The Godfather: Part II

(i)

 

Brilliant mob movie with graphic violence.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1974
  • Running Time: 200 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the importance of family is a central theme, this is a story about the mafia family, people who seem to be above the law and justice. The only justice in this film is mob justice which means they lie, cheat and kill on their quest to amass their fortunes and build their empires.

Violence

A lot of murders, graphic violence. Shootings, strangulations, stabbings. There is an almost constant threat of violence.

Sex

Implied sex, references to male genitalia.

Language

Occasional foul language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Casual drinking and smoking, a few drunk people here and there.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this is a cinematic masterpiece, the themes and events of this film is not suitable for young teens. Graphic violence in this film is interspersed with long discussions about mafia strategy and the organization of the family. In the opening scene, a mother begs the local don to spare her only son's life at her husband's funeral. The son is shot soon after.

What's the story?

Using flashbacks and scenes set in the film's present day, THE GODFATHER: PART II brilliantly relates the tale of Vito Corleone's (Robert De Niro) transformation into mafia don during the 1900s and son Michael's (Al Pacino) reluctant takeover of the family business in the 1950s. Rather than simply glorifying the mafia don's position, PART II presents a man who is tortured by his title. Michael is pained watching his job tear his family apart. At one point he asks his mother if his father had the same emotional issues. "How was his head?" He asks her. Unlike Tony of the Sopranos, Michael does not seek psychotherapy; instead, he uses violence and revenge to solve his problems. Not anyone, including family members, dare cross him in his quest to build the family empire, as he will not tolerate the slightest bit of disloyalty.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The film has the unmistakable air of saga as it moves back and forth through time, juxtaposing Michael's emotional struggle with becoming a don to that of his father's seemingly effortless, rise to power. In doing so, Francis Ford Coppola is able to maintain an amazing balance of powerful character driven stories peppered with the ruthless violence we expect from a gangster film.

Superbly written storylines and amazing performances by the principle actors including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton, is why PART II is considered a cinematic masterpiece, and often times called the best of the Godfather trilogy. Given its presence in hip hop and general pop culture, kids will want to see this film. Yet, due to violent content, parents might want to think twice before allowing them to do so.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the kinds of decisions Michael Corlenone could have made to avoid becoming involved in the Mafia. Does the film provide an accurate portrayal of Italians in America? How might an Italian American view the film? Does it promote cultural stereotypes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1974
DVD release date:May 24, 2005
Cast:Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
Director:Francis Ford Coppola
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:200 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:Violence, Language

This review of The Godfather: Part II was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bylecritic March 26, 2009

Nearly as Good as Part 1!

Excellent piece of filmmaking. Has very graphic violence, but it is excellent all the same. anyone over 12 who wants to see should. This is the 2nd best movie ever. (beaten out only by the first)
Teen, 14 years old Written byantoineisthebest April 14, 2011

not very violent just the language but a 8 year already know every swear

this movie is totally awesome almost better than the first
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byoctober1985 July 8, 2009
Not as violent as the first film, a bit more swearing, is about a half hour longer. Should be fine for ages 11 and up
What other families should know
Too much violence

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