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The Wolf of Wall Street Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

The biggest and baddest. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    76

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The Wolf of Wall Street joins "After Hours" as the most openly comedic films Scorsese has made.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    A big, unruly bacchanal of a movie that huffs and puffs and nearly blows its own house down, but holds together by sheer virtue of its furious filmmaking energy and a Leonardo DiCaprio star turn so electric it could wake the dead.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Nearly as extravagant as the characters it depicts, Martin Scorsese's comic, operatically-scaled film is, on a moment-by-moment basis, often madly entertaining due to its live-wire energy, exuberant performances and the irresistible appeal of watching naughty boys doing very naughty things.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's rambunctious and unruly, but mesmerizing.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    Scorsese tells the Wolf’s story almost strictly from the Wolf’s point of view. We never see his victims. It’s actually an effective technique, because the Wolf certainly never really saw his victims either — not as actual human beings who could be hurt by his financial hocus-pocus.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Wolf of Wall Street reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Intoxicating rise-and-fall story is full of sex and drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the true story of a financial broker who bent the rules, became enormously wealthy, and was not caught for years. He lives a life of debauchery and excess, cheating on his wife, remarrying, and cheating on his new wife with an endless array of prostitutes. Many characters are shown having graphic sex of all types. The main character uses every kind of drug under the sun, but especially prefers Quaaludes; the movie spends extra time on the effects of this drug. A secondary character is also a heavy drug user. Language is very strong and constant, with "f--k" uttered nearly constantly, as well as almost every other vulgar word in the book. As for violence, there's mostly enraged shouting, but there's a bloody face-bashing scene, some domestic violence where a wife gets punched a couple of times, and a quick shot of a (very tangential) bloody suicide. The legendary Martin Scorsese's the director, and most movie buffs will want to see this, but as with GoodFellas and Casino, this one's not recommended for kids of any age.

  • Families can talk about the movie's extensive use of sex. Does any of it come from a loving, respectful relationship? How do women fare in this movie and in these sexual relationships?
  • How do the characters approach the use of alcohol, smoking, and drugs? Do they seem to get any enjoyment out of them? Does the movie make these things look appealing? What are the real consequences of drinking to excess or smoking or using drugs?
  • What's the appeal of a character with such questionable morals? Martin Scorsese often makes movies about these kinds of characters. Why is he so highly respected and acclaimed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The character reaps untold riches from illegal activities and has a general contempt for anyone else he deems not smart enough to figure out such brilliant schemes. He's eventually caught, but he doesn't seem to learn any lessons. Indeed, he begins to make a living as a motivational speaker, teaching more people how to be like him. Ultimately, the movie makes a point that excessive desire can never be quenched and can lead down a dark path.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character's very charismatic and entertaining, but unfortunately doesn't have a scrap of decency or humanity. He's greedy, ruthless, and completely without qualms about doing things that are illegal. He's addicted to sex and drugs (which he does admit). He puts his business and personal interests over those of his family. And though he's eventually caught, he never seems truly redeemed.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: There's a terrifying storm at sea that nearly capsizes a yacht. Characters fight amongst themselves quite often, with enraged screaming and yelling, and occasional hitting. There's an interrogation scene in which a character's bashed in the face, followed by sprays of blood. In the opening scene, traders play a cruel game in which they toss dwarves at a big target. A major character chokes and stops breathing for a moment but is rescued.

  • sex false5

    Sex: The main character cheats on his wife, marries a new woman, and then cheats on her with an array of prostitutes. In one scene, he snorts cocaine out of a prostitute's anus. Many of the traders at his firm are shown briefly having raw, graphic sex with prostitutes and other women. Oral sex is suggested several times. There's copious female nudity, as well as male bottoms. A female character teases the main character by opening her legs in his general direction, though nothing's shown to the camera. A shot of a large orgy of gay men is shown. There are several references to masturbation, and in one very brief shot (so quick viewers might miss it) a masturbating man's erect penis is exposed.

  • language false5

    Language: Language is very strong and constant, mostly involving "f--k" and all permutations, but also "s--t," "c--t," "c--k," and just about every other obscene word imaginable. Also anti-gay slurs.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A white Lamborghini plays a part in the movie. The Steve Madden shoe company figures in the plot. Absolut vodka, Mercedes-Benz, and Armani suits are mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character's a drug addict. He's seen drinking alcohol to excess, snorting cocaine, and taking all kinds of pills, but extra time's spent on his favorite: Quaaludes. The movie describes the effect of taking Quaaludes, and one sequence is dedicated to a memorable night in which he takes an extra-strong dose. The character's closest friend is also a heavy drug user. Cigarette smoking is shown, as well. At the end of the movie, it's suggested that he's cleaned up and become sober.

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