Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Youth Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful, reflective drama has strong language, nudity.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie's message is mostly about learning how to accept loss and regret.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are notable for having accomplished great things in the arts, but otherwise they mostly seem think about themselves.


A character jumps from a balcony to his death (only the jump is shown, not the fall). A character has a hysterical fit. Some arguing. A character dresses as Hitler to prepare for a movie part.


Full-frontal female nudity, brief full-frontal male nudity. Graphic sex scene. Sex references.


Fairly infrequent use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "whore," "bitch," "piss," "idiot."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Background smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Youth is a quiet, thoughtful drama about characters reflecting on their lives and learning to accept loss. It's from director Paolo Sorrentino, whose 2014 film The Great Beauty was an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Given that the main characters (played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) are in their golden years, the drama may not appeal to teens -- which is fine, since it includes both male and female full-frontal nudity, as well as graphic sex and additional sex talk. Language is likewise strong (but not frequent), including uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." A character commits suicide by jumping to his death (nothing graphic is shown), and there's some background smoking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byiiRevieW April 16, 2016

A Brilliant portrait of people's different lives

This film is a masterpiece, although there is a lot of sexual content. There is full frontal nudity, male and female plus a very graphic/wierd sex scene. Over... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Retired composer/conductor Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is vacationing at a resort in the Swiss alps. His daughter, Lena (Rachel Weisz), is there, recovering from a breakup, as is his best friend, filmmaker Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel), who's working with a team of screenwriters on what he hopes will be his masterpiece. An emissary from the queen arrives with an invitation for Ballinger to perform his most popular work, the "Simple Songs," at the palace. He initially refuses, but conversations with the folks at the resort -- including actor Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano) -- cause Ballinger to ponder the elusive nature of memory, love, and art.

Is it any good?

As with his Oscar-winning The Great Beauty, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino brings a gorgeous, dreamy visual style to this drama, even if it's not quite as profound as it wants to be. Sorrentino continues to channel Italian cinema history, copying Fellini again, as well as Antonioni (and the movie is also dedicated to the late Francesco Rosi). But while those directors used their own style to tackle their own themes, Sorrentino feels lost in their shadows, indirectly using tools from their kits, stuck between art and commercialism.

On the plus side, working with such a quiet, reflective atmosphere, the filmmaker allows plenty of room for the actors to explore their emotions; they all live up to the opportunity. And, with the help of cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, as well as the gorgeous Swiss locations, YOUTH conjures up many beautiful, thought-provoking images without resorting to flashy movements; it's a movie of stillness.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Youth's use of sex and nudity. What purpose does sex serve in the movie? What questions arise? What mood does it create? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Why is one character hoping to do his best work, while another character refuses to work anymore? What is each hoping to achieve?

  • What does the movie have to say about art and the creative process? Why do people create things?

  • How do you feel about a quiet movie like this, where seemingly "nothing happens"?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate