A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that CBGB tells the gritty story of the famous nightclub in New York City, which was the launching point of many great bands. The club setting includes fighting, stabbing, and some blood, and a dead body. There's strong language throughout including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," and "p---y." There's some brief nudity (one female breast and a few male butts), plus brief images of oral sex, and some innuendo. Characters smoke cigarettes and drink throughout the movie, and there are brief images of characters snorting cocaine. One character is said to be a junkie, though he's never shown taking drugs. The music of Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, the Ramones, the Dead Boys, etc. may be ancient history to today's teens, but those with a curiosity about music history may find this interesting.
What's the story?
In 1973, a washed up businessman named Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman), who has filed for bankruptcy twice, decides to open a new club. Named CBGB, for "Country, Bluegrass, Blues," he hopes to bring that music to the Bowery. Instead, his club begins to draw a new kind of music -- raw, subversive, fast, loud, and "punk." Before long, bands like Television, Talking Heads, Blondie, and the Ramones draw big crowds, and against his cynical nature, Hilly turns to his estranged daughter, Lisa (Ashley Greene) for help. When record labels swoop in, he decides to become a band manager and starts with the Dead Boys, led by the outrageous Stiv Bators (Justin Bartha) and Cheetah Chrome (Rupert Grint). But more trouble is on the horizon.
Is it any good?
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about the history of rock 'n' roll music. Do these bands still sound relevant today? Is their music still edgy, or has it become mainstream?
- Does the music seem violent or dangerous? How can music influence behavior? Are certain types of music associated with dangerous behavior?
- Despite all his bad qualities, Hilly helps a lot of people and makes a lot of people happy. Do you like him? Is he a good role model?
- In theaters: October 11, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: December 31, 2013
- Cast: Alan Rickman, Ashley Greene, Freddy Rodriguez
- Director: Randall Miller
- Studio: XLrator Media
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: Music and sing-along
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout, some sexual content, drug use, and a scene of violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.