Romeo and Juliet

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Romeo and Juliet Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Wonderful, but a little too mature for some kids.
  • PG
  • 1968
  • 138 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 26 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bycrankylibrarian January 3, 2014

Best film R&J, by far

Originally criticized for his extensive cuts to the text, Zefferelli's film is now generally viewed as the best R&J adaptation, largely due to its... Continue reading
Adult Written bymoviemadness April 9, 2008

A WONDERFUL movie for mature tweens+

This film was rated before the "PG-13" rating was introduced, and in today's times would have been rated PG-13. The movie is well-acted, romanti... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCool Kidz. February 28, 2021

Good, even if I can't understand half of what they're saying.

There's some kissing romance, but that should be expected of a love story. Reviewed by Cool Kidz.
P.S My name's Julieta.

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.)

Talk to your kids 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

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