Nicky Deuce

Star-studded book-inspired movie is cross-generational fun.
  • Review Date: May 27, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 67 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

For most of the story, it's implied that Nicky's family is involved in unsavory behavior like robbery and possibly even murder, but when the truth comes out, it reminds kids of the dangers of stereotyping. Taken out of context, some language comes across as threatening, as when burly Italian guys talk about "getting rid of" a business associate. Teens partake in some mild rebellion (like stealing lunch from a food cart), but it's very lighthearted. Ultimately, though, the movie's messages reflect family loyalty, forgiveness, and second chances.

Positive role models

Though Nicky assumes otherwise, all of the adults close to him prove to have high principles and are driven to do what's right. Even those who have long-held grudges against each other reach a new understanding that contributes to a better family structure. Nicky himself relishes the opportunity to reinvent his personality not for popularity, but for a more well-rounded self.

Violence & scariness

Slapstick-style scuffles, including one exchange between a teen and a man in which a series of accidents befalls the guy (he's hit by a door, knocked through a glass table, etc.) and earns the teen a reputation for roughness. A couple of hostage situations and an unfortunate groin strike from a rake are similarly comical rather than frightening.

Sexy stuff

Teens are flirtatious throughout the story, but physical contact is limited to one kiss.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Nicky Deuce is a TV movie based on a book by The Sopranos' Steve Schirripa (along with Charles Fleming), who joins a number of his former co-stars in this Nickelodeon film. You don't have to be familiar with The Sopranos' story to enjoy this one, of course, but if your tweens have a general sense of what organized crime is (and isn't), then they will better appreciate the subtleties of the movie's humor. There are some stereotypes at the hands of Brooklyn urbanites whose actions imply their dabbling in crime, but the movie's ultimate messages reflect strong family ties and the value of forgiveness. Expect some physical scuffles and a couple of hostage situations, none of which should be upsetting given the story's lighthearted tone.

Parents say

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What's the story?

NICKY DEUCE is the story of Nicholas Borelli II (Noah Munck), a nerdy teen whose highly structured lifestyle is thrown into turmoil when his plans to attend summer math camp don't pan out. With his parents out of the country, Nicholas is sent to Brooklyn to stay with his long-estranged grandmother, Tutti (Rita Moreno), and uncle, Frank (Steve Schirripa). Once there, he gets caught up in his uncle's business dealings and accidentally earns a reputation as a tough guy and the new moniker "Nicky Deuce." But trying to unravel the mystery of his uncle's true intentions gets Nicky and his friends in a tight spot from which only the revelation of longstanding family secrets can rescue him.

Is it any good?


Schirripa steals the show in this movie based on his own co-authored children's book, and tweens and adults alike will love his portrayal of the unpredictable and slightly off-kilter Uncle Frank, who proves to be just the influence Nicky needs to come out of his shell. Sopranos fan or not, seeing this recognizable cast -- James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Curatola, and Tony Sirico -- in a kids movie is reason enough to watch, and you won't be disappointed by the comical spin the story puts on their tough-guy reputations.

Happily, Nicky Deuce doesn't rely just on familiar faces (including iCarly's Munck) to win over fans. Its story is a pleasant mix of comedy, drama, and feel-good messages about the joys and frustrations of family life. Nicky's new relationships with his father's side of the family prove essential in his journey toward self-awareness and encourage other family members to set aside old grievances as well. It's a good reminder that loyalty and forgiveness can always conquer the inherent imperfections of family relationships.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stereotypes. What role do they have in comedy? Is it ever OK to use ethnic or gender stereotypes to elicit laughs? Do you think anyone would find this story's content offensive?

  • Would this movie be equally successful if it didn't have such a recognizable cast? Are you more inclined to watch a movie or TV show if you're familiar with the people involved in it? Why do you think The Sopranos' stars agreed to do this movie?

  • What is this story's attitude toward family relationships? How would you go about repairing damaged relationships? What other shows or movies more accurately reflect your experience with family members?

Movie details

DVD release date:July 2, 2013
Cast:James Gandolfini, Noah Munck, Steve Schirripa
Director:Jonathan A. Rosenbaum
Topics:High school, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:67 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Nicky Deuce was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old May 21, 2014
age 4+

This TV movie features iCarly's Gibby, which younger kids might like.

This movie has some comedy violence and a there's a kissing scene. The movie has a decent message.
Teen, 15 years old Written by9spaceking July 30, 2014
age 9+

An iffy movie

It's cool and all, but when you think about it most of the plot makes no sense. At least it's comedic and has a bit of a surprising twist!
What other families should know
Great messages


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