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Parents' Guide to

Us and Them

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Chinese romantic drama has sex, drinking, smoking.

Movie NR 2018 119 minutes
Us and Them Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+


Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This romantic drama feels like two movies in one. On one hand, there's a beautifully filmed romance centered on the dreams, passions, and ambitions of the two lead characters against a backdrop of China's continuing rapid economic transformations between 2007 and the present, and how the values of this society influence who they are and what they want. On the other hand, there is a mawkish melodrama that gradually takes over as the movie progresses to an overly emotional descent into the realm of cliché. The latter doesn't ruin the movie, but it comes close to doing so. Fortunately, the former transcends the genre and finds the universal experience in two people existing in the gray area between friendship and love while coming of age.

That said, the viewer doesn't necessarily have to be familiar with the recent history of China and the Chinese economy to follow the action, but such understanding might make the movie more enjoyable overall. There's a strong possibility that the nuance and intricacies of the Chinese culture and its impact on the story and these characters will be lost on Western audiences. The slower pace and the aforementioned melodrama might also turn off audiences looking for a romantic movie with a more straightforward story. But when it's good, Us and Them masterfully captures a moment in time and place, and how that time and place informed the values, dreams, and practical considerations of two young people in and out of love over 10 years.

Movie Details

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