Parents' Guide to

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Tarantino's entertaining but violent movietown epic.

Movie R 2019 161 minutes
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 52 parent reviews

age 18+

Good story despite gruesome scenes

The story takes place in the same time as the infamous Manson murders and plot hits along points relating to that real life story. If you (or your child) are disturbed by those murders, this movie isn't for you (or your child). I was plesantly surprised by the lack of actual violence in this film. This director usually has excessive violence in his films. However, most of the violence in this movie was portrayed as just special effects for fictional films. Smoking is almost constant in the film, but it feels accurate to the time period. Drinking is also prominent, but didn't seem glamorized and one scene even shows a character fighting internally with his drinking problem (only to continue drinking later in the film, however). The story and characters in this film are top-notch. The 2 main characters have a deep, supportive friendship that is deeply touching. There are young girls who are portrayed as intelligent and independent, and they are surprisingly and refreshingly respected by some otherwise gruff characters. Altogether a very good movie, but research the director's work beforehand so you have a bit of an idea what to expect.
age 18+

A Pedophile's Dream

Tarantino features many characters who were known pedophiles. He puts very young girls in proximity to older men and displays them as sexual objects. I stopped watching in the 101st minute when he puts an 8 year old female character in an oral sex position opposite DiCaprio's character. Who wants to see that?

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (52 ):
Kids say (67 ):

Quentin Tarantino returns, refreshed, with this funny, beautiful period piece, wrapping his story's loopy laces around movie lore and history, and mixing life and art into a cool, wild collage. With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino returns to Los Angeles for the first time since the Kill Bill movies, and it appears to have recharged his batteries. The film feels excited by the way cinema is imprinted in Hollywood's streets, but also the way its connected/disconnected sprawl offers any number of cool, hidden stories at any given moment. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood moves beautifully and simply, following vintage cars as they blast 1960s-era pop tunes from tinny radios.

But the roads traveled weave together in complex ways, with real history and fake history crashing up against each other, combining into what can only be cinema. As usual, Tarantino also toys with violence, both imagined and real, both direct and indirect, subverting expectations. At the center, Robbie's Sharon Tate is a little underexplored, but she at least seems sweet and smart. Rick and Cliff, meanwhile, feel like old buddies, with a comfortable shorthand and warmth between them. The combination in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is epic, exhilarating, and wildly entertaining.

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