The Many Saints of Newark parents guide

The Many Saints of Newark Parent Guide

This might appeal to fans of the TV show but it's too violent and self-referential to viewers who are new to the franchise.

Overall D

In Theaters and HBO Max: This prequel covers the early years of Tony Soprano and the family that made him.

Release date October 1, 2021

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is The Many Saints of Newark rated R? The MPAA rated The Many Saints of Newark R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity

Run Time: 120 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Newark in 1968 is a dangerous place, with warring crime families fighting for turf and police brutality instigating massive rioting. For young Tony Soprano (William Ludwig, later Michael Gandolfini), it’s an especially difficult time to grow up since his father, Johnny (Jon Bernthal) has recently been incarcerated for assault. So Tony turns to his uncle Dickie (Alessandro Nivola), a major player in the mob, for inspiration. Dickie has his own problems, though, between his father “Hollywood Dick” (Ray Liotta) and his new wife Giuseppina (Michela de Rossi), up-and-coming gang leader Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.), and, of course, regular mob business. Business that involves theft, arson, and murder…just for a start.

Before I get started, I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen The Sopranos. Before any ardent fans start jumping down my throat, I was 12 years old when the series ended – a little young for HBO mob dramas. So I can’t tell you how faithful this is to the show or the characters. Luckily for you, that’s what the internet is for, and there are more than a few obsessive fans out there who would love to give you their unfiltered, unedited opinions on the matter.

On its own, this is just another stereotypical mob movie, albeit one with far too many named characters. The story meanders around, introducing the many criminals of Newark through a variety of crimes, including everything from illegal gambling to murder. Without having seen the show, I can’t say if this backstory becomes relevant later. For the purposes of the movie, there just isn’t a lot of connective tissue between the plotlines, and some things just don’t seem relevant.

As with all mob movies, there are more than a few content concerns. There are a handful of sex scenes, almost none of which involve the character’s spouse, and some of which involve a certain amount of nudity, including one which sees a character having sex with his father’s much younger widow. Charming, I’m sure. Then there’s the usual torrent of profanity, served hot and fresh with a sprinkling of torture and a pinch of murder. None of which is surprising for the genre, but none of which makes this something you’d watch with grandma.

It’s easily apparent that The Many Saints of Newark is not intended to draw new viewers into the franchise, but to appeal to existing fans. That’s all fine and good. Just don’t try to pick up the series here. Unless decontextualized violence and adultery really turn your crank (in which case, seek help), this is going to be about as fun as trying to follow The Godfather with the volume muted. Speaking of The Godfather, that’s a much better way to spend a few hours – although there are still going to be more than a few murders.

Directed by Alan Taylor. Starring Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release October 1, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Many Saints of Newark

The Many Saints of Newark
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Many Saints of Newark rated R? The Many Saints of Newark is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity

Violence: People are frequently shot and killed. Several people are beaten to death, one in an act of patricide. There are several depictions of domestic violence. One character is drowned. A person is tortured by having their teeth battered out with an impact driver. A body is seen being burned.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes of sexual content, mostly adulterous. These include female toplessness and brief posterior nudity. There are several crude sexual references.
Profanity: There are over 100 uses of profanity, including 73 sexual expletives, 14 scatological curses, and frequent uses of mild profanities, terms of deity, and untranslated Italian curses.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are seen drinking and smoking nearly constantly. Young children are seen smoking cigarettes. There are references to marijuana and heroin, although neither are seen.

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Other films about the Mob include Goodfellas, The Irishman, Casino, The Godfather, I’m Your Woman, and The Birthday Cake.