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Parents' Guide to

Dick Tracy

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Artful, colorful, light comics adaptation.

Movie PG 1990 105 minutes
Dick Tracy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+

One Of Cinema's Best

The film Dick Tracy is a good film to watch with any child 9 or up. Here is my opinion: Positive Messages: Dick Tracy is a crime fighter, but not that much of a message. Role Models: Dick Tracy and Kid are good role models Violence: Cartoonish Violence is shown, gunshots and guns fire, explosions and fire but no blood or anything Gorey to a limit. Characters die, but nothing incredibly bloody is shown Sex: Kisses are shown. Madonna's character, Patrica "Breathless" Mahoney is seductive, and wears revealing outfits (nothing sensitive is shown) attempts to seduce Tracy a couple times. Language: None Consumerism: None Drinking/Drugs/Smoking: Bars are shown. Characters drink. No one is drunk. Characters smoke as well.
age 12+

Fun flick, but moreso PG-13

I grew up on the edited-for-television version, which I loved. Madonna’s scenes are often too risqué for younger viewers, especially now that the film can be seen in high definition.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

The movie is a visual marvel, anticipating films like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and 300 by creating a stylized and synthetic world for the flesh-and-blood actors to inhabit. Here it's a screenful of bright solid-color sets, cars, and costumes (replicating how vintage newspapers only had a limited palette of color inks), clearly artificial skylines, and villainous characters encased in grotesque makeup appliances, distorting their faces into the caricatures that Gould drew.

But if you took away the dazzling eye candy, would Beatty's Dick Tracy still be entertaining? Not as much. The dialog is full of cleverness (the way Big Boy misquotes great thinkers and leaders especially), but the plot is like a deliberately generic cops-vs.-crooks potboiler, confusing in its convolutions, with a last-minute-twist mystery villain added to an already-overstuffed bunch of rogues (Pruneface, Flattop, Littleface, Mumbles), many of whom seem to have been thought up, just like Star Wars crowd-shot aliens, to sell a few more action figures. But all those creeps do distract us from one fact: Tracy is a pretty colorless character himself, except for his iconic yellow trench coat and hat.

Movie Details

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