A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be your own person and don't give in to peer pressure and the bad behavior of friends and others in a community.
Positive Role Models
Lorenzo does his best to be a good father and role model to Colgero, and tells him how bravery is not in the actions and behavior of the mob guys who hang out on the street corner, but in working people who get up each day and earn a living to provide for their families. Colgero learns not to hang out with friends who are increasingly engaging in ugly behavior.
The movie is set in the 1960s in Bronx at a time when racial tensions are running high. As Colgero falls hard for Jane, an African American girl who goes to his high school, the two emerge as individuals who are products of where they grew up, but do their best to avoid the increasing ugliness of the tensions surrounding them.
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Violence & Scariness
A man is shot in the head and killed on the street, seemingly over an altercation over a parking spot. Colgero's friends from the predominantly Italian neighborhood, upon seeing African American teens riding their bikes in the neighborhood, become enraged and knock the kids off their bikes and beat them up. These same friends of Colgero's decide that they're going to drive into the nearby Black neighborhood and throw Molotov cocktails into the barber shop and record store, and after they burn those businesses down, they accidentally kill themselves by setting themselves on fire while in their car. A brutal beatdown of the members of an obnoxious motorcycle gang by mafia guys -- beer bottles to the head, beatings with pipes and bats. A character is shot in the head and killed while in a bar. One of Colgero's questionable friends brags about how he knows if a girl is worth dating or not by grabbing her head and forcing it into his crotch as a way to coerce oral sex.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Making out between lead character and his new girlfriend.
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Strong language, including the "N" word, "f--k," and "motherf--ker." Colgero's White teen friends refer to African Americans as the "N" word. Also: "bulls--t," "s--t," "p---y," "ass." Middle finger gesture.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Bronx Tale is a 1993 coming-of-age movie based on a play in which a teen boy is caught between the love he has for his honest, hardworking father and the temptations offered by the local mob boss. There's violence throughout, including a scene in which the lead character's racist friends attack a group of Black teens riding through their neighborhood on bicycles. Mob guys are shown beating up the members of an obnoxious biker gang -- beating them with bottles, bats, pipes, smashing their faces against the bar. A character is shot in the head and killed in a crowded bar. These same racist teen friends of the lead character decide to make Molotov cocktails, steal a car, and go into a nearby African American neighborhood and set fire to a barber shop and record store before accidentally burning themselves to death. A teen brags about how he knows if a girl is worth dating or not by grabbing her head and forcing it into his crotch as a way to coerce oral sex. White characters use the "N" word -- the movie is set in the 1960s as racial tensions are boiling over. Strong language throughout, including "f--k" and "motherf--ker." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are literally tens of thousands of coming-of-age movies, and it's safe to say that A Bronx Tale is one of the best. Against this intense backdrop of everything evoked by a 1960s Bronx neighborhood -- large personalities, unique individuals, working-class pride, mafia guys hanging out on the corner, and the increasingly simmering racial tensions of the time and place -- Chazz Palminteri's richly evocative story comes down to what every great coming-of-age story is about: a young person learning to be who they are, standing on their own two feet, and getting the first glimpses of a world outside the narrow confines of their childhood conceptions.
As the opposite father figures competing for young Calogero's admiration and respect, Palminteri and Robert De Niro present vivid and unique characters that manage to avoid the cliches so often seen in depictions of blue-collar guys on one side, and mob bosses on the other, to say nothing of the cliches inherent in nostalgic evocations of Life In the 1960s (cue "My Girl" by The Temptations). The decades have been kind to A Bronx Tale; years later, this is a movie that has only gotten better with age.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.