What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie, based on the bestseller by Louis Sachar, has an edge to it, but it's not as gritty as it could be. Portraying a teen boys' work-camp could give excuses to broach more lewd subject matter, but this movie portrays the rough and tumble without devolving into a gross-out fest. There are some moments of racial and gender tension played out in glimpses of the past (reference to a lynching, men trying to force their attentions on a woman), which might be too intense for younger viewers.
- Families can talk about its themes of fate and choice. What actions in the movie seem to have been decided by fate (or a curse) and what were decided by the characters?
- How much of our present is influenced by or determined by the past?
- There are even more connections between the three stories than you seeat first. How many can you find?
- If you pay close attention, there issomething significant about when the boys use their real names and whenthey use their tough nicknames. What does that tell you?
- Why doesn'tStanley tell the truth in his letter to his mother? How is Stanleydifferent at the end of the movie?