In Tim Robbins' expertly crafted but politically manipulative Cradle Will Rock, every scene is an impassioned ode to the grassroots wholesomeness of the American proletariat. Workers are saints, Robbins wants us to believe, whose aspirations are always being trampled by capitalist swine. The casting of Emily Watson, John Turturro, Bill Murray, Cherry Jones, and Hank Azaria as working-class theater professionals is shrewdly calculated: they all sport angelic, childlike faces that only a millionaire could hate. Cradle Will Rock is so unrestrained with its political sympathy that despite great technical and narrative achievements it comes off as just another piece of socialist propaganda.
Go to the review