Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Chicago Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Oscar-winning satire all about the razzle-dazzle.

PG-13 2002 113 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 54 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 17+

Chicago - I Don’t Care Where You’re From, Just Go Away

Had I known Bob Fosse had had some involvement with this material (I should have picked that from the main song title) I could have saved myself some headache-inducing choreography. This has everything you could expect from a Harvey Weinstein movie, bosoms, bums, boobs and brainless glorification of sleazy murderesses. All done in a grotty, sensationalistic burlesque style – complete with a black lesbian prison boss! Some shots looked like the editor threw the footage in the air then randomly cut it together. Now add a bunch of songs with the majority that can’t be hummed, whistled, or remembered and voila! you’ve got an Oscar-worthy mega-hit, what else. Not much Common sense shown here! Yes, a few of the stars do some interesting slick star turns but only between, or after, much stomach-churning, frenetic ugliness has turned your head into a pit of aching mulch. If you haven’t felt like throwing up by the halfway point, then you deserve this movie! Or, if you liked Fosse’s sleazy “All that Jazz” you could also get sucked in by this mess. To each, their own but leave me alone.
age 12+

Ever entertaining, and ever relevant

Chicago deserves its spot in the pantheon of modern film musicals. The Kander-and-Ebb score is catchy and iconic - there simply isn't a single dud in the entire picture. The choreography is top-notch, and the social satire is as prickly as it was when this great show first premiered on Broadway in 1975. I worked behind the scenes in my high school's production of Chicago. I was instantly impressed by how deep the show is. The lyrics are pitch-perfect, an incredibly sharp and humorous send-up of celebrity culture, sex, dishonesty, crime, justice (and the lack thereof) and prejudice, and the media's complicity with injustice, set against the glamorous, decadent backdrop of the Roaring 20s. The jazz and vaudeville inspired music is genius, nailing the "razzle dazzle" of Roxie and Velma's public performance of innocence, versus the reality. This is a better fit for mature kids who can understand irony and satire. Of course, none of the characters are anywhere near role models, but they're not supposed to be, and your kids should be able to understand that if you want to watch this movie with them. They should also be old enough to handle a LOT of sexuality and violence portrayed in an irreverent way. This brilliant film is more than just razzle-dazzle: it offers a lot of fodder for conversation.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex

Movie Details

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