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Margaret Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

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

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Fine performances and bristling language compel in this overlong, often off-putting but well-observed New York story.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Lonergan's dialogue can sweep you up in a whoosh of personality and ideas, but it's hard to see what, apart from ego, convinced him that this story was so epic.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Chaotic coming-of-age drama with teen sex, drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this meandering drama about what happens to a 17-year-old after she witnesses a horrible bus accident depicts a pretty stark, often depressing existence. Fathers are absentee, teenage boys aren't faithful, mothers are narcissists. It's pretty heavy material for tweens and teens who may be fans of star Anna Paquin and is more appropriate for older teens and adults. Look for references and scenes depicting smoking (the main character smokes like a chimney -- not just cigarettes. but marijuana too) and drinking among teens. Sex acts between teens and a teen girl and an adult are implied from movements, plus there's adult breast-baring. There's also some swearing, including "f--k" and "c--t."

  • Families can talk about the accident that sets everything else in motion. How did watching it affect you? Would the scene have the same effect if it was less graphic?
  • Lisa is estranged from both her parents, but her relationship with her mother seems especially strained. Why? Is it a realistic depiction of teen relationships with parents?
  • How does the film handle the subject of a teen girl losing her virginity? Does it seem believable? What are the consequences for the sexual behavior?
  • What are the consequences of teen drinking and drug use?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie's message is that the truth matters, even if it's difficult to cop to it. Not doing so can eat at you and change you in both small and significant ways.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Lisa makes a mistake and lies under duress, but she spends the rest of the time trying to make it right. She wants to take responsibility even though she's just a teenager who doesn't have all the answers figured out and has parents who seem uncertain about right and wrong as well.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The bus accident in the beginning of the movie (which propels the rest of the story) is graphic, bloody, and protracted. A woman's severed leg is visible; she dies a slow and sad death, unable to see or make sense of what has just happened to her. Later, characters scream and yell at each other, call each other names, and throw objects in anger.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A high school girl loses her virginity to a guy with a girlfriend; they're shown groping in the dark, and her breasts are sort of visible. She's also shown performing a sex act -- no nudity, but her movements hint at what she's doing -- on a teacher. A woman is shown pleasuring herself (again, no nudity, but it's pretty clear what she's doing); later, she stands bare-breasted in front of a mirror as her lover awaits. Teenagers make out.

  • language false4

    Language: Fairly frequent use of "a--hole," "damn," "bitch," "s--t," and "f--k," as well as "c--t," which comes up in an argument between a mother and her teen daughter.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Some signage and name-dropping for Duane Reade, Tropicana, Trek, UBS, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens smoke weed and drink beer at parties and at home; a guy shows a girl how to snort drugs. Social drinking in restaurants.