Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Kids go on strike in gritty, historical musical.

Movie PG 1992 121 minutes
Newsies Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 8+

An interesting way to introduce a new generation to another time in American history.

Wonderful introduction to the large scale, Broadway style musical & some interesting historical figures as well! The film is loosely based on a real strike by newspaper boys against Joseph Pulitzer, one of America's leading newspaper tycoons. Scenes that imply underage use of tobacco, references to gambling, & dance-like, choreographed, street violence are frequent throughout the entire movie. However, these are historically accurate, if somewhat cleaned up, portrayals of the lives of street orphans in post Industrial Revolution New York City. As the story suggests, this was a time when large cities thrived on the backs of child labor. In fact, children had fewer rights & protections than adult workers who were just starting to organize into labor unions. If no one explains the historical references, it could certainly give younger children the wrong impression about how to handle percieved injustice. With the right information, however, this is a fun way to introduce a time in America's history that may be otherwise unrecognizable to today's youth. In the right context, there are lots of positive messages about personal integrity, standing up for ones principles & for those weaker or less fortunate than ourselves, etc. There are also many opportunities to discuss how people's lives & working conditions have changed in the last 100 or so years. The fact that Christian Bale (Batman) plays one of the leading roles, among several other recognizable child actors, should help generate some curiousity.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 9+

Good, historical musical

I think this is a good family movie to watch after having a discussion with kids about what it was like in the life of newsboys circa 1900. This is a story about young newsboys finding a solution to their problems. There are a few words and scenes that could have been eliminated to be more appropriate for kids, but overall it's a good story.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (32 ):

Newsies, with its energetic score and large-scale dance gymnastics, hits a note lost between the pop-fantasy and ragtime of Bugsy Malone and the R-rated realism of Gangs of New York. Dramatically there is some surprisingly strong stuff here, and perhaps Newsies would have come across better without the tunes.

Even with an upbeat finale, most grownups come across as the worst kind of abusive authority-figures, domineering and brute-force guardians, although a few adults support the boys. There is pretty strong Goliath-vs.-David sense of injustice and helplessness, with police and hired thugs against the kids. Ruthless, immoral corporations control everything, and mainstream media is not to be trusted -- especially when its own investments are threatened.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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