Parents' Guide to

That's What I Am

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Message movie about tolerance has a few mature themes.

Movie PG 2011 101 minutes
That's What I Am Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Too much focus on homosexual tolerance

Thought this was going to be a good movie about tolerance, namely re: differences people can’t change/control - physical traits, etc. - with a focus on the children characters. It became evident pretty quickly that this is just another movie to push normalizing homosexuality. I waited for the focus to return to the red-haired boy character, but it was pretty clear after a good 20 minutes the focus was going to be on the allegedly gay teacher. I wouldn’t have been bothered at all if it were included as one of many issues re: tolerance, but it became the sole focus of the movie. Why can’t they make movies without agendas anymore?
age 12+

10 year old wasn't ready for this

We chose this movie for family movie night due to the PG rating. Our daughter (who just turned 10) recently wrote an essay about bullying so we thought she would be okay with the theme. We ended up having to turn the movie off because she got so upset. She was especially bothered by the imagery of the girl being hurt by a bully and the intolerance of the bully's father toward someone who is rumored to be homosexual. She is a pretty sensitive girl but I would recommend waiting until age 12 or 13.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This movie is more like a really good long-running episode of The Wonder Years. If you're playing message movie bingo at home with squares for battling intolerance, being true to yourself, world peace, getting along better with parents, facing fears, standing up for others ... you'd be a winner with this movie. It's not a terrible thing, but that lack of focus is what keeps this sweet little movie from being a really good sweet little movie.

If you're looking for a renter for 10-year-olds, though, THAT'S WHAT I AM is an inspired choice that will get kids talking about its lofty themes and their school experiences. Not such a bad thing at all.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 29, 2011
  • On DVD or streaming: August 16, 2011
  • Cast: Chase Ellison , Ed Harris , Molly Parker
  • Director: Michael Pavone
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Vivendi
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG
  • MPAA explanation: for thematic material throughout, language and some bullying.
  • Last updated: February 25, 2022

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