Fireflies in the Garden

2008 R 1h 29m DVD

Fireflies in the Garden

2008 R 1h 29m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In the wake of an unexpected family tragedy, novelist Michael Taylor is forced to confront his fractured relationship with his father while dealing with painful memories of his mother, a woman who moved mountains to protect him.
Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Julia Roberts, Ioan Gruffudd, Hayden Panettiere, Shannon Lucio, Cayden Boyd, George Newbern, Chase Ellison
Dennis Lee
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.40:1
English, English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Fireflies in the Garden is a drama starring Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds about the relationship between a domineering father, the son who grows up to despise him, and the mother who keeps the family together until an unexpected tragedy throws the entire household into despair. The father rules the household through his anger and his often-cruel punishments, creating a portrait of a deeply unpleasant place to grow up. There are several intense arguments and a good bit of swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as some scenes that seem to come close to child abuse. One off-screen sex scene includes overheard noises.

Sexual Content

One scene features two former lovers who connect during an emotional party. The sounds of their coupling are heard from the next room.


Several very intense arguments, including one that escalates into violence when a tween boy is so enraged that he attacks his father. Some scenes feature a father who metes out punishments so harsh they border on cruel. Much of the movie's action is precipitated by a terrible car accident.


Relatively frequent swearing includes "s--t," "a--hole," "hell," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and multiple uses of "f--k."

Social Behavior

Only the mother in this family shows much sign of caring for the people in the clan, and her efforts don't really engender much affection between the others. There's plenty of hostility and even more suppressed anger, and the few scenes that show tenderness and caring serve to soothe people after bitter arguments.


One character prefers expensive German cars, including a Mercedes Benz and a Porsche.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One character smokes cigarettes in several scenes, and some people drink wine at social events.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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