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Parents' Guide to

The Two Popes

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Theological leadership drama more for adults than kids.

Movie PG-13 2019 125 minutes
The Two Popes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

A lot of fun to see these two performers talking to each other

A film that holds onto you and then you realize it's Jonathan Pryce doing that...having a hold on you. He is very believable as Pope Francis. He has come a long way from arguably Bond's worst villain in Tomorrow Never Dies. And from yellow face in Miss Saigon in the 90s...this performance was delicate, strong with impeccable accents. Hopkins convinces (shocker) as Pope Benedict and the dialogue is a joy.
age 13+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (2 ):

If you're going to make a movie about what's holy, it had better be outstanding -- and this drama rises to the occasion. The Two Popes imagines an intriguing fly-on-the-wall-of-history scenario in which the two living popes debate theology and leadership. Perspective is at the heart of the film, and the idea that Ratzinger and Bergoglio could learn the same materials from the same type of teachers and in the same way, but come out with two completely different takes is really thought-provoking material. Director Fernando Meirelles created the ideal recipe to spark robust conversation.

The film centers on a fictional event -- Benedict inviting his former rival to spend time exchanging ideas with him at his summer residence -- but surrounds it with authenticity. The production design, including replicating the Vatican, is astounding. But it's the performances that really make the film fly. Hopkins creaks in tune with Benedict, who's portrayed as a Fanta-loving fuddy-duddy who's well aware of how much harder he's had to work for his success because he lacks a popular touch. And Pryce so fully embodies Bergoglio that you might find yourself checking the credits to be sure it's not Pope Francis himself. The film is much like a Gregorian Chant: The elements harmonize singularly to create a beautiful piece, but true appreciation for it comes with age.

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