Parents' Guide to

The Lovely Bones

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Haunting mystery-drama examines a child's murder.

Movie PG-13 2010 135 minutes
The Lovely Bones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 26 parent reviews

age 16+

Lots of blood and some use of foul language

age 16+

What the actual…

The first 30 minutes had you on the edge of your seat. I almost turned it off during the next 30. They finally got their act together around the 60 minute mark. Annnnd lost me again at 1:07. Cringe!!!! Overall, it’s a good message to warn older kids, but not sure that weirding them out with the fake afterlife stuff was the right move. Laughable at best.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (26 ):
Kids say (104 ):

As Susie, Ronan is infinitely watchable: She's compelling every time she's on screen. Her sadness plumbs depths; her joy soars. And when it's clear that she's been hurt, the impact is enormous. Losing her is palpable, and that's critical, considering that she's the story's pivot point. Wahlberg and Weisz are strong, too, though perhaps not as gripping, as is Rose McIver as Susie's younger sister. But Tucci: Though terrifying, he tragically plays to type. You can spot his child molester a mile away.

THE LOVELY BONES loses its way when it spends too much time in a place where director Peter Jackson is clearly comfortable: the in-between (the place between Heaven and Earth). Painted with visually arresting CG effects, this place is a sight to behold, a lyrical middle earth. But Jackson lingers there way too long, slowing down the movie's pace. Unfortunately that comes at the expense of the family's unraveling, which seems painted in over-broad stroke.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: January 15, 2010
  • On DVD or streaming: April 20, 2010
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg , Rachel Weisz , Saoirse Ronan
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 135 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language
  • Last updated: February 13, 2024

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