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Cradle Will Rock

  R HD Closed Captioning

Tim Robbins

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Plot Summary

Powerful and sweeping, the critically acclaimed Cradle Will Rock, starring Hank Azaria, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Bill Murray, and Susan Sarandon, takes a kaleidoscopic look at the extraordinary events of 1930s America. From high society to life on the streets, director Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking) brings Depression-era New York City to vivid life. It's a time when DaVincis are given to millionaires who help fund the Mussolini war effort and Nelson Rockefeller commissions Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint the lobby of Rockefeller Center. A time when a young Orson Welles and a troupe of passionate actors risk everything to perform the infamous musical "The Cradle Will Rock." As threats to their freedom and livelihood loom larger, they refuse to give into censorship. Based on actual events, Cradle Will Rock will move you.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 68
  • Fresh: 44
  • Rotten: 24
  • Average Rating: 6.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Knows how to get audiences clapping along. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: As a mixture of drama, humor and history, a melange of seriousness and slapstick, real people and imagined characters, it definitely stands out. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Jan 24, 2006

Rotten: Willfully superficial. – J. Hoberman, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Remarkably complex, funny and thought-provoking. – Paul Clinton (,, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Movie Library Must!

Simply put, this movie is an amazingly good account of the importance of standing up to attacks on our first amendment rights. It follows the story of the creation of a musical - a VERY controversial musical - by Marc Blitzstein. Granted not everything is historically accurate, but most of it is. The music is top-notch. Overall: WORTH IT!

A Great Movie

I really enjoyed this movie. The performances by all of the actors are great. There are almost too many great actors to list including Hank Azaria, John Cusack, Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Murray, and Emily Watson. I found the characters of Diego Rivera and Orson Welles are particularly compelling. The story is also very interesting. It's kind of an amalgam of several different stories which have been adjusted in time to make them a bit more poignant. The movie includes the death of vaudeville, Diego Rivera being commissioned to paint a huge mural for Rockefeller Center, the Federal Theatre Program which put actors to work during the depression, the beginnings of Communist paranoia, and the rise of Naziism overseas. The movie touches on themes of art for arts sake versus art as commerce, of collectivism versus communism, of capitalist ideals versus market realities. Mostly, I liked this movie because it made me think about all these themes and it made me want to learn more about this era including wanting to find out more about Diego Rivera, Rockefeller, Orson Welles, and all the other real characters who appear in the movie.

Great Overlooked Movie

This is one of the best movies you probably didn't hear anything about upon its release. Multiple stories weave together around a play in the 1930's that was censored. It's about the prostitution of the arts; anyone who cares about art or films or plays or books should see this. One of the best films I've ever seen.

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