2016 PG-13 1h 44m DVD


2016 PG-13 1h 44m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Featuring a stellar cast, this absorbing biopic focuses on the long and complicated relationship between Max Perkins, famed literary editor at Scribner's publishing house, and acclaimed writer Thomas Wolfe.
Jude Law, Guy Pearce, Laura Linney, Dominic West, Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth
Michael Grandage
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Genius is a biographical drama about acclaimed 20th-century literary editor Max Perkins' (Colin Firth) complex, almost paternal relationship with legendary author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law). Despite the well-known stars, this is likely too academic a subject matter for most teens to be interested in, but high-schoolers familiar with Wolfe and/or his literary contemporaries and predecessors Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald may be fascinated by the way the movie portrays the close artistic partnership between writer and editor. Language includes a few uses of "goddamn," "son of a b-tch," and the like, and there's some passionate kissing and allusions to prostitution and adultery. Themes of alcoholism (everyone drinks to excess), artistic angst, and mental illness are best suited for mature audiences.

Sexual Content

Passionate kisses and obvious foreplay between Thomas and Aline. Thomas flirts with, kisses, and caresses two women, possibly prostitutes, at a jazz club. The jazz club patrons dance in a sexualized manner. A few embraces and kisses between the married Max and Louise Perkins. Aline recalls how Thomas seduced her away from her husband and grown children.


Aline attempts suicide in front of Thomas and Max by taking many pills. Descriptions and the portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald's fragile condition are potentially disturbing. Aline pulls a gun out and points it at Max and herself, proving how pointless she finds life without Max to be; Max passes out and is shown hospitalized.


A couple uses of "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "hell," "Oh lord," "damn."

Social Behavior

If you have to sacrifice your decency and your love for your art, you might be a brilliant artist, but you won't be a decent or happy person. You can love your family and your work.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A woman takes lots of pills in order to make it clear that she's willing to kill herself; authors/artists drink to excess on a regular basis; nearly every adult smokes cigarettes both in private and in public.

  • 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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