Parents' Guide to

The Goldfinch

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Art-centered drama about loss has teen drinking, drug use.

Movie R 2019 149 minutes
The Goldfinch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

Book-lovers will love it!

If you did not read the book, you will most likely be confused and bored throughout. Watching with my family I had to explain what was happening from my knowledge of the book. It has all the essential parts from the book but is very disjointed in how they put it all together.
age 14+


I didn’t read the book so the movie didn’t make a lot of sense. My 13 year old came and saw it. She enjoyed it a lot but I did think it can be overwhelming for immature kids. It was good however.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (29 ):

Just like the antique Chippendale antique restorations that Theo sells, this movie's source material is exquisite, but the changes applied to transform the piece degrade the entire product. Not that adapting the story could ever be considered an easy task: Tartt's novel is nearly 800 pages long, and a great deal of it is Theo's internal struggle and dialogue. But unfortunately, the big-screen Goldfinch doesn't sing, it warbles -- and, at two and a half hours, you might wish you could silence it. Still, it offers quite a bit of chewy content to contemplate, discuss, and debate.

The story is a complete original, but the movie does feel like a couple we've seen before. When Theo is a child, it's like Stand by Me -- young teens bond over loss, abuse, and the unfairness of life. When he's a young man, it's more Bright Lights, Big City: A handsome 20-something New Yorker battles his demons with drugs as he tries to settle his affairs of the heart and get on the right path. The Goldfinch does boast memorable performances: Nicole Kidman's poised, proper, yet caring and protective temporary foster mother; Sarah Paulson as the chain-smoking girlfriend of Theo's actor-turned-gambler dad; and Finn Wolfhard as Theo's bad-influence best friend. It all adds up to what might be best described as an empathy hot pot -- not so much a tearjerker, but once the credits roll, you realize your heart is fully cooked.

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