Parents' Guide to

The Best Years of Our Lives

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fine movie for families with older kids.

Movie NR 1946 172 minutes
The Best Years of Our Lives Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

A fine, beautiful movie!

PG: drug usages
age 11+

Essential film for families.

Essential viewing for families, especially appropriate on Veterans Day. Superb screenplay, acting, choreography. Thoughtful and a depiction of American society before the affluence of the fifties.

Is It Any Good?

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

This notable movie's theme of adaptation to changing circumstances and the need for genuine closeness is a timeless one. Many kids will experience and learn about post-war issues as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. The most important scene in the movie is the one in which Fred realizes that he can use the same skills he used in the war -- especially his ability to learn -- to bring him what he is looking for. Fred and Homer both have a hard time believing that they deserve love, because each feels helpless and inadequate. Homer is afraid to risk rejection by Wilma, so he brusquely ignores her. Fred plans to leave town and never see Peggy again. But both ultimately take the risk and find the love they hoped for.

Al is also brusque and awkward with Milly at first, but by their first morning together he is ready to return to the relationship they had. Milly's description of marriage to Peggy is particularly important in this context, making it clear that "living happily ever after" requires commitment, courage, and work.

Movie Details

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