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Parents' Guide to

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

By Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Sad, beautiful tale of boy genius and tragic gun accident.

Movie PG 2015 105 minutes
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 7+

Excellent Family Movie

This movie is precious! Has strong family ties. If there was any cussing I don’t remember any. I see a review below claiming that they were trying to sneak in “bestiality”. That’s crazy, NO WAY! This movie is one of the most family friendly movies out there and has a great story line. My 3 year old sat still for most of it and watched intently. Everyone in our family loved it. Ages 3, 7, 10 & 12. The only possible trigger points I saw: There is one comment from one of the children in the movie “ Mommies and daddies have babies when they love each other.” It is meant in the sweetest most sincere way and not in a sexual way at all. There is one other comment where a child goes to his mother upset because a kid in class was teasing him and said that he “had AIDS“ and then the child asks “what is AIDS?”. The mother in the movie brushes it off. Basically tells her son that this girl is a bully and that if she does it again to tell her that she “is fat“. Part of the storyline is that one of the twin brothers dies in a gun accident. This family lives on a farm, so having guns around is very natural. Nothing is shown, you only are told about how the boy passes verbally. None of these things bothered our family, just wanted to mention them Incase they are a trigger point for yours.
age 18+

If you care about future generations, don't let them watch this

This movie is "artsy" but not in a comfortable or cute way. There are some questionable scenes, especially one I had to blink at, where it appears the 10 year old boy is imitating bestiality. It was probably meant to go unnoticed or be "subtle", but these "suggestions" are noticed by Protectors of the Innocent. The themes are from the realm of pedophiles, perverts and psychopaths. This was like a turd in the pool & made up my mind for me: I will not suggest this movie for ANY children, even if they would not understand what an adult will discern. WHY movies such as this one are made to look innocent and then deliver inappropriate undertones is beyond me. It feels like a creepy type of grooming, from which all innocents must be guarded. All I can do is say it out loud, because I know I personally have tried to be careful what I feed to my kids as entertainment, and I would want someone to tell me! I mostly object on the grounds that themes are introduced in this movie under the warm, stylish, and nostalgic cover of slick cinematography and production. This is like drinking a milkshake with only ONE teaspoon of diarrhea in it. It is exactly what thinking people have come to despise about Hollywood.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This offbeat, melancholy film, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), starts out quirky and then turns tragically sad as more information about what happened to T.S.' twin brother is revealed. The scenery is gorgeous, and the acting is wonderful -- especially on the part of Catlett, who plays T.S. He's compelling and tragic, which makes it easy to feel T.S.' isolation and guilt. His father doesn't appreciate T.S.' brilliance (or his wife's) and ends up being somewhat one-dimensional, though Bonham Carter is sympathetic as T.S.' dotty mother, Dr. Clair, who increasingly turns inward after the accident.

It takes a long time for anyone to take responsibility for allowing T.S. and his brother to play with guns -- or to acknowledge that their living son is in pain, which won't be easy for parents to watch. The story is moving and sometimes magical, but at other times odd (the dog starts talking), which takes you out of the story a bit. Overall, THE YOUNG AND PRODIGIOUS T.S. SPIVET is a good, sweet film, but it's not for younger kids.

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