Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Entertaining Hollywood story has important history lesson.

Movie R 2015 124 minutes
Trumbo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 12+

Good movie on an interesting topic.

I don't think kids below 14 are going to show much interest to the story, but there is sure no reason for the movie to be rated R, other than the fact that this rating is given by the MPAA, associated in the movie to the opponents of the main character (or the "bad guys" to put it simply). The movie deals with interesting topics, but i think at least a minimum knowledge about the cold war is required to understand it well. Probably too much smoking, but some lung cancer, so it balances well.

This title has:

Great messages
age 13+

Relevant and engaging

Watched with our 13 year old -- and we were all spellbound. A disturbing chapter of American history highlighted through great story telling and compassion. This movie will hold the interest of any teenager who enjoys history and follows current events. Raises important questions families can discuss about public hysteria -- how individuals with a platform can fan the flames of fear regardless of facts -- and the right to individual beliefs. Beyond that, there are fabulous lessons about family, integrity, hard work, the creative process...and yes, the health effects of smoking, drinking, etc. There are lessons also about how a family pulls together when a parent loses work...including fear of survival, overcoming obstacles, admitting mistakes, and forgiveness.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (5):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This biopic could have fallen into all the usual traps, but Jay Roach directs John McNamara's smart, witty screenplay with a light touch, and the result is both entertaining and educational. Set between the 1940s and the 1960s, TRUMBO could have been a mere collection of highlights, but the filmmakers manage to create a vivid gallery of colorful supporting characters who all contribute equally; in the lead, Cranston is marvelous -- with an endless flow of crystalline dialogue -- but it's not just a one-man show.

Better still, Trumbo deftly tells the story of the Communist witch hunts in a way that acknowledges their complexities and gray areas while still labeling them, on the whole, as an act of pure evil. Roach gets this message across with a minimum of preaching but still strongly enough to ignite passions. Yet the most memorable parts are the movie's many laughs, as Trumbo wryly regards the various situations he finds himself in.

Movie Details

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