Unicorn Store

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Unicorn Store Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Fanciful tale about growing up has mild swearing.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Finds worth in whimsy, creativity, and magic for adults as well as kids. Values promoted: family, unconditional love, taking risks, believing in oneself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Unconventional lead character is both admirable and flawed. Naive, selfish, and sheltered at the outset, the young artist learns about appreciating others, unconditional love, growing up, keeping magic in her life. Parents who genuinely care for their daughter border on "emotionally aware" stereotypes, but they're always kind. Ethnic diversity.


A sleazy office boss makes a few unsubtle passes at the main character.


Flirting/loaded looks between Kit and Virgil.


A few instances of "s--t," one "damn," one "hell," "Jesus."


Diet Coke, Bugles, Staples, Adidas, Care Bears, Pop-Tarts. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine at dinner. Young woman gulps her wine down.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unicorn Store is a whimsical comedy with engaging themes about resistance to growing up, belief in magic, and the power of love. There's a pervasive sense of innocence about the movie, but viewers can still expect some mild swearing, including "s--t," "damn," and "hell." "Psychologically attuned" adults and mean-girl co-workers are amiably parodied. A sleazy office boss makes a few unsubtle passes at the main character; it's clear that he's a jerk. Characters drink wine in a social setting, with the young lead gulping hers down. Brie Larson, who directs and stars, has made a movie that will appeal to teens, particularly girls who love the pastel softness of life's magical creatures and don't want to give up the dream too easily.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrayreiko April 9, 2019

Sweet, whimsical, creative and quirky film

I just watched it and found it heartwarming and refreshing in a quirky, dreamy way. It wasn’t sarcastic or mean or self-conscious- that’s great to see.

I love... Continue reading
Parent Written byMark R. May 9, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written bybookworm3284 April 8, 2019

Phenomenal, funny, sweet and touching coming of age tale.

Well this was a pleasant surprise. A very VERY pleasant surprise. I didn't think that I would be crying in the film. But there I was, sobbing. I thought th... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 11, 2019

Enjoyed it

Good for older kids, about 10 uses of the sh-- word.

What's the story?

Kit (Brie Larson), a lover of rainbows, unicorns, and Care Bears, just got kicked out of art school in UNICORN STORE. By the school's "minimalist" standards, Kit's imaginative, childlike creations are inconsequential. Disappointed in herself and sure she's disappointing her very understanding and worried parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford), the socially awkward and friend-challenged Kit resolves to "give up childish things" and become a grown-up. First step: a temp job. Abandoning her usual sparkly wardrobe, Kit tries hard to fit in at the office. And, because of a predatory boss, she advances quickly. But not before she receives a mysterious invitation to visit a place enigmatically called "The Store." Skeptical but intrigued, Kit goes to The Store, where she meets The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson), a wildly eccentric man in a wildly eccentric setting who offers to give her a unicorn who will love her forever! No strings attached, only a few conditions to fulfill. Kit's disbelief is trumped by her willingness to try and her lifelong love for the mystical animal. Aided by Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), a young hardware store employee, Kit sets out to balance her office job with unicorn preparations. It's a tall order, but if Kit is up to it, she may just find the life she's been longing for.

Is it any good?

It may be too offbeat for some and too precious for others, but Brie Larson has made the most of rainbows, unicorns, and all things bright and shiny in a film for lovers of magical tales. Acting is solid, with Mamoudou Athie standing out as the heroine's able helper and love interest. Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack have a great time as Kit's over-the-top "conscious" parents (they run a program for young people called "Emotion Quest") and bring heart to their send-up as well. Unicorn Store, which played in the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, was finally released nearly two years later to capitalize on Larson's success in Captain Marvel. It's not a great movie, but it's a good-looking and heartfelt effort for Larson. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the visual design of Unicorn Store enhances the film's premise and contributes to the movie's point of view. How do the costumes (particularly Kit's and The Salesman's) and sets help deliver the messages? Think about the look of The Store and the look of The Office. What do they tell you about the people who inhabit them?

  • Kit's mom says, "The most grown-up thing you can do is fail at the things you really care about." What does this mean? Do you agree with her?

  • How does this movie emphasize character traits such as curiosity, perseverance, and teamwork?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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