Parents' Guide to

The Lobster

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Sex, violence in mature romantic drama's dystopian future.

Movie R 2016 118 minutes
The Lobster 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+

The Lobster - Or Is It A Lame Duck?

The Lobster – Or Is It a Lame Duck? Perhaps the main things to know about this movie are; it’s co-written, produced, and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and liked by people who seem to think they must be good judges because they like movies that most don’t. As with “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer” this is yet another of those murky, semi-serious works that tries so hard to be ‘different’ that it stumbles over itself, falling flat on its own pretensions. Lanthimos tends to be trapped in his desire to be the new Kubrick, with his constant obsession for human emotional detachment – also for scenes that run longer than necessary to establish their purpose. It’s a minor point, but it tended to appear that because of obvious budget restraints, this ‘futuristic dystopian’ comment on human relationships takes place in locations that are either obviously present-day or perhaps too old to convey their intended era. Dialogue and many ideas are so outlandish the interesting cast - often seem to give the impression of wondering what they are supposed to do next. So much in-depth comment might have been achieved within this ‘satire’ on failed human relationships, but Lanthimos and his writers tend to be happy with simply using dumbed-down, crude sensationalistic dialog and situations, to replace the lack of human expression. Attempts at satirical comedy are mainly achieved through heavy-handed sadistic or ugly cruelty --to both humans and animals-- cheapening the final outcomes. The whole thing then ambles on for so long, that any vague interest suffocates under its own self-idolizing over-indulgence. Strictly for the festival crowds or those that might feel superior liking subjects that disinterest (or repel) others.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 18+
As a fellow Art House Filmmaker myself, I can tell you that this film is for a particular type of person. It is requires a stable mind. It is not in any way for children and should be kept that way. The film is full of dark humour which is guided at Adults only. Almost all of it contains themes that you must be mature in yourself to understand and accept. The performances are magnificently amazing and extraordinarily casted. There are moments of extreme violence and disturbance. It also contains brief moments of strong sexual themes including direct intercourse and dialogue. The whole film is a Surreal insight into how love is pressured today, and I would definitely recommend it to certain people. Children shouldn't see this, and not just because it's violent and sexual but almost all of it is quite slow and contains themes that only Adults would understand. BOTTOM LINE: This film is not for children whatsoever but is brilliant for adults. It requires a mature mind and deep understanding of Adulthood. As a filmmaker I have seen this film at least 5 times and have enjoyed pulling it apart and trying to make sense of it. I thank you all for your time and I hope this review has been helpful.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15):
Kids say (9):

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos may have positioned himself among the world's great, provocative "maverick" filmmakers with this bizarre yet fascinating dystopian nightmare for grown-ups. Against all odds, Lanthimos actually received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for 2009's Dogtooth, and he now ventures into English and enlists Hollywood stars -- who are more like playthings here than performers -- with THE LOBSTER.

Lanthimos' palette is bleak, his pace is slow, and his characters all speak in unsettlingly measured, robotic tones, as if afraid to accidentally express any genuine emotion. Sudden bursts of sex and violence -- beginning with the startling opening shot -- and a clinical acceptance of disturbing imagery indicate a kind of brutal fearlessness in Lanthimos. But unlike other mavericks (Lars von Trier, Michael Haneke, or Catherine Breillat, for example), he seems to have a dark, brittle sense of humor; it's possible to view this movie as a pitch-black comedy.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 13, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: August 2, 2016
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux
  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 118 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexual content including dialogue, and some violence
  • Last updated: January 6, 2023

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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