Parents' Guide to

To Kill a Mockingbird

By TS Yellin, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Masterpiece with crucial lessons about prejudice.

Movie NR 1962 131 minutes
To Kill a Mockingbird Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 13+

Just keep in mind I am a kid writing this just using my mom’s account. This movie is one of my favorite movies ever, so good and heartfelt. There are some things you should look out for, such as: - Swearing and use of the n word. I don’t suggest watching this with a young kid, but if you do, you should talk to them first about why it’s not ok to use those words especially the n word. Explain to them how the only reason they say that in the movie is because many people didn’t know it was bad at the time, but it’s still not good to say then or now. - the whole plot revolves around the rape of a white girl. This is way too mature for kids, but also Mayella’s testimony is very graphic and I suggest skipping over it. Also, Mayella’s dad is creepy when Atticus is visiting Tom’s family and Mr. Ewell is hanging around Scout and Jem. I recommend skipping that too. - The end might be too intense for some viewers. A person (I won’t say who because it would spoil it) chases Jem and Scout through the woods at knight with a knife. Scout is ok, Jem is fine but just breaks his arm, and their chaser is stabbed and killed. At the end the police blames it on suicide when it really wasn’t. However, there are many good things about this movie! It is one of my favorite films. - Jem, Scout and Atticus make a great and loving family. You can tell that Jem loves and is protective of his little sister. - Atticus is a great roll model because he is kind, loves his family, and defends a black man at a time when black people were looked down on. He does the right thing despite peer pressure. - Boo Radley’s story is fun to watch and one of the best parts of the movie. - I know a lot of people think the acting isn’t great, but I disagree! Gregory Peck is AMAZING and his acting does justice to the amazing character that is Atticus, and Jem Dill and Scout are fun and innocent yet have the ability to be serious and the young actors live up to their roles perfectly. I could have sworn that Philip Alford and Mary Badham were actually siblings they were so realisitic! Watch this movie! One of my favorites and you will not regret is. It is also surprisingly funny despite the subject do the movie, thanks to Jem Scout and Dill. Not for kids above 13 as their are scary moments and mature themes. So good though!!! I watched it when I was 13 and was fine just skipped the parts I suggested above and my brother was 12 when he watched it and he actually liked it despite the fact that he does not like old movies! Really well done with great and convincing actors and good messages! There is also educational value because you get to see how a trial works.
age 18+

Classic is thought-provoking but mature. 14+

The plot of this drama heavily concerns the rape of a teenage girl, but is handled in a tasteful manner. Parents need to decide if their children can handle these mature themes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (34 ):

This film offers crucial lessons about prejudice and the fears that motivate it and is a portrait of how racism was discussed in the years leading up to the civil rights movement. Kids will appreciate how To Kill a Mockingbird talks to them but not down at them and reaches for the heart without gimmicks or trite characters. Peck's Oscar-winning performance anchors the film, which is finely crafted, with a perfectly balanced script by Horton Foote. A paragon of decency who stands for tolerance and nonviolence at all costs, Atticus also is a loving, nurturing father who treats everyone around him, including his children, with respect.

Screenwriter Foote includes more than lynch mobs and courtroom fireworks; he also offers lower-key, intimate moments, such as when young Scout questions her older brother about their deceased mother. Or, on a lighter note, when Scout fidgets during her first day of school; she can't get comfortable in her new dress. Despite the ugly truths the film portrays, a gentle goodness pervades it, even during the darkest moments.

Movie Details

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