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A failed effort to revive the big-budget movie musical, Newsies attempted to create toe-tapping, song-and-dance excitement out of the true story of an 1899 strike by newspaper boys against publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer. The "newsies" band together to protest a pay cut by Pulitzer (Robert Duvall), organizing a union to protect their rights and ensure fair wages. They are helped along the way by Medda (Ann-Margret), a local dance-hall performer who befriends the boys and provides an opportunity for an additional song or two. Director Kenny Ortega had previously choreographed Dirty… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Certain movies engage your affections so strongly that, even if they start to fall apart, you tend to keep rooting for them. That's pretty much the case with Newsies."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times
"Despite Newsies' many flaws, it's bracing to see Disney attempt a PG movie about something as meaty as labor relations. Would that every strike be resolved with so little bloodshed and so many songs."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Newsies is a live-action musical, but it's only barely alive. Call it Snoozies."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"As a drama, it features potent material. But by presenting this as a musical, all hope is lost, thanks to imminently forgettable tunes and the casting of actors who can't sing."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Overdone, splashy period Disney musical."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"A Disney musical with an undistinguished score, fair to middling choreography, and clunky direction that still manages to be entertaining in spots because of its story."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Stop the presses! Newsies is the best live-action movie musical since Little Shop of Horrors."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"There`s a boyish exuberance about Newsies that is hard to resist."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Kids go on strike in gritty, historical musical."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Pretty much "sucksies.""
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"Bale and Menken are literally what make the movie sing."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"An old-fashioned musical that is better when its characters sing and dance than when they talk."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Bale and the cast are energetic and fun to watch, and the story itself is fascinating history. But the songs and choreography are a disappointment."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"Making his directorial bow, choreographer Kenny Ortega strains valiantly to breathe life into this misguided musical."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Newsies on Rotten Tomatoes

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