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The Son | 2022 | PG-13 | – 2.3.5

content-ratingsWhy is “The Son” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “mature thematic content involving suicide, and strong language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes an interrupted passionate kissing scene, an off-screen suicide, discussions of infidelity, many discussions of depression and anxiety, discussions of abandonment, many arguments, discussions of suicide and self-harm, and at least 3 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


When a man’s (Hugh Jackman) former wife (Laura Dern) shows up at his door with serious concerns about their teenage son (Zen McGrath), the man’s tranquil life with another partner (Vanessa Kirby) and new family is put to the test. Also with Anthony Hopkins, William Hope and Hugh Quarshie. Directed by Florian Zeller. [Running Time: 2:03]

The Son SEX/NUDITY 2

 – A man and a woman kiss passionately on a sofa, the woman straddles the man’s lap, and they continue to kiss and moan until they are interrupted by the man’s teen son when he enters the room. A man and a woman lie in bed sleeping and are awakened by their infant crying. A man yells at his teen son, holds him and shakes him, knocking the teen to the floor (no injuries are shown). We hear that a teen boy has cutting scars on his arms, his father grabs his arm to look at them and we later see bloody wounds from cutting. A woman finds a kitchen knife under the mattress of a teen boy and his father confronts him about it; the man yells at the teen and tells him, “I forbid you to do this anymore.” A teen boy pounds his head against a wall repeatedly (we do not see injuries).
 A man showers in a couple of scenes and we see his upper chest. A man and a young boy wear swim trunks in a couple of scenes and we see bare chests, abdomens and backs. Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage in a few scenes.

The Son VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – We hear a gunshot off-screen and a man and a woman rush to a room where the man stumbles back out of the room and the woman rushes in calling to her son (we do not see what has happened but understand that the teen has shot and killed himself).
 A teen boy yells at a doctor and his parents, stands up knocking over a chair and an attendant grabs him and pulls him out of the room as the teen yells and pleads to go home. A woman rushes through hospital hallways and makes her way to the psychiatric ward when her teen son was found after attempting suicide; a doctor meets with them and explains that the teen should remain in a facility for observation and treatment and that the parents should not try to see him.
 A teen boy protests being kept in a psychiatric hospital and pleads with his parents to take him home against the doctor’s recommendations. A man imagines his son as a young adult and being successful and happy; the man collapses with grief when he remembers that his son is dead and blames himself for his pain. A man has a confrontation with his father about how he treated him when he was younger and how he behaved when the father’s wife was ill and dying; the father speaks bitterly to the man and tells him to “get over it.” A man accuses his son of feeling a moral superiority. We hear that a teen boy sent his school an email from his father explaining that he would be going back to his old school so that he wouldn’t be missed when he didn’t show up. A teen boy yells at his father and tells him that his behavior is his father’s fault for leaving him. A teen boy tells his father, “You disgust me.” A man quizzes his teen son about what’s going on and the teen replies, “Life is weighing me down,” “I get too many dark ideas,” and “I feel like I’m going crazy.” A teen boy tells a woman that his mother suffered when his father left her for the woman and accuses her of ruining their family. A teen boy goes to a new school and seems upset as he sits in a classroom. A woman yells about a teen boy being “weird,” and “not right in the head,” and the boy enters the room overhearing her. People say of a teen boy, “He’s not well.” A teen says of himself, “I am not well.” A teen says, “I am in pain.” A woman reports that her teen son has not been going to school for a month and that he scares her. A woman says that she feels like a failure after her husband left her and her son leaves to live with his father.
 A young boy is afraid to swim without his flotation aids and his father convinces him to try.

The Son LANGUAGE 5

 – About 3 F-words, 4 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (he’s not well, stupid, failure, sniveling cowards, pathetic, unstable, moron, weird, disturbing, hacker, horrible), exclamations (wow, calm down), 13 religious exclamations (e.g. God, for God’s sake, my God, oh my God, oh God). | profanity glossary |

The Son SUBSTANCE USE

 – A teen boy says that a doctor has him full of medication. A man drinks a glass of wine, a man pours wine for himself and a woman and she takes a drink, and a man pours two whiskeys and two men drink.

The Son DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Depression, suicide, mental illness, perspective, self-harm, divorce, anxiety, grief, risk, abandonment, infidelity, guilt, success, pressure, politics.

The Son MESSAGE

 – Sometimes love is not enough.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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