Chicago 2002

Critics score:
86 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Chicago is my kind of movie musical. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: With its instantly catchy score, imaginative choreography and rat-tat-tat pacing, Chicago is as weighty as a bag of cotton candy, and just as addictive. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: The real star of this movie is the score, as in the songs translate well to film, and it's really well directed. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: It's fun, splashy and entertainingly nasty. Read more

Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times: It's Zeta-Jones who keeps you watching from start to finish. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It prances. It struts. It kicks up its heels. It bumps and grinds and gyrates and works up a sweat and has a cigarette afterwards. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: In Marshall's virtuoso hands, this movie version of the 1975 Bob Fosse Broadway musical based on the 1942 Ginger Rogers movie Roxie Hart based on the 1926 play Chicago, the rhinestones shimmer like diamonds and brass glows like solid gold. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Overall, Chicago earns that highest of praises -- I can't wait to see it again. Read more

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times: The fabulous bones of this oft-told tale have been picked over so often that there's no flesh left on them. But Mr. Marshall and the screenwriter Bill Condon get a terrifically sweet concoction out of this fabled skeleton. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: The song-and-dance numbers are calisthenic but unspectacular, with too much fast cutting, and the tone throughout is harmlessly facetious. Read more

Jonathan Foreman, New York Post: Chicago improves upon the long-running Broadway show by Kander and Ebb in many ways. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Chicago is, in many ways, an admirable achievement. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: This Oscar-laden movie rendition, directed by Rob Marshall, suffers from the kind of ants-in-your-pants MTV editing that prevents you from simply watching and enjoying the musical numbers. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Rob Marshall's screen version of the near-venerable show looks great, in its razzly-dazzly neo-Fosse way, and sounds good, especially when Renee Zellweger's gorgeous Roxie Hart is singing her heart out. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: When you leave the theater, you're all jazzed up and ready to go back for another dose of razzle-dazzle. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: As sentimental as a plywood casket, Chicago has satirical bite and a mean wit that somehow never obscures its characters' unlikely likability. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This film adaptation, written by Bill Condon, is somewhat kinder and gentler than the stage versions that preceded it. Read more

Ben Nuckols, Associated Press: With performers as good as these and the freshness of Bill Condon's screenplay and Marshall's direction, there's really very little wrong with Chicago. What it lacks is something intangible -- heat. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: With few respites, Marshall keeps the energy humming, and his edits, unlike those in Moulin Rouge, are crisp and purposeful without overdoing it. Read more

John Moore, Denver Post: Much more than one of the best movies of the year, Chicago is destined to become the most popular screen adaptation of a stage musical since Grease. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: By the end of Chicago, just about everyone in it has razzle-dazzled someone, and so has the movie, which leaves you thrilled at how good it feels to see life, death, and girl power turned, once again, into a cabaret. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Gives everyone something to shout about. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, L.A. Weekly: That rare thing: a nutritious hard candy. Read more

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: The net effect of the incessant dazzle is depressing. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The best thing you can say about Chicago is that it's a great advertisement for the real, live thing. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones put on quite a show in Rob Marshall's dazzling cinematic rethinking of the 1975 Kander and Ebb musical directed by Bob Fosse. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The film has punch, but it never really conveys the delicious, redeeming sense that life can be lived on the hoof. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: For sheer, audacious musical entertainment it tops last year's Moulin Rouge, and ranks among the greatest adapted Broadway shows ever. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It's not nearly as rousing as the Broadway revival (then again, it's rare that the cinematic version of a musical comes close to the stage incarnation), but, for those unable or unwilling to see a live production, it represents a sparkling replacement. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Big, brassy fun. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Leggy Zeta-Jones is so hot in the 'All That Jazz' number, she's flammable. And Zellweger defines delicious. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Chicago is sophisticated, brash, sardonic, completely joyful in its execution. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Chicago is everything a musical is supposed to be, with good songs sung by people who sing well, and with lots of sexy dances featuring women who are gorgeous and men who don't get in the way. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Rob Marshall's film of Chicago isn't just the most explosively entertaining movie musical in a couple of decades. It's going to be the most influential. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Chicago is sexy, sordid and sensational, the Windy City's biggest hit since the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: The movie is appealing, thanks to the cleverness of the Kander-Ebb songs and the enthusiasm of the performances, but it lacks any urgency or erotic spark. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Big, bright, brassy and almost dangerous to know, Chicago does to sceptics what Al Capone did to stool pigeons. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Chicago has so much razzle-dazzle that viewers may end up both raised and dazed. It's remorselessly inventive, trying anything fast and sassy to keep you watching. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: Marshall betrays the dancing by never letting us see it properly. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: It's part of the basic Zeta-Jones bio that she can really sing, and, wow, can she. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: A stylish cast and some clever scripting solutions help Chicago make the transition from stage to screen with considerable appeal intact. Read more

Dennis Lim, Village Voice: Zellweger has gone about the business of making her Roxie huggable -- which is as exhausting for us as it is for her. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: This Chicago doesn't toddle, it swings, it Lindy Hops, it Charlestons the night away, and probably all your woes along with it. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Not since the 1972 Cabaret has there been a movie musical this stirring, intelligent and exciting. Read more