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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 21.49%
Just Average: 7.02%
Pretty Crappy: 3.72%
Sucks: 17.77%

10 reviews, 182 user ratings

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by Carina Hoskisson

"Murder never looked so dazzling!"
4 stars

Movie musicals. Those fantasy Busby Berkley sequences, the pointless synchronized swimming—and oh the costumes! You wished with all your heart you could move like Ginger, sing like Judy or be loved by Gene. Yeah, most of the stories were predictable or constant retreads but who cares when the room is moving upside down? If the musical made Fred Astaire cool it could make anyone the cat’s meow. As any feature of pop-culture, we got tired of the good and the bad. The movie musical became the most un-hip thing since hip implants. For almost thirty years the musical was only roused from its coma for brief terrible hiccups (1978’s Sergeant Pepper’s anyone?) But thanks to the neo-musical king Baz Luhrmann, the genre was born again. Moulin Rouge shattered the perception that musicals are the stodgy Minnesota cousin of the movies. And its about to happen again—long live Chicago!

A plague besets Chicago! Booze, jazz and loose morals are wrecking Gomorrah-like havoc! No sweet virginal woman can escape those clutches. Poor Roxie Hart, she’s shot her lover because he’s a lying abusive jerk—the jazz made her do it. The next thing she knows she’s in the clink facing a hanging.
Ok, so it’s not so rotten. Roxie is two cells over from Velma Kelly, Hart's showbiz idol, who killed her sister and her lover. The big house ain’t so bad: Big Mama Thornton will take care of you, the publicity is pretty good and the state of Illinois has never actually executed a woman.
Roxie Hart finds that life in lockup is better then life outside with her nobody husband. Roxie’s dreams of Broadway lights and Vaudeville nights are taking shape—but will she beat the rap? Enter Billy Flynn, lawyer extraordinaire, who’s never lost a case. With the help of the media and the good courts of Chicago, he isn’t about to lose Roxie’s either.

Catherine Zeta-Jones’s Velma is cool, hard and so much fun. Zeta-Jones can sing and although not the most amazing dancer, her grace and sizzle carry the rest of the way. Renee Zellwegger is appropriate as the shy Roxie. Her performance grows with the explosion of the character. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Renee give such a brassy manipulative send up and I loved every moment of it. Gere's Flynn is smarmy and slick—things that he carries off far too well. Big Mama Thornton is scary with the right touch of humor, a tribute to Latifah’s growing talent. I was touched by John C. Reilly’s portrayal of Amos Hart, Roxie’s long-suffering husband. Reilly continually imbues humanity into the characters that least deserve it. Amos is entirely forgettable, but Reilly isn’t.

The problem with musicals is where do you insert the hoofing without looking contrived? Chicago succeeds by making Roxie’s coping mechanism a way to present numbers. While the audience sees the characters ironing clothes, Roxie sees a Charleston line. We see a dejected Hungarian woman in prison garb lament the loss of her love and Mrs. Hart views a ballerina en tutu pirouetting. The device works.
The cinematography is flashy and razzle-dazzle, but isn't that the least of what you'd expect? Even people who dislike musicals will get a kick out of the story and the pacing.

For fans of the show: the movie’s been sanitized. Some of the sexuality has been toned down, but I don’t think that it has lost the edge. Chicago is still raunchy enough to raise some serious midwestern eyebrows. The musical numbers are a surprising rush. I defy you to come out of Chicago without the Cell Block Tango running circles in your head.

Chicago is the perfect mix of a movie and a show. It is entertaining, fun and totally exhilarating. You get the best of a Broadway show without the flight to New York. Welcome back musicals—I have missed you so!

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6494&reviewer=44
originally posted: 02/11/03 14:04:03
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User Comments

8/19/18 Charles Tatum Solid musical, would have loved to see what Fosse could have done with it 4 stars
3/26/18 Suzanne Loved "All that Jazz." Could listen all day. 4 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell good musical 4 stars
2/08/17 Louise Exhuberant musical. Zeta-Jones great but Zellweger miscast. 5 stars
1/07/17 Anne Great musical, effective farce on the legal system! 4 stars
3/02/15 mira storm the two towers or the pianist should've won FUCK ACADEMY 1 stars
8/16/12 edutra awful 1 stars
2/23/12 Andy Best movie musical in years, actually 4 stars
8/06/11 tomA For a guy who doesn't like musicals, I have to admit, I enjoyed this movie 5 stars
12/05/09 Jeff Wilder Overblown sure. But entertaining 4 stars
8/01/09 Samantha Pruitt loved this movie, the music is super addicting! 5 stars
4/07/08 beau good! but not as good 'across the universe' but i enjoyed the acting and the songs 4 stars
1/26/08 Pamela White 15 seconds of fame or how to beat a rap 4 stars
3/15/07 becca umm wasn't so crazy about it 1 stars
2/22/07 Weblynx total fun, vampy, and would watch this a bunch of times 5 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I was obsessed with this when it came out. I still like it, but the obsession is gone. 5 stars
1/28/07 Stanley Thai Filled with high energy and great music, Chicago is a great film! 5 stars
1/28/07 Lisa Craven Catherine & Renee were outstanding & I'd love to party with them. 5 stars
10/03/06 Jim L. Burden Great Entertainment! 5 stars
4/20/06 Becky If you don't like musicals, obviously don't see this. Its a great revamp of it, tho. 5 stars
3/30/06 Thomas Semesky The iPod idiots won't like this musical, but it's a classic with great performances. 5 stars
1/02/06 Wiseman I really hated how they didnt warn me it was a Musical, i was so fucking pissed off. 1 stars
12/21/05 cody this movie got best picture, what were thinking, only good in this flim is the acting,stunk 1 stars
10/30/05 Wisamane Ide rather have sex with a meat grinder 1 stars
10/13/05 Jack Garrett The worst musical since Lion King on Ice, RUBBISH! 1 stars
10/04/05 Jesse Taylor The best musical ever. The performances, espcially Zeta-Jones' are outstanding! 5 stars
6/20/05 Bob Kendleton Hammer hammer 3 stars
5/12/05 Jennifer Regan Very entertaining, so much talent 5 stars
4/21/05 Pippin007 This movie is SOO boring! Hoe did it lose to LOTR The Two Towers??????? 1 stars
4/17/05 ELI screeeeeeeeeeeeew yoooooooooooooou 5 stars
4/16/05 nole bore fest. save your money and time, complete garbage.... 1 stars
3/25/05 Denise good 4 stars
2/22/05 gracecchu Took my mother to watch it in the theater, not a bad flick. 4 stars
2/22/05 Joseph Venanzi editing makes anyone look like Gene Kelly 3 stars
2/20/05 fiona fan-bloody-tastic. What Moulin Rouge shouldn've been! 4 stars
2/18/05 Brenda Riley I loved it, hubby hated it! 5 stars
2/18/05 Shel ACK! I was asleep 5 minutes into it 1 stars
2/17/05 Eileen Lammers Loved it... bought it!! 5 stars
2/16/05 Dusty Johnson For a musical I thought it was great. 5 stars
2/16/05 Lisa Jochelson This movie kept me interested from begining to end. 5 stars
2/15/05 Miranda Lahr Great film, that man in boxers ooo 5 stars
2/12/05 Charlene Javier Renee and Catherine were excellent! 5 stars
2/11/05 Aimee Shelton This film, like Moulin Rouge, wasn't nearly as good as all its hype. 3 stars
2/11/05 ray booooring 1 stars
2/11/05 Kenneth Flickstein Great work. Music, dance and STYLE! 5 stars
2/11/05 rebecca gilbert wasn't as much as it was made out to be 3 stars
10/14/04 MARZ BORING 1 stars
9/07/04 Douglas Reese I LOVE THIS MOVIE A WHOLE LOT!!! :) 5 stars
8/18/04 courtney loved it for a musical great cast and make ya wona dance songs 5 stars
8/08/04 usef boring 1 stars
7/19/04 DM Fuck "Moulin Rouge!"; this musical has the goods 5 stars
6/30/04 Daveman A competent stage to screen adaptation of this musical/satire but grossly overrated. 4 stars
6/26/04 May I absolutly love this movie!!! Everyone should see it. 5 stars
6/25/04 M REAL acting, brings back the spirit of movie making. 5 stars
5/18/04 tina a complete bore! 1 stars
5/12/04 Vacha not all that's it's hyped up to be, but the coreography was great and so were the songs. 4 stars
4/24/04 Carla i loved the music, and the story is hilariously unreal. 5 stars
4/17/04 valerie hart great movie if you like musicles exciting scenes which make you wonna sing along 4 stars
4/16/04 Michael Greenwaldt A highly entertaining toe-tapper with very catchy songs and awesome musical numbers! 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 i thought this was supposed to be an awesome movie , it gave me a headache 1 stars
3/06/04 Jaco Visser Entriguing to the end! A musical masterpiece! 5 stars
2/28/04 chicago a bust how on earth did this win best picture. watching this was pure torture. 1 stars
2/12/04 Christopher Fantastic Musical 5 stars
2/09/04 c.r one of most dummiest musicals movie of all time! 2 stars
1/24/04 124 dribble. such boring putrid! 1 stars
1/22/04 Phil M. Aficionado Innovative and eye popping. Saw it twice and loved it both times. Bravo!!!! 5 stars
1/15/04 Voice of Reason Academy eats shit for giving oscars to this harpy vomit! "Total Crap" is too complimentary. 1 stars
1/11/04 Atanu An acute case of the emperor's new clothes. And zeta jones is Not classy. 1 stars
1/08/04 Chlo Gyllenhaal And all that jazz!!! 5 stars
1/06/04 George COOL 5 stars
1/02/04 A F FANTISTICly boring. Renee is a bad actress. 1 stars
1/01/04 christopher fantastic 5 stars
12/26/03 ezio boring 2 stars
12/19/03 regis what dribble. laughable 1 stars
12/10/03 christine awesome!!! i could watch it atleast 10 times in a row! 5 stars
12/06/03 sux aweful film. puts you to sleep. 1 stars
12/02/03 Chris Brilliant musical. 5 stars
11/21/03 benice overrated 2 stars
11/16/03 Lara BRILL!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/25/03 gera pretty boring 1 stars
10/17/03 Nunzeo I thought this movie was good. Wow the academy has really lost there minds! 1 stars
10/14/03 Jasper The Imp The Two Towers was robbed of glory by this piece of crap!!! 2 stars
10/11/03 jackson boring movie, more of a chik flick.... 1 stars
10/04/03 Karen Moore Blows UNFORGIVEN way out of the water as worst "best picture" winner ever! 1 stars
9/24/03 fern catherine zeta is a wonderful singer, she should more 4 stars
9/18/03 oOgA_BoOgA absouletely great how could u not love it 5 stars
9/12/03 Monster W. Kung Overrated, but certainly better than that Moulin Rouge drivel (but hey, what isn't?) 3 stars
9/07/03 Amanda extremly enjoyable, awsome soundtrack 4 stars
9/02/03 Kyle Pretty good (for a musical). Wished Queen L. had more than 1 number though! 4 stars
9/01/03 gary a lot of people got up and left during the movie. it was pretty boring. 2 stars
8/27/03 samantha harris 1hr 40mins of total crap! waste of money 1 stars
8/26/03 Katie everyone who says they don't like oviously has no class (pardon the pun!) 5 stars
8/24/03 Stacey Wonderful I can't stop watching it! 5 stars
8/16/03 robbie keane thought i'd enjoy this one.............save your money not worth it! 1 stars
8/07/03 terrence what was this.......complete garbage 1 stars
7/29/03 Eliza It beats Moulan Rouge 5 stars
7/29/03 Abby Who ever said that this movie is crap they are out of their minds it is the best musical 5 stars
7/17/03 Chris Whatever happened to musicals? Chicago tells us we need to make more just like it. 5 stars
7/15/03 BAD BAD 2 stars
7/13/03 STEW whats all the hoopla 2 stars
7/11/03 ingred prolly the years biggest let down.....what a shame 1 stars
7/02/03 susan wakefield wake me when it's over..... 1 stars
7/01/03 ken really dumb 1 stars
6/29/03 John Bale Sweet Charity meets Gentleman Prefer Blondes raunchy vigorous jazz musical technically tops 5 stars
6/25/03 hugh more lke shitago 1 stars
6/24/03 Jack Andrews awesome... it blew my mind away! 5 stars
6/20/03 George Jung Perfect unless you're a dumbass. 5 stars
6/15/03 caramel jenkins boring.....not a very intelligent film 1 stars
6/13/03 not impressed can u say BORING 1 stars
6/12/03 janice to bland too boring.....what a dissappointment 2 stars
6/11/03 Hepta Hooty Worst movie of 2002. Worst "Best Picture" winner ever. Sucks zombie turds! 1 stars
6/08/03 Chuck Perfect... uncool for 20 year olds 5 stars
6/06/03 tonya was'nt impressed 1 stars
5/23/03 TheOthersFan a lot like Moulin Rouge, except for one thing: it's a good movie 5 stars
5/16/03 Mrs.Bloom fabalous couldnt believe how amazing this film was a must see 5 stars
5/16/03 Turtle Never has a musical been so enjoyable! And Richard Gere CAN sing! 5 stars
5/15/03 Piz As a natural hater of musicals, this one was pretty good 4 stars
5/15/03 Chris A wonderful movie ! totally amazing. 5 stars
5/07/03 Magicalme wow good film 5 stars
5/04/03 Catherine loved it 5 stars
5/03/03 boring boring 1 stars
5/03/03 stacy please save ur money. 1 stars
5/01/03 mackie i loved it 1 stars
4/29/03 trojan helen dirty American film 3 stars
4/12/03 Joesco Top notch - Renee unexpectedly good but CZJ outclasses her as a singer/dancer 5 stars
4/07/03 Mystique I love jazz ! 5 stars
4/07/03 Jim CZJ is not only a murderer, she's a thief -- she steals this movie. 4 stars
4/06/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng The BEST movie I've seen so far this year. I can't even try to describe how much I love it! 5 stars
4/04/03 Jack Sommersby Not a classic, but a colorful and entertaining ride. Zellweger is sensational. 4 stars
4/03/03 Dominique Black Best movie I have ever seen! 5 stars
3/30/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik I love it, though it doesn't deserve Best Film. 5 stars
3/28/03 Shaun full of glitter and stage lights and all that jazz 4 stars
3/26/03 Jen It was pretty good, did have some slow points though. 4 stars
3/26/03 Morgan Chicago is the best movie ever, Well worth the effort! 5 stars
3/24/03 guisada Chicago is EXCELLENT. 5 stars
3/22/03 Cherry U HATES HAVE NO MUSICAL TASTE!.. EAT SUSHI! 5 stars
3/20/03 Michael A beyond excellent experience. The whole movie theatre was in complete awe. 5 stars
3/20/03 Natty Brilliant from start to finish. 5 stars
3/20/03 Beach Nagisa IT IS GREAT and AMAZING!!!! 5 stars
3/19/03 bam great 5 stars
3/18/03 Denise Gomez It's Phenomenal! 5 stars
3/18/03 HE GREAT 5 stars
3/17/03 Shadaan Felfeli A GREAT musical. After seeing 'The Hours'...this is very refreshing indeed. 4 stars
3/17/03 Ed it was a great film... i enjoyed it very much. 5 stars
3/17/03 Sharna i luv it! 5 stars
3/16/03 Denise Reibel I've seen it twice and can't get it out of my head. It's addictive. 5 stars
3/16/03 Chloe Fantabulous, brilliant! 5 stars
3/16/03 TouchyRogue THIS MOVIE ROCKED! 5 stars
3/15/03 Shaun brillent acting and adaption singing a bit weak in parts but catherine shines 4 stars
3/10/03 Hawkeye "And he ran into my knife. He ran into my knife ten times!" Great stuff. 5 stars
3/10/03 George Raft Great movie! Great music! Finally, an American film at its' best! 5 stars
3/07/03 frank roberts. outstanding fast-paced, great singing and dancing zellweger and jones perfectly cast, 5 stars
3/01/03 JH Coverse Wonderful!! Fantastic!! Awsome!! Zellweger was fabulous !! 5 stars
3/01/03 !! THE BEST FILM 5 stars
2/24/03 ownerofdajoint all stars...what a great flick... 5 stars
2/21/03 Mitsaso Jazzy! 5 stars
2/17/03 LoonyGoon The movie musical is back! 5 stars
2/15/03 R.W. Welch Remarkably polished and energetic musical -- exceptional performances, camera work, editing 5 stars
2/15/03 Jeff It sucked all ass 1 stars
2/13/03 V.K I loved it! it was the best! 5 stars
2/10/03 Goofy Maxwell Great, but tiresome. A little Bazzle-dazzle mighta woken my azz up. 4 stars
2/08/03 Kooler Zzzzzz. Zellweger about as compelling in this role as a dog scratching itself. 3 stars
2/02/03 thejames Not bad film, but not great. 3 stars
2/02/03 scott A GREAT FILM 5 stars
1/30/03 Jake exhilarating! 5 stars
1/28/03 Angolmois I hate musicals but I almost enjoyed this one. 3 stars
1/28/03 Angry Black Man Would have been better if REAL singers were cast. 4 stars
1/28/03 Ed Parry A fabulous film. I actually wanted to applaud some of the musical numbers in the cinema! 5 stars
1/24/03 Matthew Smith exhilarating from start to finish 5 stars
1/21/03 Jen Good film....Good acting....except for Richard Gere 4 stars
1/20/03 LessThanColleen Awesome music with wonderful actors to go alone with it 5 stars
1/20/03 Andrew Callaway Great New Orleans jazz soundtrack... a good film, too. 4 stars
1/17/03 Art Great Flick - 5 stars
1/11/03 Suzz Remarkable film; a don't miss if you like musicals 5 stars
1/11/03 Law amazing! 5 stars
1/10/03 M Why couldn't they get REAL singers and dancers 3 stars
1/08/03 Flounder A great musical, but the liberal message leaves something to be desired. 3 stars
1/06/03 Kenmeister Well-acted and well-sung with a high energy cast. 5 stars
12/31/02 Dave Weston A brilliant film interpretation of a classic musical 5 stars
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  27-Dec-2002 (R)
  DVD: 20-Dec-2005



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