Box art for The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

  • Rated PG
  • HD and SD formats available

children & family, comedy, drama

Inspiring, magical story for the whole family stars Jennifer Garner.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 8
Positive role models
4 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
1 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5

Tearjerking family drama about the magic of raising a kid.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a Disney family film that uses "magical realism" to explain how an infertile couple gets to parent the kid of their (literal) dreams. As you might expect from the premise, the movie gets pretty weepy at times (for both on-screen and off-screen parents), but it will remind families about the joy of being together and being each other's biggest cheerleaders. There are a couple of sad scenes, as well as some bullying incidents and language, but otherwise this is the sort of live-action movie that kids and adults can enjoy together, even if they need a tissue or two by the end.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about The Odd Life of Timothy Green's emphasis on parent-kid relationships. How does Timothy get along with his parents more than most on-screen kids?
  • How does the movie portray bullying? Did the Greens handle Timothy's humiliating incident as you would have expected? What are some positive ways to handle bullying?
  • What do you think of the story's magical elements? Would you have preferred it to end a different way? Why do you think Timothy's time with the Greens was temporary?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

He's a force of nature. Great Film! Disney written all over it!I wish Disney made more movies like this. Totally clean, nothing even remotely possibly offensive, and yet it wasn't just a kid show. It was interesting, engaging and witty. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a great family movie to see, and it really gives you that warm feeling when you finish seeing it. I highly recommend seeing it. A unique family story about adoption with a sprinkle of that Disney magic! After receiving bad news from a fertility doctor, Cindy and Jim Green try to bury their dreams of having a child by writing out all the great traits their child would have and putting them in a box in the garden. During a freak storm in the middle of the night, they awake to find a boy named Timothy, with leaves growing from his ankles, standing in their kitchen calling them mom and dad. Cindy and Jim are thrown into the midst of parenthood and over the coming months, Timothy will teach them more than they could have imagined about being parents and raising a child, no matter how he comes into their lives.

- MANUGINO, Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 stars

It knows what it wants to accomplish and maps out exactly where it's headed from the start. The most heartbreaking thing about this movie is how hard it's trying to win us over. There may be better movies to shed a tear to, but Timothy Green has a warm presence and is simple and harmless enough for any viewer to get into.

- aSpaceCowboy, Monday, December 3, 2012

1 star

In the Disney studio's latest attempt at invoking the "aw shucks" reaction out of their audience, The Odd Life of Timothy Green misses the mark completely as it tries to create a story that directly appeals to the infertile-couple demographic. So the story goes that Cindy and Jim, played by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton respectively, have tried everything and anything to have a child, but one doctor tells them in the opening scenes that it's just not meant to be. Drunk later that night, the couple write on paper what their perfect child would look and be like. They put these writings into a wooden box and bury it in the backyard. And in perfect Disney fashion, a child grows out of the dirt. Cindy and Jim are soon greeted by their son Timothy at age 10. There is a pretty good concept here that would have been great in the hands of Guillermo Del Toro, Tim Burton, or even the Pixar studio. But it's a complete mess in the hands of Peter Hedges and company. It's too overly sentimental for its weird concept to work and too weird to feel believable in any sense. The script is paper thin, and is only good at creating scenes that are not only cliche but absolutely meandering, tedious, and fall flat in trying to communicate any sense of meaning. Sure there are underlying themes of accepting people who are different, and that parents should not compare themselves to other parents, but when you hammer your audience with scene after scene that screams the take away points, it might have been a better idea to just make a documentary or create a parenting blog about the issue. And the way the story progresses to communicate these themes is paper-thin. Too many cookie cutter characters representing an ideal. Too many pointless scenes of Timothy holding his hands out to absorb sun as if it were some kind of life force; an action that is never given any meaning. By the time the film ends, the Cindy and Jim have barely gone through any change at all. They start the film as a couple unable to give birth to a child, and in the end they learn they can adopt one. What wonderful development. Two hours of my life wasted that I'm never getting back. Perhaps there will be a better film made one day about the anxieties of parenting, one that actually has deals with such a circumstance with insight and substance and isn't as boring, uneven, or forgettable as this one.

- MovieGeek13, Tuesday, September 18, 2012