High Fidelity Movie Poster Image

High Fidelity



Funny, neurotic, and charming, but not for kids.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know


Comic scuffle.


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


Very strong language.


Lots of bands are name-checked.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lot of smoking and drinking.

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.

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.

Families can talk about...

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

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 31, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:September 8, 2000
Cast:Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack, Tim Robbins
Director:Stephen Frears
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some sexuality

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What parents and kids say

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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 years old and adored the movie. In my favourite bits the protagonist turns himself to face the camera, and talks directly to the audience. This is beautifully done and reminds me of the structure in 'Ferris Bullers Day Off' Another main reason to watch this is the music. Warms your heart on a winter day and makes you feel complete. That is if you enjoy music. This movie immediately gives you songs that you haven't ever heard to put on your iPod straight away. A wonderful, comic movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJennifer-Marie April 9, 2008
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 drop massive F-bombs. Great story, great music, great commedy. My favorite part is how they show the reality of relationships, and how they really work, while still being good and funny, unlike The Break-Up, which sucked.


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