Parents' Guide to

Terms of Endearment

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Glossy, funny, and packs a real emotional wallop.

Movie PG 1983 132 minutes
Terms of Endearment Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

The terms have not aged well although MacLaine's performance saves it

Shirley MacLaine...yess! even Jack Nicholson...ok...but everyone else? Nope, sorry, I don't think so. Debra Winger is all over the place, her focus, erratic and is she even in her body? She has moments where it works, but it feels like MacLaine's show. She carries it in her core and is very believable. Perhaps it has not aged well, but I also do not see why those around her don't seem to like her? The unlikable one is Winger's character. Tearjerker...a few...sad, yes...worth enduring for over two hours...that is up to you.
age 15+

Wonderful Oscar winner for older teens and adults only

This is a wonderful film that deserved every Academy Award it got, the acting and dialogue are both wonderful in every sense. However this movie does have one of the most heartbreaking finales in movie history. I don't typically cry at movies but this one got me to, so expect a lot of emotional intensity from this film that younger children will probably not be able to handle first off. Also there is quite frank sex talk in this film, use of drugs and also some rather strong profanity including an f word. Keep in mind this was before the PG-13 rating so to avoid an R rating and appeal to a broader audience lots of films got PG ratings but would certainly be PG-13 today. However teenagers who are film buffs should see this film as it is a true American classic with some of the finest acting ever in a motion picture. This is a really excellent film that has some strong themes and language so I would say 15 and up can handle it, but it definitely is not for anyone under 15 for sure.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

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

This engaging movie cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for James L. Brooks, and a Best Actress nod for Shirley MacLaine. And it's easy to see why. This is the kind of well-made movie that Hollywood used to make on a regular basis. It's glossy, funny, and packs a real emotional wallop in its tragic conclusion.

Skilled performances make an absorbing story even more appealing. MacLaine and Deborah Winger provide most of the sparks, but they're well-supported by an exuberant Jack Nicholson and a superb cast of extras. The movie is populated with rich and genuinely funny supporting characters, including Jeff Daniels. Aurora is an embarrassment of neurotic riches, and MacLaine plays moments of embarrassment to the hilt. While a bit risqué for preteens, the rest of the family will laugh and weep through this charming movie.

Movie Details

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