Sensual musical about love and art has mature themes.
  • Review Date: December 15, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A self-centered and self-indulgent film director careens through life, focusing all of his energies of the creative process and paying no attention to how his actions affect others, including his neglected wife, the mistress he takes for granted, and the many people involved in a major film project that can't move forward until he completes the script.

Positive role models

Guido is tortured by the creative spirit. His artistic impulses consume him, leaving him unable to manage the more mundane activities of his life, including remaining faithful to his wife or completing (or beginning, actually) the much-needed script for a major movie that's about to begin production. The film shows the dark side of genius and could make the life of an artist seem less than appealing to viewers who might otherwise harbor a bit of jealousy for such a glamorous lifestyle. On the up side, the movie features many strong female characters.


Some dance sequences feature aggressive movements, but the effect is more dramatic than violent.


Frequent sexual situations, but no nudity or love scenes. Characters often discuss sex and desire, and many of the dance sequences feature women in skimpy costumes performing suggestive movements. One song focuses exclusively on a woman’s desire for her partner and includes very racy lyrics and sexy motions.


Not much swearing, though some characters do refer to each other as “ass” and “whore.” Also a few uses of exclamations like "hell" and "my God."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters (all adults) smoke cigarettes often and drink socially at parties and dinners.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this beautifully filmed, all-star musical from the director of Chicago (and based on Federico Fellini's classic, albeit mature, film 8 1/2) follows a tortured-genius film director (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his interactions with a series of women (played by the likes of Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, and even Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas) who've had an impact on his creative process. Though there's no actual sex or nudity, many of the songs focus on love, lust, and desire, and almost all of the dance numbers feature scantily clad dancers and suggestive lyrics/movements. There's also some smoking, drinking, and infrequent swearing. Younger viewers probably won’t be able to fully appreciate the movie's mature themes related to relationships and creative challenges, but the cast may draw them in anyway.

What's the story?

Celebrated film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) has everyone on tenterhooks waiting for his next tour de force, Italia. A set has been built at the famed Cinecitta Studios in Rome, and his cast and crew are awaiting a script. But Guido is struggling; haunted by the "ghosts" of women past, he can’t create the masterpiece that everyone’s expecting. His mind wanders to memories of his beloved Mamma (Sophia Loren); of the prostitute (Fergie) he knew as a child; of his muse, the actress Claudia (Nicole Kidman); of his costume designer (Judi Dench); of a Vogue reporter looking to seduce him (Kate Hudson); of his mistress, Carla (Penelope Cruz); and of his long-suffering wife, Luisa (Marion Cotillard). An escape to the countryside only complicates matters further when both Carla and Luisa converge to support him ... followed by paparazzi and journalists hungering to know more. Will Guido's new movie, his ninth (hence the film's title), be a hit? Or will it even be made at all?

Is it any good?


It’s a little unclear how an Irish actor wound up playing a tortured Italian director, but how lucky the audience is for it. NINE features Day-Lewis as we’ve rarely seen him: whimsical, unpredictable, prone to both rage and passion. He may not be exactly like Fellini’s hero in 8 1/2 (on which this movie is based) -- nor the Guido of the acclaimed Broadway musical -- but no matter: Day-Lewis makes the character mesmerizingly distressed. He’s writer’s block writ large.

Still, fans of both the Broadway version and Fellini’s classic may be disappointed. Some songs have been excised, and Guido’s women are, by and large, not that fascinating, at least not in this version. Hudson’s reporter is a trifle (and not in a way that serves the character); Cruz, though smoldering, is over the top; Kidman is fleeting. Cotillard is the exception, singing with such feeling -- and acting that way, too. It's lovely to see Loren on the big screen again, and Dench also delivers as a jaded costume designer. Nine may not score a perfect 10, but with its rousing numbers and some strong performances, it successfully entertains.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about creativity. How does Guido try to jump-start the artistic process? How do his struggles affect the people around him? Does it work?

  • What do you think about Guido’s romantic entanglements? How does his wife feel about his obvious infidelity? Does he care?

  • How does the movie portray its female characters?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 18, 2009
DVD release date:May 4, 2010
Cast:Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz
Director:Rob Marshall
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content and smoking

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMovieGuy23 June 10, 2011

Nine: Not as bad as Chicago

When I heard from the director of Chicago, I screamed. After the movie was over, I screamed again; not as loud, nevertheless I screamed. Nine is not as bad as Chicago, perhaps it is because I am a big Daniel Day-Lewis fan, but I liked it BETTER. Did I like it? Not really. The movie has a slower, more romantic pace than Chicago and not as bad of a central message, but it cannot make up for a lack of sufficient storytelling. Note to parents: The main topic of this movie is sex and though there is little nudity it is discussed quite frequently. Characters smoke and drink quite often as well.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old March 17, 2010

Nine Has Some Iffy Stuff For 10 Years Old

I Wanted To See Nine
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old July 7, 2010


This movie was awesome! I wanted to see it since it came out and I finally saw it. It was amazing! The soundtrack and the performances were the best. It got boring in some parts though.


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