A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this seventh installment in WalMart and Procter and Gamble's Family Movie Night franchise offers feel-good messages about family bonds, trust, honesty, and forgiveness. Those who have tuned into previous Family Movie Night selections might be surprised at this film's action sequences, which include gunfire, abductions, a drugging (for the purpose of abduction), and verbal threats to characters' lives, but the suspense is usually short-lived and only rarely results in minor injuries. The movie's fast pace and spy plot might confuse young kids, and they'll probably need some reassurances of a happy ending, but the action sequences will keep older viewers on the edge of their seats. Expect a few strategic placements of brands like Sierra Mist and Orville Redenbacher, though they don't interfere with the movie or its positive messages for families.
What's the story?
Like most families, the Millers' busy schedules and school pressures put a dent in the quality time they're able to enjoy together. But the unpredictable nature of Simon's (Loren Dean) job further complicates the situation at home. Whenever he's called away at the spur of the moment, his wife, Meredith (Robyn Lively), is left to pick up the pieces of the lives of their teens, Sarah (Skyler Day) and Kevin (Drew Koles) -- and the pressure is starting to take a toll on everyone. But when Simon goes missing on what his family assumed was a routine business trip, they begin to uncover clues to his secret life as a government spy, which thrusts them into an international search for him and, ultimately, the truth.
Is it any good?
WalMart and Procter and Gamble's successful partnership brings another engaging, family-friendly movie to the table in WHO IS SIMON MILLER. It blends action and adventure with character drama that will speak to families caught up in today's fast-paced lifestyle. At their most basic, the Millers' troubles are relatable to many families: physical and emotional distance, tenuous trust, and a lack of fulfillment at home. While the characters must go to the gargantuan lengths of transcontinental travel and thwarting an evil covert ops plot to reconnect with each other, it's easy to find some aspects of the story that you can relate to your family's own situation -- and benefit from its hopeful messages.
The movie packs a lot of content into its two hours, which sometimes interferes with the story's fluidity, but kids aren't likely to notice this, and it doesn't get in the way of communicating themes of trust, forgiveness, and family bonds. It's important to consider your kids' tolerance for violence, since action scenes feature gun use and fistfights, and all of the characters (including the teens) are put in perilous situations that threaten their lives. Youngsters may need some extra reassuring about the characters' safety, but this same action is bound to keep older kids and tweens more interested in the movie, which bodes well for family discussions about its positive themes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their own challenges. What aspects of your lives interfere with quality family time? How do you help avoid these conflicts? What traditions does your family have that help you stay close?
What are your family's rules about TV and other media? Are there certain shows you can watch or websites you can visit? And what's off-limits? Is there such a thing as truly family-friendly media?
What does this movie have to say about forgiveness? How would you react to learning a secret from someone close to you? Would it change your relationship? Is there ever a time when it's important to keep a secret?
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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.