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Wall Street Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    It's slick, melodramatic, even inherently trashy - but a blue-chip moviegoer investment. [11 Dec 1987, p.1D]

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    Wall Street is a silly, pretentious melodrama that panders to the current fascination with insider trading. [10 Dec 1987, p.1]

  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Wall Street isn't a movie to make one think. It simply confirms what we all know we should think, while giving us a tantalizing, Sidney Sheldon-like peek into the boardrooms and bedrooms of the rich and powerful.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    The world of Wall Street is that of a lush soap opera-"Dynasty" with a moral. It gets the barn burning, all right, but it has no impact. [11 Dec 1987, p.A]

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Stone's most impressive achievement in this film is to allow all the financial wheeling and dealing to seem complicated and convincing, and yet always have it make sense.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 17+

Timeless cautionary tale of excess has other mature themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this popular 1980s-era tale of greed and corruption is filled with strong language and sexual references, as well as a condescending attitude toward women. Characters smoke and drink, but not to excess. The main character eventually comes around and realizes what's really important in life: his relationships.

  • Families can talk about greed. Is it good? Is it possible for businesses to work without being greedy?
  • Why is the Gordon Gekko character the most seductive and the most interesting? How do we come to see him for the first time? What does he represent?
  • Was Bud really happy when he was rich and working for Gordon? Can money and objects buy happiness for a short while? For the long haul?
  • What other media is a commentary on excess and greed? Is it still glorified? Expand your thinking to outlets that didn't exist in the '80s like Reality TV (My Super Sweet 16, for example).

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie's theme is an ancient one: a character sells his soul to "the devil" in exchange for untold riches and power. But he soon realizes that he has neglected some of the most important things in life, such as family, loyalty, and friendship. In the end, he realizes his mistake and sacrifices everything to try and correct it, and to save his father's livelihood.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Gordon Gekko is the movie's most interesting and seductive character, but he's also "the devil," capable of the vilest kinds of evil. Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is the movie's hero, but he spends most of the movie under Gordon's spell and enjoying his wealthy lifestyle. Perhaps the best role model in the film is Bud's father, Carl (Martin Sheen), who runs a small business and recognizes what's really going on. He remains cool-headed and offers his support, love, and trust to Bud, even as he understands that Bud must eventually learn his own lessons.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Some verbal sparring and one brief fistfight.

  • sex false4

    Sex: There's one sex scene shown in silhouette, and a comic suggestion of oral sex in the back of a limo (but not shown). A naked girl climbs out of the hero's bed one morning. It's suggested that the female lead (Daryl Hannah) is sleeping with two different men. Lots of sexual innuendo with a negative tone against women, who are also treated like sex objects.

  • language false4

    Language: Plenty of foul language including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Plus "scumbag," "c--ksucker," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "hell," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "jerk," and "piss," among other examples.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: No real product placement here, but the movie is all about accumulating wealth and buying "the best of everything." The movie is beyond brand names, the art objects are one of a kind, and the clothes are tailored.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Most adults in this movie drink in a background, responsible way. Characters drink beer or wine with dinner, for example. Some characters smoke, and one character receives a box of cigars as a birthday present.