Box art for Cry-Baby


comedy, music & musicals

Eisenhower is President. Rock 'n' Roll is king. And Wade -Cry-Baby- Walker is the baddest hood in his high school.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5

Campy '50s parody has mild sex references, violence.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cry-Baby is a 1990 John Waters film that is both a campy celebration and a hilarious parody of the 1950s. In the midst of the overwrought battles between the "Squares" and the "Drapes" (the nickname for the "juvenile delinquents" running amok around Baltimore), there is some over-the-top fighting with fists and baseball bats, and the Drape women make constant reference to their breasts, either through gestures or through calling them "bazooms." Characters are shown smoking cigarettes. While in a car, a teenage girl drinks from a flask and offers some "hooch" to the driver, who turns it down because he's driving. There is one use of "f--k" and some other mild profanity. Although the film's parodying of 1950s "juvenile delinquent" movies, societal conformity, and sexual repression will be lost on younger viewers, for older kids and parents Cry-Baby is an enjoyable and hilarious introduction to John Waters' movies.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about satire. How does this movie satirize the culture of the 1950s?
  • Would you consider this movie to be a musical? If so, how is it similar to and different from other musicals?
  • In what ways did this movie seem like a somewhat realistic portrayal of life in the 1950s in spite of its exaggerated depictions and presentations?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 5
    see all Cry-Baby reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Great campy fun. How many tears will Johnny shed?

- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Pink Flamingos fans will find Cry-Baby decidedly tame, but it's one of my favorites.

- Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid, Saturday, September 3, 2005

Fresh: Cheerfully camp, terrifically enjoyable teen parody that ranks among Waters' best moments. Oh, and world -- meet Johnny Depp!

- Jon Fortgang, Film4, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

3 stars

- YodaMasterJedi, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4 stars

A really funny and bizarre take on the whole Greaser/Jock social clash of the fifties. The fact that John Waters doesnt take this as far as his other films makes it even more odd. You keep expecting something dirty and vile to pop out, but its really contained. However, you really get the sense of this overall joke on the time period that never is revealed in the film. As a musical its extremely impressive and likable, which is not usually the reaction I have to the genre. Johnny Depp is obviously the standout, but the rest of the cast really supports him well. The visuals are great and its just an all around fun and sarcastic experience.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 stars

This movie was alright

- dukeakasmudge, Sunday, October 25, 2009