A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (previously known as The Godfather: Part III before a re-edit and restoration in 2020) is the final chapter in Francis Ford Coppola's classic Mafia trilogy. Unsurprisingly, the movie has plenty of Mafia movie violence. Characters are shot and killed at point-blank range, shot with machine guns, rifles, and guns, stabbed with knives and other implements. One character bites another character's ear until he draws blood. One scene involves a mass shooting of mobsters. Profanity is heard throughout, including "f--k" and a homophobic slur. Characters are shown in bed, implying it's after sex. Part of the woman's backside is shown. One of the subplots concerns a love affair between two cousins. There's cigarette smoking throughout, as well as drinking at ceremonies, gatherings, and meetings. Families may want to discuss how, in terms of content and quality, this third movie in the sequel compares to the previous two movies, often considered to be among the greatest films ever made.
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What's the story?
THE GODFATHER CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE (also known as The Godfather: Part III) presents Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) desperate struggle to escape a life of organized crime. His motivations for wanting to are not entirely clear, except for our understanding from the first film that Michael never wanted to get involved in the first place. Getting out is not as easy as he'd hoped; the film highlights this issue when Michael utters his famous line: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
Is it any good?
This movie had the potential to be rather interesting but doesn't fulfill it. Following in the tradition of the previous Godfather films, the movie provides a detailed account of the Corleone family's posturing and maneuvering in the organized crime world. Unfortunately, the story rings hollow when compared to the masterful scripts, direction, and performances of the previous two Godfather films.
Typically top-notch performers such as Al Pacino (again as Michael Corleone) and Andy Garcia (as Michael's nephew Vinnie) produce somewhat unsympathetic characters. Clocking in at almost three hours, The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is a disappointing conclusion to a brilliant trilogy and probably should be seen only as closure for the Godfather trilogy. Given its presence in hip-hop and general pop culture, teens will want to see this film. Yet, due to violent content featured in it, parents might want to think twice before allowing them to do so.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Michael Corleone's decision to leave his life of organized crime, resulting in many negative consequences for himself and his family. This plot point can be used to discuss real-life criminals, not only gangsters, who try to go clean.
In terms of content and quality, how does this third movie compare to the previous two movies in the trilogy? Usually, sequels are rarely as good as the original movie. Does that seem like an accurate assessment of this movie?
How does this movie present Italian Americans? How is the Mafia placed into a larger context, in terms of Italians immigrating to America in the 19th and 20th centuries? Do Mafia movies perpetuate stereotypes? Why or why not?
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