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Fish Tank Review Critics


Dave White Profile

I blame society. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Foul mouth, hungry heart. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    The film belongs to Jarvis, however, and she makes the most of it with expressive features that convey Mia's mixed-up emotions from raging temper to sweet vulnerability. She will go far.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A brilliantly acted and achingly bleak coming-of-age story.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's been a good while since I've seen a movie whose most powerful sequence was both unforeseen and entirely unpredictable as it played out.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The amazingly natural first-timer was discovered, in a gift of publicity-ready truth, while having an argument with her boyfriend at a train station.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Fish Tank reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Stark, powerful drama for older teens and adults.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this British drama about a teenager who falls for her inattentive mother’s boyfriend can be relentlessly bleak at times, and its mature themes may be too intense for all but the oldest of teens. But it’s a powerful film with a heroine who’s determined and resourceful in a world with few options. There’s plenty of swearing and drinking, and not just by adults. Teens and tweens have their vices, too -- like drinking and picking fights -- and are seen indulging in them fairly frequently.

  • Families can talk about the sexual activity in the movie. Do you think Connor is taking advantage of Mia? Do you know any teens who've been intimately involved with adults? Teens: Who can you talk to about these issues?
  • What are the real-life consequences of behavior such as underage drinking? Are those consequences depicted believably here?
  • Why is Mia the way she is? What and who have shaped her personality? If she hates the way her mother is, why does she act a lot like her sometimes? How are they different?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Despite enormous challenges, Mia bristles under the pressure to stay inert in an environment that’s suffocating her. The message? You don’t have to be a victim of your environment, though redemption and reinvention are hard to get, and true love even more so. The one true thing may be love of yourself.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Mia strives to rise above her circumstances, which is difficult, and she sometimes makes destructive choices. All the characters are flawed and, if they mean to do good, end up hurting others, including a man who appears genuinely interested in a young woman’s fate but takes action that ultimately scars her.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A girl headbutts another and leaves her with a bloodied nose. A man slaps a teenager after she tries to kidnap his daughter. Two men manhandle a young woman after she tries to free their chained horse.

  • sex false4

    Sex: An adult beds a teenager while her mother is passed out upstairs. He's shown removing her pants and positioning himself between her legs. A teen spies on her mother and her boyfriend while they have sex in the dark; her breasts are briefly shown, and his chest is bared. Couples dance suggestively; a teenager walks into a kitchen, where a man appears to be fondling a woman under her skirt (nothing is seen except for the hand under clothing).

  • language false4

    Language: Runs the gamut from “skanky” and “s--t” to “f--k” and “c--t.”

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Some beer labels; one of the characters is keen on stripping Volvos of parts for his own use. Certain CD covers are shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Both adults and children -- as young as tweens -- drink and smoke frequently.