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Dirty Dancing Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The filmmakers rely so heavily on cliches, on stock characters in old situations, that it's as if they never really had any confidence in their performers.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today

    Motivations are murky, the dialogue is flat. But the movie never lets too much plot get between the dance numbers. [21 Aug 1987]

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    A warm-heared picture with some hot dancing, some B movie class consciousness, lots of nostalgia and lots of cliches. [3 Sept 1987, p.17(E)]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    A shapely film, considered and concise. And if its rhetorical slickness eventually covers up its emotional core, that slickness has a pleasure all its own. [21 August 1987]

  • See all Dirty Dancing reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 12 & under

A hip-shaking guilty pleasure.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 1960s-set forbidden romance is a guilty pleasure, due to several campy scenes, flashy dance sequences, and appealing performances by its main characters. Although some parents may find the dancing a little too dirty, teenage viewers will be captivated by the flashy fantasy of star-crossed summer romance. Sexual references abound here beyond the dance moves: one character has a botched abortion, the main character loses her virginity, and another talks about her plans to go all the way. An older married woman propositions younger men on staff at the resort and sleeps with one.

  • Families can talk about the film's sexual themes.
  • How does each family member feel about teenage sex?
  • As a teenager, what would you do if you were pressured to have sex?
  • What do you feel about the conflict between Baby and her father?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The staffers at the exclusive summer retreat are regarded as second-class citizens. Baby and her sister disobey their parents by sneaking around with boys. Baby asks her father for money, then uses it for Penny's abortion.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Baby, through her three weeks with Johnny becomes aware of what she wants and who she wants in life, but she doesn't do it in the most productive way. Johnny is the bad boy with a heart of gold that falls in love. Both main characters have good and bad qualities, but they both grow for the better from their relationship.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Johnny and Robbie fight after Robbie criticizes Baby.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Erotic dancing, main character loses her virginity, several scenes of teens in bed. Penny gets pregnant and has a dangerous abortion, with complications afterward.

  • language false2

    Language: Occasional sexually and religiously themed language, ranging from mild to extreme.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable