Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this classic of English cinema is one of the greatest coming-of-age movies ever made, though it's hard to imagine kids under 12 sitting through it today. It's long and grim, not specifically plot-focused, and it doesn't have a happy ending. Though it's in English, the South Yorkshire accents are so strong that it requires subtitles for American viewers. It contains some strong language, including "bastard" and "c--k," as well as some British slang. There is a schoolyard fight and fights between brothers. A key animal character dies in a violent incident, which could upset younger viewers. Young teens are caught with cigarettes, though we don't see them smoking. Adults occasionally smoke and drink beer. Teens with a little patience and a sense of adventure will be strongly rewarded by this superb, powerful movie.
The young teen hero is seen changing clothes and then in the shower during gym class. His naked bottom is visible. In another scene, the older brother tries to pick up girls at a pub. There is some brief, mild sexual innuendo.
There are some mildly abusive moments at home as two brothers fight and throw a couple of blows. There's a fight at school between two teens, mostly consisting of wrestling, but with a couple of blows landed. A key animal character dies in a violent incident. Otherwise, there's a general sense of frustration and anger by adults directed at kids.
"Bastard" is heard several times, and "c--k" once or twice. We also hear "Christ" and "hell." Otherwise, most of the language consists of English slang, such as "sod," "twat," "bugger," "bloody," "arse," and "git." Adults tell kids to "shut up."
The movie's young teen hero works hard to overcome bad behavior, although he is seen stealing milk and a book. His catching and training a kestrel bird helps channel his energy into something positive, taking on a difficult challenge and succeeding. However, there's a general air of defeat and despair as the kids head toward an adulthood filled with rage and disappointment.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Teens are caught with cigarettes at school, though they are not seen smoking. Older characters smoke cigarettes and are seen drinking. The older brother arrives home from the pub, drunk.