Moviecrazed
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CHICAGO

"Just when you think the movie musical has gone the way of the western, along comes Rob Marshall's glittery, high-spirited 'Chicago' to show that there is astonishing life left in the form after all...what really powers this film is the nova-like performance of Renee Zellweger as Roxie. It's not just that she can sing and dance (who knew?) or act, but that she combines them all into a performance that calls to mind Marilyn Monroe at her most white-hot and playful. Zellweger positively glows--with beauty, with talent, with wit, with musical ability. It's an incendiary performance, one bound to make people look at her in a new way...Zeta-Jones has the strutting confidence of the chorus girl who always knew she could play the lead, while Gere is a sexy, insinuating presence...'Chicago' manages to combine the old-fashioned and the new-fangled, creating a movie that's a conventional musical with an unconventional story-telling style." -- Marshall Fine, The Journal News

"'Chicago,' with its wafer-thin Police Gazette story line, isn't going to change anyone's life, but for sheer, audacious musical entertainment it tops last year's 'Moulin Rouge,' and ranks among the greatest adapted Broadway shows ever...At times, 'Chicago' has the feel of a revue, with the major characters taking turns at their own show-stopping numbers. If it's too much of a good thing, I say, bring it on." -- Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"There isn't much Fosse in evidence in this 'Chicago,' which means there's little raunch and next to no heat, and Marshall has an exasperatingly impatient filmmaking style. Like Baz Luhrmann in the superior 'Moulin Rouge,' he simply refuses to sit still. Instead of letting his performers just do their own thing, he chops up their bodies like some lunatic cubist, then frantically tosses the pieces around...It takes Zellweger some time to warm up, although she finally does, but it's Zeta-Jones who keeps you watching from start to finish...You'd have to go back to Joan Crawford in her hungry prime, in films like 'Rain' and 'The Women,' to find another female film star who grabs hold of the screen with such ferocity." -- Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"The movie is a dazzling song and dance extravaganza, with just enough words to support the music and allow everyone to catch their breath between songs...Zellweger is not a born hoofer, but then again Roxie Hart isn't supposed to be a star; the whole point is that she isn't, and what Zellweger invaluably contributes to the role is Roxie's dreamy infatuation with herself, and her quickly growing mastery of publicity. Velma is supposed to be a singing and dancing star, and Zeta-Jones delivers with glamor, high style and the delicious confidence the world forces on you when you are one of its most beautiful inhabitants...the movie is big, brassy fun." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"It's sassy, jazzy and razzmatazzy. And I'm not referring only to the opening production number. Just about everything that follows in 'Chicago' is every bit as sensationally entertaining...this is the sleekest and sexiest movie musical to slither, shake and scintillate on-screen since 'Cabaret'...Zellweger, Zeta-Jones and Gere may seem like odd choices for above-the-title roles in a big, brassy movie musical. But trust me: They're so terrific, they'll likely be offering repeat performances in other musicals...'Chicago' succeeds so brilliantly at blasting the cobwebs off a dormant genre, and proving last year's wildly uneven but often exhilarating 'Moulin Rouge' wasn't a one-time-only fluke." -- Joe Leydon, The San Francisco Examiner


"This 'Chicago' doesn't toddle, it swings, it Lindy Hops, it Charlestons the night away, and probably all your woes along with it. It's the bee's knees...It's blessed with a mega-wattage star turn by Catherine Zeta-Jones (can't dance, can't sing, but she sure does deliver the goods!)...Even Renee Zellweger, more actress than music hall gal, is pretty impressive...She just doesn't have the It-thing going to the temperature of La Zeta-Jones, and at the end, when director Rob Marshall contrives to put the two of them onstage together belting out the razzle-dazzle number, you'll have to force yourself to look at Zellweger. (I tried but couldn't.)." -- Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post