Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this biopic about several blues musicians co-stars teen favorite Beyonce Knowles but is much grittier than her thematically similar Dreamgirls. Although Adrien Brody and Jeffrey Wright are the top-billed actors, Beyonce's role has been played up to attract younger audiences. Like most musician biopics, the drama portrays performers dealing with sex, drugs, violence, and fame. Strong language is frequent (primarily the "mother" of all swear words), and there are many scenes of musicians sleeping with eager groupies. Almost everyone has a drinking problem, and two characters are drug users -- one has a disturbing overdose scene. Consumerism is limited to the titular Cadillacs, which are a pivotal aspect of the story.
The male characters tend to be womanizers who have multiple (and usually extramarital) affairs. Women are shown half-naked, skimpily dressed, and about to engage in group sex. Lots of passionate kissing and going into hotel rooms. In one brief scene, we see a woman lowering her head in a restaurant, obviously to perform oral sex.
Several scenes of violence, including gun violence; driving under the influence and crashing; police brutality; and a bloody, fatal beating.
Strong and frequent: "Motherf--ker" is the word of choice, with "f--k" and "s--t" a close second and third.
Racism is addressed as being complicated and difficult to overcome. It's obvious in the segregated South and in the way that Etta James' alleged father treats her, but it's subtler in the way Chuck Berry is arrested and how Leonard occasionally patronizes his signed musicians. Additionally, characters commit adultery, drink to excess, take drugs, and act violently.
As if the title doesn't give it away, there are lots of Cadillacs in the film -- every major character has more than one. Pepsi is also mentioned/shown, as is Billboard magazine.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Most of the characters drink, and several drink excessively. At least two musicians are also drug addicts. Etta James is shown overdosing on heroin, lying unconscious next to a needle, with tracks on her arms. All "users" are adults.