Source: Catholic News Service
Colorful if sometimes sordid chronicle of the rise of Chess Records throughout the 1950s and 1960s as owner Leonard Chess (Adrian Brody), a Polish emigre, assembles an array of rhythm-and-blues musicians—including such legendary names as Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Little Walter (Columbus Short), Chuck Berry (Mos Def), Howlin' Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and Etta James (Beyonce Knowles)—eventually leading his artists to "cross over" to mainstream audiences. Writer-director Darnell Martin presents a kaleidoscopic overview of their personal and professional lives with excellent performances and a flavorful earful of tunes, though some of the elements below may limit its appeal to Catholic viewers. Pervasive rough language and some profanity; some brief nongraphic sexual encounters; some nonmarital, implied underage sex; innuendo; some racial violence; drug use and infidelity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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