Romeo and Juliet



Wonderful, but a little too mature for some kids.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: June 25, 2003
  • 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?


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

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 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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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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.
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!
Adult Written bynintendoman2010 April 9, 2008

too many bad scenes

My English class at school watched this movie. It was pretty good except for the sex scenes they had in there. The had to show a back side of a man because they have no idea that we do not like that. They do commit suicide at the end. I don't recommend this movie for anyone under 16.


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