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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Music Drama
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 24, 2010 (wide)
DVD: March 1, 2011
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures, Screen Gems

music in the Bible

instrumental music



NUDITY—Why are people supposed to wear clothes? Answer


Premarital sex

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer


GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Featuring: Kristen Bell (Nikki), Cam Gigandet (Jack), Stanley Tucci (Sean), Cher (Tess), Christina Aguilera (Ali Rose), Eric Dane (Marcus Gerber), Peter Gallagher (Vince Scali), more »
Director: Steven Antin
Producer: De Line Pictures, Bojan Bazelli, Dana Belcastro, Stacy Cramer, Donald De Line, Glenn S. Gainor, Risa Shapiro
Distributor: Sony Pictures, Screen Gems

“It takes a legend… to make a star.”

I was a mere teen and a big fan of Christina Aguilera when she first came out during the late 90s pop era. Unlike other pop artists of the time, Aguilera quickly established her distinction: taking her time between albums, changing her persona, and not immediately starring in a film. The high-budget musical “Burlesque” provides her with a decent breakthrough role, showcasing her dynamic vocals and acting capabilities. Though some of the numbers are very good, the film’s high amount of objectionable content makes it unsuitable for Christian viewers.

Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small-town Iowa gal who heads to L.A. with the hopes of becoming a singer/dancer. After some failed auditions, she sees the Burlesque Lounge and curiously enters. Upon entering, she’s immediately smitten with the alluring atmosphere of burlesque performances. She befriends the bartender Jack (Cam Gigandet) who then refers her to Tess (Cher), the lounge’s co-owner. Tess immediately shoots down Ali’s dreams, since she’s too busy wondering how to keep her club from facing foreclosure. Not so easy to give up, Ali takes a job in the club’s lounge as a cocktail waitress, quietly learning all the routines and patiently waiting for her chance.

Ali’s opportunity finally comes when Tess has her replace a lead burlesque dancer. Her excitement is cut short, however, when the rejected dancer angrily turns off the pre-recorded music, leaving Ali with no vocals or music. Thinking quickly, she begins to sing live, restoring the lounge’s dignity. Tess immediately sees Ali as the lounge’s newest attraction and, also, as the possible solution to the lounge’s plummeting financial problems.

With Christina Aguilera and Cher’s vocals, the movie has several high-powered musical performances. Though high on the musical end, “Burlesque” harbors a clichéd plot, using the generic rags-to-riches story with the included love interest. The story rushes along, leaving the characters more on the two-dimensional side. Not much is known of Ali’s background, and the supporting characters, played by Julianne Hough and Kristen Bell are underused.

Like many of his films, Stanley Tucci delivers yet another solid performance as Tess’ loyal, anecdotal friend. He and Cher share the best scenes and dialogue. On a positive note, the film’s resolution to the lounge’s financial woes is unique, and the overused venture of some dynamic performance magically raising all the needed money is sensibly absent.

Objectionable Content

The profanity’s around the 40 mark (4 GD, 1 “f’ word, 16 as*, 7 sh*t, etc.). The terms “slut” and “pr*ck” and are, also, used. God and Jesus’ names are profaned around 10 times.

Burlesque performances are often filled with revealing costumes, and this film’s no exception. The majority of tops (on and off stage) have very, very low-cut cleavage. The burlesque outfits consist of corsets, lingerie, sheer garments, bras, garters, and thongs. One garment is made entirely of just pearls. The camera often zooms in on different body parts as the performers dance or make anatomical references.

Several of the dance sequences and lyrics are sexually suggestive, while others are clean and powerful. The most suggestive dance is with a man and two women. One woman does the splits near his face, as he carries her. He then places a banana near his crotch, as one of the female dancers bends down and bites off a piece. During one of Ali’s dances, she has different parts of her costume yanked off until she’s completely nude. The camera lingers on her back and daringly films as she quickly turns around. Her body is then shown barely being covered by stage lights.

While the film’s three kissing scenes are rather sweet, the lead actors do sleep together. Jack and Ali are shown lying together with only bed sheets covering them. After their first sexual encounter, Ali states that Jack is “definitely not gay.” In an earlier scene, Jack strips down and walks around naked in front of Ali. As he walks around, the camera lingers on his backside. When he stands still, his groin is barely covered by a lamp and then by a small cookie box. During a wedding, two gay men give each other flirtatious stares, and it’s then implied that they have a one-night stand. One is shown waking up in the bed, while the other is in a robe. The morning after, they both admit to not remembering each others' names, but one comments on how the other definitely enjoyed their night together.

In all fairness, the movie’s title gives a clear warning of its content; the burlesque sequences are the film’s main theme. Christians should use holy discernment on what we set before our eyes. Matthew wrote that the eyes are “the lamp of the body” (6:22). With this mind, I do not recommend this film.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This movie was an exceptional look at a slice of mainstream life in America. The lead in the movie, when faced with having nothing, uses her God given talents to obtain a humble lifestyle.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Timothy, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I loved this movie. If you find this offensive, then just don’t watch it. Most people realize what kind of movie this is to start off with. The music was great, the acting was great, and the cast was great. I will watch it again and enjoy it as much.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Janis, age 35 (USA)
Negative—Although I had read the warnings prior to seeing this, I went to see it with another couple. Granted, the singing was very good, as were the dance numbers, it was exactly as the title deemed it to be-burlesque. I could not watch this without thinking what types of thoughts run through married or single men’s heads. Nor could I ignore how it depicted women as nothing more than sexual objects. Any young woman could watch this and may think is this what I am suppose to be?

The gay character as with many gay characters was the wise one, the supporting one, the funny one, the good friend, Hollywood again deeming it perfectly fine to be gay. The Christina character, is flat, whose only acting ability is how to show off her assets. Cher, too, did not seem as believable as she once was in her older movies. It seemed as though she were trying too hard to be something she no longer was. I would not recommend this for any Christian, particularly males.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Gina, age 43