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Parents' Guide to


By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Glorious musical based on Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Movie G 1968 153 minutes
Oliver! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 12+

WARNING . Extreme Violence

Beware. The G rating is totally incongruous with the content of this movie. I've just put a completely traumatized 6 year old to bed after being completely blindsided by the violence depicted in the closing scenes of this Oscar winning family classic. Shame on me for not glancing at the parent reviews on Common Sense before making this selection. Initially, the narrative of poverty, workhouses, and the criminal underworld of children depicted in Dickensian London were juxtaposed against a phenomenally punchy musical score. My children (6&10) were relishing the dancing and song, even with my frequent interjection about the period and social injustice depicted. I explained that the story was written as a harsh social commentary, not a musical, over a hundred years ago. I thought I had a handle on the story, but my God, how the tone and narrative unravel in the most harrowing way in the last 20 minutes! .The brutal murder of the innocent, protective heroine Nancy, was sickening. I did not quite have time to shield my child from the brutality onscreen. My youngest is not able to wrap words around his experience, but admitted being " surprised, and scared, and sad that that man got so mad and hurt Nancy" ( with a crowbar folks, for returning a child to safety. We see the death rattle shutter through her legs. Horrific.). DO NOT allow your young child to watch the final sequence. You will find it hard to forgive yourself. Shame the Census Board for the G rating, but especially Common Sense Media for a deceptive review which mentions nothing of the violence inherent in this film. Sickening....
age 13+

This movie is NOT good for 8-year-olds, contrary to this Common Sense Media reviewer's opinion

While the musical numbers and many of the scenes are enjoyable, as others have mentioned, the beating and the dead person hanging make this movie only appropriate for older kids. This was on during a party we attended, and thankfully my 9-year-old daughter missed the scene with the beating, but she caught the dead person hanging, and was pretty disturbed.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19 ):
Kids say (19 ):

With many truly glorious songs and stellar performances, this 1968 film version of the Broadway musical earned six Oscars. Although young Oliver is truly alone in the beginning of the film, Fagin and the boys give him a sense of family, singing warmly to him that he's to "consider yourself one of us!" They're the first to see him as an individual instead of as a troublesome animal, and the first to give him any affection.

On the less warm-and-fuzzy side, there are some truly nefarious adult characters in Oliver!. Bill Sikes is entirely amoral, willing to do anything to further his own interests. Orphanage manager Mr. Bumble and undertaker Mr. Sowerberry, both considered by themselves and those around them to be sterling, law-abiding citizens, aren't much better. Like Bill, they have no compunctions about putting their own interests first, no matter what the cost is to others. But Nancy and Fagin have limits. They'll engage in small crimes, but have some sense of fundamental integrity.

Movie Details

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