Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Chaplin Movie Poster Image
Bio of comic legend falls short of greatness.
  • PG-13
  • 1993
  • 135 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Charlie's relationship with women is not always healthy. He seeks underage or younger women to consort with, though he usually ends up marrying them.


Some nudity: women getting into costume before going on stage are in various states of undress, plus a brief full-body female nude shot before bed.


"Bitch" and "ass" used with moderate frequency.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking of champagne and scotch in ballroom situations.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie based on Chaplin's autobiography focuses on the great comic's life events, rather than his talent. Some aspects of his life are sad and disturbing, such as his mother's devolution into madness. Expect non-sexual female nudity and social drinking, plus references to women as "bitches," reflecting the inequality of the time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Teen, 15 years old Written bydorthea October 13, 2020

Some Mature Content but Overall Amazes

This is a movie about a genius who influenced generations! It tells his life story from about 5-7 years old to about 70-80 years. This movie has great themes ab... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byZshoot2kill August 27, 2014


It's a really interesting movie but I think it's made for thirteen and up. To much sex. In one scene at the beginning many woman's bear breast ar... Continue reading

What's the story?

This sweeping biopic follows the great comedic figure's life as told by an elderly Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr.) to the editor of his autobiography (Anthony Hopkins). Eventually making his way to America, using his pratfalls and vaudeville comedic acts to impress producers, viewers see how Charlie Chaplin became the world's biggest star before he reached 30 years of age. But as he ages in the movie, Chaplin is haunted by the feeling that his work was never truly worthwhile. When he sticks his neck out politically, making a spoof of Adolf Hitler in The Great Dictator, he catches the unwanted attention of the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover (Kevin Dunn), who eventually engineered the artist's exile.

Is it any good?

Though Robert Downey Jr.'s age-defying portrayal of the comic genius is spot-on, the overall movie meanders vaguely through the actor's life. Scenes depicting the depression years and Chaplin's return to London border on schmaltz. But the last scene, where an elderly Chaplin accepts an honorary Academy Award, ends the movie with dignity. See this one if you are a fan of Robert Downey Jr., but if you like Charlie Chaplin, you might prefer seeing his own movies instead.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be famous. How did Charlie's life change from his days in London to those in Hollywood? How did the public react when he expressed his political views? Was he unfairly targeted? How did he use humor to raise awareness? How is that done today?

Movie details

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