OK for kids 14+
Drama about child's 9/11 loss stirs up sadness.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer about an 11-year-old with Asperger's syndrome (or something very similar to it) who loses his father in the Sept. 11 attacks -- and how he copes with the loss a year later. Some scenes include graphic 9/11 imagery and news clips and may be too intense for young children. (If you watch with your teens, it's a good idea to have a conversation about 9/11 beforehand.) There's also some swearing (including "f--k") and drinking. Although the film centers around loss and tragedy, many adult characters are strong role models, and there's a message about learning to accept the answers that life gives you.
- Families can talk about the movie's subject matter. Teens: What do you know about 9/11? How do you think the events of that day affected the children who lost their parents and/or other relatives?
- How does the media usually portray/deal with 9/11-related stories? How does this movie compare to other depictions you've seen?
- Why is Oskar so bent on finding the object that the key unlocks? What does it mean for him?
The good stuff
Messages: The film's most basic message is this: Life might not make a lot of sense, but does it have to? We may never get the answers to our questions that we expect, but the answers do come, and they can be instructive, even wise.
Role models: For a film about deep tragedy and chaos, the movie has wonderful role models: Oskar's father is creative and whimsical and cares for him very much; his mother allows him to be himself, proudly; his grandmother is supportive and non-judgmental. Even an old man who becomes part of their family in a strange way proves to be empathetic. Oskar comes across as insensitive, but it's hinted that he has Asperger's syndrome, which sometimes makes it difficult for him to recognize and respond to emotions.
What to watch for
Violence: The movie's story centers on 9/11, and the graphic images from that day are shown: the twin towers with billowing smoke, people falling from the buildings, relatives receiving panic-stricken and heartfelt phone calls from trapped loved ones. Also, in a fit of anger, a child starts thrashing around and hitting anything in his way. He also yells at adults and sometimes comes across as insolent and disrespectful, when really he's hurting and is unable to process his emotions.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: Infrequent use of "dipsh--t," "d--k," and "a--hole," sometimes by a child. Also "oh God" as an exclamation, plus words that sound like "s--t" and "f--k" but aren't.
Consumerism: Labels seen/mentioned include Dymo, Wild Turkey, Juicy Juice, Nokia, AT&T, Barney Greengrass, Fig Newtons, and Fairway.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some adult characters drink liquor in moments of stress.
Fan Reviews provided by
Extraordinary film by calcutta
Saw this film at one of the NYC theaters exhibiting the feature . Recalling what happened here on 9/11 is still as vivid as that which is acurately portrayed in this exceptional picture. Not only is the movie the first to succeed out of many centering on 9/11, ELIC an an excellent movie with a totally justified long running time. It is quirky, indirect yet highly specific and starts like a hurtling subway train, never slows, and kept one well-schooled in story arcs somewhat guessing even to the end. This a most unusual and worthy movie about a painful topic. The critics, some of whom have found fault with it are, in my opinion, very much off the mark and may have missed the point. See it if you care about the human condition, how we react to extreme trauma, and get a first glimpse at 9/11 in its true historical context in the bargain. Acting, directing, shooting and most of all writing, are first rate. So compelling was this film that special security was employed in NYC at screenings
terrific movie by cleva
yes, it was extremely emotional throughout the ENTIRE movie. i laughed several times, cried more often that i wanted to, but i left in awe of how well written and remarkable the moments were. i recently lost my father, so i will say, i do NOT recommend this movie if you have lost a loved one recently or have strong emotional ties with 911....it will be very hard to cope with parts of the movie.
but overall, i have no negative criticisms.
The Unstoppable Spirit of Human Love by thomasdosborneii
I can't say enough good things about this masterwork of a movie. I saw it on Christmas Day, and it was so good I had to go see it again the next day, and after that, I didn't want to see any more movies for a while, because I didn't want to confuse, dilute, or mix up my deep, loving emotions. The movie was totally a love story--love to parents, to children, to New York and New Yorkers, to heroes, to Americans, and to the human spirit. I can't think of this movie without feeling this deep love.
Thomas Horn was outstandingly good (an OSCAR for OSKAR!) and had an amazing ability to move between being a beautific angel to someone nearly needing an exorcism. But everybody was good and successfully generated intense emotions even with small amounts of screen time. I thought Sandra Bullock did an especially good job with the difficult task assigned to her--to show fear, grief, isolation, a mother's love, and supportive enabling wisdom, all at the same time, which she did successfully.
Wasn't for me by TwirlyBird
Movie reviews are totally subjective when they're coming from lay people, and I am just one person. With that being said...this one just wasn't for me. I found the kid to be incredibly annoying up until the last 15 or so minutes. Given that he wasn't definitively diagnosed with Aspergers, I just found his character to be too much.
Powerful movie about father/son and 9/11 by Slinkyies
I went in to this movie with pretty low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. The little kid and the grandfather make the movie. Folks who enjoy deep, emotional movies will really enjoy this.
Loved It! A must see by Randig
My husband and I saw the movie Friday night in NYC. We really loved the movie, and were both moved by Thomas Horn's performance as well as the subject matter. A different take on 9/11 as seen through a young adults eyes. At the end of the movie, many in the audience stood and clapped, as others were very busy wiping away tears. The woman next to my husband cried throughout the entire movie.
Bring tissues, and be prepared to cry, but it is a feel good movie!
Definitely worth seeing by kfrank95219
Saw it with my 11-y/o son. While it is about 9-11, it's more about the stories that each of us lives & how we hurt & how we heal. My son also liked this movie, but I don't think I would recommend it for children much younger.
it was good by rfsalazar515
Not often do you see a movie and say OH MY GOD, THIS IS AMAZING. this is not one of those times either. It was good, I would recommend it, but it's not a must see.
Gripping look at 9/11 by ellisiland
This is an unpredictable, non-traditional look at the emotion surrounding 9/11. I would definitely recommend that viewers see this film. This movie really gripped my heart.
Majestic by Castiel
Watching this movie made me cry. The acting and the plot were great. I LOVED EVERYTHING about the movie!! The movie was great from the beginning to the last minute. It has been almost a year since my divorce and a divorce can be like a death. This movie gives you hope too. I strongly recommend it!! The ending was sublime as well!!!!