Box art for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

comedy, drama


Joel (Jim Carrey) is stunned to discover that his girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), has had their tumultuous relationship erased from her mind.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    93%
  • Audience Score
    94%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5

Imaginative, loopy romance has mature themes, profanity.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND is a 2004 movie that explores the oft-stated idea that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. There is frequent profanity throughout the film; the F-word, among others, is used quite a bit. Characters are often shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and marijuana. In one scene, a woman stumbles into the apartment of her boyfriend after drunkenly driving his car into a fire hydrant. In another scene, a man is arguing with his girlfriend about how he likes to get high on marijuana to balance out being drunk. These scenes, and the general theme of preserving memories in spite of the pain they cause in the aftermath of a failed relationship, make this film best for mature teens and adults.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about which memories they might think about erasing and which ones they will always make sure to keep. They might also like to look up the meaning of the word "lacuna," talk about some of their favorite quotations, and read some of the brilliant poetry of Alexander Pope.
  • How is the nature of memory explored and shown throughout the film? Does the disjointed nature of some of the scenes mirror your own attempts to remember moments from your life?
  • Did the drug and alcohol use in the movie seem gratuitous or a realistic reflection of what these adult characters did in their lives?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: There is little charm in the coupling and almost no erotic intimacy, just a series of nerve-racking conversational collisions.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Thursday, March 25, 2004

Fresh: The perfect movie about love's inevitable imperfections.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, March 19, 2004

Fresh: The result is a cinematic vagueness that makes the film less aesthetic yet more persuasive. This is how dreams really look: like reality, only less so.

- Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, Friday, May 30, 2014

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Charlie Kaufman is a genius, one of few remaining screenwriters who can structure a film like prose amid the utter beauty of a poem. Only on the rarest of occasions does Kaufman write in an accessible nature, so to speak, but the mesmerizing atmosphere that has been constructed not only holds our undivided attention for as long as it pleases, it also demands further viewings. Not to decipher, but to enjoy the glorious experience once more. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a brave feat deserving of insurmountable praise. We'd generally scoff at a cross between the romance and science fiction genres. It seems like a novel idea for those longing to revisit the golden age of B-movies. But Kaufman can, quite simply, do anything, even make an audience tear up at the end of his romantic sci-fi film.

- spielberg00, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5 stars

Charlie Kaufman is a genius, one of few remaining screenwriters who can structure a film like prose amid the utter beauty of a poem. Only on the rarest of occasions does Kaufman write in an accessible nature, so to speak, but the mesmerizing atmosphere that has been constructed not only holds our undivided attention for as long as it pleases, it also demands further viewings. Not to decipher, but to enjoy the glorious experience once more. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a brave feat deserving of insurmountable praise. We'd generally scoff at a cross between the romance and science fiction genres. It seems like a novel idea for those longing to revisit the golden age of B-movies. But Kaufman can, quite simply, do anything, even make an audience tear up at the end of his romantic sci-fi film.

- spielberg00, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 stars

Idiosyncratic film with a lot of charm and a lot of ha-has as well, and ink in a little eloquence too.

- fb1710827246, Wednesday, August 8, 2012