Parents' Guide to

Paper Moon

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Tatum O'Neal's smoke- and booze-filled caper.

Movie PG 1973 102 minutes
Paper Moon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

It's all about Tatum

Yes, of course Tatum O'Neal is great, but it is difficult to think fondly of this film when there has been so much tumultuous lives wrapped up around it. Perhaps one day we can have ethical representations of children in films, without all of the disfunction. This film relies completely on Tatum O'Neal. Ryan O'Neal does, well, what he does from Love Story to Irreconcilable Differences...that thing he does, you know with his face. She drives it, holds it together, and brings the emotion, the pathos and brings the viewers along on a stylized bumpy ride (and that's good).
age 13+

Excellent story

Excellent film made by a terrific director. An unlikely friendship and alliance between two interesting and fascinating characters. It is set in a different era, so should not be equated with current norms. It is a classic film and a heartwarming story.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (8):

If kids can get past the black-and-white screening created by director Peter Bogdanovich, they may love the pleasure Addie takes in tricking people. And she may have won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but she's certainly the star of the film. You can thank the writing for that.

Addie, as a street-wise orphan, is smarter, sneakier, and more conniving than her foil of a father figure. As Moze dumbly tryies to get the same $7 out of every widow for a "deluxe edition Bible," Addie adjusts prices based on a customer's financial status and earns them more money. When she feels abandoned by Moze for taking a lover, the "harem slave" Trixie (Madeline Kahn), Addie is sharp enough to know that Trixie is a prostitute and makes sure Moze catches her turning a trick. No doubt, Addie (cigarette dangling) lives in a very adult, criminal world, and it's why this movie is a much better choice for teens and up.

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