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Parents' Guide to

The Kids Are All Right

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Mature, witty family dramedy explores love, parenthood.

Movie R 2010 104 minutes
The Kids Are All Right Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 18+

Has its moments, but I wouldn't put it on a "need to watch" list

NOTE: This review contains a plot spoiler. I may be sheltered, but to my recollection, this is the first movie I have watched with a lesbian couple. I think the movie does a pretty good job of showing the ups and downs of a relationship (between the married lesbian couple), but the way it portrays sex between Moore's and Ruffalo's characters is frankly gratuitous ("uncalled for"). In addition, the fact that the lesbian couple watches a video of gay men having sex to get aroused was odd to me. I disagree slightly with the Common Sense Media reviewer that there wasn't a villain, as Ruffalo's character really crosses boundaries when he initiates a kiss and then sex with Moore's character. He isn't a true villain, however, as he does have endearing qualities. My brother and I felt that the ending could have been done better, as it left certain matters quite unfinished.

This title has:

Too much sex
age 16+

Lesbian dramedy is a little underwhelming

After the enormous Oscar hype about this little indie that could, a couple of Golden Globe wins, and four years later, I eagerly pressed play to watch "The Kids Are All Right." I especially had an interest in the film after learning about the topic of artificial insemination, in which I was conceived! I have to say, the only edge this movie really has is the sex scenes and the fact that it's a lesbian couple...but the latter doesn't really matter, at some point you're just kind of watching a family drama unfold, the fact that it involves gay parents is irrelevant. And sadly, though I did enjoy seeing Ruffalo being a kind of hippy dippy donor-dad, the story wasn't all too compelling. Amid the sex and language though, there are great messages about what it means to be a family despite circumstance, and it has its funny and tender moments.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15 ):
Kids say (8 ):

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is more than all right. It may be known for the fact that it's a movie about same-sex parenting, but beyond that, it's a smart, funny, and affecting look at modern-day relationships and the daily -- and, in this case, outsized -- pressures that erode their foundation. Parenting is exhausting, couplehood can be draining, and making messes is much too tempting. It's difficult terrain no matter who's in your family.

Part of what makes the movie refreshing is that there are no villains here -- just adults and, to a lesser degree, teens trying to make sense of their complexities, desires, and confusions. In short, trying to be all right. The three leads show off their ferocious gifts with surety, and the kids -- Wasikowska, especially -- skillfully keep up. The script isn't without its weak spots: What compels Jules to take up with Paul is a mystery, for instance (and no, his scruffy good looks alone don't explain it). But that's a minor quibble.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: July 9, 2010
  • On DVD or streaming: November 16, 2010
  • Cast: Annette Bening , Julianne Moore , Mark Ruffalo
  • Director: Lisa Cholodenko
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use
  • Last updated: May 24, 2023

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