Jersey Boys is a familiar sort of tale, well told by Eastwood and adapted by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The film is rated R for language, which may come as a surprise to those with fond memories of the era in which Jersey Boys is set. Viewers who struggle with harsh language might be better off skipping the film and listening to recordings of Valli and the Four Seasons without the supplemental story offered by the movie. Jersey Boys is far from essential viewing, but in a summer where the alternatives are more superhero movies and outrageous comedies, it offers an alternative for adult audiences looking for grown-up entertainment.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; multiple uses of foul language, including the “f” word and crude sexual suggestions; several references to homosexuality are played for laughs
  • Drinking/Smoking: Several scenes of smoking and drinking; a nun appears to drink wine in a church; Frankie tells his daughter to stop smoking; a character laments “what it’s like—the kids and the drugs”; a toast to a long life; a daughter asks about her mom’s “medicine”
  • Sex/Nudity: Tommy is asked by a woman when he started caring whether his girlfriends were of legal age; a woman kisses a man and pushes him down on a bed; we don’t see sex, but afterward, the man says “it’s more fun with another person”; a scene of post-party recovery from debauchery; a male inmate makes eyes at Bob
  • Violence/Crime: Tommy says that if it wasn’t for him, people would have ended up with bullets in their heads; theft; a getaway car crashes into a store window; Frankie is smacked in the head during an interrogation; a man is shot in the head at close range, but the shooting is revealed to be a prank; a lighter is stolen; the band members are arrested for defrauding an innkeeper and for bribery
  • Religion/Morals/Marriage“You’re the devil, Tommy”; a flippant reference to the Second Coming; Tommy is deeply in debt to the Mob; a band member says he lied to his kids about being their dad; a funeral scene includes a verbal reference to “our God forever"

Publication date: June 20, 2014