Sexy musical is forgettable despite talented stars.
  • Review Date: November 21, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


After a drunk woman insults her mentor, she's paid back by having a tire iron swung at her car window.


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.


Some swearing, including “ass,” “bitch,” “s--t," "prick," "a--hole," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "crap," "oh my God," and one use of "f--k."

Not applicable
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.

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.

What's the story?

After finally quitting her waitressing job and getting out of Dodge (aka Iowa), Ali (Christina Aguilera) lands in Los Angeles, where her plan to get a singing gig quickly goes nowhere. Then she finds the Burlesque Lounge, a popular but down-on-its-high-heels nightclub -- owner Tess (Cher) is juggling two mortgages and has creditors and a real estate shark (Eric Dane) breathing down her neck -- where burlesque is still a celebrated art. With the help of lead bartender, Jack (Cam Gigandet), Ali starts waiting tables there, but that's only temporary: Soon, she’s headlining the joint, charming Tess and her stage manager (Stanley Tucci), angering a rival singer (Kristen Bell), and falling in love. It’s all in a day’s work in the world of burlesque.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the art of burlesque. Does the film really explain what it is? How does it incorporate sexuality?

  • How does this movie compare to other musicals, both recent and long past?

  • What is it about the big city that beckons, at least in the movies, to small-town characters? What do they have that small towns apparently don’t? Do you think the media accurately portrays the difference between the two?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 24, 2010
DVD release date:March 1, 2011
Cast:Cher, Christina Aguilera, Peter Gallagher, Stanley Tucci
Director:Steve Antin
Studio:Screen Gems
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material

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Parent of a 16 and 17 year old Written byChristina Youge May 14, 2013


Even though this movie is a little risky, as long as you know your child, it is a great movie about following your dreams.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bykhan2705 February 9, 2011

a visual dazzle, forgettable and weak screenplay, plot.

Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club's proprietor and headliner. Burlesque's outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer (Julianne Hough), finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer (Kristen Bell), and garners the affection of Jack (Cam Gigandet), a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and gender-bending host (Alan Cumming), Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage. Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though not before a charismatic entrepreneur (Eric Dane) arrives with an enticing proposal. well Burlesque was something which is really of my interest, you know a Musical with lots of costumes but with a good script and songs. this one just felt somewhere middle of it all. i wasn't quite impressed by this movie seriously i didn't liked it that much. i somehow knew it, it seemed pretty clcihed and overdone. Burlesque is a movie you will wan't to just watch it to have a good time, a crowd pleaser thing but will end up having mix feelings and reactions about it. you won't definitely be confused. this movie stars Christina Aguilera, her first movie as an actress and as the world knows she has an wonderful voice. she is a good singer and i love her voice. she has this huge voice like it has depth and volume good for the kind of the song this movie mostly has. i am not sure about her future in movies but in this one she was fine, not bad or amazing but lets face it, she did tried her best to play this cheesy part in this big cliche cheese filled movie, lol. she is ok, needs improvement that she will learn. other big name is Cher, seeing her after a long time. she was above average, not that good. she kind of reminded me of characters that were and are there everywhere and it was so cliche. i did not like her playing this character. her emotional scenes were convincing specially her song, the emotional one was awsome with her in it. well other supporting actors include Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell , Alan Cumming and Eric Dane. well they all were ok, they weren't really the focus point of this movie. so ofcourse what will one expect from this movie in the acting department. average. Direction for sure is weak, needs time and experience. direction should have been better. screenplay has very weak points and is not that good at many places. so screenplay wasn't impressing and so was the plot which sucks and tiring after a while and at some scattered places. story was ok, cliched but felt little bit good. costumes as you have seen are very Burlesque type, larger, brighter than anything else on earth and very overly done which in this case looks good. but costume designing needed a slight concentration. Art direction was above average. the choreography, honestly was not that impressing or memorable. some were slight good performances but even they don't feel much good but still fine dance performances. most of the songs aren't quite the one you will remember your whole life. 2 of the songs i loved one was the song BURLESQUE, not the Cher one or the one in the end but the other one. that song was so like the nowadays Gaga or Perry's pop songs. very catchy and lovely and the other one was Cher's song You haven't seen the last of me, which really moved me and i loved it. well this movie is full of colours and dazzling beauties and costumes and songs but this movie has some flaws in it. i somehow enjoyed it and at the same time was bored a bit and has some slight problems with it. still i am slightly over rating it by giving it GENEROUSLY 3 stars for i don't know, no reasons. Just watch it for visual pleasure and the few good songs. or else skip it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Parent of a 12 year old Written byDawnMontgomery January 27, 2011

Very good movie

I took my daughter to see this movie and I definitely enjoyed it. Some parts were a bit uncomfortable with my daughter only being 12 but overall it was a good movie. She loved the music and the dancing even though I thought it was a bit suggestive. She asked me to buy it but I think I will save my money and get it free.You can get it free too here. www.prizerebel.com/index.php?r=3039374 Its simple and you can get this and other movies from this website.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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