A predator (Sean Bridgers) kidnaps a 17-year-old girl (Brie Larson) and forces her to live in his 100-square-foot garden shed for seven years. She has a son (Jacob Tremblay) and when he's five, he discovers a frightful and joyous wonderland in the real world. Also with Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Tom McManus, Amanda Brugel and Megan Park. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson. [1:53]
SEX/NUDITY 5 - Every night in the shed a young boy hides in a small wardrobe cabinet with louvered doors as a man enters the shed to sexually assault his mother; one night, from the boy's point of view, we see the man lower his trousers and we see dark blue briefs and bare thighs and in three scenes we hear a door open at night, followed by one or two muffled grunts that imply sexual assault, and one night the woman tells the man to come to bed and they walk off-screen (we see and hear no sexual activity). In three scenes a man and a woman lie side by side in bed, clothed, with a blanket up to their necks and she looks angry.
► A woman tells her five-year-old son that a man kidnapped her at age 17, locked her inside his garden shed and "visited her at night" [raped her] repeatedly for seven years, resulting in the son being born two years into her captivity and the boy screams that he does not want to hear these bad stories. A blurry image of a baby in a blanket is accompanied by a child's voiceover saying he was born from a rocket ship. A clothed 5-year-old boy pulls his mother's sweater at the chest and says, "Can I?" (meaning nurse) and she replies, "No, it's all gone." A female reporter on TV asks a woman if she will tell her young son that his father is a rapist; the woman replies that the boy is hers alone, not the father's and the reporter asks, "There were other men?" to which the woman replies, "No." A woman lives with a male partner and her adult daughter objects to this and her mother shouts at her.
► A small boy stands in a large shower with the door open and the other side of the shower is covered by opaque glass wall behind which is his mother and we hear her speaking (we see part of a hip). A woman and her young son bathe in a tub (we see his shoulders and knees). A woman wears T-shirts and sleeveless tank tops and in one scene, she scrubs the floor and we see cleavage as she bends forward while in another scene, her nipples show through a tank top. A woman's legs are bared to the hip and she is seen wearing a pair of panties as she kneels on a bed. Six scenes show a young boy wearing a T-shirt and diaper/panties.
VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - The first half of the film occurs in a dimly lit, 10' x 10' garden shed with a skylight, a dirty broken toilet and bathtub and one old bed where a woman and her small son have lived for seven years and have never seen the outside world; we hear that her son is a result of her seven years of repeated rape by her male captor (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), born two years into her captivity; in a few scenes we hear a heavy door on the shed rumble open at night and hear the man walk inside (sexual activity is not shown) while the boy sleeps in a wardrobe cabinet until the man leaves, and then the mother brings the boy into the bed.
► A rapist/kidnapper speaks to his young son and the boy's mother screams, "Don't speak to him! Don't touch him!" as she violently beats the man on the chest while she sits on top of him on a bed; the man flips her over and chokes her, yells at her, and exits the shed where he keeps the woman and boy captive; the boy touches a large bruise on the woman's throat and she covers it with a scarf.
► A young boy rolled in a rug and in the back of a pickup truck unrolls from the rug and jumps out of the truck but the driver chases him until a large dog on a leash knocks the boy over and the man argues with the dog's owner and tells him to mind his own business; the boy yells for help and the captor carries him away, but then throws him onto the ground, where he lies in a fetal position, until the police arrive with flashing lights and sirens sounding.
► A woman sits at a kitchen table, looking depressed and her young son hears her coughing later through the bathroom door; he shoves the door open, sees a pill bottle on the sink where water is running and his mother lying on the floor; the boy screams, his grandmother calls 911 and we see EMTs placing the boy's mother, who is wearing an oxygen mask, onto a gurney and exiting the house.
► A little boy wakes up one night in a shed and can see his breath in the cold, he wakes up his mother, who also breathes mist and says that their captor cut their power; the power is out for at least one full day and the mom and son bundle up in extra clothes and blankets.
► A small boy gives cake crumbs to a brown mouse on a shed floor until his mother throws a heavy object from off-screen and smashes the mouse (we do not see the body) a few inches in front of the boy, who shouts and cries; the woman later lies, saying the mouse is alive outside in a garden and he calls her a liar.
► A boy and his mother argue, because he will not let her sleep, they argue about watching cartoons on a cell phone and the mother berates the boy's grandmother for furnishing the phone to the boy. A woman argues with her mother and both women scream about being destroyed by the daughter's kidnapping; the daughter screams at her mother that if she had not been taught to be nice all the time, she would not have been kidnapped. A boy's grandfather will not look at him and the man's daughter demands her father look at the boy at dinner and he refuses, causing her to grab the boy away from the table and storm out of the room. A woman calls her son and he yells at her and throws the receiver down. A man brings antibiotics for a young boy who has been sick and his mother yells that the boy is dead (we see the boy alive in the hospital).
► A boy tells his mother, "I'm gonna kick his butt" about their captor. A boy says, "We should wait until he is asleep and kill him" and his mother says that they will have no more supplies if they kill him. A young boy who has never been outside a garden shed where he was born screams loudly at his mother because they have no candles for his birthday cake and he has no presents. A boy and his mother have several very loud arguments about lack of supplies, an imaginary dog, whether TV is magic or not, and whether an outside world exists; their voices raise to screams. A man brings a boy a remote control pickup truck toy and the boy screams loudly as he plays with it, running it into walls and his mother screams with him, then he tears the truck apart and throws the parts on the floor later. A boy refuses to eat a piece of toast and his mother burns her finger on a burning piece of toast in their toaster oven and yelps, "Ouch! Argh!" (we do not see burned skin). A man tells a woman whom he is holding captive that thinking is not her strong suit. In several scenes, a man berates a woman he is holding captive for asking for food and supplies. A woman tells her young son that she took the toilet tank lid and smashed it over their captor's head, but he did not pass out; the man grabbed her by the wrist, hard, and it still hurts. A young boy asks his mother if their former captor can find them, and she says no. In the home of his grandmother a little boy is frightened of adults and only whispers. A boy's voiceover says that his mother looked up through the skylight in the shed where they lived and aliens crashed down. A boy's voiceover says, "Ma and me will live in the world until we're dead"; he asks to return to the shed where they once lived and two police officers escort them there and the boy says goodbye to a plant, to folded chairs, a wardrobe, a sink, a skylight, and his mother whispers, "Goodbye, Room" as they leave. A cartoon on TV depicts a robot blowing up a bomb that does no damage.
► A woman trains her young son to play dead and practices rolling him up in a braided rug several times over the course of a few days and the boy complains and whines, and then screams, "I hate you!" at his mother; the captor enters their shed at night and sees the rolled up rug and we see the boy at one end of the rolled rug as the woman shouts, "You killed my baby!" and slaps the man in the shoulder loudly as the man and woman argue for several seconds; the man picks up the rug and puts it outside on the ground, then carries it to the bed of his pickup truck and drives away (we see that the boy is tearful).
► Outside a home where a kidnapped woman returns, several news reporters and police cruisers create an ongoing chaotic scene; the woman shouts at her young son to get away from the windows and doors and after a television interview inside the home ends badly, the rescued woman suffers a breakdown; the reporter asked her why she did not ask her captor to take her baby to a hospital for adoption, and if she felt God abandoned her and whether she felt like taking her own life.
► Several police cars arrive where a woman is being held captive and her young son pounds on the window in the back seat of a cruiser as his mother runs toward the car; she screams and grimaces, but we cannot hear her from the boy's point of view inside the car. We see a woman and her young son in a hospital and the boy walks around and looks out a large window; he looks frightened by seeing the ground several stories below him and runs back to his bed. A formerly kidnapped woman meets her parents in a hospital after seven years and the three people hug and cry; she learns that her parents are estranged from each other.
► A woman has a toothache and grunts in pain, rubbing her mouth; on another day, she reaches into her mouth and removes a blackened tooth and we see a little blood on the root and her young son asks to have it; the boy later says that he keeps it in his cheek so that he won't lose it and that night, and we see a close-up of the decayed tooth in his hand. A woman living in a shed stays in bed under covers for 24 hours, exhausted from caring for her young son, who plays by himself and eats cereal. A captive woman boils a large pan of water and applies hot towels to her young son's face to make his face red and skin hot to pretend he needs hospitalization; she then gags and brings up a small amount of vomit into his hair to make him look sick and the boy shouts as the captor enters, but he refuses to take the boy to a doctor. A boy tells his mother that he wet the bed (we do not see this) and she removes his disposable diaper/panties in the bathroom. A doctor gives a mother and her young son two pairs of sunglasses, a large bottle of sunscreen, and a surgical mask for the boy because he has not yet developed a strong immune system, having lived his whole life in a garden shed; we hear the boy's voiceover says that there are invisible germs everywhere. In three scenes, a little boy brushes his teeth without toothpaste and does not spit. A little boy seems to be missing a couple of front baby teeth, but we see no blood. A little boy has a large gauze patch on his knee, but no blood. A boy asks his grandmother to cut his long hair and send it to his mother in a hospital because it contains "strong"; he grimaces during the cutting and complains about soap in his eyes and mouth during a shampoo. A child's voice over says a mosquito sucked his blood once in a shed. A woman says that her young son keeps "puking" up pills (please see the Substance Use category for more details).Three scenes feature a woman snoring in bed and one scene includes a man snoring in a reclining chair.
PROFANITY 5 - About 9 F-words and its derivatives, 4 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (freak, liar, boring, dinky, filthy, Dumbo), exclamations (I swear, swear to me, shut-up), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. God, Jesus, Abracadabra [magic incantation]). [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A little boy swallows a vitamin pill at breakfast, a woman tells a man that her young son is sick and the man tells her to give the boy painkillers (she does not do so and she says, "He keeps puking them up"), a man brings antibiotics for a sick boy and the boy's mother shouts that the boy is dead (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a doctor gives a woman two medicine bottles (we cannot read labels) and says one bottle is to make her feel better and the other contains sleeping pills, a woman swallows a pill and snaps a bottle shut, we hear that a woman overdosed on medications but did not die (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), and a male police officer asks another officer if a little boy is on drugs. Adults have glasses of wine before them and a man drinks from his glass at a dinner, and a woman plays with the stem of a glass of wine but does not drink.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Kidnapping, rape, prolonged captivity, fantasy vs. reality, magic, imaginary pets/friends, PTSD, safety, protecting children, self-defense, problems with training girls to be submissive, parent-child relationships, children conceived in rape, feminism, implied violence, making decisions, suicide, media attention to crimes against women.
MESSAGE - Parents need to teach girls to avoid human predators by recognizing lies and other bad behavior, and to protect themselves and being "nice" all the time is not wise. Fantasy can sometimes be positive.