Jackie Brown

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Jackie Brown Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Mellower Tarantino still has sex, drugs, swearing, murder.
  • R
  • 1997
  • 154 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie asks if two people can really love and trust each other amidst a heavy cops-and-robbers atmosphere of criminal deceit (and a half a million bucks up for grabs). Secondary idea of how far Jackie will go to save herself and assure her future.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Potentially the most decent person is chivalrous bail bondsman Max, who ultimately seems to decide that romantic prospect Jackie is a little too sneaky for him. Strong, smart characters in this underworld milieu cut across gender and ethnic lines. Police, though not corrupt, are manipulative, bullying, and not the
kind of people to confide in.


Characters shot to death, in some cases with blood resulting, but the actual deed is either at a great distance or just offscreen. Automatic weapons fired at targets in a firearms-fan video.


Two characters have standing up, partially clothed, spur-of-the-moment sex. One female bare-butt shot. Women in skimpy bikinis.


Frequent language, including "f--k," the N-word, "s--t," "t-tty," "ass," "damn," and "God" used as an exclamation.


Chain-store names such as Banana Republic, Merle Norman, and Things Rememered on display in a shopping-mall setting. Plug for the R&B band The
Delfonics. A soundtrack album exists, as does the Elmore Leonard source novel Rum Punch.
Mention of car manufacturers -- and gun manufacturers. References to other movies, such as
the Hong Kong action-shootout marathon The Killer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Prodigious marijuana smoking via bong by
less-than-admirable characters. Jackie smokes cigarettes (stating she'll gain weight if she quits). She is framed for cocaine possession.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crime drama has a quick, half-clad sex scene (only a bare bottom shown) and a handful of fatal shootings, though neither is as explicit as the colorful profanity in the script, which doesn't shy away from the N-word or "f--k." For what it's worth, the "good" characters do the least swearing, though in the crime environment here it's up for debate who is "good" at all. Two characters avidly smoke marijuana, and Jackie Brown unapologetically smokes cigarettes.

Wondering if Jackie Brown is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 14-year-old Written byCody E. May 19, 2018

Not to graphic for a quentin movie

Its a little violent abd has some swearing but if you let your kids watch R or MA15+ (depends where you live) movies this is fine.
Adult Written byJoe J. March 9, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byResto The linear March 14, 2020
Teen, 17 years old Written byHydroPlaysXband... March 12, 2020

OK Tarantino flick... least violent, still profane.

Jackie Brown is, well, another Tarantino flick. That should speak for itself. It’s not his best film, but not his worst. It just could have been better.
Violen... Continue reading

What's the story?

In Quentin Tarantino's tribute to old-school (mostly 1970s) crime pictures, action-heroine Pam Grier plays Jackie Brown, a classy-looking flight attendant with a criminal conviction in her past, who earns a pitiful income with a seedy airline shuttling back and forth to Mexico. Jackie occasionally serves as a money courier for Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson), a dealer in arms and drugs, and when she's caught by police after a tipoff, she fears the ruthless Ordell will murder her, just as he killed the informant. In a series of double-crosses, Jackie tells Ordell she will retrieve his $500,000 fortune from Mexico right under the noses of cops. Meanwhile Jackie forms an alliance with her chivalrous bail bondsman Max (Robert Forster) to actually keep the cash, as a strong mutual attraction develops between the pair.

Is it any good?

JACKIE BROWN was Tarantino's much-anticipated follow-up after Pulp Fiction made him a superstar director, but fans expecting another hyper-violent, hyper-hip hyper-flick are in for disappointment. Adapting the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Taantino instead delivers a long, thoughtful, restrained, adult crime drama emphasizing emotion and relationships more than cool stunts or gore. It's also quite a career-salute to 1970s "blaxploitation" diva Pam Grier, only instead of having her burn down Watts ghettoes yet again Tarantino lets Grier strut her stuff and middle-aged allure in a nicely three-dimensional characterization (incidentally, in the source novel, Jackie was a white blonde). Hopefully parents can appreciate the seasoned ambiance that has this grooving to a mature, rhythm'n'blues beat, not MTV.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the morality (or lack of it) among the characters. Who is the most admirable? Is anyone really a "good guy" here?

  • Did the violence in this movie disturb you? Have you seen other Quentin Tarantino films with more violence? How does he use violence in a story? What would the story be like without it? And what would true life consequences of the violence seen in these movies be?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and drama

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate