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All the President's Men Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Superb Woodward and Bernstein Watergate story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic drama based on the true story of the reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal has some tense moments, strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), smoking, and drinking. Kids may need some historical context in order to understand the story's complex characters and situations, but those who stick with it will take away positive messages about persistence and dedication to the truth.

  • Families can talk about why Woodward and Bernstein are the only reporters interested in the story. Why did they insist on two sources before they would publish anything?
  • One of the people portrayed in the movie later testified before the Watergate Committee that he had "lost his moral compass." What does that mean? How does something like that happen?
  • How has technology changed the way that reporters do research and prepare their stories?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie has strong messages about persistence, hard work, and dealing with the consqeuences of your mistakes -- as well as not being afraid to question authority. On the other hand, the government is portrayed as being riddled with conspiracies and double-crosses.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Although they're flawed and not always likeable, Woodward and Bernstein are dogged reporters who pursue the truth at all costs. Some of the officials they cross paths with are much less admirable.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Some tense moments.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Brief epithets.

  • language false3

    Language: Not constant, but several uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," and other words.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking, and a fair bit of smoking (accurate for the era).