Tom & Thomas
Separated-at-birth twin tale has a few intense scenes.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this British movie about twins separated at birth is marketed as family friendly but the language ("s--t" three times by a 9-year-old) and some intense scenes make it best for tweens and up. Children are kidnapped by some really creepy guys in an adoption racket and in a climatic scene one twin tries to save another and almost dies. There's also some bullying, beating with a switch (leaving Tom with two big welts on his back), and a few tense chases involving a rottweiler.
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What's the Story?
Nine-year-old Thomas (Aaron Johnson) and his adoptive father Paul (Sean Bean) live in London and are trying to get by after the death of Thomas' mother. Paul thinks Thomas is using an imaginary friend named Tom to cope but Thomas is sure his dreams, daydreams, and occasional sympathetic pains are real. Tom (also Aaron Johnson) is an orphan at a boy's school who's in serious trouble. A school caretaker catches him snooping just as an unconscious boy's body is loaded into a truck as part of an illegal adoption racket. Now Tom's on the run and serendipitously shoplifts the same jacket Thomas buys on the way to both their favorite place: the space museum. When the two finally meet, Thomas decides to hide Tom, doubting his father will believe them until they find proof that they're twins. Only, the proof is back at the boy's school with some really bad guys ready to make Tom their next kidnap victim.
Is It Any Good?
The cast is good here and there's plenty to keep TOM & THOMAS from being cookie-cutter family fare. First, the villains have more depth than you'd expect -- and there's an added twist that compounds the excitement. And the female pilot who trusts her instincts and saves a life is a welcome touch. The action-y climax is a little long for shorter attention spans, but keeps it exciting.
The filmmakers had to throw in a few irksome cliches and way-too-big coincidences, however. Like the old twin switcheroo (to cheat on tests, etc.) and Tom and Thomas running around London in the same jacket. And of course there would be no climax without a moment where the twins decide not to tell Thomas' dad his "imaginary friend" is real and hiding out in his bedroom -- not yet. Do they really need to find the proof for him that they're twins? Um, how about they look exactly the same?
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the family depicted here. How do Thomas and his adoptive father mourn their loss? How do they talk about Thomas' adoption? What kind of help does Thomas' father receive when he's concerned about his son?
Families can also talk about secrets from parents. Do you agree with Thomas' decision to hide Tom from his father?
The twins have the ability to feel each other's pain and even daydream about what's happening to the other. Would you like this ability? How would it affect you?
- On DVD or streaming: December 8, 2009
- Cast: Inday Ba, Sean Bean, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
- Director: Esme Lammers
- Studio: Phase 4 Films
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: threatening situations, thematic elements and some mild language
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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Twin Sister Sisters' magic made for tweens.
For kids who love watching together as a family
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