The Last Song

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Last Song Movie Poster Image
Sweet Miley Cyrus drama depicts first love, family troubles.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 104 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Love transforms even the most hardened souls, though it’s not always enough to sustain marriages. But forgiveness helps bridge the gap. Also: Happy families might only appear that way, so it’s best not to judge from appearances. And music can bring you joy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While initially not a great role model, Ronnie ultimately comes around. When she arrives in town she’s been arrested for shoplifting and though she’s been accepted at a prestigious music conservatory, she plans on not going. She’s also disrespectful of her parents, especially her father. However, she’s the one who changes the most in the movie, softening and finding the will to forgive. Other characters include a young girl who appears willing to stay in a relationship that clearly devalues her; her boyfriend who manhandles her; and two young men who’ve helped destroy a neighbor’s reputation. All but one learn their lesson in the end.


A boy takes a crowbar and tries to hit another with it during a fight. He also menaces his girlfriend and manhandles her. A local is suspected of arson.


More talk than action. One character discusses another’s conquests. Some passionate kissing, and a guy makes a pass at another even though he has a girlfriend.


Some uses of "bitch," but much of the dialogue is only slightly salty: "pissed," "brat," "suck." Also, a couple uses of "God" as an exclamation.


Some signage for Mobil gas stations, restaurants.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drug use, though one scene shows teenagers drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sweet-but-sad and fairly predictable coming-of-age story will likely appeal to hordes of Miley Cyrus’ young fans, but it's best for older tweens and teens thanks to the heavy topics of divorce, abusive relationships, and death. The romance (including some passionate kissing) will send fans' hearts a-flutter, and a tear-jerking storyline will leave them surprisingly moved. There’s little swearing ("bitch") and some sexual banter, but most everything’s pretty clean-cut.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBeckstar October 29, 2011

too emotional for kids

This film is not geared towards children, but I think a lot of Miley fans went to see it because she was in it. A guy also dies in this film and he is seen dead... Continue reading
Adult Written byBabies02 November 11, 2020

Sad but good

It’s a really good love story but its very sad
Teen, 15 years old Written bysoccer_girl05 January 20, 2021


I absolutely loved this movie. It was very emotional but yet very cute. The only reason I say 12+ is because of the hard subject of cancer and how emotional the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAvidFox October 6, 2020

Contains Mature Themes but Overall Good

The Last Song does contain some mature themes (including divorce and abuse, others are outlined in other reviews) but it's overall a good movie. The movie... Continue reading

What's the story?

Sent along with her younger brother to spend the summer on Tybee Island with their father (Greg Kinnear), Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) resists enjoying their time together. She’s been estranged from him since he divorced their mother (Kelly Preston), and refuses to forgive him for what she feels is abandonment. Post-high-school-graduation, life in general feels tenuous to Ronnie. She’s been accepted to Juilliard, the prestigious music conservatory, but she’s determined not to go, despite having been a musical prodigy. Her father was her teacher, and she can’t bear to sit at the piano again since it reminds Ronnie of him. But an unexpected romance with a popular local boy, Will (Liam Hemsworth), softens Ronnie’s heart, and paves the way for a reconciliation with her father. Sadly, it may prove too short.

Is it any good?

Miley Cyrus won’t be winning any acting awards anytime soon. Her delivery is rat-a-tat, and she operates in two modes -- pouting and not.  But despite rote dialogue and plot swerves one could spot a mile away, Cyrus manages to seem authentic, especially in scenes with Kinnear and Hemsworth, with whom she shares incredible chemistry.

It's their chemistry that rescues THE LAST SONG from disaster, actually -- Hemsworth has great charisma and good instincts -- and the gorgeously photographed locale helps too. Nicholas Sparks, of The Notebook fame, who wrote the screenplay, clearly knows how to eke out the tears from romance. (Cyrus' tween fan base will swoon.) But the movie aspires to be too many things -- an inspirational movie, a dark family drama, a study of class conflict -- that it isn't great at any of them. Plus, for a film starring beloved pop star Cyrus, with the word "song" in its title, and celebrating the joy of music, it has too-few moments of Ronnie and her father together at the piano. And that's a pity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ronnie’s reaction to her parents’ divorce. Why does she hate her father so much? Why is she unable to forgive him? Is her reaction typical and/or understandable? Does her experience remind you of your experiences or your friends' experiences?

  • Tweens and teens: Do you see Miley Cyrus as a role model? Why or why not? Do you think celebrities make good role models? Do you have any real-life role models -- like family members, friends, or teachers? Do you real-life role models have more or less influence over your thoughts and decisions compared to celebs?

  • Is the film’s depiction of first (true) love realistic? How does it change Ronnie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate