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Great Expectations

Great Expectations
Great Expectations
Great Expectations
  • R
  • 1h 52m
  • 1998
Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
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An aspiring artist (Ethan Hawke) who has been obsessed since childhood with Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow), the niece of a very wealthy woman, convinces the adult Estella to model for him. This leads to the possibility of Finn's dearest hopes being realized, along with his darkest fears, in this contemporary retelling the Charles Dickens classic that also stars Robert De Niro and Anne Bancroft.
© 1998 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: Great Expectations is all surface tension: beautiful people shot in beautiful locations without any depth or emotion.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
Common Sense Says
Visually stunning retelling has nudity, lots of swearing.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Great Expectations (1998) is one of many retellings of the classic Dickens' novel, with this one set in modern times on the Gulf Coast. This version greatly simplifies the plot, mostly focusing on the twisted romance between Estella and Pip (called Finn in this version) and cutting out a lot of the details of Pip's difficult journey to adulthood. This is a very mature version best for older teens and up, so expect a lot of swearing ("f--k" and "s--t" are sprinkled liberally throughout) and some violence (a character is stabbed and dies from his wounds). There's also a focus on sex and the growing sexual tension between Estella and Finn that starts with a French kiss between tweens. As teens they share one sexually charged scene that shows a shot up Estella's dress to her underwear, and as adults Finn draws Estella naked (she poses first in underwear, then fully naked with bare buttocks shown), and one sex scene shows Estella naked (bare breasts and buttocks). There's also some drinking and a lot of smoking. The themes of learning the futility of fame and fortune if you don't have love or family, which are strongly emphasized in the novel, are mostly overshadowed by Finn's consuming love for Estella in this version.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:January 30, 1998
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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