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Parents' Guide to

The Homesman

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Striking Western has some disturbing material.

Movie R 2014 122 minutes
The Homesman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

Very disturbing and disappointing

i just joined this site because of this movie because none of the previews or descriptions of the movie prepared me for the extremely disturbing images in this story. I wish I'd had this site to refer to first. It's not the story of a strong woman in a western the caliber of Unforgiven as I was lead to believe. I watched because I always loved the actors, but this story is dank, depressing and tells no good tale that I can see. I couldn't sleep afterwards and I've seen worse, I just chose a long time ago not to. Too much sex? Disturbing sex is more like it. Disturbing things done to children, don't waste your time. I wished I'd never have seen it. Although I'm well into adulthood there are still images that can cause me nightmares. This movie was it.
age 16+

Utterly depressing, no depth

This tale has an interesting premise and the previews caught my attention but the story goes from bad to worse with no real meaning. It certainly gives an idea of how horrible life could be for some women on the frontier but there are few redeeming qualities. One of the worst, most depressing movies I've seen in a long time and I'm a big fan of Tommy Lee Jones. I watched with my 15 year old but certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Especially anyone under the age of 15.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Based on a classic novel by Glendon Swarthout, who also wrote The Shootist, THE HOMESMAN is something close to a great modern-day Western. As evidenced by his last film, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, director Jones has a keen eye for hard landscapes (including his own weathered face) and emotional compositions. The Homesman is full of striking imagery: the locked, coffin-like coach; fresh new buildings in hardscrabble dirt; a disturbed grave on a gnarly plain.

Jones is also wise enough to step into the supporting role, giving Swank room to do her best stuff as Mary Bee, an extraordinary woman who's as strong as a man yet full of yearning and forever giving more than she gets. As Briggs, Jones sometimes provides cranky comic relief from the grim material but eventually grows into a sympathetic, essential character (thanks to several women). Meryl Streep works her magic in the later scenes, as does young cowgirl Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit).

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