Box art for The Wolf of Wall Street

  The Wolf of Wall Street

drama


Sex. Money. Power. Drugs. Brace yourself for an outrageous true story from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills, where corruption was king and more was never enough.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    77%
  • Audience Score
    82%

common sense

NOT FOR KIDS 0
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
5 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A vital and troubling document of the present ...

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fresh: Man, does this movie have a savage bite.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fresh: Scorsese has pulled off something tricky with Wolf: He's given us a thrilling cautionary tale about a guy who never for a second seems the slightest bit sorry for what he's done. If anything, he just had the bad luck to get caught.

- Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, Thursday, December 26, 2013

Audience Reviews

5 stars

For a while, my favorite film of 2013 was Gravity. Then I saw this Scorsese epic, and, yeah, it became clear that Gravity was no longer on top. So, officially, my Top 6 films (Highest to lowest) for 2013 are: The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, American Hustle, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Pacific Rim. This is Scorsese at, basically, his wildest and most excessive, and that's not a bad thing at all. Based on his memoirs,, this is a portrait of Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort's rise to and fall from prominence during the 80s and 90s. He got super wealthy mostly from penny stocks, and he lived large off the profits. And how he spent his money was basically to go all out on booze, drugs, and women. This film now holds the record for most f bombs in a non-documentary feature with 504 utterances, and it also has some truly eye popping scenes of debauchery. An example: the first five minutes feature midget tossing, road head, and cocaine being blown into a prostitute's rectum. And that's just the opening 5 minutes. There's 2 hours and 55 minutes left. And it only gets crazier from there. Obviously, this has generated a ton of controversy, however, it is justifiable and necessary. This is a film about excess, so the only way to do it justice is to do it excessively. Leonardo DiCaprio is in top form as Belfort, giving what is easily one of his top 3 best performances so far. As his right hand man Donnie Azoff, Jonah Hill gives one of his career best turns as well. In a number of smaller roles and cameos we get to see people like Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Spike Jonze, and Ethan Suplee. As Belfort's second wife we get newcomer Margot Robbie, who sheds her Aussie accent for a Jersey one, and really makes a great impression. None of the performances are bad, and these people all seem to have some great chemistry together, especially considering how a lot of the dialogue (minus the big speeches) was heavily improvised. This is a really long film, and yeah, you'll feel exhausted when it;'s over, but it's actually quite a breezy film that hardly ever lets up. Terrence Winter's script is witty, fierce, and is well paced. Thelma Schoonmaker delivers her trademark goods with some fantastic editing, and ,being a Scorsese film, of course it's well shot and has some dynamite tracking shots, long takes, great music, and brilliant sequences throughout. The best scene in the film is a 15 minute mini epic where Jordan is whacked out on some especially potent quaaludes and has to try to perform some damage control. The set up is fairly simple, but, given his condition, it becomes a real chore. The scene could be looked at as a horror piece, but is amazingly funny, with some superb physical comedy from Leo and Jonah. And that's basically the film overall. It's got awful people doing awful things, but the film is a comedy. It's a very dark one, sure, but I can't stress how funny so much of this is. Granted, it does get pretty dramatic at times, but overall, it's fun. You should hate these characters, and you kinda do, but they're so damn persuasive, charming, and charismatic, you really have to kind of admire them. Definitely give this one a look. It's a wonderful kind of whacked out, over the top epic.

- cosmo313, Monday, March 31, 2014

4 stars

An outrageous exercise in greed and excess, The Wolf of Wall Street finds the DiCaprio and Scorsese duo near their best.

- fb100001048934982, Sunday, June 1, 2014

1 star

The film started off good showing Belfort build his empire from the bottom, thought that was interesting. Then once he's successful (30 minutes in the film?) it's nothing but two hours of nonstop sex, drugs, violence, and so on. I don't have a problem with this content, but it doesn't do much to move the story along. We get it, they like the party, but must it take so long to get the point across? I know it's sacrilege to say this, but Michael Bay got it right in Pain & Gain. Another film with lots of sex, drugs, and partying, but it moves the story along more efficiently. For example, when Paul Doyle (the Rock) gets addicted to drugs, he loses all his money which then causes the group to execute another illegal operation. It advances the story and presents us with another conflict. In The Wolf of Wall Street, there's really no major conflict. The FBI is involved but it feels too much in the background as Scorsese wants all the partying to be the main focus. This then makes the climax feel rushed (if that silly boat scene was the climax). Although, I did like Jordan going undercover and found those parts to be interesting. Seeing more of the inner workings of the corrupt side of the business would have been nice, but what we get is way too brief. Another issue is that all the characters lack depth, maybe aside from Belfort. It's not that they are unlikable, but that they are uninteresting and don't change throughout the film. Everyone is boring as hell. There's no substance to the film and overall it's a waste of time. I wanted a story with better conflicts and stronger character development, not a bunch of endless nonsense that really equates to nothing. All the partying isn't even related to the corruption of his business and the FBI involvement, which is where the focus should have been. "We're coming after you because you party too hard!" Also, how about showing us the victims of Belfort's operations, showing us more of what he did? The film doesn't know what it wants to be. A big pointless party? Or a crime film like we somewhat got in the last 30 minutes or so? The latter would have been nice, but instead we mostly get nonsense.

- edfilmreviews, Sunday, June 15, 2014