Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Movie Poster
  • Released
  • February 17, 1984
  • R, 3 hr 47 min
  • Drama
  • 155 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Once Upon a Time in America is an epic gangster movie, considered a classic, and in a league with the Godfather movies and GoodFellas. It has a complex structure, and it's a slow burn, but for mature viewers, it's a great piece of filmmaking. It contains extremely strong violence, including two disturbing scenes of rape, as well as many scenes of guns and shooting, stabbing, fighting, blood and death, and more. Full-frontal female nudity is shown as well as other female toplessness. Teen sex is an issue; young characters trade pastries for sex with a teen girl. Some sex talk, and sexual situations are quite strong. Language is also strong, though not constant, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--k," and most other words under the sun. The main character frequents opium dens, and gets very drunk (and passes out) in one scene. Characters drink and smoke socially throughout. This review pertains to the most up-to-date, restored version, running 251 minutes.

  • Positive messages
  • Positive role models
  • Violence
  • Sexual
  • Language
  • Consumerism
  • Drinking & drugs
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st Century.