OK for kids 14+
Fitzgerald classic gets a decadent, gorgeous, tricky update.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that director Baz Luhrmann's (Moulin Rouge) take on The Great Gatsby is a decadent, dizzying version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel. The movie is true to the book, featuring scenes with lots of drinking -- often to excess -- and smoking. There's not too much swearing (though some soundtrack song lyrics include infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k"), but expect some violence (a man punches another, a car hits a woman head-on, and a character shoots another) and sexuality. Couples -- including people married to others -- are shown kissing and in bed (bare shoulders). Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan star; that, plus the movie's hip soundtrack and lush style, are likely to make it very appealing to teens.
- Families can talk about Gatsby and his commitment to Daisy. Why was it so important for him to be rich? What motivated his behavior?
- The movie is a modernized period adaptation of a classic. Does it work? How is it different from more faithful adaptations? Does the modern soundtrack make it more accessible?
- Hollywood loves to mine books for material. What's lost and gained in the cinematic translation?
- How does the movie portray drinking? Is it glamorized? Are there realistic consequences?
The good stuff
Messages: The film's underlying message is pretty bleak: People, especially privileged people with no perspective, can be rotten. But, in a way, it also celebrates those who continue to hold hope, even in the face of cynicism. There's a conspicuous flaunting of wealth and some discussion about "old" and "new" money.
Role models: Most everyone behaves in questionable ways in the movie (and the book), but narrator Nick Carraway manages to become the moral center. In the end, he's the one who identifies the callousness that pervades the likes of Tom, Daisy, and their friends.
What to watch for
Violence: A man is held by two others while someone else hits him, in a very brief scene. Another character runs over a woman with a car; her body is shown many times hitting the windshield and thudding to the ground. A man is also shown shooting someone from a distance and then putting the same gun in his mouth. A man strikes a woman hard.
Sex: A couple is heard moaning from behind closed doors. Married men grope at women who aren't their wives, and infidelity is a big part of the overall plot. Some innuendo. A couple exchanges some passionate kisses and is later shown partially nude (no sensitive body parts shown) in bed, under the covers.
Language: Language includes relatively infrequent use of "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," "son of a bitch," and some derogatory/racist terms and comments. Songs used on the soundtrack include some stronger words, including "f--k" (infrequent), "s--t," and "d--k."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Tons of drinking. One character is described as "morbidly alcoholic," and characters are shown drinking and driving. Also some smoking (accurate for the movie's time period), and one scene shows a woman popping "mood pills." Though the film frequently portrays partying and drunken debauchery as wildly fun, it also includes the darker aftermath -- the literal and figurative messes that need cleaning up.
Fan Reviews provided by
The Greatest Gatsby! by MedRed
This was my most anticipated movie of the year. After seeing the critics' ratings for this movie, I became disheartened. I'm happy to say that The Great Gatsby lived up to my initial expectations!
This movie is AMAZINGLY beautiful. The sets, costumes, and cinematography are all vivid and creative. You can really tell Baz Luhrmann had a vision. He brings the roaring 20's to life and does so flawlessly. The movie feels old-fashioned and modern at the same time.
Gastby is 99% faithful to the book. Though not his best, DiCaprio gives a great performance. Though Maguire gives his best performance of his career, his acting is still limited to derpy smiles and dazed looks.
This is the best Gatsby movie to date. Other than the modern hip hop music and Maguire's limited range, this movie is a perfect rendition of a great American novel!
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Superb! by Festival4
ABSOLUTELY true to the spirit of Fitzgerald's novel. Baz Luhrmann's magnificent film provides exactly what viewers want from a movie adaptation of a classic work--the visuals, the emotions, the key lines and themes--and then some. The intertwining of current music with some period jazz, as Luhrmann has explained, creates excitement so that the plot resonates here and now with exuberance, passion, humor (check out Gatsby nervously waiting to "Crazy in Love"), and despair.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are brilliant, delivering definitive interpretations of Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway. Their charm, elegance, optimism, and pathos truly are Oscar worthy. The entire cast is splendid.
Sets & costumes are fantastic, depicting sumptuous wealth and gritty squalor with veracity.
The party scenes, especially for those growing up on MTV, are flat-out amazing and dreamy--complete with George Gershwin's always-stunning "Rhapsody in Blue" and fireworks.
An artistic wonder. See it!
Beautifully haunting, absolutely devastating, and wonderfully loyal to the text by loz_061288
You'll be hard pressed to find someone who loves the book as much as I do! Its safe to say that I have been obsessed with it since I read it for the first time years ago!
I was ready to be completely let down by the movie interpretation (the same way I was when I saw the Robert Redford version), but I could not have been more thrilled by the way Baz Luhrman brought this to life.
He sticks remarkably close to the plot line, only omitting and embellishing very infrequently. The cast are simply fantastic. DiCaprio is an inspired choice for Gatsby, and Mulligan and Maguire play their roles to a tee.
Luhrman's styling - although I am sure something that people will criticize - I felt, captured both the spirit of the times and Fitzgerald's aesthetic beautifully.
I cannot say enough good things about this movie. I was ready to have a book that means so much to me be butchered, and instead it was re-imagined in a way that I could never have dreamed.
Wealthy Man Who Yearns For Love by powerfulcommunicator
?The Great Gatsby Film? featured a wild but entertaining tale of the complicated love triangle between the characters of Tom Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. I admit that my three favorite character portrayals in the movie were that of Jay Gatsby (played in an extraordinary way by Leonardo Dicaprio), Daisy Buchanan (sensual and brilliant portrayal), and Nick Carraway (outstanding performance by Tobey Maguire). I personally feel that Dicaprio really became one with the Jay Gatsby character and brought the Gatsby persona to life. It was both touching and tragic to see how far he went for his love of Daisy Buchanan. You then have the character of Daisy Buchanan who is mutually in love with Jay Gatsby, and is conflicted on what to do. Last, but not least, there is the heartfelt depiction of Nick Carraway as one with a strong conscience and sees mainly the best in Jay Gatsby.
Gatsby by PurpleRose57
The movie did make me understand the story better than the original film. I did have empathy for Gatsby, but found the over indulgence of the rich sickening. I thought Daisy was beautiful, but pathetic. Toby was great as the narrator and cousin. The acting was superb. I think Leonardo is good looking and a great actor, but I still like Robert Redford as Gatsby.
The Great Gatsby is Awesome!!! by dpowers143
This Movie with Leo and Toby McGuire et al., was amazingly good to watch in every way!!! The acting superb! And I disagree with all the so-called professional movie critics! They are so wrong do not believe them on television or any negative written thing on this movie! The story told is so moving and I get the book moreso after seeing this movie! I was so moved by J Gatsby's motive to regain Daisy back what a beautiful love story the director depicted into this movie by all the characters who Leo in my opinion is above any Oscar to be awarded.. his talent in every movie he does is "GREAT"!!!!! GO GO GO see this in 3D too, it's the only way to see it!
The Great Gatsby by cssuit1
Gatsby was well done in every way, so sad and somber at the end. Once again DiCaprio hit it out of the park but for once I would like for his character to find true love and happiness. Would def see it again.
Put me to sleep by Older View
Between the speech patterns and the slowness of the movie, I had a great nap. Save your money and wait until it comes out on DVD or On Demand, so you can turn it off.
The Great Gatsby by noneepace
The movie was awesome! I had read some reviews and was a little worried but I left feeling great ! We went with friends and later over appetizers we all talked about what we enjoyed and found it very stimulating what we all got from the movie. The music I thought was ok even though it was current music it fit the movie. I would totally recommend the movie. The acting was right on and enjoyable as well as all the beautiful scenes and parties. Deep movie where there was romance, intrigue, suspense and a lot more.
Loved it. Great portrayal of Gatsby by DiCaprio. by trin321
DiCaprio does a fantastic job of capturing Gatsby and then some. There is some emotional extrapolation from the book but it is certainly one many readers craved and desired. Wonderful chemistry with Mulligan. The movie was extravagant and lush but less than expected from Luhrman - for the better. A definite Must Go!