A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A line from the movie says it all: "You want to turn things around? You gotta keep working." The film has a strong message about the value of putting one foot in front of the other day after day, doing the work and doing it well in order to make your dreams come true. The importance of loyalty rings loud and clear, too, as well as keeping your commitments.
Positive Role Models
Frankie Valli wasn't a perfect father, but he loved his children and was the consummate professional when it came to the band and his work. Bob Gaudio is very loyal, and he works very hard. Ultimately there's forgiveness for past mistakes from all members of the group. Not much in the way of female role models, though the movie's focus is on the men in the group.
Violence & Scariness
A man breaks a chair on a table; another draws a gun and fakes shooting someone (it looks frighteningly real). Friends fight loudly, and sometimes the verbal spats morph into physical ones. A character alludes to the death of a loved one via overdose. Men talk about women dismissively; a TV clip is shown of a man slapping a woman, and those watching it cheer. Heated arguments between a husband and wife in front of a child. A teenager dies; the funeral is shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual innuendoes fly, and a man loses his virginity while his friends are outside a hotel room, waiting for him. Some kissing and verbal come-ons, but no nudity.
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Frequent but not constant use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "chickens--t," "son of a bitch," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Some period signage for Chivas Regal, Coke, Beefeater, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Plenty of era-accurate smoking and drinking, mostly in bars. One character drinks too much, sometimes in front of her kids. There's an allusion to the death of a young woman via drug overdose.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jersey Boys -- a heartwarming, catchy, moving musical about the rise of singer Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons -- hews closely to the Broadway production it's based on. Expect plenty of period-accurate smoking and drinking, as well as lots of swearing (everything from "f--k" and "s--t" to "a--hole"), but although the movie touches on mature themes -- working for the Mob, losing your virginity, the death of a child -- it's neither graphic nor gratuitous in either violence or sexual content (there's no nudity). Teens are shown trying to pull off heists, and one man is seemingly shot at point blank. One character in particular is also in and out of jail, and the female characters aren't very deep, but ultimately there are worthy messages about loyalty, commitment, and hard work. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
JERSEY BOYS may not be as magical as the stage version, but it has plenty of magic. Director Clint Eastwood sticks closely to the book of the Broadway musical in this faithful re-telling of singer Valli's rise to the top. And for the most part, the move from stage to screen is, like Valli's iconic voice, as smooth as can be, albeit punctured in parts by time jumps that don't quite make sense (Valli had more than one daughter? Was he really with Lorraine, a journalist he meets on the road, that long?) for an audience unfamiliar with the Broadway version or Valli's story. (But major kudos to Lloyd Young, who starred on Broadway as Valli and is the one truly meant for the role.)
The first act, despite brilliant musical moments, doesn't quite gain momentum. But then come the songs that made the Four Seasons: "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and many more. Suddenly, as one character says, "all there was was the music," and the film shifts. The audience sinks with the group's lows and soars with its highs, all accompanied by a familiar soundtrack that will likely unleash your own memories. And the film carries a resonant message even for those who've never heard of the Four Seasons (who are you?): You win, you lose, you live.
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.