Common Sense Media says

Terrific story of young ballet dancer has strong language.

Users say

(out of 29 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byToronto Mom March 25, 2010

Inspiring & Loving Message

Saw this when it first came out and loved it. We just watched the PG-13 version with our kids and the whole family was really touched by it. It's an empowering and loving story for children. My kids couldn't stop dancing afterwards. I don't see why this movie receives such a strict rating unless the rating is to discourage kids from being exposed to an LGBT-positive message. There is cussing but American children won't understand the UK swear words anyway. The sexual talk and violence are minimal, especially in comparison to other PG and even some G movies.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySamiam April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byDreamerlily February 11, 2011

I hate curse words, but I LOVED this movie

Billy Elliot is amazing! Really, it doesn't matter if your kid's 13 or 18, I promis you they hear worse words/see worse things on the bus riding to school or in the hallways (personal experience) Even if you hate dancing, your bound to like this. They break steryotypes by making Billy (they dancer) straight and Michael (his friend) gay. And if you get the chance, see the musical, its just as good I swear~.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent Written byWriter Mom February 5, 2012

Too intense and rough for younger kids

My husband and I just previewed this movie to see if we could let our 8-year-old son, who dances, see it. Having watched it ourselves, we would not be comfortable with that. There is a lot of crude and profane language in this film. Some is British, some you'd recognize. There's a conversation between two kids in which one mentions that her parents sleep separately "so they don't have sex," and mentions that the father had an affair. There is a minor character who is homosexual. I think that's fine for older kids and might go right over the heads of grade-schoolers. For some families, it could present a good opportunity to discuss human sexuality. But there is a lot of other ugliness in this film, including the father punching Billy's older brother, which I found disturbing. In the end, all is well as the father ends up supporting Billy's love of dance, but I'd hold this for pre-teens or teens, or expect a lot of questions from your younger child.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator Written bymath professor June 18, 2011

A must see for adults - children will benefit from the movie and discussions afterwards.

For children, I believe the importance of the grand message outweighs the detractors of adult language. Children can not be completely shielded from foul language, and the colorful terms used in this movie can be made an item for discussion. This is a powerful and uplifting work of art, and can have a positive effect on adults and children. Just be prepared for a few discussions before and afterwards - that in itself makes the experience more fruitful.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bynjxcjustin October 9, 2015

Fantastic but the language is incredible

Our boy is 9 and our girl is 7. Ten minutes into the movie I could feel my wife's scorn because of the incredibly bad language. Mind you, we are not scared to let our kids see a movie with some bad language, but this movie made Shaun of the Dead look like Bambi. Clearly we saw the Rated R version because the F-word and C-word were nonstop throughout the movie and I don't think in the end our kids appreciated the movie's theme and story because they were constantly giddy or aghast or confused by the language. I think 12+ makes sense, but really I'm just let down the filmmakers went this route with a film that is so clearly a kids movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 and 10 year old Written byqtnn December 1, 2010

Great for conversations with precocious tweens & older

The kids usually like (but don't love) our choices for Family Movie Night, e.g. Food Inc. They LOVED Billy Elliot, are trying to convince their friends to watch it so they have someone their age to discuss it with. It's the rare coming-of-age story that doesn't focus on sex. Though it's a concern of those around him, Billy himself is focused on following his dreams. The beauty of the movie is its balancing act - exploring dark subjects from the perspective of a kid, alternating gritty realities with Billy's hearty dancing, all without spoofing the characters. Even my daughter commented on how even side characters had "something to care about." LOTS of foul language but not done in a way that kids would emulate. Several mentions of sex but the Irish accents are so strong that my kids mostly missed them. They thought "fanny" was "bunny." Do turn off closed captioning when Billy goes to the little girl's bedroom. Do watch this one with the kids... treasure trove of stuff they will need and may WANT to discuss with you.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Adult Written byCalimom October 18, 2009
The musical from this movie has hit Broadway now with rave reviews. My kids wanted to see it very much, so I screened this movie to see if it's appropriate material. What a fabulous story! There are so many good messages - about believing in yourself, being willing to take risks, being willing to try things that you're not good at. Even the hard-nosed father is willing to ultimately shed his convictions in order to help his son achieve his dreams. There is also a subplot of accepting a friend who has a very different lifestyle than your own. You must watch this with your kids, and be ready to explain labor unions, scabs, and strikes. You will need to discuss homophobia, especially the stereotypes surrounding it (i.e. in the movie the adult males all believe male ballet dancers are gay). You will also need to weigh in on your family's choice of language vs. the family in the movie. Lots of foul language in this film. My son is a dancer, and also discovered his love of ballet very young. The movie is remarkably true in its depiction of a kid who just has to jump and move, and who tries to pick out melodies at the piano. My son was exactly like this. The screenplay must be based on some firsthand knowledge. Lucky is the person who discovers what he loves at a young age, and is willing to persevere and pursue it. Even luckier if he gets extraordinary opportunities like Billy does. Very inspiring story. Note: you really must use the subtitles option with this one to understand the thick accents.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byLilychloerose November 20, 2016

ENTERTAINING!!

I thought this was a really great movie! An awesome roll model for kids growing up into teens. It also showed me that to never give up, and try your hardest for the things you believe in, or want. But there was a lot of swearing and a bit of violence, so maybe not the best for younger or immature kids, but overall it was an entertaining and often times hilarious movie that you or/and your kids will LOVE!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written bycju1979 May 29, 2015

Great movie but not for youngins

I read the reviews here and thought it was mostly the language (which I am fine with) but the references to sex were a little much for my 8 and 11 year old I ended up watching it with. There are a ton of F-bombs, d**kheads, and a lot of swearing that only Brits would get so if that's your thing you may want to avoid. They don't use the word [email protected] but "puff" to allude to homosexuality...again Brit slang and it's tossed about a few times as the character's affection for ballet throws his blue collar family for a loop at first. The main character has a friend who wears a dress and puts on lipstick in one scene but that is mostly innocent. There is another seen where he takes the main characters hands and put them in his shirt to warm them up while they are outside and he gives Billy a kiss on the cheek. Bill's says he's not a puff but will keep his secret. It's actually quite innocent. What's not so innocent is Billy's repoire with his dance teachers daughter. They talk about sex in her room and after a pillow fight are left somewhat on top of each other while they stare at each other and she strokes his cheek. The scene is interrupted by her mom but only after this goes on for at least 10 seconds. And when you're watching with kids, that's when it's a little awkward. Later she offers to show Billy her "fanny" which he declines. A lot of the characters smoke if that offends you. Nothing bad about consumerism or drugs or anything but a coal miners strike is going on so feel free to teach your kids about unions ;^) If you think you're kids are ready for this than go ahead as the film is fabulous and has great lessons like..be who you are...follow your passions....don't let others tell you what you are, etc. I am glad I showed my kids as my 8 year old is a dancer but it's a bit touch and go from the conservative side. By the way...this was the PG-13 version through Comcast On demand...I know, right
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bymymembername October 16, 2010

Full of "Electricity"

One of my favorite movies, this is a truly inspiring story about (sorry for sounding corny, but it's true) following your heart. Billy is an athletic boy with a good heart and a sharp tongue. I especially enjoyed this one scene where his best friend shows affection for him and it's so admirable how Billy lightly turns his friend down with such maturity, it was undeniably sweet. There's also Billy's relationship with his family, especially his brother and father. His brother treats Billy terribly, even in one slightly humorous scene where Billy wishes him a good night after his brother uses fowl language towards him. But in the end his brother is able to show affection for his brother. And the relationship Billy has with his father is tear-inducing, with his father overcoming the struggle to accept his son for his choices. Although the movie has some fowl elements, it is sweet and full of lovable characters. The fowl elements being some violence, heavy cursing, scenes that usually hint sexuality (such as the scene with Michael touching Billy, or a pillow fight Billy has with Debbie that younger-aged kids might find uncomfortable). But all in all, it's a great film and very funny and witty. If this seems like a good movie to see, then definitely go and see it. And if not, that's okay. (May I just add that it definitely does not deserve its R rating, seeing that it steers more towards PG 13.)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 10 year old Written byking hulk January 25, 2010
i loved it i am not a big dancer kinda guy but after you see this awesome film it will change your mind for ever!~!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written bymaja February 27, 2014

Billy Elliot

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bys s April 17, 2011

fine for kids 10 or 11 and up if you warn them there's swearing, and if you talk with them about the issues as they come up

Kid, 12 years old June 11, 2009

Amazing Movie!

There is very bad language throughout, coming from the mouths of children. There is also some homophobic comments but they do eventually learn to accept it. In general, this is a very good movie!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bylilysongster April 23, 2014

Amazing movie

Billy Elliot is set in the north of England during the miner's strike of 1984-5. Billy is the son of a miner who is on strike. The miners, as well as Billy himself, do swear a lot, but it didn't really bother me personally, and it won't bother any kids who already know the words. There are also homosexual references, but again this is fine for anyone who isn't a homophobe. The plot is the almost ridiculously inspiring story of a boy who wants to do ballet. He overcomes various different obstacles such as the lack of support from his family and his community's lack of money. There is also a healthy dose of humor. One scene, where Billy reads a letter from his dead mum, made me cry. The acting is great, especially considering the age of the movie. BRILLIANT movie, recommended for anyone who it would be appropriate for.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bypoe-ette December 31, 2011

Best. Movie. EVA!

#1:The worst the sex gets is when the main character puts his hands in his gay friend's pants, he comments "Aren't my hands cold?" and the friend replies, "Actually, i rather like it.". Get over it people. #2:The language is rather foul, although some kids(like me) couldn't even tell what they are saying. #3 : Only mild blood from a bloody lip/nose or a ferocious slap or two. #4:Some drunk people, mentions of an alchoholic "pissin' himself". #5: No consumerism #6:Great role models, though the father is seemingly mean at the begginning, but towards the end, he shows off his joyful, charming side. #7:Positive messages of love and trust #8: WATCH THIS MOVIE! Absolutely the BEST!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Adult Written byAoibhinn January 5, 2011
But what do you mean about the cursing? Kids swear all the time in real life so what's wrong with seeing it in a film, it's not as if they haven't heard it before! Unless things are very different in America, I've never been there...seems unlikely though. Anyway Billy Elliot is absolutely brilliant, I would advise everyone to watch it even if you hate ballet! There's something in it for everyone
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

great

great movie, lots of language but if u promise ur parents u wont repeat it it shouldn't be a problom. some violence that may frighten younger children. goooooooooood movie.
Teen, 16 years old Written bybradeblo3 August 30, 2014

Rated PG-13 for Parental Guidence 13+

For Violence and Language. I watched this at my grandma's house about 8-9 years ago and none of us knew it was rated R!!!!!!! like R, that's crazy
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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