Parents' Guide to

Sophie Jones

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Poignant character study deals with grief, sex, substances.

Movie NR 2021 85 minutes
Sophie Jones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+


Director Jessie Barr’s smooth peer into teenage parental death feels refreshingly more Bergman than, well, a lot American directors. Her soft touch allows the viewer to feel and absorb through brevity of words versus peripatetic, loquacious ramblings. The lead and supporting actors lend a natural and intrusive peek into their lives that felt documented not contrived. Contemplative and enjoyable.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This touching, well-acted drama centers around a young woman's sexual coming-of-age after her mother's death. Clearly a labor of love, Sophie Jones is a family affair involving first cousins Jessie Barr (writer, director) and Jessica Barr (co-writer, star), who have nearly identical names because they were both named after their shared grandmother. While in their teens, each also lost a parent to cancer, just like the film's main character, so the movie is somewhat autobiographical for them. Sophie isn't always a likable character, and her actions and decisions range from cringeworthy to irrational, but she's always utterly believable for a high schooler who's carrying the immense pain of a mother's death. Of course she's searching for ways to dull that pain, while avoiding any substantive conversation about her feelings. Kevin, therefore, is too caring, too nice, and too empathetic for Sophie, who just wants to get out of her head for a while, not talk.

The two Barrs convey first sexual experiences with a brutal honesty and realistic style. There's a naturalness to Sophie's encounters, whether it's giggling in bed with Kevin as they first make out or, later, in a sad, regrettable moment after her actual first time, during which she literally says "This is it? This is sex?" with an underwhelming tone that makes it clear it's not the fireworks and passion she imagined. While nothing is visually explicit, Sophie and Claire have frank conversations that reveal Sophie's initially inexperienced but well-thought-out views on what she is and isn't interested in doing. But this is far from American Pie; there's no fetishization of first times in the film. It's really about dealing with loss, feeling alone, and wanting to feel good at a time when things are bleakest. The Barrs succeed in their labor of love, and the movie marks Jessie as a filmmaker to watch.

Movie Details

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