Great Expectations

1998 R 1h 56m DVD

Great Expectations

1998 R 1h 56m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Aloof and seemingly unattainable to Finn since their youth, Estella holds his fascination. As an adult, Finn becomes obsessed with turning his hardscrabble life into a success all to gain her love.
Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria, Chris Cooper, Anne Bancroft, Robert De Niro, Josh Mostel, Kim Dickens, Nell Campbell, Gabriel Mann
Alfonso Cuarón
Widescreen 2.35:1
Spanish (Neutral), English
French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Great Expectations (1998) is one of many retellings of the classic Dickens' novel, with this one set in modern times on the Gulf Coast. This version greatly simplifies the plot, mostly focusing on the twisted romance between Estella and Pip (called Finn in this version) and cutting out a lot of the details of Pip's difficult journey to adulthood. This is a very mature version best for older teens and up, so expect a lot of swearing ("f--k" and "s--t" are sprinkled liberally throughout) and some violence (a character is stabbed and dies from his wounds). There's also a focus on sex and the growing sexual tension between Estella and Finn that starts with a French kiss between tweens. As teens they share one sexually charged scene that shows a shot up Estella's dress to her underwear, and as adults Finn draws Estella naked (she poses first in underwear, then fully naked with bare buttocks shown), and one sex scene shows Estella naked (bare breasts and buttocks). There's also some drinking and a lot of smoking. The themes of learning the futility of fame and fortune if you don't have love or family, which are strongly emphasized in the novel, are mostly overshadowed by Finn's consuming love for Estella in this version.

Sexual Content

Finn and Estella French kiss as preteens. Teens make out, and the camera shows up Estella's dress to her underwear. Finn draws Estella naked, and she poses first in underwear, then fully naked, with her naked buttocks and silhouette shown on-screen. His drawings show her fully naked. One sex scene shows Estella's naked buttocks and breasts.


Lustig threatens to gut Finn like a fish. His bloodied ankles are shown close-up. A character is stabbed and dies from his wounds.


Lots of swearing, including "f--k" and "s--t" many times, "bitch," "piss," and "shut up."

Social Behavior

Ms. Dinsmoor teaches Estella to deceive men and break their hearts. They both eventually learn the error of their ways but not before causing heartbreak. A message of forgiveness is emphasized as Joe forgives Finn for treating him badly, Finn forgives Estella and Ms. Dinsmoor. Finn learns money and fame are empty without family and happiness.


References to McDonald's, the artist Keith Haring.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Reference to prescription drugs, birth control. Ms. Dinsmoor and other characters smoke and drink beer or cocktails throughout. Party guests drink champagne. Finn drinks champagne straight out of a champagne bottle when he's upset. The convict Lustig drinks whiskey and pours it on his wounds.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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