The Godfather: Part II

Movie review by
Afsheen Nomai, Common Sense Media
The Godfather: Part II Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Brilliant mob movie with graphic violence.
  • R
  • 1974
  • 200 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 39 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vito, and, later, Michael, do what they need to do to provide for their families, in spite of double standards of being devout Catholics while also engaging in murder, extortion, etc. Movie shows struggles faced by Italians upon arriving in New York City, and, while centered on ugly actions of mafia, also provides glimpse into lives and culture of Italians as they began to assimilate into American life, in spite of prejudice and poverty. 

Violence

Frequent mob movie violence. Murders, graphic violence. Shootings, strangulations, stabbings. Almost constant threat of violence. Sex worker shown dead in a bed, handcuffed, covered in blood. Suicide in a bathtub, body shown, arm and wrist covered in blood. At peak of a heated argument, Michael slaps Kay in the face. 

Sex

Implied sex, references to male genitalia. 

Language

Profanity throughout, including "f--king," "bulls--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "piss," "bitch." Racial slurs in reference to Latinx and African American people. Ethnic slurs in reference to Italian Americans. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol drinking at a massive First Communion party, some characters visibly and audibly drunk. Wine, champagne drinking. Cocktail drinking in nightclubs. Cigarette, cigar smoking. Talk of dealing heroin. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Godfather: Part II is the classic 1974 crime drama centered on the rise of Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and the power struggles faced by his son Michael (Al Pacino). Unsurprisingly, there's frequent violence. Characters are shot, stabbed, and strangled to death. The aftermath of a suicide in a bathtub is shown. In another scene, a sex worker is dead in a bed, handcuffed and covered in blood. Some profanity is heard, including "f--king," as well as racial and ethnic slurs, plus sexual innuendo concerning male genitalia. There's wine and champagne drinking at a lavish First Communion party, including a character who is visibly drunk, as well as cocktail drinking in nightclubs and cigarette and cigar smoking. Overall, this movie and the first Godfather are defining classics of the Mafia genre, and their influence on later mob films and pop culture reverberates years after they were released. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRobert J. July 19, 2020

This movie is fantastic but, doesn't strike as hard as the first.

The violence is over all, a bit less agressive in this film, and there is definitely much less sex. The language is a bit more harsh, but language happens, and... Continue reading
Adult Written byDadatyttyt June 25, 2020

Not as good as the first , but still an excellent film.

Great movie . It includes moderate violence
and profanity , but that's all. I recommend it 12 and up.
Teen, 14 years old Written byTom Cruise Fan August 22, 2015

"The Godfather Part II" movie review

I consider "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" my favorite movie of all time. It really is one movie; it tells one story. "The... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byCommonSense77785 June 30, 2020
This is a great classic film. It brings everything a crime film does. Guns, fights, wars, betrayals, injustices, court scenes, gore, all in a pack. Certainly, a... Continue reading

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, the sequel 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 doesn't seek psychotherapy; instead, he uses violence and revenge to solve his problems. No one, including family members, dares cross him in his quest to build the family empire, as he won't tolerate the slightest bit of disloyalty.

Is it any good?

Superbly written storylines and amazing performances by the principal actors, including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Diane Keaton, are why PART II is considered a cinematic masterpiece. It's often 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.

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 with the ruthless violence we expect from a gangster film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Italian Americans are represented in the movie. Does the film provide an accurate portrayal of Italians in America? How might an Italian American view the film? Does it promote cultural stereotypes?

  • What does the movie reveal about the challenges faced by Italians upon arriving in America? 

  • How does the movie tell two stories, and how do these two stories connect? What are the deeper themes explored in both stories? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love classics

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate