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Transamerica Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Very convincing … 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
    66

    out of 100

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

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Huffman is a woman playing a man playing a woman, which is easily the year's most complicated turn. She does a fine, nuanced job in bringing to life a character that could have become a caricature.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The unintended effect of all the melodramatic complications in Transamerica is, oddly, to distract attention from an understanding of exactly what that courage really costs.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What Felicity Huffman brings to Bree is the newness of a Jane Austen heroine. She has been waiting a long time to be an ingenue, and what an irony that she must begin as a mother.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Impressively realized on all levels, this transgender spin on the road trip boasts an extraordinary central performance.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This debut feature left me in a state of movie euphoria. Who could have guessed that such a discomfiting premise would blossom into a deadpan-hilarious and yet deeply affecting story about a singular glitch in the human condition?

  • See all Transamerica reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Sensitive portrayal of transsexual OK for older teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sensitive portrayal of a pre-operative transsexual discusses genitals regularly and features brief, nonsexual glimpses of both male and female body parts. A 17-year-old boy is also shown turning a trick with a man and posing provocatively in underwear -- an occasional bare bottom is shown. The teen boy, who has had a troubled childhood, drinks, smokes cigarettes, snorts drugs, and gets involved in the porn industry -- though these situations are all portrayed as negatives.

  • Families can talk about how this movie portrays gender "dysphoria" -- or the sense that one's body does not match one's gender. What made this movie's treatment of a man dressing like a woman different from others you've seen?
  • Did anything about Bree's appearance or manner seem funny or make you uncomfortable? Why or why not? Did the movie change how you think about transsexual people?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: This film encourages viewers to be more sensitive to people who are different. It shows how destructive judgmental parents can be to children's mental health. It also encourages a more realistic understanding of family -- that it's messy and complicated -- but still valuable.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Despite her initial hesitations, Bree takes responsibility for her son, as difficult as it is. She struggles with revealing the truth, but tries her best to take care of him nevertheless. Her strength despite her immense discomfort in the world is admirable. The teen boy is clearly not a role model, but the film makes that clear.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Several fistfights and punches. Indication of previous sexual abuse.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Discusses genitals regularly, and features brief, nonsexual glimpses of both male and female body parts. One brief scene where a teen boy solicits sex with a trucker -- nothing graphic shown, but it's clear what's going on. In another scene the teen boy unwittingly comes on to Bree and we see his naked body from behind. In another brief scene the teen is in a porn film and gets manipulated just slightly off screen in a matter-of-fact manner.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent cursing, but everything from "f--k" to "bitch" pops up a few times.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The teen boy smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol, and uses drugs (snorts a powder) several times, though adults discourage this. In the end, Bree chooses to give her son a beer.

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