Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this movie based on Katherine Paterson's classic children's novel isn't a fantasy adventure as much as it is a thoughtful drama. The story includes mature themes about loneliness, platonic love, parental affection, family relationships, religious/class differences, and even death. For example, a financially troubled father is emotionally distant from his son, while the mother seems too overwhelmed with five kids to connect to any of them. At school, kids are ridiculed because of their appearance, and a bully and her associates routinely terrorize younger kids. Potential spoiler alert: Due to a central character's death, sensitive children (or those who've experienced the loss of a loved one) may need to be comforted after the film.
The main characters share an intense, affectionate friendship. Characters write a fake love letter to a teenage girl. A boy stares at and has an obvious crush on a teacher.
A main character has a tragic accident. With cause, a boy punches another boy in the face. A teen bully pushes and menaces younger kids.
Mild insults among siblings and school-aged kids; a father makes a couple of hurtful comments. A few uses of "damn" and "hell."
Through an incredible friendship, a child learns that if you open your mind and heart, you can unlock the magic and the beauty in every person and situation. Strong messages about individuality. There are also serious themes relating to loneliness and even death, but they're treated thoughtfully.
Barbie dolls, Twinkies, and Oreos make brief appearances.
Drugs / Tobacco /