The Wolf of Wall Street

  • Review Date: December 25, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 180 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Intoxicating rise-and-fall story is full of sex and drugs.
  • Review Date: December 25, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 180 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
The character reaps untold riches from illegal activities and has a general contempt for anyone else he deems not smart enough to figure out such brilliant schemes. He's eventually caught, but he doesn't seem to learn any lessons. Indeed, he begins to make a living as a motivational speaker, teaching more people how to be like him. Ultimately, the movie makes a point that excessive desire can never be quenched and can lead down a dark path.
Positive role models
The main character's very charismatic and entertaining, but unfortunately doesn't have a scrap of decency or humanity. He's greedy, ruthless, and completely without qualms about doing things that are illegal. He's addicted to sex and drugs (which he does admit). He puts his business and personal interests over those of his family. And though he's eventually caught, he never seems truly redeemed.
Violence
There's a terrifying storm at sea that nearly capsizes a yacht. Characters fight amongst themselves quite often, with enraged screaming and yelling, and occasional hitting. There's an interrogation scene in which a character's bashed in the face, followed by sprays of blood. In the opening scene, traders play a cruel game in which they toss dwarves at a big target. A major character chokes and stops breathing for a moment but is rescued.
Sex
The main character cheats on his wife, marries a new woman, and then cheats on her with an array of prostitutes. In one scene, he snorts cocaine out of a prostitute's anus. Many of the traders at his firm are shown briefly having raw, graphic sex with prostitutes and other women. Oral sex is suggested several times. There's copious female nudity, as well as male bottoms. A female character teases the main character by opening her legs in his general direction, though nothing's shown to the camera. A shot of a large orgy of gay men is shown. There are several references to masturbation, and in one very brief shot (so quick viewers might miss it) a masturbating man's erect penis is exposed.
Language
Language is very strong and constant, mostly involving "f--k" and all permutations, but also "s--t," "c--t," "c--k," and just about every other obscene word imaginable. Also anti-gay slurs.
Consumerism
A white Lamborghini plays a part in the movie. The Steve Madden shoe company figures in the plot. Absolut vodka, Mercedes-Benz, and Armani suits are mentioned.
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
The main character's a drug addict. He's seen drinking alcohol to excess, snorting cocaine, and taking all kinds of pills, but extra time's spent on his favorite: Quaaludes. The movie describes the effect of taking Quaaludes, and one sequence is dedicated to a memorable night in which he takes an extra-strong dose. The character's closest friend is also a heavy drug user. Cigarette smoking is shown, as well. At the end of the movie, it's suggested that he's cleaned up and become sober.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the true story of a financial broker who bent the rules, became enormously wealthy, and was not caught for years. He lives a life of debauchery and excess, cheating on his wife, remarrying, and cheating on his new wife with an endless array of prostitutes. Many characters are shown having graphic sex of all types. The main character uses every kind of drug under the sun, but especially prefers Quaaludes; the movie spends extra time on the effects of this drug. A secondary character is also a heavy drug user. Language is very strong and constant, with "f--k" uttered nearly constantly, as well as almost every other vulgar word in the book. As for violence, there's mostly enraged shouting, but there's a bloody face-bashing scene, some domestic violence where a wife gets punched a couple of times, and a quick shot of a (very tangential) bloody suicide. The legendary Martin Scorsese's the director, and most movie buffs will want to see this, but as with GoodFellas and Casino, this one's not recommended for kids of any age.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) starts his thrilling new job as a Wall Street broker on Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, when one of the biggest market crashes in history occurred. After that he's forced to take a job dealing in "penny stocks," trading semi-worthless stocks, but for 50 percent commissions. Teaming up with a neighbor, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), he takes this idea and opens his own firm, employing high-pressure sales tactics and shady techniques to earn huge piles of cash. The money comes rolling in, and life becomes fast and exciting. Jordan also turns to alcohol, prostitutes, and drugs (especially cocaine and Quaaludes), as the company grows larger. But how long can this supercharged lifestyle last?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
Director Martin Scorsese draws on his previous movies GoodFellas and Casino for the template of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, packing in many outrageous details behind a criminal organization over an epic running time. Scorsese, assisted by his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker, keeps up an astoundingly intoxicating pace for nearly three hours. A huge cast, including perhaps most memorably Matthew McConaughey, helps out with small, potent performances.
 
The difference here is that The Wolf of Wall Street may be the funniest movie Scorsese has ever made. Every few minutes it hurls something so shocking and high-spirited that laughter can be the only response. Yet the movie's monstrous energy seems to be fueled by something both exciting and rotten. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a true heavyweight performance, laced with contempt, and he's never truly redeemed. Rather, Scorsese ends his movie on a scene that illustrates the pitfalls of desire, and how it can never be entirely fulfilled.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's extensive use of sex. Does any of it come from a loving, respectful relationship? How do women fare in this movie and in these sexual relationships?
  • How do the characters approach the use of alcohol, smoking, and drugs? Do they seem to get any enjoyment out of them? Does the movie make these things look appealing? What are the real consequences of drinking to excess or smoking or using drugs?
  • What's the appeal of a character with such questionable morals? Martin Scorsese often makes movies about these kinds of characters. Why is he so highly respected and acclaimed?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2013
DVD release date:March 25, 2014
Cast:Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey
Director:Martin Scorsese
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Drama
Topics:History
Run time:180 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence

This review of The Wolf of Wall Street was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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, okay 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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Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah December 26, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

What went wrong here?!

Great job, Scorsese. You have made the biggest disappointment of 2013. This film is a mess. It's boring, repetitive, and unnecessary. The first 70 minutes are good and then it takes a jolting turn of shamelessly self-indulgent crap, and not even ironically shameless crap at that. It switches between numbing, unfitting vulgarity that bordered on mean-spirited misogyny and glimmers of smart satire that disappear as fast as Matthew McConaughey's performance, and sometimes I couldn't tell what it was supposed to elicit. Laughter or disgust? All they made me feel was utter boredom. Literally no movie deserves a runtime of 179 minutes, especially when literally 40% of it is purely expendable. The first act is so good and smart, and then it does a complete 180, showing Leonardo DiCaprio with a lit candle up his ass screaming in pain during sex and Margot Robbie walking in on a gay orgy in their apartment. They hit you over the head with excess and vulgarity so much that it becomes so numbing; they could have at least handled it well or at least interesting like they did in Spring Breakers or The Bling Ring. The characters are empty but not in a good way like Sofia Coppola would do. There's no social commentary, scarce laughs, but great performances by everyone. I really do hope DiCaprio finally gets Oscar; he's just magnetic and so committed to the role that it's amazing. Too bad the script just goes in circles for an hour and the interesting ending feels far too short in comparison. 4.1/10, bad, one thumb down, below mediocre, etc.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byshrekmaster December 25, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

The Wolf is Wild

The Wolf of Wall Street is a wild ride through a businessman's life of sex, drugs, violence and cheating. The film contains constant uses of graphic sexuality/nudity and graphic drug use. From what the cinema shows now, Wolf isn't as bad as some movies out. If you know your kids can handle this then take them but not if they are under 12.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bycebs December 25, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

gr8, but not even for mature teens

Great comedy movie ,great acting,barely skirts x rating Tons of sex ,nudity,drug use,profanity nonstop.Definitly not for kids!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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