The End of the Affair
By Rich Phippen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Period drama about lost love has sex and nudity.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
An adulterous affair is at the center of the story. Themes of jealousy, mistrust, and lack of communication.
Positive Role Models
The three leads are all deeply flawed, displaying jealously, betrayal, and selfishness. Sarah is strong-willed and independent but is in the midst of an affair.
Violence & Scariness
WWII air raid. Explosion causes character to fall several floors, resulting in a cut head and (wrongly) assumed death. Character becomes ill and dies. Character pounds a fist on a table.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extended sex scenes with nudity, including breasts and buttocks. Characters have long conversations while naked.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One use of "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink whiskey to deal with stress. Sherry is drunk in a restaurant. Frequent cigarette smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The End of the Affair -- based on British novelist Graham Greene's book -- is set during and after WWII and revolves around an adulterous relationship. There are several fairly explicit sex scenes between the two leads (Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore), which include naked breasts and buttocks. A bomb explodes, leading to a character falling several floors and cutting their head. One character becomes unwell and (spoiler alert) dies. Drinking (whiskey and sherry) and smoking occur throughout the film, which is accurate for the time period. Strong language is minimal, with just one use of the word "hell."
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
The End of the Affair
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
THE END OF THE AFFAIR is set in 1940s London, where novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) runs into an old army friend, Henry (Stephen Rea), and his wife, Sarah (Julianne Moore). Unbeknownst to Henry, Sarah and Maurice started an affair two years before, carrying on until Sarah broke it off without giving a reason. Henry confides in Maurice that he suspects Sarah of being unfaithful and has hired a detective to follow her. As Maurice becomes involved with the investigation, his feelings for Sarah are reignited.
Is It Any Good?
This is a movie about adults for adults, making it fairly inaccessible for younger audiences. Despite a strong, mysterious opening, the movie descends into melodrama, and the resolution relies on a spiritual edge that doesn't match the tone of the rest of the story. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, the story feels better suited to page than screen.
Moore's understated performance and faultless English accent, coupled with Fiennes' convincing turn as a repressed, humorless writer make The End of the Affair perfectly watchable. But by the time it ends, this farcical love triangle is unlikely to warrant a second viewing.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the adultery in The End of the Affair. Do you think less of the lead characters for having an affair? What are the ramifications of adultery in the movie, and what might they be in real life?
Discuss how sex is depicted in the movie. What role does sex play in Maurice and Sarah's relationship? Talk about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
What role do faith and God play in the movie? How does Maurice and Sarah's relationship with God differ?
How are alcohol and smoking portrayed? Are they accurate for the time period?
- In theaters: January 21, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: May 16, 2000
- Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea
- Director: Neil Jordan
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Scenes of strong sexuality.
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings
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