Good Morning, Vietnam

Movie review by
Afsheen Nomai, Common Sense Media
Good Morning, Vietnam Movie Poster Image
Robin Williams at his scatological finest.
  • R
  • 1987
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Questions the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mixed messages. The main character breaks the rules, routinely disobeys orders, is irreverent to his superiors. He is usually praised or forgiven for this behavior. He routinely makes jokes at other people's expense and for this gains popularity and the respect of his peers. However, he possesses a great deal of respect for the Vietnamese and their culture, and treats the locals he encounters with admiration and a caring attitude.


There is a bar brawl and a bomb blows up at a bar, the latter of which shows the dead and wounded. There is also a sequence of shots during the song "What A Wonderful World" that depict war time violence (e.g. burning villages, explosions, people being executed).


Several jokes based on sex. Soldiers socialize with what appear to be Vietnamese prostitutes in a bar.


Frequent swearing in both comedic and serious moments.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking and smoking. The main character gets drunk once.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, compared to the sexual and violent content of some of today's PG-13 films, this one is tame. But its themes of relative morality are definitely adult in nature. The violence (infrequent but sudden) serves specific purposes. A bar brawl is spurred by some GIs' racist behavior; an explosion at the same bar (which kills two people) sets up storylines that ultimately question the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information allowed at that time. Foul language occurs mostly in the form of jokes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySaraCLee June 9, 2021

I just don’t understand!

How are there excuses to have REAL little boys FULL FRONTAL NUDE in this movie and pan over to them not once BUT twice? The director's couldn’t get ADULTS... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 and 13-year-old Written byAlanroo April 19, 2020

Great with parental education about issues

This is probably Robin William's best movie. It shows his ultimate talent with lots of improvised lines that make the movie what it is. There are issues... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLukeCon September 7, 2020

Vulgar language in one of Robin Williams’ finest performances

Robin Williams does it again in Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams succeeds in his excellent delivery of humor, as well as his delivery of dialogue. He pulls his d... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 20, 2019

Robin Williams at his finest

A great film. Violent (it is the Vietnam War, after all). Profane (it is a Robin Williams movie, after all). Sex jokes (and nude children; full frontal nudity s... Continue reading

What's the story?

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM is based on the true story of Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams), a mouthy air force radio DJ who's transferred to Vietnam during the height of the conflict. With his irreverent and sometimes biting humor, Cronauer almost immediately conflicts with his commanding officers. Things get serious as he falls in love with a local girl and experiences firsthand how war affects individuals as much as it does a nation.

Is it any good?

While this film is incredibly funny, there are some downright serious moments. Williams handles both in full stride. Rather than gloss over the conflict, director Barry Levinson and writer Mitch Markowitz manage to provide some very poignant commentary on the war, with scenes ranging from Williams' wild cries of "Good morning, Vietnam!" to his harrowing experience being stranded behind enemy lines.

While the dialogue is a little lackluster (save for Williams' classic monologues), Good Morning, Vietnam offers strong performances by Williams (who was nominated for an Oscar for the role) and Forest Whitaker.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about situations in which disrespecting or disobeying superiors might or might not be considered acceptable. Should Adrian's superiors have been more flexible about the content of his radio show?

  • How does censorship play a role in his attitude toward the army and the conflict itself?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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