A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Crime and power are celebrated, and law enforcement and the press are portrayed as the bad guys. Lying is seen as a benefit.
Positive Role Models
The movie paints Gotti as a hero, even though he's shown killing people and committing crimes. TV news reports show that New Yorkers loved him and claimed that he did good things for their neighborhoods, though the movie doesn't show this. No notable female characters with any agency to speak of.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting; characters shot and killed. Blood splatters. A man is hung by his wrists and tortured. Fighting and punching. Slapping. A child is hit and killed by a car (not shown on-screen).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief sexual references.
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Constant language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "p---y," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "d--k," "hell," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking in clubs and bars. Cigar smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gotti is a biographical movie based on the life of mob boss John Gotti (John Travolta). Unfortunately, it celebrates violence, lying, and the abuse of power while trashing law enforcement and the press. There are several bloody shootings, a scene of torture, and fighting, punching, and slapping. A child is also hit and killed by a car (not shown on-screen). Language is extremely strong, with a constant stream of "f--k," "motherf----r," "c--ksucker," and much more. Characters occasionally drink socially and smoke cigars, and there are brief sexual references. It's an amateurish, incomprehensible mess, and it's unlikely that many teens will be interested (unless it's to purposely see how bad it really is). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Travolta clearly put in great effort to play John Gotti, but he's stuck in an incomprehensible mess of a movie that was shot like a clueless knockoff of a Martin Scorsese gangster epic. Many characters in Gotti are briefly introduced via titles on the screen, and the movie clumsily blunders ahead as if viewers have retained everything; there are no visual cues to keep track of anything. Francis Coppola's Godfather movies brilliantly juggled many characters who were easily identifiable. Almost every scene in Gotti consists of actors sitting in dimly lit rooms and discussing other characters by first names that have little or no meaning to those watching.
The movie's occasional violent scenes are all filmed and edited exactly as we've seen them before, in better films, and accompanied, arbitrarily, by "ironic" pieces of pop music (or Christmas music, if the scene happens to be set around the holidays). This is the kind of thing Scorsese excels at, and Gotti only demonstrates why other filmmakers don't. It's basically a collection of highlights with nothing to fill in the blanks and make any of it mean anything. It's close to being a disaster; if the real Gotti knew that this was part of his legacy, people would certainly be rubbed out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.