A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Emphasis on love between siblings and the importance of supportive parents. Discusses adoption without stigma or judgment.
Positive Role Models
The brothers display empathy, sensitivity toward each other and others in their situation. They talk honestly about their troubled childhood, express regret for their mistakes but accept outcome of their choices. Their relationships are complicated, but they prioritize their similarities over differences. Positive, accurate depictions of Jewish traditions, family values.
Violence & Scariness
Mention of one of the brothers' alleged involvement in a murder (which he says is untrue). Major focus on serious mental health issues and institutionalization, discussion of one brother's tragic suicide. Some talk of a father harshly disciplining his children.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Talk about the brothers having the same taste in women; a brief scene depicts ogling a woman on the street as a comical moment. One brother refers to their biological mother's pregnancy as "a prom night knock-up."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One of the main subjects refers to his car as "the Old Bitch" within the first minute. Infrequent use of "crap." One brother says "Nazi s--t" during an upsetting moment.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Several references to Marlboro cigarettes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults talk about "partying" at a young age and unhealthy drinking habits. Cigarette smoking is mentioned several times but never shown.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Three Identical Strangers is a documentary that tells the amazing story of three identical male triplets who reunited as young adults after being separated at birth. The first part of the film paints an optimistic picture of the brothers' joy in finding each other and their immediate connection. But as the details unfold, it becomes clear that this miraculous, heartwarming coincidence is the result of much darker events, which have major consequences for the triplets' lives. Expect occasional swearing, including "bitch," "crap," and "s--t," as well as a few suggestive references and mentions of "partying" and smoking. A bigger concern for parents may be the constant talk of the siblings being kept apart, serious mental illness, and psychological tests being performed on children -- as well as a frank discussion of suicide. The film delves into the conflict between science and ethics, and it also conveys the importance of empathy and sensitivity to others' needs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Although it's sometimes a little slow and predictable, this intriguing documentary excels in its relentless attention to detail, which will keep viewers watching and waiting for more. With its well-developed subjects, Three Identical Strangers gives depth to a conspiracy of mind-boggling proportions. The re-enactments of events throughout the film are particularly compelling, helping to bring some of the most sinister parts of this incredible story to life. But at its heart, the movie's real value lies in its ability to encourage viewers to ask deep, nuanced questions about society and human nature. Difficult topics like nature vs. nurture, human suffering for the sake of scientific discovery, Jewish-American identity struggles after WWII, and mental illness are presented in a very accessible way. That said, however, the documentary takes a pretty obvious stance on these matters by focusing heavily on the brothers' emotional experiences and, at times, seems to skimp on providing objective information, which will undoubtedly impact viewers' perceptions of the complex topics it's tackling.
And while interviews with other sets of twins who were affected by these events help illustrate the story's wider implications, they distract from telling the less appealing aspects of the triplets' lives and leave viewers with more questions than answers. Some might even interpret the film's conclusions as coming dangerously close to aligning with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. But overall, this is a worthwhile film about an astounding series of events that raises important questions about family, free will, and the ethics of scientific research.
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.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Movies That Inspire Kids to Change the World
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