Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this Clint Eastwood-directed biopic about longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is rated R primarily for a couple of brief but notable scenes of strong language (including "f--k"). J. Edgar focuses on both Hoover's career and his personal life, especially the never-defined relationship with longtime companion Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer). While the movie raises questions about Hoover's sexuality that it doesn't answer, there's no actual sex in it (though one scene features apparent recorded noises of an amorous couple). Expect a few violent fist fights and shoot outs.
The undefined nature of Hoover's relationship with his assistant makes the question of sex, and sexual identity, an important part of the film. One scene involves a surveillance audiotape that seems to have recorded the sounds of people having sex.
A few scenes feature fist fights and shoot outs.
Infrequent swearing; when the words "c--ksucker" and "f--king" are heard (in two scenes), they stand out since the rest of the film is so lacking in profanity. Also "for God's sake" as an exclamation.
The message at the heart of J. Edgar is to be true to yourself, or every part of your life will be based on a false foundation. The movie suggests that Hoover's inability to be honest about his own identity possibly contributed to an excess of zeal in criminal investigations of sometimes questionable legality.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Some social drinking, though Hoover was a teetotaler and actively discouraged people from drinking, on and off the job. Some smoking (accurate for the time period).