Critics Consensus

A rousing and energetic adaptation of the Broadway musical, Chicago succeeds on the level pure spectacle, but provides a surprising level of depth and humor as well.



Total Count: 255


Audience Score

User Ratings: 439,402
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Movie Info

A starry-eyed would-be star discovers just how far the notion that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" can go in this screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Chicago, originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. In the mid-'20s, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is a small-time chorus dancer married to a well-meaning dunderhead named Amos (John C. Reilly). Roxie is having an affair on the side with Fred Casley (Dominic West), a smooth talker who insists he can make her a star. However, Fred strings Roxie along a bit too far for his own good, and when she realizes that his promises are empty, she becomes enraged and murders Fred in cold blood. Roxie soon finds herself behind bars alongside Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a sexy vaudeville star who used to perform with her sister until Velma discovered that her sister had been sleeping with her husband. Velma shot them both dead, and, after scheming prison matron "Mama" Morton hooks Velma up with hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), Velma becomes the new Queen of the scandal sheets. Roxie is just shrewd enough to realize that her poor fortune could also bring her fame, so she convinces Amos to also hire Flynn. Soon Flynn is splashing Roxie's story -- or, more accurately, a highly melodramatic revision of Roxie's story -- all over the gutter press, and Roxy and Velma are soon battling neck-to-neck over who can win greater fame through the headlines. A project that had been moving from studio to studio since the musical opened on Broadway in 1973, Chicago also features guest appearances by Lucy Liu and Christine Baranski. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Renée Zellweger
as Roxie Hart
Richard Gere
as Billy Flynn
Queen Latifah
as Matron `Mama' Morton
John C. Reilly
as Amos Hart
Dominic West
as Fred Casely
Christine Baranski
as Mary Sunshine
Lucy Liu
as Kitty Baxter
Taye Diggs
as Bandleader
Colm Feore
as Martin Harrison
Roman Podhora
as Sergeant Fogarty
Rob Smith
as Newspaper photographer
as Mona
Cliff Saunders
as Stage manager
Robbie Rox
as Prison guard
Ken Ard
as Wilbur
Marc Calamia
as Hunyak's husband
Sebastian Lacause
as June's Husband
Scott Wise
as Annie's Husband
Mike Haddad
as Mona's Husband
Steve Behal
as Prison Clerk
Joseph Scoren
as Liz's Husband
Bruce Beaton
as Police photographer
Joey Pizzi
as Bernie
Jayne Eastwood
as Mrs. Borusewicz
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News & Interviews for Chicago

Critic Reviews for Chicago

All Critics (255) | Top Critics (54) | Fresh (218) | Rotten (37)

  • In effect it is filmed theatre, but this brings its own compensations: the more fake Chicago looks, the more real it seems to get.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • What makes this more than a film of a great stage show is the way that the action spills seamlessly from the stage sets into real life. Magic.

    Feb 25, 2015 | Full Review…
  • It's a totally unexpected film, and all the more welcome -- a modern reproduction that resurrects the spirit, look and sound of a great era of Hollywood professionalism.

    Feb 25, 2015 | Full Review…
  • As sentimental as a plywood casket, Chicago has satirical bite and a mean wit that somehow never obscures its characters' unlikely likability.

    Feb 12, 2014 | Full Review…

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Feb 12, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 12, 2014

Audience Reviews for Chicago

  • Apr 03, 2016
    It always hard to adapt a musical to the big screen and it doesn't always work. But there are a few times, where it actually works pretty well, and one of those were with the musical "Chicago." This is one of my personal favorites and one of the best musical-adapated movies ever made. Rob Marshall is really a great director when it comes to these kind of movies and he does a phenomenal job with both the direction and the choreographies. Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones are amazing in this movie and they really deserve all the praise they got, but one who didn't get enough praise for his performance was Richard Gere. Gere is perfect in the role of Billy Flynn and every time I watch the movie, he continues to amaze me. The fact that he wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award is beyond my knowledge.
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 23, 2013
    Just a musical of whores/murderers trying to get away with their crimes against men and get on the marquis of Chicago nightlife. If it wasn't for the casting of Zeta-Jones and Zellweger, this film would be a discount rack flick at best. The songs you will remember only five seconds after the first listen (with the possible exception of "All that Jazz") and the dialogue, while spittingly sarcastic, falls flat. One of the more overrated and over-postered Best Picture winners.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 27, 2013
    Best Picture winner for a jazzy musical about two rival dancers/murderesses competing, all in one dazzling and brassy story about their fight for freedom and fame away from affairs-turned-deadly.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2012
    It's very well made and performed, but it just doesn't have the same fiery passion that Marshall's more recent Nine does. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere are both excellent, but Renee Zellweger is just plain annoying. She tries to act cute, but really isn't. The movie dishes a very serious subject (murder) and passes it off as something not too serious and humorous. And how did this get even close to winning Best Picture? Especially over The Pianist, Lord of the Rings, AND Gangs of New York? It's entertaining to a point, but undeniably disappointing.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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