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Grace Is Gone Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Gross, right? Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    65

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Grace Is Gone grabs on to a name, a war, and the metaphor-come-to-life of a theme park with rides going nowhere. And we, the people, are spun around and shaken for tears.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A disappointing and manipulative look at one family's loss in the Iraq war.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Not a great movie, simply functional, but Cusack gives a great performance. The film somehow doesn't live up to his work.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    As subtle and shattering as its title.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    With a minimalist plot, Grace Is Gone turns its primary focus on John Cusack, giving the actor an opportunity to display both his talent and his range.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It’s a close call, but Grace is Gone is worth seeing for the way John Cusack works with Shelan O’Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk, two of the least affected and most affecting young actors to hit the screen this year.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Grace Is Gone reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Sad drama about loss may be too heavy for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids and teens may have a hard time processing some of this somber indie drama's mature themes, notably war and the death of a parent. The characters swear on occasion, a 12-year-old girl smokes and acts out in other ways (though mostly fairly tamely), and a grown-up suffers a near-emotional breakdown. Nevertheless, the movie has a soft center, empathizing with the experiences of a father and his two daughters as they deal with the terror that comes with knowing their loved one is on the front lines.

  • Families can talk about how the media typically depicts war and its consequences. How is this film different from other movies about war? What are the experiences of families who go through this type of tragedy? Why do you think Stanley can't tell his daughters the truth right away? Also, what is the effect of never having Grace show up on camera? Is the film more or less effective for her absence?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The characters are decent and well-intentioned, though the father seems distant at first and doesn't tell his daughters the truth about their mother as soon as he should. Nevertheless, he's a devoted family man at heart. Tween daughter Heidi acts out a couple of times, but it seems to be mostly in response to knowing something's wrong with her dad/their family.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: News footage of the war in Iraq on TV screens; a man shoves his adult brother and forces him against a wall; a pervading sense of gloom hangs over the film.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional uses of "s--t," "goddamn," "crap," and, very sparingly, "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Signage and mentions of HomeStore, the fictional "big box" home improvement store where Stan works, and Enchanted Gardens, the similarly made-up amusement park that Stan and his kids are planning to visit.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some talk of drinking, but little is seen onscreen. A tween girl tries a cigarette; her father then smokes with her, intending to turn her off the habit.

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