The Watsons Go to Birmingham

2013 PG 1h 26m DVD

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham

2013 PG 1h 26m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
It's the summer of 1963, and an ordinary African-American family sets out on a road trip to Alabama in this drama based on a best-selling novel. The entire family is moved by the racially charged violence that they witness on their journey.
Widescreen 1.85:1
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 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
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age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Watsons Go to Birmingham tells the story of an African-American family who visits Birmingham, Alabama in the midst of the civil rights struggle. While the warm, relatable family drama will bring the Civil Rights era to life for families, parents should know that the Birmingham church bombing is depicted, and one main character nearly loses her life. This scene, along with depictions of period-accurate racism and discrimination, could be disturbing to some kids, but could also be a great conversation starter.

Sexual Content

Not applicable.


A few characters engage in mild fighting: pushing, shoving. Near the end of the film there is a very violent bombing in which children are killed; we hear about the deaths and onscreen see people screaming, smoke, and a child's foot chillingly protruding from rubble. One character is in mortal jeopardy but survives. In another scene, a child whose lips have frozen to a car window is forcibly pulled away.


A few insults: "You better shut your stupid mouth."

Social Behavior

Family love and unity, caring for one's siblings and loved ones, and racial equality are all stressed, implicitly and explicitly.


This television movie is based on a book; viewers may want to read the book.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable.

  • 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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