Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, Chicago earns that highest of praises -- I can't wait to see it again.
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.
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.
New York Post:
Chicago improves upon the long-running Broadway show by Kander and Ebb in many ways.
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.
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.
As sentimental as a plywood casket, Chicago has satirical bite and a mean wit that somehow never obscures its characters' unlikely likability.
This film adaptation, written by Bill Condon, is somewhat kinder and gentler than the stage versions that preceded it.
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.
With few respites, Marshall keeps the energy humming, and his edits, unlike those in Moulin Rouge, are crisp and purposeful without overdoing it.
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.
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.
The best thing you can say about Chicago is that it's a great advertisement for the real, live thing.
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.
The film has punch, but it never really conveys the delicious, redeeming sense that life can be lived on the hoof.
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.
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.
Leggy Zeta-Jones is so hot in the 'All That Jazz' number, she's flammable. And Zellweger defines delicious.
Chicago is sophisticated, brash, sardonic, completely joyful in its execution.
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.
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.
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.
Big, bright, brassy and almost dangerous to know, Chicago does to sceptics what Al Capone did to stool pigeons.
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.
Marshall betrays the dancing by never letting us see it properly.
It's part of the basic Zeta-Jones bio that she can really sing, and, wow, can she.
A stylish cast and some clever scripting solutions help Chicago make the transition from stage to screen with considerable appeal intact.
Zellweger has gone about the business of making her Roxie huggable -- which is as exhausting for us as it is for her.
This Chicago doesn't toddle, it swings, it Lindy Hops, it Charlestons the night away, and probably all your woes along with it.
Not since the 1972 Cabaret has there been a movie musical this stirring, intelligent and exciting.