Simon Birch

1998 PG 1h 53m DVD

Simon Birch

1998 PG 1h 53m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Simon and Joe are best friends, bound by broken families and their misfit status: Simon is a dwarf, and Joe is illegitimate. But the boys face a devastating blow as Simon searches for a destiny bigger than his body and Joe hunts for his father.
Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn, Dana Ivey, Beatrice Winde, Jan Hooks, Jim Carrey
Mark Johnson
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that the lead character, Simon Birch, is a dwarf who is the subject of continuous intolerance and ridicule by adults, children, and the local religious leader. The film depicts the 12-year-old boy as a child who is wise beyond his years and believes that God has made him small for a higher purpose. Simon's best friend, Joe, was born out of wedlock and is also an outcast in the community. Language includes words like "s--t" and "bastard," and there are references to an adolescent girl's breasts. An accidental death at the hands of Simon leads Joe on a search of his biological father. There's a bus accident where children are in peril, and a main character dies saving everyone. The movie is based on John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, and fans of the book should know that the movie is very different.

Sexual Content

Repeated discussion of Simon's best friend being born out of wedlock. Also, there are mentions of an adolescent girl's breasts and a scene where Simon grabs them, although the audience doesn't see the actual touch.


Sad accidental death of one character from being hit by a baseball. A bus accident where children are in peril, and a main character dies saving everyone.


Profanity including "s--t" and "bastard."

Social Behavior

Kids and adults belittle the lead character's dwarfism. The town pastor even says "Simon Birch is not a normal person." However, Simon sacrifices himself and ends up becoming a hero and saving the lives of many, showing that character matters more than size. Good messages about forgiveness, too.


Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Simon's father, the religion teacher, and the pastor all smoke.

  • 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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