High Fidelity

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
High Fidelity Movie Poster Image
Funny, neurotic, and charming, but not for kids.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence

Comic scuffle.

Sex

A lot of sexual references and encounters, including one sex scene in a car; an abortion.

Language

Very strong language.

Consumerism

Lots of bands are name-checked.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lot of smoking and drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has very strong R-rated material, including explicit sexual references and sex for reasons other than intimacy (one-night stand just for the sex, sex to numb sad feelings). Characters drink and smoke a lot.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJennifer-Marie April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old December 11, 2013

Watch immediately

Absolutely love this movie, though many may say that it's inappropriate, and you are right, some kids will thank you for letting you watch this. I am 12 ye... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byYossarian April 9, 2008

I love this movie

I love watching this movie every single time. There is some objectional stuff, but you can see that from the little sidebar chart thing. People have sex and d... Continue reading

What's the story?

In HIGH FIDELITY, Rob Gordon (John Cusack) owns a vintage record store called "Classic Vinyl." Only the two hopeless guys who work for him (Jack Black and Todd Luiso) make him feel like a grown-up by comparison. They sit around all day, getting rid of potential customers who are just not cool enough to be allowed to buy their records, endlessly ranking everything in the world. They hyper-critically rate everything except for their own sorry lives. His girlfriend Laura's departure prompts Rob to make a list of his five worst break-ups, which allows him to comfort himself that she is not even on the list. But as he tracks down the five on the list to see if he can figure out what went wrong, he begins to admit to himself that he is deeply wounded, and not just because he feels threatened and competitive at the thought of her new love interest (Tim Robbins). He has to allow himself to understand that "fantasies always seem really great because there aren't any problems," but that he needs to move on to reality.

Is it any good?

Rob spends more time talking to viewers than he does to any of the other characters in the movie, which is part of the problem. He asks the audience, "Do I listen to pop music because I was miserable, or am I miserable because I listen to pop music?" His candor and charm, both considerable, have allowed him to carry his adolescence through his 20s, and he's much more comfortable concocting the definitive list of the best side-one, track-one songs ever than he is thinking about, say, the definitive list of worthwhile things to do with his life. And he has to allow himself to be a little less self-obsessed.

Fortunately, the "professional appreciator" is wise enough to see how special Laura is, and that he can't just "create a sketch of a decent, sensitive guy;" he can actually become one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way people change as they grow up.

Movie details

For kids who love music and romance

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate