Parents' Guide to

Michael Jackson's This Is It

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Concert film documents King of Pop's final labor of love.

Movie PG 2009 112 minutes
Michael Jackson's This Is It Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 9+

a must for any Michael Jackson fan

Some kids think well into their teenage years that rock singers, rodeo cowboys, circus performers and other entertainers have jobs that are all just fun and games. Nothing could be further from the truth. This movie will show kids the hard work that people in such jobs must go through. This is particularly true for those who perform with such big stars as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, as people expect more from them than they do from lesser known singers. Since this movie shows that Michael Jackson had some health problems in the months leading up to his death, his death will start to make some sense (although it will never make complete sense, especially when you consider that Dr. Conrad Murray (who's not mentioned in the movie) committed medical malpractice). While the star's death is not mentioned, viewers will be able to make connections. Obvious is Jackson's pride in his work and his desire to please his fans, which would've shown through on the tour had it been able to go on. With that he and his image would've made a comeback, to say nothing of the revenue which would've enabled Jackson to pay off his debts. His performances during rehearsal were undeniably good.
age 7+

Perfect film!

Michael is a role model! God bless his soul and God bless his children! Human Nature is the best!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (49 ):

There's been much controversy about this soul-stirring film. Is it a worthy homage, a tasteless exploitation, or something in between? Should it have been made at all? When the King of Pop is first glimpsed onstage in segments shot for a a then-planned behind-the-scenes documentary, he looks frail and emaciated (and it is, to be honest, disturbing). But all of that falls away within minutes as it becomes clear that Jackson, even so close to the end, still had that indefinable thing that made him gloriously, insanely famous: talent, and plenty of it. Sure, he doesn't always sing at full force (except for a song or two); and yes, his dancing isn't as energetic. Jackson alludes to his need to hold back during rehearsals and conserve himself for curtain time (as many entertainers do), which is most likely why he was only performing at 75 percent -- but what a 75 percent it is.

Audiences will never know fully the demons that haunted Jackson off stage, but what's clear from This Is It is that when he was on stage, it was all about the work. Watching him discuss the need to let a particular moment in a song "simmer" speaks volumes about his vision and how he still knew what he wanted out of his act -- and strove tirelessly to get it. Had he been able to pull the tour off, it would've been epic.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 28, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: January 26, 2010
  • Cast: Michael Jackson
  • Director: Kenny Ortega
  • Inclusion Information: Gay directors, Black actors
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Run time: 112 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG
  • MPAA explanation: some suggestive choreography and scary images
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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