The Brooke Ellison Story

2004 PG 1h 31m DVD

The Brooke Ellison Story

2004 PG 1h 31m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
On her way home from school, 11-year-old Brooke Ellison's life is radically transformed after a car accident leaves her a paraplegic. Despite the overwhelming odds confronting her, she perseveres to graduate summa cum laude from Harvard University.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Slattery, Lacey Chabert, Vanessa Marano, Jenson Goins, Devon Gearhart, Lauren Barrett, Ryan Hudson, Luke Flynn, John P. Fertitta
Christopher Reeve
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
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 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Brooke Ellison Story recounts the true story of an 11-year-old girl who was hit by a car as she was walking home from school and suffered severe spinal cord injuries, becoming a quadriplegic on a ventilator for life. The accident itself is not shown, but there are brief scenes of an injured girl's transport that include some blood, as well as multiple scenes of recovery, hospital worry, frank medical discussions, and her required care's impact on her family. The story's message is inspirational and uplifting, but mature themes make it inappropriate for very young kids.

Sexual Content

There are a few very brief scenes of a man and woman kissing. A man kisses a woman on the neck briefly. A man and woman kiss in a car. A young man gives a girl a kiss on the dance floor.


The film has some minor violence and peril surrounding the car accident that leads to Brooke's injuries, which is only shown after the fact. In that scene, a young girl is shown lying in the street with bloody legs and feet. Peril surrounds her transport to the hospital, where her face is shown as bruised and battered, with swelling and some blood. There are several scenes of hospital worry, with descriptions of injuries, such as a fractured skull and broken arm. Multiple depictions of a child in a coma and hooked up to IVs and EKGs are shown, and there's some peril related to the use of a breathing ventilator and the struggle to breathe when it's removed. A risky surgery is discussed but not depicted. There are multiple shots of x-rays depicting traumatic spinal injury.


Very minor insulting language, such as calling something "gross" or referring to someone as "stupid."

Social Behavior

The Brooke Ellison Story conveys strongly positive messages about family dedication, perseverance, determination, hope, and courage, particularly in the face of traumatic injury and disability. There are especially strong messages about attitude in determining the course of our lives and the importance of community support for those with disabilities.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One brief scene of casual smoking by an adult.

  • 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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