Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid the showy dancing and soapy drama are some positive messages: for example, that the road to success doesn't necessarily need to be paved by the flattened souls you tread on while clambering to the top. Plus hard work trumps the easy way out, and loyalty matters.
Positive Role Models
Although many of the characters are broad caricatures, a few have more complexity. For instance, Ali and Tess both want to make the most of their talent without stepping on anyone else's toes. Their determination and dogged work ethic help them reach their goals.
Violence & Scariness
After a drunk woman insults her mentor, she's paid back by having a tire iron swung at her car window.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of scenes of burlesque performers dancing suggestively in barely there costumes. A man walks around naked -- his backside is briefly visible -- to pique the interest of a woman he likes (even though he's still somewhat attached to his long-distance girlfriend). They're shown kissing and lounging in bed under covers. Some references to a passionate one-night stand between friends. A character picks up a DJ at a party.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some swearing, including "ass," "bitch," "s--t," "prick," "a--hole," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "crap," "oh my God," and one use of "f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking at a nightclub. A dancer shows up at work drunk and is shown a few times trying to sneak a drink. Later, she drives while under the influence. A man gets sloshed at a party.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that singers Cher and Christina Aguilera star in this fairly sexy musical, which has lots of suggestive dancing and skimpy costumes, as well as a scene with a naked male backside, some kissing, and some under-covers snuggling. There's also some swearing (including "s--t" and one use of "f--k") and drinking (including a scene in which a character drives under the influence). But underlying all of the racy stuff are feel-good messages about small-town girls making good, nice guys finishing first, and being anything you want to be if you try. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
How can something so good be so bad? That's BURLESQUE. First, what works: Cher reminds us why we fell in love with her in movies like Mask and Moonstruck. Her performance is grounded and earthy, even though the look and feel of the movie is stylized and the story predictable. Tucci gives an able assist, too, in a Devil Wears Prada-like role (he does witty and supportive so well). Even Aguilera contributes; that voice simply won't be denied.
But for a movie referencing one of the most successful musicals ever, Chicago, Burlesque is felled by an egregious oversight: the music. Except for perhaps for one or two numbers, the songs are forgettable and try too hard. What makes musicals work are impossible-to-resist songs that burrow into our subconscious. You can truss a movie up with glitzy lighting, over-the-top costumes, and a cameo by Alan Cumming (practically the patron saint of all things burlesque), but without great dialogue -- and you can tell a lot about a movie when its best line is "I will not be upstaged by some girl with mutant lungs!" -- a plot that satisfies, and lyrics and melodies that appeal, there's no reason to come to the cabaret.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.