting...well just superb.
age 16+

A Must-See

Silence is a story, as some of the reviewers had shared here, which calls it to be a gritty, tough film although it is authentic in such a way that one cannot appreciate or recognize if it is done as a “feeling good” type of film. However, not all “feeling good” films are necessarily bad, but all films should hold a strong message along with managing stories that have an relatable, authentic beat for everyone. This is what Silence does. Films, especially done well with beautiful cinematography, a killer cast, fitting music, and portraying real situation as truthfully as possible can go a long way, in particular, when it sits in a genre catering to a main audience, which are Christians, although it should hold an provoking quality that holds an appeal to non Christians. Generally, when a film is well done and the message rings clear, as it does in Silence, focused on persecution and where one stands, but how far one is willing to go in faith—it is not necessarily a bad thing to really question and think about what you believe—and it should be encouraged more, instead. However, although it does hold a powerful message—for some, the violence may be too much, others it may not—but regardless, the violence isn’t used in a sense that it is senseless, but to bring up a point in the story itself, and while one may be aware it isn’t the most warm and fuzzy film for kids to watch, it is an important one because it cannot be forgotten that one can take their practicing in faith for granted. In some countries, like in Japan for Silence, it is dangerous, and consequences follow. Despite of the violence, it is inspiring to see those men to be examples of faith and that they are willing to encounter the difficult, to go into the trenches not because it is expected of them back in Japan for practicing it, but they believe it is something worth fighting for. Worth dying for. It is a film that, while posing questions that require thoughtful responses in discussion with others, one point remains fundamentally the same throughout the story: does one not only know and love what they stand for in spite of fear of one’s fate, but to remember it isn’t just fiction, that it can happen to any one of us? Silence is a must see, and it recognizes humanity at its best, as well to its bottom, however, perseverance never truly dies especially if it is done in free will.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (9 ):

This religious epic, a dream project of director Martin Scorsese for decades, is somewhat difficult and unwieldy, as well as a bit gory, but it's also magnificent, beautiful, and masterful. The Oscar winner read the source novel by Shusaku Endo while in Japan in 1989 and has been trying ever since to bring it to the screen; it's impossible to guess whether the results could ever have been any better than this masterful drama. Silence is a mix of Hollywood grandeur and genuine existential, soul-searching, much like the films Scorsese grew up watching.

For some, Garfield may not seem enough of a heavyweight actor for the role of Garrpe, but his eyes reveal genuine pain as he struggles with his personal crisis. The wonderful Japanese actor Issey Ogata, playing an inquisitor, gives a breakout performance, adding weight and humanity to the "other" side of the argument. (Silence never settles for any easy answers.) Neeson and Driver are also excellent, lending their bodies and souls to the movie's powerful cinematic depiction of landscapes, which are every bit as treacherous and shifting as belief itself.

Movie Details

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