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(out of 15 reviews)
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Parent of a 15 year old Written byTsion June 18, 2011

An Edgy and Uplifting Musical Adaptation

RENT hadn't spent a long time on Broadway before it was considered to be made into a movie. However, after directior switching and studio swapping, the resultant film arrived in 2005, almost ten years after the original Broadway production opened. However, the passage of time hasn't dullened any of RENT's messages or sensibilities. The musical's story and message of love, living life to the fullest, and acceptance is just as relevant today as a decade ago. Though the movie cuts out many beloved songs from the original show, it has stayed true to the original through a splendid direction and execution. The story translates well to film. However, despite the positivity, Rent isn't for everyone. Though the movie was admittedly made with a young audience in mind, by all rights, it should have been rated R. Aside from thematic issues revolving around poverty, disease, sexuality, and drug addiction, the film contains brief harsh profanity, straightforward depiction of drug use, and a pervasive sexuality akin to its staged counterpart. Strippers (including a main character) are shown performing, and although they stay (barely) clothed, their dance is plenty suggestive. It includes thrusting, caressing, and plenty of leg bending. We see the bare butt of one dancer in her thong. Elsewhere, a woman (albeit humorously) moons a man (and the camera). A woman is seen cheating on her partner by kissing another woman and man. One of the biggest musical numbers in the film features a barrage of light-hearted sexual jokes and comments (including references to S&M, masturbation, and drug use), accompanied by mock thrusting and some obscene hand/arm gestures. There are two (sung) f-words, plus numerous mild profanities. Two different women are seen injecting themselves with heroin, and a man is shown smoking marijuana. A short, graphic scene shows a woman going through violent withdrawal after trying to quit cold-turkey. On the plus side, said drug use is condemned and not praised as in most films. In short, Rent is a must-see film for fans of the show and of musicals in general. But its messages of friendship and devotion come along with lots of potentially offensive content that is not (in my opinion) excessive, but iffy for kids.
Parent of a 11 and 16 year old Written bygleelover123 February 20, 2011

perfect for tweens and up

i loved it and it taught my kids not to do surtine child is 11 and she understood every word and loved it she can't stop singing the songs. but kids 10 and yonger won't understand.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byLleayn91 May 3, 2011

Great film!

A wonderful, powerful movie. It promotes acceptance of homosexual couples, raises awareness for HIV/AIDs, and shows it's audience the tragic life of a girl who is addicted to heroin. Real people with real problems, and it doesn't sugercoat it. The couples are in loving relationships, but still have their problems and fallouts, and the movie does a great way of showing how love can overcome any darkness in your life. If you love musicals, you'll love this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 13 year old Written byshotgunsinner14 October 26, 2009

Best movie, for any age.

This is an amazing movie. It shows the meaning of love. My only thing, is that it takes awhile to get into, for some people. There is a stripper scene, but its nothing drastic. There are gay couples, but I don't see how that would be a problem for anyone.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 February 13, 2015

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.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bymoviemadness July 18, 2011

Didn't Live up to the Hype for Me

I know I am in the minority here, but I thought that Rent was just "ok." I wasn't particularly inspired or impressed with much in the movie. I think it definitely takes on some tough topics, but there are plenty of other (better) films that do the same.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bySabbrielle April 9, 2008


This is a beautifully acted musical. They songs are fun and empowering. I was surprised that it was not rated R because of some strong sexuality and language. For the most part, Rent discourages drugs and unsafe sex, realistically showing the horrible consequences for both. The lyrics in "La Vie Boheme" may need some explaining, though that song is so fast-paced it's difficult to pick out many words or phrases unless you see it over and over like my sister and I have. As far as general behavior goes, the characters are loving, supportive, and resolve their relationship issues by the end. The characters are fascinating.
Adult Written byewha16 April 9, 2008

So good...:)

This movie seemed really different from a lot of movies I'd seen. Showing the darker side of life for once isn't such a bad long as the subject matter isn't too much. There's drug use, a character who is a stripper, and characters dying of AIDS. But the overall message was positive, it seemed to me, conveying a message of hope even in tough circumstances. In particular, I thought the attitude toward homosexuality was great: they showed gay and lesbian couples as just as normal as heterosexual ones, even healthier, at times. And the music was great.
Adult Written bydfk1010 April 9, 2008

sad but great

this movie has a lot of thing kids under the age of 10 should not see or here. one girls you see getting drugs from a drug dealer. some people have aids and the people don't have money to pay the rent so this movie has alot of muture topics. the movie is great but i think it's okay for kids 10 and up thanks
Adult Written byNoDayButToday April 9, 2008
Adult Written bygamergurl84PI April 9, 2008
Adult Written bySophic April 9, 2008
Educator and Parent of a 14 and 15 year old Written byLiz Perle April 9, 2008

fabulous. But not for preadolescents

This movie is the best I have seen. I let my 15 year old go and she loved it. But the 12 year old? no way. The pole dancing scene (where she grabs at her crotch) is way beyond what I think is appropriate. Also, a 12 year old doesnt need to see someone shooting up with heroin. But what a great movie, and one that started a great conversation about love.
Adult Written bysunsetstars02 April 9, 2008
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bysojournersong April 9, 2008

I was mesmerized!

I was mesmerized by the excellent performances, the music, the harmonies, and the subject matter. Unfortunately, the subject matter kept causing me to ask "Why can't they get real jobs and pursue their creative/artistic passions on the side?" The filmmaker in the end actually does this so that he can pay the rent. It seemed to me like misery loves company and thus they hung together in a melancholic, bittersweet attempt to care for each other. It seemed sad and very pathetic to me. Also, due to the scene in the restaurant, in particular, and the scenes where someone mimicked shooting up, I thought that the movie ought to have been either NC-17 or R. 13/14 year old just doesn't need to see this movie without an adult. Although, I am aware that some of our teens are experiencing this type of thing and more. In that case, I don't think they need to be more inundated by it for entertainment.