Box art for The Great Gatsby

  The Great Gatsby

drama, romance

Aspiring writer Nick Carraway goes to New York City at the height of the Roaring Twenties and is drawn into the world of the super-rich and the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5

Fitzgerald classic gets a decadent, gorgeous, tricky update.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that director Baz Luhrmann's (Moulin Rouge) take on The Great Gatsby is a decadent, dizzying version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel. The movie is true to the book, featuring scenes with lots of drinking -- often to excess -- and smoking. There's not too much swearing (though some soundtrack song lyrics include infrequent use of "s--t" and "f--k"), but expect some violence (a man punches another, a car hits a woman head-on, and a character shoots another) and sexuality. Couples -- including people married to others -- are shown kissing and in bed (bare shoulders). Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan star; that, plus the movie's hip soundtrack and lush style, are likely to make it very appealing to teens.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Gatsby and his commitment to Daisy. Why was it so important for him to be rich? What motivated his behavior?
  • The movie is a modernized period adaptation of a classic. Does it work? How is it different from more faithful adaptations? Does the modern soundtrack make it more accessible?
  • Hollywood loves to mine books for material. What's lost and gained in the cinematic translation?
  • How does the movie portray drinking? Is it glamorized? Are there realistic consequences?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 21
    see all The Great Gatsby reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Despite timely relevance, enduring truths and Luhrmann's earnest efforts to make The Great Gatsby jump off the screen, he -- and we -- finally can't help but fail to grasp it.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fresh: Luhrmann hasn't unlocked the secrets of a story that remains all but unfilmable, but his Gatsby is far more than a collection of superficial splashes and tics.

- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rotten: The central problem with Luhrmann's film is that when it's entertaining it's not Gatsby, and when it's Gatsby it's not entertaining.

- Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, Friday, May 10, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

A very faithful adaptation that, with all its glamorous costume and production design, overstylized visuals and anachronic music that only add to it, proves to be a surprisingly riveting experience and lives up to the good novel that inspired it.

- blacksheepboy, Monday, June 10, 2013

4 stars

literature and cinema are two of my greatest passions. when they come together well i am elated. from all i had heard, this was a failed attempt at bringing FSF's novel to life. while i agree with the popular sentiment that it doesnt quite have the soul of the novel, i was still very pleased with this film. in fact, i think its quite exceptional. as i see it, as a genre piece it accomplished things tht may not have "soul", but it certainly has flare and still carries the philosophical undertones of the novel in an interesting way. this isnt the grand portrayal of the novel that that novel some day deserves to see on film, but there is a place for this movie as an addition to Gatsby's legacy in americana. the soundtrack is atrocious, and the only reason the film isnt rated even more highly, but overall i loved this movie.

- sanjurosamurai, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

4 stars

Beautiful visuals hold up an interesting study of a flawed character. As someone who is not a student of the book, I can't speak to its justice of execution, but it's a fine film in itself. Full review later.

- TomBowler, Wednesday, June 19, 2013