McElhone’s whippersnapper smarts and unwillingness to become the victim set the stage, which is matched by Butler’s gently-thawing stoicism.  Scottish television and radio star Mary Riggins, who has a reputation for doing the entire spectrum of children’s voices, from crying babies to teenage boys, adds humor and depth to the story, while Emily Mortimer is pitch-perfect as the shy victim of domestic violence who refuses to ever be abused ever again.

“Dear Frankie” is a film that will touch many, for many have been bereft of fathers – especially good ones.  A worthy, worthwhile movie of great merit.

AUDIENCE:  Older, mature adolescents and adults.


  • Drugs/Alcohol Content:  Smoking and drinking throughout the film, including one character who chain-smokes, one scene where characters appear to be drunk, several scenes in bars and a grandmother who insists that her grandson buy cigarettes for her.
  • Language/Profanity:  About a dozen obscenities, mostly “hell” and British curses (e.g. bloody), but also several uses of the f-word.  At least twelve profanities such as “OMG,” “Jesus/Jesus Christ/Christ” and “God Almighty.”
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  In one scene, a boy tells another boy to stick his finger into his palm and asks if that is how his girlfriend feels; a couple makes out in the distance; a child tells another child that she found condoms in her mother’s closet; men leer provocatively at a woman in a bar and bartender treats her like a prostitute (which she is not).
  • Violence:  None.