The Last Picture Show

Movie review by Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Last Picture Show Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Classic American film has heavy themes and sex.

R 1971 118 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 2+

Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Adult Themes And Content Abound In This Coming Of Age Drama

I first saw the film when I was about 16, when the appeal it held for me was based on a desire to watch sexy movies. I was old enough to understand the inherent melancholy in the film but young enough to ignore it as well. This isn't an uplifting coming of age story, it's one that paints adulthood as properly complicated and morally grey. The main characters are not particularly endearing and they are motivated by lust, fear, anger, and jealousy. The choice to shoot the film in black and white obscures some of the film's adult content initially as we are taught to believe in the purity of B&W from the classical Hollywood era. The film is frank in depictions of sex and sexual relationships, and there is nudity, onscreen sex (not graphic), and discussions of the same. It's a beautifully stark movie about some very sad people in a very sad little town and it deserves a viewing for those interested in films from this era; films that were very countercultural and anti-establishment by directors experimenting with convention. Ultimately, I wish I had waited longer to see it for the first time. I might have gotten more out of it. Even mature teens would have trouble appreciating this one without getting stuck on the character's sexual proclivities because the film is, at the core, not about that at all.

This title has:

Too much sex

Movie Details

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