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Gifted (2017)

PG-13 | | Drama | 12 April 2017 (USA)
2:28 | Trailer

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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.



86 ( 17)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Adler (as McKenna Grace)
Justin Gilmore
Judge Edward Nichols
Greg Cullen
Aubrey Highsmith
Gloria Davis
Carly Rosen
Seymore Shankland
Pat Golding
Bradley Pollard


Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 April 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un don excepcional  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$446,380 (USA) (7 April 2017)


$24,523,969 (USA) (23 June 2017)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer previously worked together on Snowpiercer (2013). See more »


When changing camera angles at the Psychologist's office, 2 of the blocks on the table disappear. See more »


Mary Adler: [opening a present from Evelyn] An Apple? Whoa.
Evelyn: It's a Macbook, darling. Top of the line, with the retina display.
Frank Adler: Hey, you know who else has a retina display?
Mary Adler: Fred!
Evelyn: Mary, I understand you like mathematics. So, on there, you'll find a great out-of-print book by Charles Zimmer called "Transitions in Advanced Algebra."
Mary Adler: Yeah. Love that book.
Evelyn: You're saying you've read it?
Mary Adler: Yeah, I've kind of moved on to differential equations now.
Frank Adler: Don't forget your manners. Thank your grandma.
Mary Adler: Thank you, Grandma.
See more »


References SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) See more »


Shame, Shame, Shame
Written by Sylvia Robinson
Performed by Octavia Spencer and Mckenna Grace
See more »

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User Reviews

Gifted and Whole
20 April 2017 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

In "Gifted" after her taxing first day of main stream school, 7 year- old mathematics prodigy Mary, played by amazing Mckenna Grace, sits on her guardian Uncle Frank, played by gentle Chris Evans, on their beach day near their Florida home. Frank asks Mary about making friends at school. Mary says that she can't make friends with "idiots". The older and wiser Frank tells her, "Your Mother would have wanted you to have compassion." Mary's Mother Diane was the brilliant mathematician, who tragically committed suicide after Mary was born.

Director Marc Webb's "Gifted" is predictable, contrived, and could have been better. I loved that scene with Frank and Mary at the beach which defines the movie. "Gifted" is about compassion, love, and seeing people as whole beyond just their gifts. I liked "Gifted" a lot. Evans and Grace are touching and beautiful together. They compel and shine within the movie's frailties.

Writer Tom Flynn has best intentions; however, some of the plot lines and characters falter. Frank's Mother Evelyn played by dominating Lindsay Duncan is too cold and singular without heart. I don't think she is supposed to be the villain, but she is in the movie. Frank and Mary's kind sage landlord Roberta, played by wonderful Octavia Spencer, is not so much a breathing character, rather a paternal narrative device. This wastes the talents of Spencer. Jenny Slate plays Mary's understanding First Grade Teacher Bonnie, who predictably falls in love with Frank. This creates conflict for Mary and Frank which does not have an entirely authentic feel. However, Evans and Slate's chemistry make this work; because we believe Mary's life is in both of their hearts.

Bonnie discovers Mary's genius in math class. She informs Frank, of which he is already aware. Frank was the former Philosophy Professor at Boston University, before leaving to care for his late sister's daughter. Frank works odd jobs repairing boats. He home schooled Mary as much as possible. While the kids in Mary's class are doing simple arithmetic, she is schooling herself in partial differential equations.

A bully trips Mary's friend on the bus, destroying his school project. Mary responds punching out the bully. Meeting with the school principal, Frank agrees that what she did was wrong. However, he is very proud that she took a stand for someone weaker. The principal reminds Frank that Mary is gifted and would be better suited at the private school for kids like her. Frank says no. He says that Mary's Mother would have wanted her grow up as a kid, and that she would have "wanted her to be happy". He promised Diane. He confesses, "I would rather you dumb her down, if that makes her a good person." "Gifted" is eloquently about choice.

Frank's estranged Mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) visits from her home in London. She wants charge of Mary to foster her amazing gifts at Harvard. Evelyn is also the former math prodigy, like her daughter Diane and now Mary. The family is gifted. She despises Frank for wasting Mary's gift. Mary's Mom Diane was the brilliant mathematician on the verge of solving the unsolvable Navier-Stokes Expressions. Apparently, Diane's gift was a curse that consumed her, and her driven Mother Evelyn didn't allow young Diane to live life—or fall in love. Frank knows this all too well.

In the tragically disheartening scene, Frank and Evelyn have lunch at the beach. Evelyn tells Frank the reason why Mary committed suicide: "She was weak!" Sadly Evelyn only saw her daughter's gift and not the whole Diane. She intends to sue Frank for custody of Mary. This is the dramatic family conflict of "Gifted".

"Gifted" intimately embodies love and compassion. At the narrative arc, Frank must forsake Mary. As Frank tearfully leaves Mary screams, "Don't go Frank!" Frank profoundly discovers what he has with Mary in the loss. Evans and Grace are moving and authentic in their partnership.

In the wondrous sunset scene on their beach day, Mary literally climbs on Frank. She asks "Is there a God?" Frank answers, "I don't know…" Mary asks, "What about Jesus?" Frank answers, "Love that guy… One way or another we all end up together in the end." In "Gifted" we are all together in the end. In the closing scenes we watch Grace smiling and being a little girl with her Girl Scout friends in the park. The choices matter. Kids should be allowed to be kids—it's only right. In the end, "Gifted" brings us all together.

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