Parents' Guide to

The Best of Me

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Weepy Nicholas Sparks melodrama is cliché-ridden, violent.

Movie PG-13 2014 117 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 18+

21+

This is very much a 21+ film. (Mind you I’m 24) 18 Only if you’re a college student with a major in Social/Criminal Justice. The Best of Me. Wow…it’s rare for a movie to make me tear up as much as that one. I believe It does a decent job of portraying why drugs should remain illegal. Forget about the socioeconomic effects for a second it has on the people who do drugs; not to mention the economy at large but I’m not preaching politics. Imagine the possible violence and darkness that surrounds the lives of the people who grow, sell, deliver or manufacture it. Sure you could call it Hollywood or another not so surprising Sparks novel but in the grand scheme of things it uncovers the veil before us of the reality we often deny or stick our heads in the sand to.The Notebook, Pride and Prejudice, and The Outsiders all thrown into one. In the end evil won. Like yes I get it in the end rich frat boy still got a heart transplant and Amanda still got her dream career afterall…but what about Bobby’s son whom we’ll never know if he got rescued in the end.
age 16+

Great love story, but not for younger teens, adultry and mild sex sex scenes are much better suited for older teens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (12 ):

Both sets of ridiculously attractive couples have the required chemistry to sell the "romance" part of this affecting romantic drama. Bracey does his best at capturing the broody young boy from the wrong side of town (the only kind of guy Sparks can write, apparently). He's not particularly charismatic -- that's all Liberato, who all but glows in her retro sun dresses while delivering encouraging, heartfelt monologues -- but it's easy to see why the filmmakers chose him; Bracey's got a soulful-hunk look that will play well with girls (and women) who like their romantic heroes quiet and gorgeous.

The lovers' grown-up versions are played by well-known actors Monaghan (who definitely pulls off being the older version of Liberato) and Marsden (who in no way looks like the adult counterpart of Bracey). These are accomplished actors who've made several romances, but even they can't make the mushy, maudlin story any less cliched (to the point that it's occasionally laughable). The movie has some legitimately poignant elements -- particularly the disturbingly violent relationship between young (and old) Dawson and his family -- but by the time the drama's twists are revealed, some in the audience will be too busy rolling their eyes to feel emotional.

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