Rock of Ages

  • Review Date: June 14, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Musical has more glam than grit, except for drinking.
  • Review Date: June 14, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 120 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Drew is hoping to make it as a rock singer in Los Angeles, but he loses track of his identity when a slimy manager tries to remake him into whatever might sell. His girlfriend's faith helps him rediscover himself and salvage a budding musical career that was almost scuttled by a detour into boy-band territory.

Positive role models

Stacee Jaxx is the epitome of an aging rock legend who's become a self-absorbed diva, his manager is a complete sleaze, and the anti-rock activist is a hypocrite with a secret past. But on the other hand, the young couple at the heart of the film is seeking love and the true spirit of rock 'n' roll, and the brusque-yet-kind nightclub owner is certain that good music will redeem all of his problems.


Some heated arguments and one powerful slap when a guy says something especially spiteful to his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. Bouncers sometimes throw people out of nightclubs, and a few bodyguards growl menacingly. A pet baboon throws things at people he dislikes.


Lots of suggestive scenes, exaggerated cleavage, and innuendo throughout, including scenes that suggest couples are about to or have just finished having sex. In one scene a couple is passionately kissing when a bunch of packaged condoms fall on them. A rock legend is almost constantly surrounded by scantily clad groupies writhing suggestively. He frequently greets women by groping their chests and passionately seduces a music journalist in a scene that features plenty of implied activity and a woman in her underwear, but no graphic nudity. Opposite- and same-sex couples kiss romantically, while others kiss with so much excess tongue activity that it's clearly played to be way over the top. A cocktail waitress at a strip club must endure unwanted touches from her customers; eventually, she considers dancing herself.


Language includes one "f--k," plus "s--t," "ass," "crap," "hell," "damn," "suck," "t-ts," "oh my God," and "blow me." One character flips his middle finger.


Visible brands/products include Greyhound buses and Budweiser beer. The sets are filled with signage for brand names, and many well-known Los Angeles businesses are shown. Many famous rock bands are name-checked, often by showing their albums.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No smoking or drugs (a bit of a surprise in a movie about rock stars), but lots of drinking. Much of the film takes place in nightclubs where many people are drinking, and some get quite drunk. A rock legend is almost always wasted; his preferred drink is scotch, straight from the bottle.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rock of Ages is based on a Broadway musical comedy about rock 'n' roll, of which there is plenty (particularly heavy-metal hits from the '80s). There's also a lot of drinking, especially by an often-wasted star whose favorite drink is scotch, straight from the bottle, but no drugs or smoking. Words like "s--t" and "ass" are used (plus one "f--k"), and there are many suggestive scenes (think writhing, willing groupies and strip clubs) -- though there's no graphic nudity, and the sex scenes are more choreographed dance than erotica. The star-studded cast includes Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Russell Brand.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Inspired by the same-named Broadway musical, ROCK OF AGES starts with sweet Sherrie (Julianne Hough), a Midwestern girl who hops on a bus to make her way to Hollywood seeking fame and fortune as a singer. Within minutes of arriving, she's mugged and then rescued by well-meaning Drew (Diego Boneta), who's currently a bartender at the Bourbon Room, a famed nightclub and music venue, but really wants to be a musician, too. The Bourbon's flailing under a wave of financial distress, its owner, Dennis (Alec Baldwin), and his sidekick (Russell Brand) at their wits' end. There's also the mayor's ultra-conservative wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who's gunning for the club. Enter Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), star of mega-band Arsenal, who's launching a solo career. His manager (Paul Giamatti) has promised to hold Stacee's first show at the Bourbon. Can Sherrie resist the pull of Stacee, her rock god? Will she and Drew ever make it -- in love and in music?

Is it any good?


Except for the first uncomfortable 15 minutes, when you'll wonder whether you're in for a hokey cheese-fest that will have you feeling sorry for all of the big names who've signed up for this endeavor -- that opening scene on the bus incites giggles, and not in a good way -- ROCK OF AGES is an entertaining romp through 1980s rock. It's all about managing expectations: Don't enter the theater expecting a profoundly moving experience, a la Billy Elliot. To start, it's campy, and the translation from Broadway to the screen can be awkward. But the music ("Pour Some Sugar on Me," "I Can't Fight This Feeling") is eminently sing-able. And most of the performances are winning. So before you know it, you're (sort of) won over.

The best part of the film is Cruise. As Stacee Jaxx, a mysterious, nebulous rock star oozing with sex appeal who's lost in the bounty of fame (but may want more), he's seriously appealing. Cruise, no surprise, commits entirely to the enterprise. He can slither, he can seduce, and he can sing! (He's almost too good, actually. Take that, naysayers!) Don't take Rock of Ages too seriously, and you'll have fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about rock music. Do you agree with some of the people in Rock of Ages who say that rock can inspire debauchery and wears away community morals? Or is it a means of self-expression that shouldn't be censored?

  • Do you think the rock star in the film is realistic? Do some musical legends live like this, surrounded by groupies and drunk most of the time? Or is this a stereotype?

  • How is drinking depicted in the movie? Are the consequences realistic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 15, 2012
DVD release date:October 9, 2012
Cast:Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
Director:Adam Shankman
Studio:New Line
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language

This review of Rock of Ages was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Parent Written byTiberius01 June 16, 2012

NOT a movie for children

I'm surprised and disapointed at how common sense reviewed this movie. There are so many foul and distasteful sex scenes and inuendos that it should have been R and not PG-13. Children should not see this movie. My husband and I left a little over halfway through the movie and we weren't the only ones. There was adulterous kinky sex, mock masturbation, mock oral sex, group sex (shows the before or aftermath), sex on pool table, grabbing breasts, many instances of vulgar gestures or comments. There was something in every scene. I couldn't believe it. I don't know why a parent's review on here would be positive about the movie. I wouldn't let my 18 year old niece go, let alone a 13 year old! OH! And all of the stuff I listed are only the parts I watched. I had my eyes closed half the time and just tried to enjoy the 80's music, but everytime I opened them I would see something just awful again. If you hold a pretty descent standard for your child I know you won't want them to see this. Unfortunately, it's attractive because of all the hype that comes from having so many known actors and being able to walk down memory lane with some of your favorite 80's songs. It's not worth it! Just listen to some music on your itunes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written by500090 June 17, 2012

Not for kids

This is not for kids. I'm not conservative at all, and I have no problem with the movie, but I can guarantee you, you will cringe if you watch this with your child of any age. Super suggestive sex scenes that pretty much act out oral sex, and many other acts. Even my 13 yr old said "this isn't for me".
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byharrypotter13 June 15, 2012

Nothin' but a good time...for kids 13 and up

It's PG-13, so it's meant for thirteen and up year olds. I'll give a description of things and scenes to watch out for if you're a parent of kids that are younger than 13. First, there is a ton of sex. In one scene, Stacy Jaxx and an interviewer for rolling stones magazine have sex. She is seen pulling at the string keeping his pants up by her teeth, suggesting she wants to perform oral on him. Pubic hair is glimpsed. Once she is down to her bra and panties he puts his head between her legs and...well...pretty much performs dry oral on the interviewer. Even as a thirteen year old myself, this part had me thinking we walked in to an R rated film rather than a PG-13 rated one. Half of the movie is set in a strip club, after Julianne Hough's character quits her job at "The Bourbon Room" and is struggling, she ends up becoming a stripper at the venus strip club. Pole dancing is shown, and a lot of men oggle her and grab her butt. There is the finger shown, plenty of S bombs, one F word I think, and sexual references. At one point russel brand mentions catherine zeta jones's character, saying that she was about to swallow Stacey Jaxx's "boy juices" or "boy porridge" I didn't hear correctly. There is one passionate gay kiss, and Stacy greets a lot of women by grabbing their left breast. Scantily dressed girls are constantly seen squirming all over Stacey Jaxx. In one scene near the end, the interviewer and Stacy meet again, stacy tells her to open her mouth, she does, and they end up sucking tongue and making out, eventually evolving into sex. Condoms fall over them as they writhe around in the bathroom and accidentally bump into a condom dispenser. At the end of the movie there is a concert where stacy is performing, and the interviewer is shown off stage, happily pointing to her pregnant belly. In one scene, stacy is just starting his performance. and it is shown, as an entrance, or for some form of entertainment, he is pretending to "jerk off" for the audiences pleausure, eventually concluding in the outburst of alcohol, which is supposed to be the orgasm. So, yea, overrall, not appropriate for under 13's. Perhaps an unusually mature 11 or 12 year old, but really, no one under 13. But, besides the extreme sex for a PG-13 movie, I loved it! It was great. Great acting, great singing, very funny, great music, it was just a fun time sitting through it. I recommend it to anyone 13 and up.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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