West Side Story Soundtrack

Music review by
Marina Torres-Nemeth, Common Sense Media
West Side Story Soundtrack Music Poster Image
Lots of vibrant music amidst a heavy storyline.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 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 music.

Positive Messages

Violence and murders are vividly portrayed in the tense, frantic music. "Finale" includes the sound of the gunshot that kills Tony. The tragic final scene's dialogue may disturb young listeners.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that famed composer Leonard Bernstein's score employs jazzy, complex rhythms, tight harmonies, and vibrant, inventive arrangements. The CD tracks the Academy Award-winning movie, which illustrates the disastrous results of racism and lack of parental guidance combined with violence and a gang mentality.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 12 years old July 10, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written by[email protected] April 9, 2008

What's the story?

This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's \"Romeo and Juliet\" was groundbreaking when it hit Broadway in 1957 and exploded on the silver screen in 1961. WEST SIDE STORY is a masterful musical that enjoys continued appeal for its gripping score -- and, unfortunately, for its continued social relevance. This music captures the innocence, passion, tenacity, and excitement of youth with an underscored mood of tension and ultimate tragedy. For the first time, the songs are placed in the order they appear in the movie, developing from vibrant dance numbers and hopeful ballads to the anxious pieces following the rumble.

Is it any good?

From the pride and camaraderie of "Jet Song" to the sassy "America," the beautiful love duets "Tonight" and "Somewhere," and the complex "Quintet" and "A Boy Like That," this show boasts musical gem after gem. The music is beautiful and touching, bawdy and exciting, tense and tragic. If your family loved the movie, you and your kids will want to experience it again and again with this soundtrack.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how racism is learned and how to help abolish it. You could also discuss how economic and social factors can contribute to a divided society, and ask your children how they can create better outlets for their energy and emotions.

Music details

Our editors recommend

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

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