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
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.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
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.
Fan Reviews provided by
The Wolf of Wall Street by haymansj
Leonardo DiCaprio's acting was fantastic. However, this movie was over the top on sex, profanity, and drugs -- way beyond gratuitous. 2 hours would have been plenty for this story. I wish I could have these three hours back.
The Wolf of Wall Street by cmmichalek
Neither my husband or I liked the movie. Leonardo acted well with the script he had but really, the script had something to be desired. I'm sure he could do better than this script. Sex, sex, sex way over done. Language way over done. The writer must have OCD. Anyone with any intelligence would fine this a waste of time, not very entertaining. Very degrading for women as well. I can't imagine anyone taking a date to this movie.
Overly long, but overall an entertaining journey by tswennes
Let me start with a criticism: if ever a film could have used a bit more time in the editing room, this is the one. Trimming it back 30 minutes would have not hurt the storytelling one iota, and would have definitely improved the pace. This is one long-assed film.
While the portrayal of Wall Street is a bit cartoonish, and little meaningful information regarding the securities industry is actually imparted, it is certainly an entertaining film, so long as you are not overly sensitive to the vulgarity of it all. Like all Scorcese films, there are some great moments. I found De Caprio's pep talks to his traders to be especially strong. Supporting cast is also strong, and Scorcese does a great job capturing the era.
Less is More. by daninzitari
I enjoyed Wolf of Wall Street, there were a fair share of artistic moments from Scorsese, and some entertaining dialog scenes. Still, it's another case of a story being bloated and a Director unwilling to cut out the fat. You could cut out another hour from this film and not miss anything important to the story. To his credit, the film started at the 4 hour mark and his editor convinced him down to 3. Still, these top flight director's are getting final say in everything (as they should), but they are delivering us longer and longer films, that are becoming laborious to watch in the theater. Even though I enjoyed the performances, the central story, the dialog and the spectacle of it all, I found my self wishing it would end with about an hour left to go.
Great movie by miguel908
Di Caprio outstanding perhaps they could have done with less sex and drugs. Our economy is being driven by corruption may be is time to rethink who the boss is
LRN2RD by vabva757
Oh, man, if there was only some way to know what the movie was about before I try to see it...
@gandf...I hope youre joking. Did you READ the description? The better question is, CAN you read? In case you needed assistance...
"R | graphic nudity, drug use, language throughout, some violence and strong sexual content Parents: Common Sense Media says Not for kids. More on child suitability"
I cant wait to see it.
Brilliant Take on a TRUE Story by zcion34
The reviews on this site that complain about the sex, drugs, etc. shown in this movie are utterly ridiculous. I read the book prior to seeing this movie and the book is far more graphic and filled with sex and drugs. This is because this is a TRUE story based on something that ACTUALLY happened. You can't change the fact that drugs and prostitutes were abused in excess. In fact, scenes with nudity and sexual content were edited out to avoid the NC-17 rating. I thought this was a brilliant and honest adaptation of the book and giving it a poor rating just because you do not approve of the TRUE story is laughable.
The Wolf of Wall Street by EZBNGRN
We got the message in the first 45 minutes & didn't need the full almost 3 HOURS!! Leo is a fine actor but this "dark character" that he played this time was "too dark for us!!"
Wasn't impressed by joelongtin
I'm all for an accurate depiction but this was a bit hard to watch after the first hour. The debauchery came in so many scenes & the volume of drugs so great that I tend to believe it was exaggerated. At times, the drug use & indiscriminant sex was very close to being glorified, e.g., Popeye's spinach synced with the snorting of cocaine.
A Little Over The Top by DannyUF
Movie was just a tad bit over the top and a little long but it flowed pretty well overall. Leonardo played a great role and so did Jonah Hill. Didn't think it was going to be so funny. If you're offended by drugs, sex and foul language then don't go watch it.