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Good Morning, Vietnam Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Robin Williams at his scatological finest.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, compared to the sexual and violent content of some of today's PG-13 films, this one is tame. But its themes of relative morality are definitely adult in nature. The violence (infrequent but sudden) serves specific purposes. A bar brawl is spurred by some GIs' racist behavior; an explosion at the same bar (which kills two people) sets up storylines that ultimately question the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information allowed at that time. Foul language occurs mostly in the form of jokes.

  • Families can talk about situations in which disrespecting or disobeying superiors might or might not be considered acceptable. Should Adrian's superiors have been more flexible about the content of his radio show?
  • How does censorship play a role in his attitude toward the army and the conflict itself?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Questions the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Mixed messages. The main character breaks the rules, routinely disobeys orders, is irreverent to his superiors. He is usually praised or forgiven for this behavior. He routinely makes jokes at other people's expense and for this gains popularity and the respect of his peers. However, he possesses a great deal of respect for the Vietnamese and their culture, and treats the locals he encounters with admiration and a caring attitude.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: There is a bar brawl and a bomb blows up at a bar, the latter of which shows the dead and wounded. There is also a sequence of shots during the song "What A Wonderful World" that depict war time violence (e.g. burning villages, explosions, people being executed).

  • sex false2

    Sex: Several jokes based on sex. Soldiers socialize with what appear to be Vietnamese prostitutes in a bar.

  • language false3

    Language: Frequent swearing in both comedic and serious moments.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking and smoking. The main character gets drunk once.