Parents' Guide to

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature drama examines a marriage, warts and all.

Movie R 2014 122 minutes
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Mature, sympathetic, and realistic.

There will be some detractors that will call this a gimmick project. This film ("Them") is a objective take following both people within a relationship, which will very soon be followed by "Him" and "Her," with those two recounting the same story told here but from each character's respective point of view. And even if it is a gimmick film, it's a well made one that makes me interested in the other two movies soon to be released. It works because it doesn't just say that it's an objective take on a situation, but it is. Some story arcs may feel more interesting than others, but it's because different characters are going through different situations. It's truthful and touching, definitely helped by Jessica Chastain's Oscar-worthy performance here. It definitely tested my patience at times, but I was invested in the characters and enjoyed the somewhat nonlinear narrative structure. The ending is terrific. If they had gotten rid of some bits that were more familiar than others, the pacing would have helped as this totally could have been less than 119 minutes. James McAvoy's American accent seems to shift a bit in some scenes. I'm interested in the Him and Her sides of this story, and the fact that I want to spend another two movies is pretty impressive in itself. 8/10, really good, one thumb up, above average, etc.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Set aside the main complaint -- that it lingers too long on many scenes, which flattens the film's momentum -- and what you have is a careful, caring post-mortem of a marriage that's lost its way. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY has three versions: "Her," which looks at events primarily through Eleanor's eyes; "Him," through Conor's; and the merged version, "Them." The leads largely deserve kudos, especially a luminous Chastain who, in glee and in rage, brings her emotions full bore on screen. McAvoy's Conor suffers a little from being underwritten (at least in the "Them" version), but not from any shortcomings of McAvoy himself (except perhaps a bit of a loose hold on his American accent).

What's notable is how the script pulls back the lens to expose the ripple effects of a devastating tragedy -- one that doesn't just rend a couple apart but also unsettles everyone who loves both of them. Movies like these have been made before, some beautifully, but Eleanor Rigby dares to not come up with answers. Instead it reveals each of two people's point of view, as well as that of the friends and relatives who orbit them. It makes for formidable viewing.

Movie Details

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