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


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Glittery, glam rock musical soars; expect sex and drugs.

Movie R 2019 121 minutes
Rocketman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 49 parent reviews

age 14+

Edgy Musical Telling of Superstar Story

I think most adults are big Elton John fans and may be tempted to want to share this movie with their kids, to share the music they've loved for so long, but this is mostly a grown up movie, high school and older, and kids younger than 14 might not be ready to see the scenes featuring drug use, and implied sexual acts. Significantly, young children might be quite upset about the very harsh mother character and the statements she makes to her adult son. Those moments seemed much more a concern than the language or sexuality or drugs. Kids 14 or 15 might be better able to use perspective to understand these moments. Best recommendation is this: if your child is 12-16 this might be a good movie to watch together, and then discuss afterward. PS don't let the sexuality/substance use scare you off completely from this movie, even if you normally avoid movies with that content. This is a true to life telling of a one of a kind superstar and Elton John himself was very involved in this film. It features his music in wonderful new ways that will make you feel a thrill each time one begins in this movie.
1 person found this helpful.
age 14+

Wonderful and inspiring

We watched this with our 14 and 17 year olds and loved it (okay, I loved it the most but I absolutely love musicals and this has some fantastic and fantastical musical numbers). The music of course was wonderful, as was the acting and the theme of overcoming challenges. We are a progressive family with progressive friends and family and my kids have been surprised to learn that LGBTQ acceptance is a relatively new thing. This movie shows how difficult it was to be a gay person in a time not so distant--we also talked after the movie about how many kids still have families or communities who don't accept them for being gay. The movie explores Elton's relationship with his parents and there's also a bit about his eating disorder, but it's not explored as much as his drug and alcohol addiction. This is not for preteens or teens who might be really disturbed by the drug use or sex scenes (although they're not graphic compared to what you see in most R-rated movies). There *is* a lot of drinking and drugs, but I won't say it's too much because that's the point--it's not made to appear glamorous or even fun.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (49 ):
Kids say (68 ):

Bursting with glitter, outsized emotions, and the sheer joy of music and a life well-lived, this glammy musical is the gorgeous biopic Elton John deserves. Delightfully trashing the staid rags-to-riches-to-decadence frame that most rock biographies favor, Rocketman takes more of a kaleidoscopic approach, gleefully mixing eras and placing musical numbers where they can best reveal something about John's life, rather than strictly sticking to when they were released. And, oh, what musical numbers! Though most rock biopics are built specifically to frame their subjects' musical output, that's also often where they go wrong, relegating deeply beloved hits to background noise or re-creating stage shows faithfully to blah effect. Rocketman gets it exquisitely right, transforming songs into eye-popping set pieces that practically vibrate with euphoria. For example, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" starts with adolescent John shyly sitting behind a pub piano and explodes into the streets of London with lager louts, black-leather toughs on bikes, and a suddenly aged-up John playing carnival barker to a cadre of dancers.

Best of all is the treatment given to "Crocodile Rock," the opening number for John's very first show in America. The jaded hipsters filling the SoCal club don't expect much from this weirdly dressed little guy they've never heard of -- but John's first thunderous piano chords get them stomping and screaming, until the "la la la" chorus lifts them all simultaneously into the air, John's legs floating skyward as he sings. It's a potent visual metaphor for anyone who's ever felt carried away by a favorite song and a transcendent moment in the movie. Thankfully, even in the non-musical scenes, the film still shines. Egerton has plenty of charisma and charm and puts across a story anyone can relate to: someone who never felt like he was enough gradually learning his worth. And, in stark contrast to many biographies of gay subjects, John's sexuality is neither denied nor glossed over, with scenes of frank and flirtatious sex and affection. Yet John's sex life isn't made the center of the action, either; that place is held by the platonic friends-for-life love story between John and longtime collaborator Taupin. A movie that faithfully re-creates the events of its subject's life, and also makes its audience feel the emotions? Now that's rock 'n' roll.

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