Parents' Guide to

Velvet Goldmine

By Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Edgy glam rock drama has sex, drugs, strong language.

Movie R 1998 118 minutes
Velvet Goldmine Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Wanted a bit more from these big stars...falls a bit flat

A film I wanted to like more considering the three main stars, but I just couldn't get into it. Although it has a lot of flash it feels a bit stilted and forced at times. The film is fun, but feels like it stops short of being able to take seriously the reinvention of an artist let alone a magnifying glass towards fame...too bad.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Part musical, part mystery, and part love story -- or stories, to be more precise -- this 1998 release is a visual and aural feast. It's packed full of cultural references, compelling characters, and identity-boosting messages. But unfortunately, when packaged all together, Velvet Goldmine somehow fails to hit the mark. Ranging from otherworldly and intriguing to downright confusing, the story flips back and forth between eras and characters, never quite giving you time to fully invest in any of them.

Unashamedly inspired by David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust era, it's bursting with extravagant artistic expression. The soundtrack is a brilliant combination of original songs and 1970s classics, while the fashion and staging is gloriously psychedelic. And though many of the characters are joyously flamboyant and confident in their gender fluidity, the story doesn't shy away from the challenges of being different and the darker side of the music industry. Ultimately, among the sometimes bewildering mashup of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, there are some genuinely tender moments and an overarching celebration of diversity.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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