Should I Watch It? – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

8.5/10 – IMDb

77% – Rotten Tomatoes

You may think that a movie that’s grossed over 300 million dollars and been nominated for five Oscars would be a definite yes to our titular question, but Martin Scorsese’s unique film makes for an interesting discussion. The movie did not win in any of its five categories — Actor, Supporting Actor, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, and Picture — though I would argue that’s more due to the stiff competition presented by films like 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club than any fault of Wolf‘s. Again, I’m probably making the movie sound like a must-see, and in certain terms this may be the case, but allow me to break it down.


Should I pay to see it?

This may depend on the audience with which you find yourself, but Wolf is absolutely worth the theater price, or the pay-per-view cost if you don’t want to rush out and see it. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill both give Oscar-worthy (and sometimes cringe-worthy) performances, though I am not part of the group lamenting Matthew McConaughey topping the former. Some people scolded Scorsese for parading around and celebrating the drug-filled chaos depicted onscreen, but the movie simply gives a stunning look into a failure of modern American excess, while allowing room for laughter along the way. Wolf will probably remain watchable for years to come, but I would recommend seeing it in unedited form rather than waiting for it to make the television rounds. Movies like this one or The Departed lose some of their vulgar luster when toned down for wider audiences, and Wolf thrives because of the filth Leo and Hill feed on and spit out.

Hill does not hold back alongside DiCaprio.


Could I watch it with a date?


We’ve warned before of the dangers of watching Leo with loved ones, and Margot Robbie probably doesn’t help that cause here. More seriously, though, I cannot imagine too many scenarios where this would make for an enjoyable date. The drugs and nudity and general inappropriateness may prove overwhelming. Each relationship is unhealthy in its own way, and the movie may very well leave you feeling dirty yourself. Unless you and yours are pretty stable and familiar with each other, you’re probably better off watching something that will cause a little less discomfort.


Could I watch it with my mother?


 This one is a more definite NO. I hope you and your mother are stable and familiar with each other, but if you’re familiar enough to enjoy this movie together, something weird is going on, or you might live in
West Virginia. DiCaprio’s performance is truly phenomenal at times, as free as I’ve ever seen him in a role, and Hill continues to solidify his place among Hollywood’s best, but there is no denying just how horribly the characters act and speak. The screenplay is lively and shocking, thanks in large part to real-life Jordan Belfort’s own memoirs, but not in a way that you and your mother will chuckle over.

Robbie and DiCaprio take it to mother-unfriendly zones.

I don’t mean to dissuade you from watching Wolf, only to make it clear that you should view it in a setting that allows you to laugh and gasp free from social inhibitions. Maybe it didn’t deserve any Oscar victories, or maybe it was just too much for Academy voters to handle. Regardless, the film offers a fascinating look at the dark side of capitalism, and a unique chance to see Leo absolutely letting loose in the familiar confines of Scorsese’s directing.

Share This Post

About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.