The Color of Money Movie Poster Image

The Color of Money

(i)

 

A gamble that teens will get this adult's movie.
  • Review Date: July 24, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1986
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters lie and manipulate for money, and the film's central question is whether money really is all that matters.

Violence

Eddie threatens to beat up Carmen, some men beat Vincent when he can't pay for losing games.

Sex

One view of Carmen nearly naked, couples are often seen in bed together, but nothing graphic.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke and drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Eddie and Vincent make a living off of lying and manipulating for money, and Carmen manipulates by using her body. Eddie also threatens to beat up Carmen. Money is more important than everything else, despite the fact that Eddie seems to be mentoring Vincent. There is some strong language, smoking, and drinking.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) is a liquor distributor with a loving woman and a nice car, but he sees something in brash, cocky young pool hot shot Vincent (Tom Cruise). He takes Vincent and girlfriend Carmen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) on the road to prepare him to shark his way through the 9-ball championship in Atlantic City. Along the way, childish Vincent must learn to reign in his "look at me!" cockiness and Eddie realizes that he still has the itch to play the game. But can he come back? While the title of THE COLOR OF MONEY seems to be about getting rich, the film is really aging pool shark Fast Eddie Felson reckoning with the life he's lived and the decisions he's made. Eddie has to decide whether the line he's been giving hot shot Vincent is true: "We're talking around things here: It ain't about pool. It ain't about sex. It ain't about love. It's about money. The best is the guy with the most."

Is it any good?

QUALITY

What's stunning about the film is the complexity Newman lends Eddie; he's likable and charming, even when he's being all Machiavellian. If any other actor were playing Eddie, he would have come across as a snake. Instead, the viewer ends up rooting for him and wishing him well. That's no small feat for a character and a film that seems on the surface to be about "greed is good" morality.

Because The Color of Money is really about a man coming to terms with his life, the true drama of the film will probably be lost on teens and younger viewers. They may, however, still enjoy the machismo involved in playing high-stakes pool.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether manipulating for money is ever a good idea. If you have a talent, should you exploit it or simply try to be the best you can be? Is it true, as Eddie says, that "the best is the guy with the most"? What are your values and how would you handle someone offering to make you rich?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 17, 1986
DVD release date:March 14, 2000
Cast:John Turturro, Paul Newman, Tom Cruise
Director:Martin Scorsese
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of The Color of Money was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?