Parents' Guide to

The People Vs. Larry Flynt

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Excellent biopic of notorious pornographer; sex, cursing.

Movie R 1997 130 minutes
The People Vs. Larry Flynt Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

An American Anti-Hero

Naked women everywhere is a given. The biggest example is at the "What is Obscene" speech which juxtaposed images of grotesque real world violence in news media with tons of smut. Woody and Milos nail it in a stranger than fiction tale of a man who fought against the system and himself for the sake of sexy time for better or worse.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This film has stood the test of time, and not just because it's message of protecting freedom of speech has clear relevance to today. Milos Forman's focused and assured direction strikes the difficult balance between not pulling any punches when getting into the sleazier aspects of Flynt's career, and the very serious overarching theme of the movie -- that the right to free speech even applies to self-described "scumbags" like Flynt.

It's interesting to watch The People Vs. Larry Flynt now, as these debates have long since left the pages of pornographic magazines and come into the toxic discourse of the internet and social media. In a time of "deep fakes," hate speech, misinformation campaigns, and real news dismissed as "fake," this movie provokes deep thought and reflection on the continued battle between free speech and censorship, the line between "vulgarity" and "decency," and the different ways we define these terms across the political spectrum. It's entertaining on its own terms, but the true greatness of The People Vs Larry Flynt is in its ability to entertain while also organically conveying this debate through the story.

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