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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A father who is otherwise attentive seems oblivious to his son's feelings, insisting on getting his own way, making fun of his son (he calls him a "fathead"), and conducting an affair in front of him and then asking him to keep mum, even though the son is still a kid Another character kisses a woman who isn't his wife. Nevertheless, most of the characters are well-intentioned and are searching for the right answers.
Violence & Scariness
Raised voices in argument, but no physical fights.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No explicit nude scenes, though couples in varying/implied states of undress are shown about to make love or making love (for example, a teenage couple is shown under the covers with bare shoulders). A teen boy is briefly shown masturbating under the covers. In front of his son, a father cozies up to a woman who isn't his wife. Some kissing and discussion of the "sex police."
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Some salty language, but not on overload. "S--t" is uttered in the first few minutes, and in one scene with strong emotions, a character screams "f--king" several times. Other language includes "bloody," "hell," and "damnation."
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Products & Purchases
Book covers are clearly visible (one character reads a lot); some brief product mentions, but nothing obvious.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Visible consumption of alcohol -- mostly in social situations, though a teenager is shown drowning his discomfort in hard liquor that his own father buys for him.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a very grown up movie depicting extremely complex father-son dynamics, exploring the good, the bad, and the ugly of their relationship. That means infidelity and, at times, emotional cruelty. Some scenes depict the son as a teen, complete with raging hormones. Though there aren't any explicit nude scenes, his growing fascination with the opposite sex is explored (there's a masturbation scene). He also drowns his sorrows in hard liquor at one point, and there's some swearing. If your son is going through a rough patch with his father, see the movie ahead of time so you can unpack some of the complicated emotions the movie is guaranteed to raise. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Anand Tucker brings deft grace to the movie, switching between the three time periods with ease and resisting the temptation to go for the cheap shots to eke out sympathy. (How rare!) The result is a sweet, honest, and profoundly moving drama.
It's also well-acted. As the teenage Blake, Beard owns the film; his every movement communicates longing and anguish, along with a hefty dose of teen disdain. Watching him transform into the adult Blake (Firth is as quietly affecting as the movie itself) adds potency to the entire story. And as Arthur, Broadbent offers a textured performance. He's neither monstrous nor angelic -- he's painfully human. A scene in which he teaches his son how to drive on a beach beautifully conveys a moment that means so much more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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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