Parents' Guide to

The Playroom

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Parents seek joy, ignore kids in difficult, powerful drama.

Movie NR 2013 83 minutes
The Playroom Poster Image

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This powerful drama starts quietly and sneaks up on you, creating a home that feels oh so real, filled with people you probably know but might not like very much. The festive evening goes downhill quickly, but nobody wants to admit that they're not having fun. It's tough and at times unnerving to watch these people deceive themselves; Hawkes and Harris dig deep to show what it's like to be so powerless. Ultimately it's an intense look at how selfish behavior can destroy everyone nearby.

The Playroom is a real place, where these sadly ignored children craft a make-believe place to escape the horror of a family that's falling apart. The 1970s is both the movie's setting and, in part, its villain -- a time when adults were encouraged to find out exactly what they want and then do it. "You can't just do whatever you please," Hawkes' character Martin tells his wife. "Watch me," she replies with scorn, and it may be too late to save them. Too bad for Maggie, but at least she might have a way out. It's worse for the little ones, who are trapped in a crumbling home.

Movie Details

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