Parents' Guide to


By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Vibrant musical-based movie has sex, drugs, cursing.

Movie PG-13 2005 135 minutes
Rent Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 15+

Everyone's favorite edgy musical gets so-so adaptation

I am in no way a huge musical theater fan. I love musicals and theater, but I'm not a diehard "Rent" fan like some are, though I did see a very well done college version a few years back. I obviously didn't remember a lot of it, except key moments like the opening (will "Seasons of Love" ever not want to make you cry?) and Maureen's bonkers monologue done epically than none other than Ms. Adele Dazeem. But you can't help but feel like this is an obvious adaptation, even though the characters have more space to roam free, it feels very transition-to-silver screen. The actors, most of whom originated these roles on Broadway, are so over the top you see every tooth in their mouth as wildly overact their roles. Yet the music is highly enjoyable, the dance numbers almost as much fun as seeing them live, and Idina Menzel really does steal the show as I'm sure she did onstage. She's a born performer! For theater buffs, like the person I'm seeing right now, the movie will probably have you bawling. This will probably prove too much for those just wanting to see "Rent" on a Sunday afternoon.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+


It has some drug-use, but overall it is an amazing show!

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (39):

An energetic rock musical, Rent features one big number after another. Chris Columbus' movie version of Jonathan Larson's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning big doozy rock musical took nearly 10 years to reach the screen. It focuses on the resilience of a new generation of oppressed "types," assorted victims of prejudice, poverty, addiction, and disease. Featuring six of the original eight stage cast members, Rent is beset by awkward transitions between numbers (song ends, fade out, next song), and exposition conveyed by lyrics. The performers sing their stories and desires, framed by cheesy hooks, sing-talking them when the language just becomes too cumbersome for crooning. (This device, too familiar from Andrew Lloyd Webber works, is either wearying or rousing, depending on your tolerance level.)

Still, Rent does offer up real ideas about class hierarchy. Everyone here is concerned with property -- intellectual, amorous, and geographic -- and no one seems able to work for money, save for Mimi, who spends it on heroin. Mark eventually takes a job with the "sleazy" tv tab show Buzzline, where he learns (as expressed in the song "What You Own"), "When you're living in America / At the end of the millennium, / You're what you own."

Movie Details

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