Apocalypse Now

  • Review Date: October 12, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1979

Common Sense Media says

Disturbing tale of war horrors isn't for kids.
  • Review Date: October 12, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1979

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film does not include positive role models. The main goal of the protagonist is to assassinate a rogue American Green Beret. American soldiers appear out of control, violent, and overall heartless. They do not seem to be fighting for a greater cause. It appears to be an immoral quest undertaken by unethical individuals.

Violence

Animals are put in jeopardy. Somewhat graphic images of injured/dead soldiers, a lot of generalized images of bombings of Vietnamese villages. Soldiers callously kill civilians who they see as inconveniences. Mangled and tortured bodies. Decapitation. Major characters die. VERY graphic conclusion.

Sex

Male nudity, brief images of centerfolds, locker-room talk.

Language

A lot of swearing by the soldiers and using of ethnic slurs.

Consumerism

Winston cigarettes, Budweiser, Marlboro.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Excessive drinking and pot smoking. Use of other illegal drugs and extended drug trips.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film has dark and violent overtones. It is not recommended for kids. This is not a historical piece that glorifies the moral journeys of American soldiers. It includes excessive swearing, violence, and drug use. The film also presents American soldiers as overall hostile and excessively violent.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Francis Ford Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW served as the director's artistic follow-up to his first two Godfather films (1972, 1974). The film chronicles Capt. Benjamin J. Willard's (Martin Sheen) journey down a hostile Vietnam river to find and kill a crazed Green Beret, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). The majority of the film follows Willard and his shipmates (Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall) as they travel to their classified destination. Ultimately, Willard must face the horror of the world Kurtz has created.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

One of the crown jewels of Zoetrope Studios, Apocalypse Now infamous for its director's over-budget and over-schedule process. The six-week shoot ultimately took 16 months. The project was plagued by problems. Coppola shot nearly 200 hours of film and took almost three years to edit the project. Despite multiple glitches in the process, the final product is a gripping and incredibly disturbing image of the murkiness of war and the depths of human depravity. Despite it being one of the greatest films of all time, parents might want to consider the film's psychological suspense and extreme violence before letting their teens watch it.

Apocalypse features outstanding performances by Sheen, Fishburne and Forrest. Robert Duvall gives a disturbing performance as Lieutenant Kilgore, a man who finds surfing and combat compatible activities and the character credited with one of the films most famous lines, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." The film went on to garner two Academy Awards, six additional nominations, and won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about moral and cinematic issues. The film portrays Vietnam soldiers in various ways: cold-blooded murderers, drug addicts, kids, etc. Does Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore's obsession with battleground surfing present any ideological problems? How does the film draw on Lance's drug use to comment on the overall experience and psyche of the Vietnam soldier? How do Willard's and Kurtz's horrific visions and acts comment on the murkiness of war? How does this film add to the existing historical and journalistic discourse regarding Vietnam veterans? What liberties does the film take with its source material, Heart of Darkness?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1979
DVD release date:November 9, 1999
Cast:Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall
Director:Francis Ford Coppola
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:153 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:disturbing violent images, language, sexual content and some drug use

This review of Apocalypse Now was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybballdiaries April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

slow but wonderful

this movie is a complete and utter masterpeice, although , at some points in the film , i was found wandering off in my mind, just because this movie is quite slow and serious, but if ur looking for a classic , look no further,
this is great!

Teen, 13 years old Written byNickD531 January 1, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Really Good

Really good war film, and the last scene isn't that graphic, as you don't see most of it. Suitable for 13+

Teen, 14 years old Written bykojjeyxia April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A Surreal Odyssey

An insane depiction of the lostest civility of mankind. War.

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