Glee: The 3D Concert Movie

 
"Greatest hits" show is tame enough for tween Gleeks.
  • Review Date: August 10, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Because the movie demonstrates how fans have taken Glee's messages to heart, it's a powerful testimony to why teens should celebrate diversity and accept and respect people no matter what they look like or whom they love. The concert movie, like the show, emphasizes the idea that we're all "losers" and everyone has something that makes them "different," whether it's Artie being in the wheelchair, Curt being gay, Mercedes black, Zizes large, etc. The real-life fans include a little person who's also a cheerleader, a young gay guy, and a young woman with Asperger's.

Positive role models

The Glee kids all have flaws, but each is a role model in his/her own way. In this concert movie, the role models are the real teens who show audiences that we've all got issues to deal with and obstacles to overcome, so there's no reason to be a bully.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Dressed in bikini-style outfit, Brittany does a sexy dance routine to Britney Spears' song "I'm a Slave 4U." Real fans say they like certain characters because they are "hot." Brittany makes a joke that her "boobs" will look "awesome" in 3D.

Language

Very sparing use of words like "boobs," "hell," "damn," and "oh my God."

Consumerism

The entire movie is a pitch for how wonderful Glee is, of course, but the connection to real fans and how the show has made it difference in their lives makes it more than just a big commercial.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 3D concert musical -- which features the cast of Fox's hit show Glee performing their most popular song covers, with additional interview footage of three of their biggest fans -- is much tamer than the TV show. The series routinely deals with heavy/edgy material, but the movie is more like a "greatest hits" of the stars' performances, so there's nothing particularly questionable except for Brittany's racy rendition of Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4U." The interviews with the fans discuss issues about being "different" in high school (being gay, a little person, autistic, etc.).

What's the story?

The framing device for this concert movie is that McKinley High School's GLEE club, New Directions, is giving a high-profile concert. The group -- featuring star singers Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Montieth), Kurt (Chris Colfer), and Mercedes (Amber Riley); resident cheerleaders Quinn (Dianna Agron), Santana (Naya Rivera), and Brittany (Heather Morris); jocks Puck (Marc Salling), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), and Sam (Chord Overstreet); and quirky misfits Artie (Kevin McHale), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), and Zizes (Ashley Fink) -- performs such hits as "Don't Stop Believin'," "Born This Way," "Firework," "Teenage Dream," and more. Special guests include Dalton Academy Warbler Blaine (Darren Criss) and a surprise cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow as everyone's favorite substitute teacher, Holly Holliday. Behind the scenes, some of the show's biggest fans explain why the series means so much to them.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fans of the show -- "Gleeks," as they're called -- will be thrilled to see that the actors all stay in character throughout the concert, so even in off-stage interviews, audiences are treated to more of Rachel, Finn, Blaine, etc., rather than their respective actors. The conceit allows the concert to seem like any other popular TV show movie, except with a playlist of songs instead of a plot propelling the film. The stars sing some of their all-time best, with songs that span generations and genres, from Rachel's dramatic rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade" to Finn and Puck tackling "Jessie's Girl" and "Fat Bottomed Girls," to Mercedes belting out soul classics by Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. While the contemporary hits make up the bulk of the concert, there's something for everyone (although Mercedes and Tina, who's the only one who doesn't  have a spotlight song, are under-utlized -- probably to accommodate talented break-out character Blaine, who boasts a three-song set with his back-up Warblers).

 

The space between songs is filled with in-depth interviews with three mega fans --a real-life Cheerio who's also a little person; a guy who, like Kurt, struggled with being the only gay kid at school; and a girl with Asperger's who finds comfort in the open-hearted character of Brittany. There's even a cameo of the little 4-year-old "mini Warbler" whose YouTube video went viral. But ultimately this movie is a celebration for those who already love the show and know it's all about diversity and owning who you are, flaws and all. Those who aren't into the series may not squeal with delight like the rest of the audience, but at least they'll witness some brilliant performances, a few of which even rival the original renditions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how most of the TV show's fans say they see themselves in various characters. What is the show's message about diversity and tolerance?

  • What does Glee teach about bullying and stereotyping? How do the characters represent various "types"?

  • Do you think this movie (and the concert itself) is intended to appeal to a different audience/age group than the TV show?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 12, 2011
DVD release date:December 20, 2011
Cast:Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron, Lea Michele
Director:Kevin Tancharoen
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Musical
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements, brief language and some sensuality

This review of Glee: The 3D Concert Movie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 8 years old August 17, 2011
age 10+
 

cool

I Think this would be a good movie for all Those (American Idol Fans) And (Adventure Time With Finn And Jake
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written byaggiemomoffour January 22, 2012
age 13+
 

Not appropriate for preteens

We told my 11 year old daughter she could watch this based on the reviews here on this site. She got up this morning and told us that "there was a boy who had a crush on another boy." I wish I had this information before we rented this movie. If your children do not know about homosexuality yet, pick something else.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bybands4life September 22, 2014
age 9+
 

Glee RULES!

The movie is amazing. The songs are amazing. And the actors are amazing. Now to get to the inappropriate stuff. The worst thing in the whole entire movie is Brittany's "Slave 4 U" dance routine, but it was the best performance in the whole movie tbh, I love Brittany. Aside from that, there are mature themes about stereotypes, autism, bullying, and sexual orientation. While nothing is shown, it is talked about briefly in fan's interviews. Also, aside from that is mild, infrequent swearing (infrequent use of damn, hell, crap, etc.). Other than that this movie is squeaky clean, and nothing but inspiring. I love it and I even took my 8 year old gleek friend (don't worry, she skipped season 2) to see it in 3D, and i was kinda uncomfortable watching it with her, because "Slave 4 U" was so provocative, but she took it well. Best for GLEE FANS, if you aren't one, this entire movie will bore you to death. Mature 9 year olds and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass