Rock of Ages

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Rock of Ages Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Musical has more glam than grit, except for drinking.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 48 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRichManGold December 20, 2020
Adult Written byBellaskull October 14, 2020

Depending on there maturity no younger then 14.

I under stand that every body wants to protect there kids. But when your kids become teens there not your ' little girl/boy ' anymore. They arent goin... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymusicallover67 October 22, 2018

Worth seeing

This movie is great for those who tolerate pretty adult movies. I think it is for kids ages 11 and up because they should know what the dangers are about all th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymatosmary May 14, 2021

Really nice

I really liked this movie, but i dont think anyone younger than 13 should whatch it. i watched it at 11 and had some trouble undersatnding parts of it. I was o... Continue reading

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?

ROCK OF AGES is an entertaining romp through 1980s rock, as long as you can overlook the first uncomfortable 15 minutes. You'll initially 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). 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music in the movies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate