Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 9+
Pleasant, emotional, fable-like family drama.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this emotional is fairly good family entertainment, with sexual content at a minimum and lots of warmth and great musicianship. That said, there is a bit of violence (a man flashes a knife at children), some social drinking, and a few iffy words ("damn," "pissed," etc.). And since the first half of the movie relies on lots of flashbacks -- which could be confusing for younger kids -- it's probably a better pick for tweens and teens.
- Families can talk about what kind of movie this is -- is it a drama? A fantasy? Both? How can you tell? Do you expect a movie like this to be realistic? Families can also discuss how the movie portrays music. Does it really have the power to connect people? To heal their wounds? Why? Can you think of other movies that depict music's enormous, and sometimes magical, reach? And, last but not least, what can viewers learn from how Evan keeps believing in a kinder, gentler world, despite his background and everything that happens to him? What's the big lesson here?
The good stuff
Positive messages: For the most part, everyone behaves out of the goodness of their heart, though Lyla's father seems cold-hearted, and Wizard is a little creepy and cruel.
What to watch for
Violence: Two brothers argue and lunge at each other; a man yells at children, flashes a knife, and commands them to keep working for him -- later, he chases down Evan; cops raid a dilapidated theatre to find runaway kids; bullies at a boy's home taunt a much younger boy; a father and daughter scream at each other.
Sexy stuff: A couple kisses, in close up, and spends the night together (they're shown fully clothed the next morning, cuddling); another couple kisses on a stairwell.
Language: The occasional "damn" and "pissed" and one "screw you."
Consumerism: Shots of signs for the concert venue (Irving Plaza); mentions of Juilliard, the New York Symphony Orchestra, and the Sherry-Netherland.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking in bars and social situations.