Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Gotti Movie Poster Image
Incomprehensible, violent mess glorifies real-life mobster.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


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).


Brief sexual references.


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).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking in clubs and bars. Cigar smoking.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCapt nem0 July 26, 2020


It is like they went for a Martin Scorsese epic but came out with the battlefield earth of mob movies
Adult Written byBanana wannna August 22, 2019

Not very good mob movie contains violence and strong language

Parents need to know that this movie is a bit violent and contains strong language but has multiple flaws and glorifies a real life mobsters.Best recomendet for... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byRIO V February 1, 2021

This is the greatest film of all time!

Forget about The godfather, Clockwork Orange or any other so called classics. This movie was mesmerizing, i think John Travolta’s acting was mind boggling and f... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byThePenguin February 13, 2020

Gotti Gotti Gotti

What you need to know: Gotti is a violent and profane mobster movie starring John Travolta as the title role. This movie contains characters getting shot and ki... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GOTTI, notorious mob boss John Gotti (John Travolta) is serving one of several life terms in prison. He gets a visit from his son (Spencer Lofranco), who's now going to trial and is looking at taking a plea bargain. Gotti flashes back over his life, a fair bit of which he spent committing murders for the Gambino crime family in New York and advancing through the ranks. When he secretly kills the mob boss, he's elected to be the new head of the family. But the FBI is constantly after him, and after years of trying, they manage to make certain accusations stick. Nonetheless, Gotti is considered a hero around town, and no matter what the law does to him, he's still a legend.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Gotti's violence. How graphic is it? How did it make you feel? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie view Gotti? Is he a hero? A rebel? A criminal? What are his admirable achievements? His unsavory ones?

  • Does the movie seem accurate? Where does it feel like a true story? Where does it depart from the truth? How can you tell?

  • How does Gotti compare to other mobster movies you've seen?

  • How are women treated in the movie? Do they have any moments of power or expression? Why do you think women aren't part of this world of gangsters?

Movie details

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