Parents' Guide to

West Side Story

By Kate Pluta, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Musical masterpiece tackles race, with some violence.

Movie NR 1961 152 minutes
West Side Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

Don't foget

Don't forget that attempted rape is sexual assault. Saying this movie has very little sex is inaccurate.
age 13+

Classic movie for the right audience

The movie has great music & choreography and is a cultural classic. That said, the violence, lack of diversity and treatment of women in the film makes this movie better suited for older viewers. My 10yo daughter was distraught with the violence and how women were treated/dismissed and it lends itself to family discussions on the prevalence of these issues in the 1960s. My daughter would give this movie 2 stars, but I will opt for 4 for an older audience.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (43 ):

Co-directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, this beautiful musical is a visual masterpiece packed with talent. The music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is unforgettable, as are the Oscar-winning performances of George Chakiris as Bernardo and Rita Moreno as Anita, the spunky girlfriend of Bernardo and confidant of Maria.

The raging emotions of the characters are expressed through song and dance (Jerome Robbins' choreography mixes jazz, ballet, and Latin influences), resulting in a kinetic display of emotion more expressive than words. Stylish streetwise sets and cinematic technique take West Side Story to another level, rich with visual symbolism.

Movie Details

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