Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

The King of Staten Island

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Funny, touching Pete Davidson story has profanity, drug use.

Movie R 2020 136 minutes
The King of Staten Island Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 16+

Okay, but strong

The king of staten island is a good movie. There's one minor sex scene at the beginning, but nothing is shown. This movie shares a STRONG message of drug use. There are MULTIPLE scenes where people are shown vaping, smoking, drinking, and talking about many other drugs. There's a scene when a man is shown all bloody because of an unknown cause. Lots of cursing. Even though this movie is a little strong on drugs, it spreads a great message of trying to figure out life.
age 16+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (10 ):

Tackling some of Davidson's real-life troubles, this touching, hilarious dramedy is long but breezy, weighty but easy, with an excellent lead performance and a great group of characters. The sixth movie by writer-director Judd Apatow, The King of Staten Island ranks among his best. He still hasn't learned brevity or compactness (of his movies, only The 40-Year-Old Virgin runs under two hours, and this one is 136 minutes). But this time, rather than feeling cluttered and/or unevenly paced, all of the subplots and supporting characters come together in a seamless flow. The movie has a strong sense of place, capturing Staten Island's beauty as well as its seediness. There's hardly a wasted moment, and just about everything contributes to Scott's character arc.

Davidson's comedy -- not exactly nice-guy humor -- won't appeal to everyone, but fans will find him not only very funny but also extremely engaging. There's a great early scene in which Scott's father's death is discussed. It's disguised as a joke but is still somehow utterly poignant thanks to Davidson's perfect delivery. He balances pain and humor expertly, creating an organic, honest performance. He and Apatow make a great team, and The King of Staten Island feels as if it's a work of trust and sharing, with no falseness or cynicism. Tomei, Burr, Bel Powley, Steve Buscemi, and many other fine cast members seem to share in the movie's lovable energy.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: August 25, 2020
  • Cast: Pete Davidson , Marisa Tomei , Bill Burr
  • Director: Judd Apatow
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 136 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language and drug use throughout, sexual content and some violence/bloody images
  • Last updated: September 2, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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