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Parents' Guide to


By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Post-bomb gore, language, drinking in rehabilitation drama.

Movie R 2017 116 minutes
Stronger Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Don't Watch

Constantly using the Lord's name in vain. Throughout the whole movie. Language is horrible. The fact that this movie is rated 15 plus blows my mind.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 15+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (2 ):

David Gordon Green's Stronger shifts the focus from the terrorist hunt connected to the Boston bombing to an effective personal story of rebuilding yourself from the studs. (As a result, it's an unintended but effective companion piece to Patriots Day.) Bauman, who famously helped identify the bombers from his hospital bed, has every bit as tough a time adjusting to post-attack life without legs as you'd expect. The film presents him as a somewhat directionless man-child who's suddenly thrust into the spotlight and very much not ready for his close-up -- despite Patty's smothering love and the support of way-too-good-for-him Erin. The film takes an awfully long time arriving at Bauman's rise up from PTSD-fueled drinking, self-pity, and self-destructiveness, but it does get there.

But beneath the expected inspirational tale, Stronger has an interesting and effective undercurrent of guilt, mostly in the form of survivor's guilt. It's unspoken but present. Where the film is "strongest" is in its unspoken moments, actually. Green wisely makes room for his actors to breathe. Much is told in lingering reaction shots, letting us experience what the characters are feeling. This works especially well with Maslany, who turns in outstanding work as long-suffering Erin. Her performance is understated and entirely present. From the smile she can't suppress when on-again, off-again boyfriend Jeff does something charming early on, to her wordless realization that he was hurt in the bombing, and in so many other moments, Maslany is disarmingly unadorned and real. Unfortunately, the narrative isn't arranged in the most compelling fashion. It may closely mirror reality, for all we know, but as a drama, it has a bit of drift to it; it lacks drive. Still, Maslany, plus the effective Clancy Brown in a smaller role as Jeff's dad, help elevate the film.

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