A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Life is worth living, even when times get hard or seemingly insurmountable obstacles are placed in your way. Fame and celebrity are described as "an illusion" made out of "paper and feathers."
Positive Role Models
Fox perseveres through extreme physical pain and complications from his Parkinson's disease. He calls himself a "cockroach" -- hard to kill off. Pollan has stood by his side through this as well as through his earlier battles with alcoholism and absenteeism as a father when their kids were little.
The film offers insights into living with a debilitating illness. Fox shares how he does and does not want to be treated. He also reflects on the life of a celebrity. He acknowledges that when he and his wife had children, she gave up her career while he didn't.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Fox describes being bullied as a kid for his small size, including being shoved in lockers. He went through a period of alcoholism that also prompted some rage, including threats to others, punching walls, and getting into regular fender benders. His disease causes physical pain as well as frequent falls, leading to bruises and broken bones.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couples flirt and kiss. An interviewer asks Fox who he's "sleeping with." He tangentially describes how his fame attracted women.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Regular use of "f--k" as well as variations on "s--t" and "goddamn." Other language includes "son of a bitch," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "sucks," "jerk," "turd," and "Jesus."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Michael J. Fox films and series, Hollywood studios and TV channels, clothing and shoe brands, cars, media outlets, and a couple of fast-food restaurants are named or seen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Fox says he was an alcoholic and describes periods of heavy drinking, which he used to "disassociate" following his dire medical diagnosis. He talks about hangovers and also mentions smoking when he was younger. He discusses his use and prior misuse of medication for his Parkinson's disease.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie hears directly from the actor about his experiences encountering fame as a young man and living with a painful degenerative disease since his late twenties. There's language, heavy drinking, and descriptions of physical pain. Fox describes a period of alcoholism and rage following his diagnosis at age 29 with Parkinson's disease, which he initially hid for several years, manipulating his drug intake to hide his symptoms. His disease causes physical pain as well as frequent falls, leading to bruises and broken bones. Fox perseveres through all of this, and his wife and children stand by his side. He insists he doesn't want to be treated with pity and wants to tell his story while he still has time. The film has frequent use of "f--k" as well as variations on "s--t" and "goddamn." Other language includes "son of a bitch," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "sucks," "jerk," "turd," and "Jesus." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The way director Davis Guggenheim has seamlessly overlapped reenactments with archive footage and new film and interviews to tell Fox's remarkable story adds up to a uniquely engrossing documentary. The opening sequence of Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie reenacts a story, set to Fox's own voiceover, of the first time the actor noticed a vibration in his pinky, waking up hungover in a Florida hotel in 1990. Shot and narrated to elicit maximum suspense, the attention-grabbing scene quickly transitions to Fox in bed at his home today, struggling against the constant tremors of Parkinson's to get out of bed and brush his teeth. Cut to a noticeably aged but irrepressibly roguish Fox in a bright white room being interviewed on camera by Guggenheim.
The montage technique is woven throughout the rest of the film, with actors (never seen in full) portraying Fox, wife Tracy Pollan, and others, acting out past experiences Fox narrates, then meshing flawlessly into actual behind-the-scenes footage from the period. The film also uses scenes from Fox's own films and TV shows to illustrate points Fox makes about his life. It might inject unintended meaning into some of the footage, but it makes for compelling visual storytelling. Fox comes across as much gristlier than his squeaky-clean '80s on-screen image, when he was the "boy prince of Hollywood." The man has a mouth on him too. "I'm a tough son of a bitch. I'm a cockroach," he says, describing past bouts of rage and alcoholism and insisting he doesn't want pity -- even as he falls in front of passers-by or struggles through physical therapy sessions. The cruel irony of a comedic actor losing the ability to move his face or spout off rapid-fire cracks is not lost. Time is short to tell his tale, and Fox -- with Guggenheim's help -- has told it well.
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.