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(2002) (Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones) (PG-13)

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Musical: Two jailed singers compete for the media attention a hotshot lawyer could bring them in this adaptation of Bob Fosse's stage production.
It's 1920s Chicago and Roxie Hart (RENEE ZELLWEGER) is an aspiring singer and performer who's hoping that Fred Casely (DOMINIC WEST) can get her into show business. Unfortunately, he's using her just for sex. Shocked, upset and feeling used, she then shoots and kills him. Despite the efforts of her supportive, but passive husband, Amos (JOHN C. REILLY), she's sent to prison to await her trial.

There, she meets Mama Morton (QUEEN LATIFAH), the prison official who runs the place through bribes and other forms of corruption, as well as Velma Kelly (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES), the singer/performer she sees as her idol. Despite a flourishing career with her sister, Velma ended up killing her and her husband, resulting in her incarceration. Fortunately for her, hotshot defense attorney Billy Flynn (RICHARD GERE) is representing her, and he's yet to lose a case.

Yet, when he meets Roxie, he decides to make her his star client since it will bring him better press through the likes of friendly journalist Mary Sunshine (CHRISTINE BARANSKI) and others. Soon, Roxie's a household name, resulting in Velma becoming jealous of this upstart and the attention she's receiving.

As a bandleader (TAYE DIGGS) introduces various musical numbers that symbolize plot developments, exposition and the characters' mindsets, and prosecutor Harrison (COLM FEORE) brings up Roxie's case, the two women repeatedly try to upstage the other and worry that new murderesses, such as Kitty (LUCY LIU), might steal their limelight.

If they're into musicals or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might be interested in it.
For sexual content and dialogue, violence and thematic elements.
  • RENEE ZELLWEGER plays an aspiring singer/performer who ends up killing the man with whom she was having an affair (in hopes that he'd get her a break in showbiz). Once imprisoned, she then becomes conceited once she becomes the next big thing in the media and she works to maintain the status.
  • CATHERINE ZETA-JONES plays a lounge singer/performer who kills her sister and husband, uses some profanity, smokes, drinks and is upset about Billy switching over to Roxie as his "star" client.
  • RICHARD GERE plays a successful defense attorney who's more interested in promoting his own career than in whatever happens to his defendants, although he never loses a case. He smokes and uses some profanity.
  • QUEEN LATIFAH plays the corrupt prison official who takes bribes and other such "gifts" in exchange for helping certain prisoners. She uses some profanity, drinks and smokes.
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays Roxie's husband who sticks with her despite her having an affair, killing her lover and stating she's pregnant by another man.
  • TAYE DIGGS plays the bandleader in a club who briefly smokes.
  • CHRISTINE BARANSKI plays a journalist known for her positive coverage of Billy's clients.
  • LUCY LIU plays a woman who draws Billy's interest after she kills her cheating husband and the women he was with.
  • DOMINIC WEST plays Roxie's victim who was using her just for sex while leading her on to think he could get her in show business.
  • COLM FEORE plays the prosecutor in Roxie's case.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a look at the content that's found in this musical that's been rated PG-13. It should be noted that not everything is played for realism, but rather most of it comes across in a stylized or light musical comedy fashion.

    Profanity consists of at least 6 "s" words and some slang terms for sex, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Various bits of sexually related dialogue, innuendo and song lyrics are present, while scantily clad women are seen cavorting in various musical numbers.

    Parts of a sexual encounter are seen with movement, body contact and related sounds, while another scene suggests three-way sex and includes some brief nudity. All of those encounters involve cheating spouses, and they all result in people being murdered via gunfire (but with very little blood). Other bad attitudes are present, along with other forms of violence including some brief striking and one scene involving capital punishment.

    Meanwhile, various characters smoke and/or drink and some brief drug references are made. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • People drink in a club where a man gives Roxie a flask.
  • Amos mentions going out for beer with the guys.
  • A person mentions opium and cocaine when asking questions of Roxie as a new prisoner.
  • Various people have drinks.
  • Mama pours liquor for herself and Roxie.
  • A person comments that they didn't ask Roxie about being drunk or on dope.
  • Amos has a beer in front of him.
  • Various people drink.
  • Mama and Velma drink.
  • Some people drink.
  • We hear Fred urinating.
  • We see some blood on a man's shirt after he's been shot.
  • We see a black and white photo of a murder victim who has blood on their shirt.
  • While not played for realism, but rather light musical comedy, the following is present:
  • We hear that Velma killed her sister and husband (who were having an affair - not seen).
  • Roxie cheats on Amos in an effort to get ahead in showbiz and then shoots Fred when she realizes he was just using her for sex.
  • A man grabs Roxie's butt.
  • To protect Roxie, Amos lies about being the one who shot Fred dead.
  • Mama Morton is a corrupt prison official who takes bribes, etc.
  • Velma has a condescending attitude toward Roxie in prison.
  • Billy concocts a false past history for Roxie to try to get the jury's sympathy.
  • We hear that Kitty killed her husband and the two women he was having an affair with.
  • Roxie calls Billy a "mick" and lets her "celebrity" status go to her head.
  • For those opposed to capital punishment, a female inmate is executed via hanging (and we see the lower part of her body swinging from a rope after it's done).
  • A female inmate is executed via hanging (and we see the lower part of her body swinging from a rope after it's done).
  • Velma hides a handgun at the club (that she used to kill her husband and sister).
  • Roxie uses a handgun to shoot and kill Fred.
  • Prison guards carrying shotguns.
  • Kitty uses a gun to shoot her husband and his two lovers dead.
  • We hear gunshots from out on the street and then see that a person was shot dead (no blood).
  • Velma and Roxie hold Tommy guns while doing a musical number on the stage.
  • Phrases: "I don't give a sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "No one will give a sh*t about you," "Cock and bull story," "Bastard," "Make your life a living hell," "Fat ass," "Dame" (woman), "Shut up," "Go to hell," "What the hell /do I care/happened?" "Knocked up" (pregnant), "Give a damn," "You're damn right," "Saving your ass," "Mick" (Irish person) and "Jeez."
  • A man grabs Roxie's butt.
  • We see a miscellaneous person with a tattoo.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Not all lyrics in the various songs could be heard, thus presenting the possibility that some of them could have potentially objectionable lyrics (including in the form of innuendo, etc.).
  • A song has the lyrics, "Where the gin is cold and the piano is hot." Another has something about something running up between her legs and "she'll put out for you" and "You stroke Mama, Mama's stroking you" (innuendo). Another, the Cell Block Tango, has various women singing about how they murdered the men in their lives (and there's mention of one "screwing the milkman"), while Velma mentions finding her husband and sister sister doing "Number 17, the spread eagle." Another mentions "jazz and liquor." Another mentions "boobs" and has an introduction by Roxie talking about Fred "making love" to her.
  • At least 6 "s" words, 4 slang terms for sex ("screwing"), 1 slang term for breasts ("boobs"), 4 hells, 3 asses, 3 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 7 uses of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Holy mother of God," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • During various musical numbers, we see a great deal of leg/upper thigh and partial butt shots on many of the female performers who do some suggestive dancing while some suggestive lyrics are present as well. Another number has women singing in their bras, panties and stockings, showing off lots of skin with more suggestive dancing and one spreads her legs on the floor while telling her tale in the song. Another song shows women in their bras and panties/lingerie with some suggestive dancing (moving their butts around a man's face) and showing cleavage. In another, the camera focuses on the clothed crotch areas of various women, while a later one features more women in showgirl type costumes that show varying amounts of skin.
  • A man grabs Roxie's butt and we then see her kissing him.
  • We see Roxie and Fred fooling around in a scene inter-cut with the opening musical number set in a club. We see quick shots of the removal of stockings and a shirt and then him on top of her with kissing and heavy breathing and sexual sounds. We see movement in a head and shoulders shot and hear more sounds and he then stops on top of her as both are partially under the covers (in a full shot).
  • Roxie tells Fred that if she found Amos "slipping into someone else" (having sex), she'd throw a party. Fred eventually tells her the truth about the fact that he would have said anything "to get a piece of that" (referring to her). He then says that her husband is going to be home soon and that she should "wash yourself before you go spreading those legs again."
  • Roxie shows some cleavage.
  • During a musical number scene, Roxie does some pelvic thrusting while in a nightgown and garters.
  • When Roxie states that Fred was trying to burgle her, a cop says he heard the guy was trying to "burgle" her several times a month (innuendo).
  • Mama Morton shows a great deal of cleavage in several scenes.
  • There's mention of someone "screwing the milkman" in a song.
  • During a musical number, Velma mentions finding her husband and sister sister doing "Number 17, the spread eagle" and there's a shot of a couple standing in the 69 position (the man holding the woman upside down against him with her legs spread - but both are clothed).
  • Roxie comments that when a guy "made love to me, it was like he was fixing a carburetor" (and then says, "I love you honey" while sounding like a starting car). A gesture is made like feeling a woman's breasts and a comment is made about "screwing around." During this, the camera focuses on Roxie's clothed rear in a short dress.
  • Velma shows some cleavage.
  • Kitty returns home to find her husband in bed with two women and there's some brief and partial nudity.
  • We see Kitty in her bra.
  • After a doctor confirms that Roxie is pregnant (which Billy knows isn't true), Billy sarcastically tells the doctor, "Then button your fly."
  • Billy asks Amos about Roxie being pregnant. Comments are made about "copulating" with Amos saying they hadn't done that for months.
  • Velma shows cleavage.
  • Velma smokes at least 8 times, Mama and Billy (cigars) each smoke several times, while many miscellaneous characters smoke throughout the film.
  • Some cigarettes are passed around in prison, Mama offers Roxie a cigarette but she declines, and Billy gives Amos a cigar.
  • None of the following is played for realism.
  • We hear that Velma killed her sister and husband.
  • Roxie's various actions (including having an affair) put a strain on her marriage to Amos.
  • Kitty discovers her husband in bed with two women and kills all of them.
  • Crimes of passion.
  • Desiring fame and celebrity, and the consequences thereof.
  • How some lawyers try to manipulate juries and the press during their cases.
  • Capital punishment.
  • Not everything is played for realism, but rather comes across in a stylized or light musical comedy fashion.
  • We hear that Velma killed her sister and husband (who were having an affair - not seen).
  • After Roxie goes on about her dreams, Fred pushes her backwards and tells her the truth about him and them. He then pushes her backwards again into something and threatens her. As he then begins to leave, she shoots him several times, killing him, and we see some blood on his shirt.
  • Kitty shoots her husband and his two lovers (nothing graphic), killing all three.
  • Kitty kicks a photographer and then delivers a kick to the crotch.
  • A female inmate is executed via hanging (we don't see the actual death, but we do see the lower part of her body swinging from a rope after it's done).
  • We hear gunshots from out on the street and then see that a person was shot dead (no blood).

  • Reviewed December 6, 2002 / Posted December 27, 2002

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