Causeway Parent Guide
Starting over is never easy.
Parent Movie Review
While on deployment in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Combat Engineer, Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) suffered a traumatic brain injury requiring stateside rehabilitation. She has a lot to contend with: The brain injury has led to a loss of muscular control, and she needs the help of a dedicated caregiver to do everything from using the toilet to brushing her teeth. Lynsey is determined and she works hard to regain the functionality she lost.
Recovery is a challenge, but Lynsey’s bigger problem is re-adapting to life with her mother (Linda Emond) in their home in New Orleans. Lynsey plans to redeploy with the Army as soon as she can get her doctor, Dr. Lucas (Stephen McKinley Henderson) to certify that she’s back to normal. While she waits for his go-ahead, Lynsey meets James (Brian Tyree Henry), an auto mechanic with his own traumas, and the two become friends, filling a void in each other’s lives. Whether or not they’ll be able to help one another, though, is another question entirely.
Movies about veterans struggling to re-adapt to life at home aren’t uncommon, and they usually feel pretty similar. There’s a big dramatic combat scene, an injury or a trauma, and then major PTSD breakdowns throughout the rest of the film. Causeway takes a much different approach. Although Lynsey talks about what happened to her, we don’t see anything on screen. The only military uniform in the film is on an out-of-focus character in the first two minutes. That’s because this isn’t a movie about the US military, or the war in Afghanistan – it’s about Lynsey and her life beyond the armed forces.
Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry both give solid, naturalistic performances, generating a feeling of realism and sympathy for their respective characters. The drawback to playing it subtle, however, is that the film can feel underwhelming at times. Audiences looking for excitement should look elsewhere – this just isn’t that kind of movie. It’s slow, deliberate, and nuanced. My primary issue is that Causeway feels vague at times. I don’t expect to get a full biography of all the characters, annotated and cross-referenced, but there are some questions about their lives and motivations that I think the film could have developed more deeply.
This movie’s slow-pace and limited focus will be the primary deterrents for younger audiences, but parents might also have issues with the profanity and recreational cannabis use. As this genre goes, though, this is about the mildest one I’ve seen – in temperament as well as content. It’s not going to grab you and force you to pay attention, but it does reward you for doing so.Directed by Lila Neugebauer. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release November 4, 2022. Updated November 5, 2022
Watch the trailer for Causeway
Rating & Content Info
Why is Causeway rated R? Causeway is rated R by the MPAA for some language, sexual references and drug use.
Violence: There is dialogue describing traumatic war violence and car accidents.
Sexual Content: Characters are seen shoulders up in showers or baths. People strip down to their underwear to go swimming.
Profanity: There are 16 sexual expletives and 11 scatological terms. There are infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen drinking and smoking both tobacco and cannabis. There are non-descriptive references to hard drug use and addiction.
Page last updated November 5, 2022
Causeway Parents' Guide
What are some common issues veterans face when they return from deployment? How is health care for wounded vets administered? What kind of bureaucratic issues can stand between injured soldiers and assistance? What are some of the consequences of these gaps in treatment?
PTSD is commonly associated with military personnel, but it can happen to anyone. What are some non-military causes for PTSD? What are the symptoms and side-effects of the condition?