Parents' Guide to

Wall Street

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Timeless cautionary tale of excess has other mature themes.

Movie R 1987 126 minutes
Wall Street Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Greed is good

A great movie showing the glamour, excess, and pitfalls of capitalism and life on Wall Street. As for kids, there is some very minor violence, brief nudity, and plenty of swearing. More importantly, your kids might not understand what's going on and might find it boring.
age 17+

Good cautionary lesson about greed and critical thinking.

Call me prudish but they could have done without the full frontal nudity within the first 3 minutes. Aside from that, great performances by excellent actors bring us two lessons that are as important today as they were in the 80s. First that greed is not good. Second, trust he has to be earned.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Directed by Oliver Stone, and dedicated to his stockbroker father, WALL STREET plays out with Stone's usual bombastic intensity. Some of the 1980s-era details may seem a bit dated, and the movie's attitude toward women is slightly despicable, but the overall story arc, echoing the "Faust" tale, is timeless. It can be on the predictable side, but movie as a whole is still effectively seductive.

It's telling that Michael Douglas won the movie's only Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, who is something of a devil/Mephistopheles character, and effortlessly steals the show away from the more heroic characters. Eventually, right wins the day, but the movie is more memorable when Gekko, like the Grinch, is being bad. (And it's still remembered for Gekko's infamous "greed" speech.) Additionally, Wall Street manages to capture the mood and methods of Wall Street without getting too complex, and the overall story is told clearly and well.

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