Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Mean Streets

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Gritty, violent Scorsese classic has cursing, nudity, blood.

Movie R 1973 112 minutes
Mean Streets Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 11+

Tame nowadays

Tame compared to movies today , language 4/5 violence 3/5 sex 4/5 drinking drugs and smoking 3/5 overall age rating 12+. I was shocked when I saw that common sense gave it a 18+, that is crazy overeating.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

Strong character portrayals amidst violence and nihilism

Although there are no happy endings and that is fairly clear from the beginning to end there is a charisma amongst these characters that ebbs and flows. I did not connect with them, but that is not to say that these characters do not speak to people. Keitel, and De Niro have chemistry and dance their lines in between the other. Both looking young and conquerors of the world and both trapped in a death grip with the other.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This early Scorsese film is now considered a classic, and fans of his, and of gangster films in general, will definitely want to see the work that shows a master really coming into his own. But Mean Streets is absolutely not for kids. Scorsese trademarks like shocking violence, tons of profanity, and adult sexual situations are well represented here. That being said, mature fans who can handle the material will especially admire the way Scorsese makes you feel like you're right there on the streets of New York City with Charlie and Johnny Boy.

It's also really much more of a character study than it is a crime thriller. Aspiring actors and movie buffs will admire the lead performances and strong supporting cast. Another Scorsese signature is stopping the story at an arbitrary place rather than wrapping things up neatly for the audience. This place, these people, and the lives they're trying to make for themselves will just keep going on and on.

Movie Details

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.

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