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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Oliver Stone biopic brings emotion to controversial story.

Movie R 2016 134 minutes
Snowden Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+


Great all around movie seems great for kids from ages 10 and up. My 13 year old son asked me if he could watch it and it was rated R so I watched it myself first. I then let him watch it and my 10 year old son.
age 18+

Some scenes do portray straight up sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

In Oliver Stone's biopic, the controversial Snowden is definitely portrayed as a hero, shown in a soft, emotional light that inspires hope, even if it lacks the righteousness of Stone's early work. Through skillful filmmaking, Snowden tells both the biographical and emotional journey of its main character (played convincingly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). He starts out as an idealistic believer in his country but becomes more and more alarmed, disillusioned, and guilty -- all of which leads to action.

Many of the details of Snowden's story were already covered in Laura Poitras' essential, Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour (2014), which is a much more powerful movie. But in that film, the real Snowden is all business, while Stone's version at least offers a warmer side to the whistleblower. Together, the two movies could provide a more complete picture of who he really is. Stone finishes Snowden with a coda that's designed to inspire, but it feels a little light and perhaps not as relevant as it once might have been.

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