Romeo and Juliet Movie Poster Image

Romeo and Juliet

Wonderful, but a little too mature for some kids.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 138 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Buried beneath the lyricism and romance is a basic mesaage promoting peace.

Positive role models

Despite the sweeping romance of the story, Romeo and Juliet take their own lives, disobey their parents, and Romeo even commits murder. Romantic and heart-breaking? Absolutely! Role model worthy? Definitely not!


Bitter quarreling leads to murder and suicide. Some deadly swordplay. Two young people take their own lives.


Nude male posterior and a glimpse of breasts in a tasteful bed scene.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that four centuries haven't diminished the relevance of this tragic and brilliantly worded story, in which the examples of two feuding families drive home a fatal point. Still, teens may see the story as a glamorization of suicide and the subject is well worth discussing with them.

What's the story?

Franco Zeffirelli's ambitious production of ROMEO AND JULIET brought Shakespeare to the masses in 1968. He did it not by dumbing the play down, but by casting two talented unknowns, Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey (ages seventeen and fifteen, respectively) as the leads. Much like Titanic would thirty years later, Romeo and Juliet struck a chord with teenagers, who found its beautiful young stars' urgency and tragic plight irresistible. Shot in Italy, Zeffirelli's faithful production of the tragedy also features a very young Michael York as Tybalt.

Is it any good?


Zefirelli's performers breathe understanding into every ornate phrase, translating the sixteenth-century prose into something fresh and modern. This stands in stark contrast to the peculiar travesty Romeo + Juliet, in which Leonardo DiCaprio and others spew Shakespeare's lines without understanding them,

When Romeo first spies Juliet, you believe--even before he speaks--that he's irreparably in love. Their balcony scene is wonderfully passionate, and the finale all the more potent for Laurence Olivier's uncredited narration. (But a cautionary note to parents: Teens may see the story as a glamorization of suicide and the subject is well worth discussing with them.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's depiction of suicide.

  • Why do the two families hate one another?

  • How does the ending make you feel about love?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 7, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:January 7, 2002
Cast:Leonard Whiting, Michael York, Olivia Hussey
Director:Franco Zeffirelli
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Topics:Book characters
Run time:138 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:brief nudity and mature themes

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Teen, 13 years old Written bymyself April 9, 2008


This is an extremely weird show. I don't even see how people could like the play after seeing this film. We watched it in English and my teacher almost cried when everyone saw the sex scene. I wouldn't reccomend it and I would say that kids should probably stay away.
Teen, 13 years old Written byrazzberrry May 5, 2011

fantasic movie, appropriate for younger ones if bed scene is skipped over

Let me just get this out to other reviewers out there: 1. some people say that it isn't right for romeo and juliet to be getting married at a young age. In the times the play was written it was considered wrong to be married any older than they were married in the movie 2. as far as the real play goes, romeo and juliet are as dramatic about the situation as they are in the movie. all of the fighting and yelling is actually not as bad as the book. 3. benvolio and the nurse are supposed to be weird characters. 4. when the film was made, it did follow the PG guidlines. times have changed. now onto my review :) I LOVE this movie. It captures everything from the book and more. The only thing that was added was the sex scene, but it really did happen in the play, just off-stage. The actors for romeo and juliet captured their innocence and youth beautifully. The reason I said this movie is okay for 10+ is because as long as the bed scene is skipped, there is nothing to worry about. I was in tears by the end of the movie, so if you or your kid is very emotional you may not eant to watch this movie. Everyone is being so critical of the movie, but the director stayed true to the play. for the people being critical to the dialouge of the movie, I assure you it is almost identical to the original play. Trust me,I read my script as i watched the movie ;)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written bymusicaldq April 10, 2009

One of the Best!

An incredible movie! It might be hard for a lot of kids to understand the language, but for the more mature high schoolers, this movie is pretty great!