MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Two Chicago nightclub performers in the 1920s, one established and the other one aspiring, commit murder and end up in the Cook County Jail in this big screen version of the Broadway musical. The singing and dancing arent as good as Broadway but are done commendably and are certainly entertaining. When aspiring song-and-dance gal Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) shoots and kills her lover, she is arrested and sent to jail by the assistant attorney general who proclaims that this is a hanging offense. When she arrives in prison, she is excited to find one of her idols, nightclub entertainer Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who has earned her stay by shooting her husband and her singing partner sister. Corrupt prison matron Momma Morton (Queen Latifah) puts the women in contact with flamboyant defense attorney Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), who has never lost a case. The two vie for the affections of both the public and Flynn.

The musical numbers help relay the story, but their lyrics are a large part of the negative rating for Chicago. While there is little nudity, most of the costumes are revealing low-cut tops and short skirts, following the historical style of the flappers in the roaring 20s and several of the numbers have suggestive dancing and lyrics. Overall, the film has a naughty tone. The judicial system is portrayed as a three-ring circus, easily manipulated by crafty attorneys. Corruption fills the city, and murder is seen as entertainment. Lying and deceit are done in a comic fashion, and the few characters that attempt to do things the right way come off as buffoons. One positive is the realistic portrayal of the publics preoccupation with greed and celebrity, and the fleeting nature of fame. However, a casual attitude toward adultery, sex and morals in general; several instances of profanity and obscenities; brief violence; along with sexual overtones earn Chicago a negative acceptability.

Preview Reviewer: Bob Nusser

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Mild: Few times; Strong: Several times

Obscene Language: Many times S-word (5), genital slang

Profanity: Many times GD (5), G, OMG, C, JC, C sakes, others

Violence: Few times Woman thrown against wall, two shootings, men punched, men kicked in crotch, woman shown being executed by hanging

Sex: None

Nudity: Several times Several low-cut tops, short skirts, underwear, lingerie, cleavage shown (no graphic nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times References to female breasts, sexual sounds coming from bedroom, couple seen laying on top of each other, womans rear end grabbed, many instances of suggestive motions, lyrics in musical numbers, slang references to sexual acts

Drugs: Many times Alcohol consumed in club scenes, several characters smoke cigarettes throughout

Other: Adultery treated lightly, judicial system seen as easily manipulated, woman told to leave God out of prayer and rely on what she is more familiar with, fame shown as fleeting, lying and deceit portrayed as commendable, casual moral attitude

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adult

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.