"The Wolf of Wall Street" Review by Common Sense Media

“The Wolf of Wall Street” Review by Common Sense Media

The Wolf of Wall Street” is a captivating depiction of the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who indulged in corruption, fraud, and excess during the 1990s. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film offers a mesmerizing portrayal of Belfort’s unbridled pursuit of wealth and power, often at the expense of ethics and morality.

What is “The Wolf of Wall Street”?

The movie follows Belfort’s journey from a humble stockbroker to the founder of a fraudulent brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, where he and his associates engage in illegal activities to amass wealth. With its dynamic storytelling and compelling performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street” has garnered both critical acclaim and controversy since its release in 2013.

Common Sense Media: An Overview

Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing trustworthy information and guidance to families about media consumption. With a mission to promote safe and responsible media usage among children and teenagers, Common Sense Media offers comprehensive reviews, ratings, and recommendations for movies, TV shows, books, games, and more.

The Review of “The Wolf of Wall Street” on Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media’s review of “The Wolf of Wall Street” offers a detailed analysis of the movie’s content, highlighting its strengths and potential concerns for viewers. The organization evaluates various aspects of the film, including its themes, language, violence, sexual content, and drug use, to provide parents and caregivers with valuable insights into its appropriateness for different age groups.

Pros and Cons Highlighted by Common Sense Media

While “The Wolf of Wall Street” is praised for its stellar performances and cinematic brilliance, Common Sense Media also raises valid concerns about its explicit content and portrayal of unethical behavior. The review acknowledges the movie’s entertainment value but underscores the importance of parental guidance due to its mature themes and graphic scenes.

Parental Guidance and Age Recommendations

Common Sense Media recommends “The Wolf of Wall Street” for mature audiences aged 18 and above, citing its pervasive use of profanity, sexual content, nudity, and substance abuse. Parents are advised to exercise caution when allowing younger viewers to watch the movie, as it may not be suitable for individuals under the age of 17 without parental guidance.

Impact on Viewers: Common Sense Media’s Perspective

The review emphasizes the potential impact of “The Wolf of Wall Street” on impressionable viewers, cautioning against glorifying or normalizing the depicted behavior. Common Sense Media encourages families to engage in open discussions about the movie’s themes and consequences, fostering critical thinking and media literacy skills among young audiences.

Cultural Significance and Controversies

Despite its artistic merits, “The Wolf of Wall Street” has sparked debates about its portrayal of excess and its ethical implications. Some critics argue that the movie glamorizes Belfort’s actions without adequately addressing the harm caused by his criminal activities, while others praise its candid depiction of greed and hubris in the financial industry.

Balancing Entertainment and Responsibility

As audiences grapple with the complexities of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” it raises important questions about the intersection of entertainment and responsibility in media consumption. While films like this offer compelling narratives and insights into human nature, they also carry a responsibility to portray ethical dilemmas with nuance and integrity, challenging viewers to reflect on their values and choices.

Educational Opportunities

Despite its mature content, “The Wolf of Wall Street” presents educational opportunities for audiences to examine issues of morality, accountability, and the pursuit of success. Teachers and educators may use the movie as a springboard for discussions about ethical decision-making, the consequences of greed, and the importance of integrity in personal and professional life.

Alternative Viewing Options

For viewers seeking alternatives to “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Common Sense Media recommends exploring movies with similar themes that offer a more balanced perspective on wealth, power, and ambition. Films like “The Big Short,” “Margin Call,” and “Wall Street” provide thought-provoking insights into the world of finance while sparking meaningful conversations about ethics and responsibility.


In conclusion, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a captivating yet controversial film that prompts audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about ambition, excess, and moral compromise. Common Sense Media’s review offers valuable insights for families navigating the complexities of media consumption, emphasizing the importance of critical thinking, open dialogue, and responsible viewing habits in today’s digital age.


  1. What age is appropriate to watch “The Wolf of Wall Street” according to Common Sense Media?
    • Common Sense Media recommends the movie for mature audiences aged 18 and above due to its explicit content and mature themes.
  2. Does Common Sense Media endorse “The Wolf of Wall Street”?
    • Common Sense Media provides a review of the movie, highlighting its strengths and concerns, but does not explicitly endorse or condemn it.
  3. What are some positive aspects highlighted by Common Sense Media?
    • Common Sense Media praises the movie’s stellar performances and cinematic brilliance while acknowledging its entertainment value.
  4. Are there any educational opportunities associated with watching “The Wolf of Wall Street”?
    • Yes, “The Wolf of Wall Street” presents opportunities for discussions about morality, accountability, and ethical decision-making in personal and professional contexts.
  5. How can parents navigate discussions about the movie with their children?
    • Parents are encouraged to engage in open and honest conversations about the movie’s themes, consequences, and real-world implications, fostering critical thinking and media literacy skills.

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