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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
When a teen dies in a tragic accident, his family and friends try to keep his memory alive, but they eventually realize they can't live their lives in the quest to keep their late loved one with them -- they have to make their own decisions about what's best for the living.
Positive Role Models
Two teens in a tough situation turn to a less-than-responsible adult for help -- he's a pot farmer who smokes weed with his son, has no parental boundaries, and has a seriously unreliable track record, but he also gives sensible advice that turns out to be very helpful.
Violence & Scariness
A group of teens gets in a fight that leaves one bruised and lying on the ground.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two teens kiss and get undressed. It's clear that more happens off screen, because the girl gets pregnant and much of the film focuses on how she tries to resolve it.
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Frequent swearing, mostly by teens, including "s--t," "a--hole," "p---y," "goddammit," and "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The teenage main characters do lots of drugs, including pot, cocaine, and inhalants. One has a father who grows pot and often smokes with his son, doing little to discourage the boy's activities. But part of the film focuses on a group of "straight edge" kids who refrain from drugs, drinking, and sex and try to encourage others to live a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ten Thousand Saints is an edgy drama about two teens in a tough situation, set in 1980s New York. They smoke pot and take plenty of other drugs (including cocaine and inhalants); their parents are absent, preoccupied, or just oblivious; and the kids spend much of their time hanging out on the streets or with homeless punk rockers squatting in abandoned buildings. There's lots of swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k"), some sexual references (including an unplanned pregnancy), and a lot of questionable decisions. It's best for older teens, especially if parents are there to discuss it with them. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This definitely isn't a typical teen coming-of-age movie, though its protagonists do come of age. It's also not a romcom, though the characters do fall for each other and have sex. It's more of a family drama, though not a single character in the film seems to have much of an idea of what it really means to be a family. The teens are mostly raising themselves, and the parents have much more important things to do than actually be parents, especially Hawke as Jude's weed-growing dad, who gives his son free rein in New York and likes to smoke pot with the kid. It makes mid-1980s New York look pretty rough.
But give the film time to do its thing, and all these dysfunctional families/characters start to grow on you, even Hawke, who turns out to give the most sensible advice of anyone in the film. Butterfield and Steinfeld are outstanding (angsty, yes, but excellent, too) and Emile Hirsch, as a punk-rock member of their extended family who's trying to figure out who he really is, also gives a strong performance. TEN THOUSAND SAINTS takes some unexpected twists, but it's an interesting -- and sometimes fun -- ride nonetheless.
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.