TODAY   |  January 06, 2014

Controversy grows over ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

As Oscar buzz grows for the Martin Scorsese drama “The Wolf of Wall Street,” particularly around Leonardo DiCaprio’s in the lead role, so does controversy over the record amount of cursing and explicit scenes in the film. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the new movie "wolf of wall street " is one of the early darl darlings of the awards season. nbc's craig melvin is here with more on that. good morning to you.

>> good morning. the movie is based on the graphic autobiography of a new york stockbroker. and it is classic scorsese. but for some, it's too over the top .

>> my name is jordan velfer. the year i turned 26, i made $49 million.

>> from penny stock pusher to millionaire mogul.

>> making a name for ourselves.

>> "the wolf of wall street " is a rise and fall film about a stockbroker filled with greed, drugs and prostitutes. but the cursing is historic. it shatters the box office record for f-bombs dropped in a movie, 506. for some, it's too much.

>> i wanted to crawl out the theater. that's how it made me feel.

>> on the street and online. strong opinions, twitter search for walked out on wolf, scores of disappointed moviegoers who simply left like this person. so shockingly obscene my friends and i walked out. it's an embarrassment.

>> it's a very entertaining and well-made movie. it's also three hours of sex, drugs, bad language and people just treating each other horribly. that's not what some people want to see, particularly from a christmas movie .

>> besides the excess, there's another question being raised.

>> is all this legal? absolutely not.

>> and does this film condemn or glorify bad behavior?

>> a ruthless, greedy guy who did whatever he could to get to the top. leonardo dicaprio does not play a likable guy in this movie.

>> not hurting ticket sales or awards chances. raked in $63 million since it opened and two golden globe nominations. many critics contend it's oscar worthy. good fellas, casino, he's not the kind of director who makes films that people are indifferent about, they elicit strong opinions and "wolf" is no exception, matt.

>> no question about it. three hours of cursing, like our show, apparently.

>> but enough about what happened --

>> who actually counted the f-bombs?

>> somebody sat there. you get to 500, just quit.

>> but on the flip side of that, what was the number one movie this weekend? "frozen."

>> i love that movie.

>> always bringing it back to weather.

>> yeah.

>> and an uplift.

>> oh, i loved it.