Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sexy American dream tale with lots of spandex and 1980s pop.

Movie R 1983 95 minutes
Flashdance Movie Poster: Jennifer Beals looks at the camera, with the title across her

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

Preposterous 80s dance flick.

The only reason this scores as high as it does is because of the soundtrack and really what that means is because of Giorgio Moroder. Those songs burrow deep and are a lot of fun and super catchy with a heavy 80s sheen. But 18 year old, non-stripper, cabaret dancer/welder in Pittsburgh? Really? Professional? In a union steel mill town? The film is a bit preposterous and the overused archetype of "if you can dream it you can be it" is so out of whack with reality that all is left is to tap your foot to the rhythm of "Maniac."
age 10+

A compelling movie about following your dreams!

My daughter and I watched this film, and she really seemed like she enjoyed it. Afterwards, we had a discussion about following your dreams no matter what. I guess the movie really inspired her, since she ran up to her room right after we were done talking to "follow her dreams". I wonder what her aspirations are. Anyway, the movie has sexual themes, but the role models and positive message outweigh the kid-unfriendly parts of it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Despite its R rating and sexy reputation, this uplifting film centers on thoughtful young women following their dreams while navigating complicated relationships and socioeconomic barriers. Through Flashdance's glitzy dance sequences and a vision of Pittsburgh as a smoke-filled land of opportunities, a charming but formulaic American dream story emerges, albeit with lots of 1980s spandex and pop rock. Note that MTV was only a few years old when this movie came out; this was one of the first movies to successfully (and profitably) combine music video visuals and an unforgettable title track (the iconic "Flashdance ... What a Feeling") with a romantic drama plot.

Most of the action takes place at Mawby's, a blue-collar bar that confusingly hosts avant-garde dance routines akin to those escapist Golden Age of Hollywood musicals where performers did impossible stage routines on ice, underwater, etc. Alex and her friends' elaborately choreographed dances bring only polite applause from the working stiffs at the bar but serve as training ground for their artistic skills and self-confidence. The camera does linger on dancers' bottoms and legs, and some dance routines include striptease. But if parents are bothered by these elements, contrast is provided later in the film between these risqué but woman-led dances and the performances at Zanzibar, a strip club where women are explicitly nude and much less empowered.

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