The Godfather

Movie review by
Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
The Godfather Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
The classic tale of a Mafia family, violence and all.
  • R
  • 1972
  • 175 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 43 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 149 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Disobeying the law and murdering enemies is a necessary evil. All authority is corrupt.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not too many characters you would want your kid emulating...


Numerous graphic murders, domestic fights, beatings.


Brief nudity (breasts), brief sex scene (fully clothed).


A few curses, numerous racial slurs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Extensive use of alcohol and tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie contains graphic violence. There are machine gun killings, brutal beatings, betrayals, blood. The murders are not unnecessarily gory or lengthy, but their startling abruptness and the expressions of horror on the victims' faces make these images unforgettable. The violence always has gravity. There is brief nudity and sex, and a few curse words. Children too young to see the violence in this film wouldn't be able to appreciate the intricacies of the plot and so would have no interest in the movie.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written bySircjalot March 20, 2019

It was violent back then and is still violent toady!

This 1972 classic mafia film! many characters are killed in hit operations. In one hit The godfather son shoots a man point blank to the head "blood splatt... Continue reading
Adult Written byDadatyttyt June 25, 2020

Violent and mature , but overall a masterpiece

The Godfather is an excellent crime film , one of the very best. It has amazing acting and soundtrack , along with a great screenplay . However ,it has strong v... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTom Cruise Fan August 15, 2015

"The Godfather" movie review

"The Godfather" is my favorite film of all time. It is absolutely legendary. This film, along with "Goodfellas" redefined the gangster and c... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 14, 2014

Mandatory High Level of Maturity, Great Beginning

For all of those people saying they did not enjoy this movie, that is because they have not reached the level of maturity mandatory for viewing this film. It wa... Continue reading

What's the story?

The film follows the Corleone family and their rapidly multiplying troubles. Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) is on his way out, and the most promising potential heir is his handsome, war-hero son, Michael (Al Pacino). As family members cope with the trials of gangster life, the latent power structures of society and family become evident.

Is it any good?

Epic in scope while maintaining a patience and intimacy characteristic of European art cinema, THE GODFATHER is rightly considered one of the greatest films ever made. The Godfather continues to influence producers of films, television shows, and video games more than 30 years after its release. Nino Rota's score, the sumptuous set design, and Brando's raspy pseudo-whisper have become part of our collective cultural memory.

The film possesses an operatic quality, yet it's more understated than it is flamboyant. It takes its subjects seriously, bestowing legitimacy upon the internecine power struggles of the Mafia normally reserved for classical themes in high art. The film's release initiated a period when American filmmakers dared to take themselves and their artistic ambitions seriously (perhaps too seriously). There is something deeply resonant in the film's treatment of filial piety, the need for respect, and our culture's abiding interest in the parallel moral universe of the Mafia.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether or not they feel the level of violence in the movie is necessary.

  • When, if ever, it is okay to operate outside of a corrupt legal system? Do the ends justify the means?

  • What might lead an individual, or a group, to systematically disobey the law?

  • What makes this movie a classic?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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