Parents' Guide to

The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

BBC's 5-part series shows a feisty, moody, realistic Anne.

Movie NR 2009 150 minutes
The Diary of Anne Frank (2009) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

The immaturity level of my classroom is just dashing. (I am 14 years old btw)

To start off, it's very informative for young viewers. But let me put that aside. When we were watching this in class, it got VERY uncomfortable. She takes her sister's bra and stuffs it with cotton balls. Being a girl I couldn't help but notice the boys in my class, giggling away. Oh and it gets worse. She goes to her sister and straight up asks her "Margot, how old were you when you got your period?". Her sister was very confused as was I. OH and you haven't even read the best part. She has a sleepover with her friend and says something along the lines of "I really want to grow up, and I wish I had breasts of my own". Just by reading that it probably made you cringe in your seat but then she goes on to say "I've never felt them, can I touch yours?" And she reaches in when her friend says "HELL NO" or something like that. Can you imagine what I felt watching and listening to that! With immature boys who can't deal with those things? And I don't know how my teacher even let us watch that! Anyways that is what I thought about it. P.S that is only half of it, because I haven't watched the other half yet XP

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
age 12+

Students WILL understand

I can see why some teachers/parents might be reluctant to show the elements of the Holocaust, WWII, Hitler, etc. to young students, but I do not think we should shield their eyes from HISTORY and allow them to process and think for themselves. I am always astounded by the responses of my students when we analyze what happened with Anne Frank, and it really puts into perspective the value of life. I say every middle school student MUST watch.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (46):

This five-part BBC miniseries of The Diary of Anne Frank is a more relatable, faithful adaptation of the legendary diary than the classic 1959 movie. As portrayed by Kendrick (who looks quite a bit like the real Anne), Anne is still as energetic and upbeat as she is in previous depictions, but she's also moody, self-absorbed, jealous, and believably 13, 14, and 15. Anyone who has read the diary knows that Anne isn't perfect or a martyr, as the media can sometimes portray her. She was a fiery teenager who could be petulant and unkind but also incredibly optimistic and insightful. Kendrick captures that untamed spirit, and it's refreshing that she's not distractingly beautiful like Millie Perkins from the original Hollywood movie, or Natalie Portman, who played Anne on Broadway.

In keeping with accurate descriptions, Mr. Dussel is not depicted as bumbling or clueless about Judaism the way he was in the '59 adaptation. Peter and Anne's romance is also believably displayed as a matter of hormones mixed with proximity and not a passionate, "true love" type of relationship.

Endorsed by the Anne Frank Foundation, this BBC mini-series does not make any controversial revelations, like the award-winning 2001 made-for-TV movie Anne Frank: The Whole Story, which claimed the Franks were betrayed by a factory maintenance worker. It is faithful to the original text, without shying away from Anne's unkind descriptions of the other inhabitants or her mature musings about her changing body and her early-adolescent sexuality. Scenes with Anne and Margot are particularly touching, because despite being incredibly different (Anne's impetuous, interested in Hollywood celebrities and being the center of attention, while Margot does her academic work religiously and is quite gentle and serious) they grow to become each other's (save for the diary) deepest confidants. Families interested in a realistic but still stirring depiction of life in the secret annex should check out this BBC production.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate