Story

Son of Rambow is set in England in the 1980s and tells the story of an unlikely friendship. Will (Bill Milner), whose father died of an aneurism, belongs to a strict Christian sect that forbids contact with outside influences such as television, music and friends outside the sect. In contrast Lee Carter (Will Poulter), who has been abandoned by his mother and father and left with his uncaring older brother, has an existence of excessive freedom. 

The two boys find that they have more in common than expected. They join forces to create a home movie worthy of winning the BBC junior-filmmaker contest. Lee is armed with plenty of ambition and a video camera. He accidentally stumbles upon Will’s prolific creative talents and convinces him to screen-test for his movie adventure. Will is easily enticed into Lee’s world of rebellion and freedom. When he accidentally views Lee’s pirated copy of Rambo: First Blood, his imagination goes wild with the creative possibilities. 

What follows is a comedic adventure as the boys’ imaginings, drawings and daydreams come to life through the story of Son of Rambow. They start to make a name for themselves at school as movie makers. As popularity descends on them, they find their friendship and movie are put to the test.

Themes

Child neglect, bullying

Violence

This movie includes some violence and accidental harm. There are also stunts that you might be concerned about your children imitating. For example:

  • Lee’s older brother and his friends hit, kick and punch Lee while Lee is curled up in a ball on the floor.
  • Will’s daydreams involve a scarecrow that becomes aggressive and attempts to choke him.
  • Scenes from Rambo: First Blood are shown. They include a scene where Rambo holds a knife to the neck of another man, a house being blown up, a machinegun being fired at people, sounds of shooting and people dying.
  • Will and Lee cut their hands and mingle blood to become ‘blood brothers’.
  • Will is involved in several dangerous stunts such as being catapulted, ninja battles, falling from a tree, being thrown by a pressure sprinkler and sliding down a steep hill, all  with minimal consequences.
  • A bird is shot and killed by one of the students.
  • Will and Lee undertake a prank in which one of the teachers gets a pair of scissors stuck up his nose. There is quite a lot of blood and screaming.
  • One of the students threatens Will with a gun, which is held to his head. The other boy shoots before Will realises it is a toy gun. He then holds it to his own head and pretends to kill himself.
  • Will is involved in a car crash, is thrown from the car and falls into a vat of oil. He struggles for breath and his friends all desert him. He is saved by Lee at the last minute.
  • Will is under scaffolding and building materials when the structure collapses. He is seriously injured.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

It is unlikely that children in this age group will understand that many of the humorous stunt scenes and violent attacks by scary characters exist only in Will’s imagination and as part of the film they are making. Therefore they might find some of the images of fighting and killing scary.

From 8-13

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie includes some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Lee is abandoned by his parents and treated cruelly by his brother.
  • The idea of a child being seriously hurt and left alone in the hospital could be quite distressing for children in this age group.
  • Several scenes of heightened emotion throughout the movie include yelling, aggression and crying.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There are several scenes in which children and teenagers drink and smoke.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie includes some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • In a school kissing contest, one of the students kisses several female students.
  • Two teenagers kiss.
  • There is a nude sculpture.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: the Rambo movies.

Coarse language 

This movie contains mild to medium-level coarse language, as well as rude gestures.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Son of Rambow is a comedy about friendship and growing up. The main messages from this movie concern the meaning of true friendship – loyalty, trust and forgiveness.

This movie could give you the opportunity to discuss with your children real-life issues such as:

  • religion and faith
  • being dishonest with your parents
  • being involved in illegal activities such as stealing, pirating movies and smoking
  • peer pressure and bullying
  • involving yourself in dangerous stunts and situations
  • creativity and imagination
  • child neglect.