I Am Sam | Full Movie

I Am Sam
  • PG-13
  • 2h 12m
  • 2001
Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
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Can a mentally challenged man be a good father? Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer star in the moving story of unconditional love that grows between a man, his daughter and the attorney who accepts his case pro bono. When the mental capacity of Sam's (Penn) seven-year-old daughter exceeds his, the local department of social services removes her from his guardianship. But in his relentless battle to regain his daughter, Sam teaches his attorney (Pfeiffer) about love and guides her in her difficult relationship with her own son.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: Not only does the manipulative I Am Sam oversimplify a complex issue, it drowns it in treacle.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Jeff Strickler

Penn repeatedly hits the ball out of the park, but the rest of the team never gets past first base...

June 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune
Michael Wilmington

It's a sensational performance, and [Penn] illumines a movie that sometimes seems in danger of des...

June 17, 2017
Arizona Republic
Bill Muller

Plays out in such a conventional manner that it feels like a TV movie of the week from the '70s.

June 17, 2017
Washington Post
Desson Thomson

For a movie that probes the sensitive issue of living with reduced mental capacity, are the creato...

June 17, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 14+
Common Sense Says
Moving but unrealistic film has mature themes, profanity.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that I Am Sam portrays a mentally challenged man and his impassioned efforts to parent and retain custody of his precocious young daughter. There are several heartwrenching scenes during which Sam and Lucy are forcibly taken from one another. Other characters (two of whom are actually developmentally disabled) give insightful performances that may enlighten older kids and teens about people with special needs. A female character swears occasionally: one use of "f--k," along with numerous instances of "goddammit," "hell," and other mild epithets. Starbucks is prominently featured as Sam's workplace, and many other products and retailers are identified.

A Lot or A Little?

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

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:December 28, 2001
  • Highest Available for Purchase:HD

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