Get Shorty Movie Poster Image

Get Shorty



Violent caper film isn't for kids and young teens.
  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

No good role models.


Gunplay, brief torture, and beatings where blood is spilled.


Some suggestion of sex, but not explicit.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film contains scenes of violence, including gunplay, brief torture, and beatings where blood is spilled. One character's sadism may be upsetting for sensitive children. There are strong suggestions of sex, but nothing explicit onscreen, and we see two female characters in their underwear. Characters swear and drink in moderate amounts.

What's the story?

Miami loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) tries to avoid violence and just get the job done. But when his patron Mafioso has a heart attack, he ends up working for a brute (Dennis Farina). As it turns out, his patron didn't die after all, and has skipped Miami with three hundred thousand dollars' worth of settlement money. Chili tracks him to L.A., where he takes a side job squeezing a small-time movie director (Gene Hackman). Soon, Chili sees an opportunity to go clean and leave it all behind. He becomes a producer, using his special talents to create guaranteed blockbusters. He's still got to settle things with his old boss though, a new mobster (Delroy Lindo), and convince Danny DeVito (playing himself) to work on the film.

Is it any good?


Get Shorty is a tight, funny crime story that mature teenagers and their families may enjoy, provided they can stand some blood. The film never gets bogged down in the complicated plot. Instead, it takes a number of talented actors and lets them run with some juicy characters.

Pretty much everyone in the movie has got a funny bit, and Travolta has good chemistry with Rene Russo, who plays a scream queen also yearning for something better. Parents should know that the level of violence in the film is pretty high, and not recommended for younger or more squeamish viewers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the characters' approaches to problem solving. Is Chili's use of violence any different from that of the other gangsters in the film? What other, more realistic strategies does he use to get things done? What is his idea of "respect", how does it differ from that of the gangsters (and producers) around him, and how does that put him at an advantage?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 20, 1995
DVD release date:March 26, 1997
Cast:Gene Hackman, John Travolta, Rene Russo
Director:Barry Sonnenfeld
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some violence

This review of Get Shorty was written by

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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; OK 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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Parent Written bytwoblue January 22, 2014

Emma age 11.

It can be very violent at times. There's a lot of swearing. I was not old enough to understand all the plot.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 17 year old Written byand what September 17, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byXantara September 3, 2009

Great movie, as long as your family is ok with some swearing and violence.

I loved this movie! It has good role models in the sense that John Travolta's character, thought he works in the mod, is a good character. This movie is genuinely funny and a good watch, with a great cast. They do have some excessive violence (people getting shot, punching, and plenty of blood) and plenty of swearing, but it's so good it's worth it, with those exceptions!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great role models


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