Tracks

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Tracks Movie Poster Image
Woman's powerful journey will leave you awestruck.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

When you feel lost and alone, there's always someone there who will be there for you, if you allow it: yourself. Also, no goal is too farfetched or nutty if you prepare for it well and fully.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Robyn is steely, determined, and adventurous. She doesn't allow herself to be dissuaded from doing something incredibly important to her. And she's a loving and gentle owner to her dog, Diggity.

Violence

A woman shoots at animals that are charging toward her. It's clearly a difficult choice; she loves animals but has to defend herself and her pets. A man speaks hatefully at a woman he has exploited for free labor.

Sex

A couple kisses and the next morning are shown waking up next to each other; it's implied that they've spent the night together. A woman is shown walking naked, her backside visible.

Language

"Bitch," "hell," "damn," "s--t," and "f--k" are all heard, though not constantly.

Consumerism

Products/brands seen/mentioned include Nikon, National Geographic, Kodak, Toyota, and Time. But the film is actually more about stripping everything down to the essentials, with none of the accouterments and objects we usually acquire.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking early in the film.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tracks -- which follows Australian Robyn Davidson's trek on foot for 2,000 miles in the desert -- is an inspiring, thought-provoking film that will easily appeal to teens. The vibe of the movie is deeply thoughtful and sometimes melancholy, but those very characteristics could appeal to young people who are trying to figure out who they are. Characters swear (including "s--t" and "f--k"), and there are a couple of kisses, as well as the implication that a couple has spent the night together. A woman's naked backside is seen. There's some early social drinking and a fraught scene in which an animal lover is forced to shoot at charging creatures in self defense. The main character is a steely, determined, adventurous woman who learns that she can always be there for herself when things get tough.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byB-KMastah October 12, 2014

Gorgeous and powerfully-acted, if a little slow.

This may be too slow for some people, but even when Tracks strains your attention for a bit, it's still arresting to look at. This is an absolutely gorgeou... Continue reading
Adult Written byUnknown Agent November 17, 2015

Good

Good movie has Some Nudity. A females backside is shown 2 or 3 times and a Brief Shot of her Panties from a distance.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Based on the same-named memoir by Robyn Davidson, TRACKS brings to life Davidson's 1700-mile journey, on foot, across the desiccated Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. To pay for her necessities, Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) signs a contract with National Geographic magazine and agrees to have a photographer, Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), shoot pictures of her at various stopovers. And along the way, she meets an aboriginal elder (Rolley Mintuma), who escorts her partway. But truly, Davidson would rather be alone with her camels, whom she's trained to carry her gear, and her beloved dog, Diggity.

Is it any good?

Wasikowska inhabits the character of Robyn Davidson so completely in Tracks that it's difficult to know where the role ends and she begins. (The fact that she looks a lot like Davidson, as documented in the National Geographic articles that traced her passage, is almost beside the point.) Her elation is tangible, her anguish profound. The actress' subtly calibrated performance is so grounded -- no histrionics, no overplaying -- that it's hard to believe she didn't actually live through such a journey. That's what makes Tracks such a memorable film. That and the exquisite footage that director John Curran and cinematographer Mandy Walker capture of the desert at its harshest and most sublime. Davidson is but a tiny speck in some frames -- and a mighty giant struggling to command the elements, and her own demons, in others.

Perhaps the one complaint with Tracks is that its beginning is somewhat belabored by the build-up to Davidson's trip -- perhaps necessary but still weaker in comparison to the rest of the film. In its entirety, though, it's pretty close to sublime. Tracks is demanding. It requires viewers to be patient and mindful and to be comfortable with silences. It's a small price to pay.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Tracks' messages. What point is it trying to make? Is it successful? What audience do you think it's trying to reach? How can you tell?

  • Hollywood is enamored with journey movies. How is this one different from others in the genre?

  • Why do you think Robyn decided to leave everything and walk across the desert? Was it for herself or for something else? Do you think the film is true to her experience? Why might filmmakers change things in a fact-based story?

Movie details

  • In theaters: September 19, 2014
  • On DVD or streaming: February 24, 2015
  • Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver
  • Director: John Curran
  • Studio: Weinstein Co.
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 110 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic elements, some partial nudity, disturbing images and brief strong language

For kids who love adventure

Our editors recommend

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate