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Not Fade Away Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The highlight of Not Fade Away, a meandering and bittersweet coming-of-age story, is its killer '60s pop-rock soundtrack.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Not Fade Away is Chase's reward to himself - a transparently autobiographical work, his first feature-length film, and one that he's said he has wanted to make for years.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The film may be too meandering for mainstream acceptance, but its focus will make the Paramount Vantage release connect directly with many baby boomers. It's also a warm, funny, poignant scrapbook that evokes a spirit of youth still relatable in later eras.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 17+

'60s-set coming-of-age tale has some edgy content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Not Fade Away is an evocative but slow-moving coming-of-age movie from David Chase (creator of The Sopranos) about a young man growing up in the 1960s who tries to find himself through music. The soundtrack is great, and the story may appeal to older teens. Expect some swearing (including "f--k" and more), plus loads of period-accurate smoking (both cigarettes and pot) and drinking at parties -- all by teens. There's also a brief, intense scene depicting a couple having sex, though there's no complete nudity. 

  • Families can talk about how Not Fade Away depicts teen life in the 1960s. Is it relatable? Do the characters face similar issues to what teens deal with today?
  • Why does Douglas seem hostile to his parents (and vice versa)? Does this generational chasm still exist today, or was it played up for cinematic effect?
  • How does Not Fade Away compare to other coming-of-age films? How does it depict drinking and smoking? Does it glamorize them?
  • What does music mean to Douglas, and how does the changing musical landscape reflect the times?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Follow your dreams and be who you are, and don't expect success to come to you without putting in the hours.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Douglas is driven and works hard, and Grace, though a work-in-progress, ends up valuing herself and articulating her feelings and beliefs about being a young woman in the 1960s.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A motorcycle accident results in one of the lead characters being bloodied and injured. A drug-addicted young woman is hauled away to rehab in a combative fashion. A couple has loud fights; in one of them, her boyfriend degrades her based on her sexual history and calls her names. A father and son tussle verbally and teeter on the edge of a physical fight. Two friends have a full-on fist fight, with one nearly choking another.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple is shown seemingly naked or nearly naked on a couch, having sex. (No genitals are shown.) A man gropes a woman while making out. Men discuss what they did with the same woman -- they mention specific sex acts.

  • language false4

    Language: Pretty much every bad word, including "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "bitch," "a--hole," and more. Also plenty of racist and homophobic terms from the time period, including "f----t" and the "N" word.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking (beer, hard liquor) and pot use (by teens), plus mentions of dropping acid. It's not particularly glamorized; it's just there.