Pause for kids 13 & under
Uneven melodrama with confusing messages about love.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Labor Day is a romantic drama centering on an escaped convict and a lonely single mother with more discussion of sex than actual scenes of it (although there are brief flashbacks to a young couple making love, while mostly clothed, and some late-night sex noises a teenager overhears). There's a hint of violence when a man gruffly grabs a teenager or a woman, but the more disturbing scenes involve flashbacks to accidental deaths and a string of sad miscarriages. There are some uplifting messages about how people can fall in love and affect one another in just a few days, but there's also confusing messages about harboring a fugitive because he could be the love of your life.
- 1. Families can talk about the movie's message about love and sex. How does longing for love affect the characters? What are the implications of showing a woman finding her soulmate while harboring an escaped criminal?
- 2. The movie asserts that lives can be forever changed in just a few days. Do you agree with this? Is the epilogue believable?
- 3. What are some other romantic dramas in which the couple falls in love almost immediately? How do those love stories compare to Labor Day?
The good stuff
Messages: Although the movie takes a strangely positive stance on harboring a fugitive, it does encourage people to see past the obvious and figure out for themselves if someone is guilty or not. Adele's story challenges viewers to recognize how love is sometimes found in the unlikeliest of circumstances and how longing for love can make you lonely and isolated. Henry's tale shows the power of parent-child relationships. Frank teaches Adele and Henry about the simple pleasures of good company and good food and being a whole family.
Role models: Henry is a remarkably mature and loving son. He does his best to make his single mother feel loved and cared for, by making her food, dancing with her, and generally acting like a companion not just a son. Despite her depression, Adele is a caring, protective mother who loves her son. Henry's father apologizes to him for not being more involved or able to help Adele through her sadness. Frank is a convicted murderer, but he's also kind and selfless and ultimately makes a difficult choice rather than cause Adele and Henry any pain.
What to watch for
Violence: An escaped convict, bleeding through a shirt, roughly grabs a 13-year-old boy by the neck and arms and forces his mom to help him. The ex-con grabs a woman and her son several times but never causes any harm. In flashbacks, we see how two accidental deaths occurred. There's a disturbing sequence when a woman recalls several miscarriages and a still birth (you see her crying, screaming, and crouching with blood streaming down her legs, and you also see her holding her stillborn baby). A mother slaps her wheelchair bound son across the face.
Sex: There are a couple of flashbacks to a young man kissing and having sex (mostly clothed) with his girlfriend. A boy hears his mother and a man making love, and there's an uncomfortable undertone of jealousy. A middle-school-aged girl talks to another tween about sex and how it makes adults crazy, is addictive like a drug, and causes people (including divorced parents) to do risky, dangerous things or to get rid of their kids. A tween also mentions incest.
Language: Not applicable
Consumerism: Scenes in a supermarket and kitchen include shots of the following brands: Ford station wagon, Coca Cola, Tab, Quik, Promise margarine, Yuban coffee, GE lightbulbs, Glamour, Mademoiselle, KoolAid, Hi-C,
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink in a bar in one flashback scene.
Fan Reviews provided by
Labor Day by funny_guy
This was a surprisingly touching and suspenseful movie. The characters were well developed through various flashbacks. There was no major violence or offensive language, drugs or smoking, but just a good storyline well acted. Great for an evening to get away from all that stuff you see in the news every day. Go and enjoy it, even the ending.
Ignore the critics... by NorCalTopaz
To give a full review I would need to issue a spoiler alert. But since I am a true cinephile, I would not even consider revealing one iota of the plot.
Suffice it to say this richly textured piece of art restores my faith in American cinema. In addition, the cinematography allows us to see the world through the character's eyes, so vivid you can almost touch and smell the New England humidity.
Brolin and Winslet deliver Oscar-worthy performances. There is beauty in the details, however joyful or painful. Jason Reitman, who brought us Juno and Up In the Air, thank goodness serves us a slice of cinematic pie which respects our collective intelligence.
Labor Day, A pleasant surprise by mbstevens
The critics say, so-so, what do they know. Labor Day was a very good movie to take a date to. Josh Brolin was great as an escaped convict and Kate Winslet as a divorced mother who becomes a shut-in but finds something missing in her life. The movie was what a movie should be entertaining and a pleasure to watch.
Beyond disappointing by marion4424
Kate Winslet is my favorite actress and I really like Josh Brolin. But I hated this movie. I wanted to smack everyone in it. I'd tell you why, but I'd spoil the plot. If you still want to see it, don't pay any money. Wait until it comes on TBS on a Sunday afternoon five years from now.
Beautiful by sasciegirl
Loved the movie & I loved Josh Brolin's character and those pies looked delicious :)
Finally! A good one by captain218
I saw this movie with five other people and we all thought it was fantastic. A great story, terrific acting, real emotion, and no sex, drugs or language. A must see.
Labor Day by mspepe
Another wonderful performance by Kate Winslet. This was so much better than the action-packed "Prison escapee" movie I was expecting. For teens and adults alike, this was more of an in-depth portrayal of three weak vulnerable and good people who never knew how much they needed each other. Really a story about this amazing relationship. I recommend this movie. (Besides, Josh Brolin is easy on the eyes!)
Labor Day by jeffdbing
Kate Winslet was remarkable, as usual. Josh Brolin was good -- not great -- and the story could have used a jump-start here or there, as it bogged down at times. There were plenty of opportunities for more drama, but they never occurred.
The scene in the hospital -after Kate gave birth - (I won't go into any more detail as I don't want to tip off anyone who hasn't seen the movie) was incredibly heart-wrenching.
The flashbacks -- for the most part -- were confusing and really added nothing to the story.
There were plenty of opportunities for the subplots to lead to more; unfortunately, they didn't.
The movie could have been great; unfortunately, it was only decent.
Deep and different thought provoking by nngg
This movie is not like the heavily grossed fast paced cgi movies of today that encompass a fake situation that is over exaggerated and untrue to reality not that this story was completely believable either but the manner in which it was portrayed on film was unique to the times of today. It was more slow paced allowing you to grasp the little things and bring to life the meaning of those which seem less significant like slowly sipping a cup of tea and savoring the flavor. Though the story was interesting and had you wondering there were also strange elements odd humor and weird parts of the script which seemed cheesy and different. Nonetheless even in it's slow paced nature the movie was still entertaining and thought provoking. This seemed more like a movie from the 90s than the times of today with all the nonsensical fast paced scenarios and situations. It's a definite recommendation because of the sheer nature in the way to was done. The acting was well done as well
Labor Day by ocharlie94
I was really excited about this movie and it did not disappoint. It had me on the edge of my seat a couple times. The acting was great. The plot was not perfect, but it was still very entertaining!