Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this brooding, play-based drama isn't for kids. It tackles questions about God, faith, and evil in a way that will most likely be either uninteresting or too complex for young audiences. Though children are in the cast, the movie's themes are mature -- particularly the question of whether or not a priest has abused a child and how doubt about what happened undoes three main characters. Another storyline examines the patriarchal nature of the Catholic church, despite its dependence on the good works of its (female) nuns. Though there's little swearing, violence, or drinking, the movie isn't meant for kids (and isn't particularly likely to interest them, either).
A nun and a priest have a fiery shouting match about guilt and innocence. A thin layer of menace hangs over the film when the plot reveals suspected child abuse. A woman talks about how her son is being beaten up by her husband.
Little swearing. On one occasion, the word "bulls--t" is uttered by a child.
The movie has complex, ambiguous messages about faith. A nun who rules a school with an iron fist accuses a priest of abusing a child, even though she has no proof. Adults subsequently discuss suspicions of pedophelia. A mother seems willing to turn a blind eye to her son's troubles. A novice gives her mother superior ammunition to destroy someone's reputation. Kids give a new student the cold shoulder and make fun of him in class.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A priest smokes a cigarette, as does a student. A child is suspected of drinking some wine, which an adult may have given him.