Story

Nowhere Boy is the story of John Lennon’s early life and childhood. John (Aaron Johnson) is abandoned by his mother at the age of five and brought up by his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). As a teenager, John has trouble coping with this and often remembers troubling events from his early childhood. This is made worse when he discovers his mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), is living not far from him with a new family.

Julia Lennon is a musically creative woman who inspires John, but she is emotionally unstable and has a bad effect on him. John’s inner turmoil and search for identity often land him in trouble. For example, he is suspended from school for bringing pornography into the classroom. But he does find pleasure in music and art. When he’s 17, he meets the talented Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster), and they start a rock and roll band. John eventually learns the truth about his past and the tragedy of his mother’s life.

Themes

Dysfunctional families; abandonment of a child

Violence

This movie contains some violence. For example:

  • A youth threatens John with a knife, drawing it around John’s face.
  • John is caned at school.
  • Aunt Mimi throws something at John.
  • Julia Lennon has a verbal fight with her current partner about John.
  • John breaks a washboard over a band member’s head.
  • Julia Lennon is knocked down by a car and killed.
  • John gets angry at his mother’s funeral and punches another boy. Then he punches Paul.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • John has flashbacks from his early childhood. These show him as a very sad and scared child.
  • John’s Uncle George collapses and dies of a heart attack.
  • Julia Lennon is shown dead on the ground with her eyes open and staring.

From 8-13

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

 Some children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example:

  • Characters talk about how ‘rock and roll’ is a way of describing sex.
  • Julia Lennon has several different relationships with men after she marries John’s father.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example, characters smoke throughout the movie. They also drink at home, in pubs and at various venues.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example, there is a sex scene between John and a girl. Oral sex is implied.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

This movie contains some mild to medium-level coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Nowhere Boy is a biographical drama about John Lennon’s early life. It is a gritty portrayal of the era he grew up in – post-war Britain in the middle of great social change.

The main message from this movie is that people can succeed in life and overcome difficulties from a traumatic childhood.

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as violence. For example, it’s not a good way to solve problems, and it’s not good to take out your frustrations on other people.