Rabbit Hole Parent Review

This descent into the unknown darkness of grief offers a glimmer of hope for viewers as this couple struggles to find forgiveness, acceptance and hope for their future.

Overall B

When their son is killed in a car accident, Becca and Howie Corbett (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) go in different directions in search of solace for their unbearable grief.

Violence B+
Sexual Content B
Profanity D+
Substance Use D+

Why is Rabbit Hole rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Rabbit Hole PG-13 for mature thematic material, some drug use and language.
Latest home video release April 19, 2011
Run Time: 93 minutes
Official Movie Site

Movie Review

It is hard to know exactly how you would react to the death of a child unless it happened to you. For Becca and Howie Corbett (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart), the reality of that trial has hit them head on. Some people in the Corbett’s bereavement support group turn to their religious beliefs for comfort. Others find strength in being part of a unit with a shared history. But Becca can’t find any peace and she isn’t about to let others find it either. Refusing any intimate gestures from her husband, invitations from the neighbors, or comforting words from her mother (Dianne Wiest) and sister (Tammy Blanchard), Becca prefers to be alone in her garden. However her mourning isn’t always private. Lashing out at a grieving couple in a weekly support meeting, she mocks their belief in God and stuns the other brokenhearted parents in the room with her outburst.

Unfortunately the eruption also upsets Howie who is trying to put his life back together by resuming the daily activities he enjoyed before the event. Although he watches videos of their laughing child by himself in the quiet hours of the night, during the day he reaches out to friends and coworkers.

However as days and weeks turn to months, the gulf grows between the couple and their inability to comfort one another slowly drains the life out of their marriage. Each of them looks for solace on their own. Becca begins a relationship with a reserved teenaged boy (Miles Teller). She meets him in the park to talk after school. Howie turns to Gaby (Sandra Oh), a woman from their support group that he starts to smoke pot with. But even these outlets don’t fill the void left by Danny’s (Phoenix List) death.

Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, this script adapts well to the big screen. Both Kidman and Eckhart put in strong performances as individuals who are grasping to find meaning in their disrupted lives. Faced with difficult choices, they flounder and flail to get a finger hold on their new reality. Their choices, combined with other mature themes in the movie, will make this story an unlikely option for children and many teens. Frequent profanities, including the single use of a strong sexual expletive, grief-driven disparaging religious comments and the portrayal of illegal drug use, may also be problematic for some viewers.

Still the film captures the emotional, as well as physical, pain endured by this pair as they clean out their son’s bedroom, pack up his clothes and put away the little reminders of him that linger like a shadow around the house. Yet this descent into the unknown darkness of grief offers a glimmer of hope for viewers as this couple struggles to find forgiveness, acceptance and hope for their future.

Directed by John Cameron Mitchell . Starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest . Running time: 93 minutes. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence   Content Info

Rabbit Hole Parents Guide

How does Becca deal with her grief? How does Howie face his sadness? How can differences in bereavement cause challenges in marriages and families? Why does Becca refuse to take comfort from her mother?

How is a movie script different than a play? What challenges may be involved in adapting a play to a screenplay?