The King of Staten Island Parent Guide
An intense, occasionally touching journey to adulthood, with plenty of sex, drugs, and swearing along the way.
Parent Movie Review
Scott (Pete Davidson) had a troubled childhood, losing his father, a firefighter, at a young age, and struggling with mental illness and Crohn’s disease. Now 24, he’s stalled out, and has been doing the same things for years - worrying his family, hanging out with his friends, trying to become a tattoo artist, and smoking a lot of weed. But his life starts changing as his sister, Claire (Maude Apatow) goes off to college and his mother (Marisa Tomei) starts dating again. With Roy (Bill Burr), another firefighter, now competing for his mother’s attention, Scott is soon feeling the pressure to make a change, but he isn’t sure how.
Judd Apatow has a mixed record of success and failure in his acting career. Freaks and Geeks, one of his early TV shows, is impressive. On the other hand, he appeared in films like Knocked Up and Pineapple Express, neither of which are exactly stellar examples of cinema. The King of Staten Island leans more towards Freaks and Geeks or something like The Big Sick, with lots of raunchy humor covering a genuinely touching, human story. Pete Davidson also deserves some credit, not only for his remarkably varied performance, but for his hand in the writing. According to Davidson, the story is largely based on his own life, which certainly accounts for his authentic performance as the aimless Scott.
Scott learns a lot of lessons in a short time here. It dawns on him that his personal problems deeply affect those around him and from this “aha” moment he progresses to learning that maybe the world isn’t as black and white as he thought. This launches him on an intense, often touching, personal journey to adulthood – which takes 136 mostly interesting minutes to watch.
That’s not to say that this is appropriate viewing for most audiences. There’s near-constant profanity – over 200 swear words, including 147 sexual expletives. Parents will also be unhappy about frequent marijuana usage and a scene of an underage teen illegally buying prescription drugs. For these reasons, among many others, I can’t recommend The King of Staten Island for family movie night. Frankly, anyone who’s concerned enough about content issues to read this review, won’t be too interested in sitting down with their teens and watching Scott draw a floor-to-ceiling human anus on the wall. I might be wrong here – but, I don’t want to know what goes on in such a family if that’s the case.Directed by Judd Apatow. Starring Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, and Bill Burr.. Running time: 136 minutes. Theatrical release June 12, 2020. Updated August 26, 2020
The King of Staten Island
Rating & Content Info
Why is The King of Staten Island rated R? The King of Staten Island is rated R by the MPAA for language and drug use throughout, sexual content and some violence/bloody images
Violence: There is a scene showing clips from The Purge which depict graphic violence. A person is shot in the arm. Someone is shown with a large abdominal wound; the cause is unclear.
Sexual Content: There is a scene depicting a man and woman having sex but no nudity is seen. There are discussions about sex and STIs. There is a crude drawing depicting a rectum.
Profanity: There are over 200 swear words in the movie, including 147 extreme profanities, 65 scatological curses, and frequent use of minor profanities and terms of deity. There are a couple of racial epithets.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There are frequent depictions of individuals smoking marijuana. There is a scene showing individuals selling Xanax to a teenager. There is a scene showing people robbing a pharmacy for oxycontin.
Page last updated August 26, 2020