New Line Cinema | Release Date: October 10, 1997
4.3
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 443 Ratings
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Positive:
198
Mixed:
15
Negative:
230
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7
WizGullofaJan 10, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Boogie Nights is an incredibly well directed movie about the seedy, psuedo-glamorous industry of pornography. The best parts of the film are in the direction and atmosphere of the movie. The costumes, colors, and environment bleed late 1970'2 Los Angeles. The film is in essence about sex as a commodity. Throughout the film there is no passion or love it is just a way of making money. In one scene when Dirk Diggler's package is finally revealed it is not as a tease or anything like that; it is for us to see what the moneymaking product is. The film's performances are all solid and interesting. Burt Reynolds is phenomenal as the director Jack Horner and the rest o the performances are all interesting and show the actors and actresses as people, not objects. One other thing about "Boogie Nights" is how it effortlessly brings together humor, drama, and action. Julianne Moore's custody battle for her child is a particularly heart-wrenching scene; while the pool scenes bring in more comedic elements. However, Boogie Nights does have a few shortcomings. The entire second half of the movie teeters on being melodramatic and gets rid of the likability of some of the characters. I understand that it is meant to show what fame does to people but to me it wasn't the right direction for the movie to take. Also, a few scenes such as the scene at the drug dealer's house were out of character and were more upsetting then integral to the plot. Despite these shortcomings "Boogie Nights" is an excellent movie by an excellent director. Expand
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9
MovieGuysMay 30, 2016
Paul Thomas Anderson's controversial film Boogie Nights remains great to this day. The raunchy subject material is handled in a sleazy, raw kind of way-- exactly what was intended. Character development is surprisingly good, and the directionPaul Thomas Anderson's controversial film Boogie Nights remains great to this day. The raunchy subject material is handled in a sleazy, raw kind of way-- exactly what was intended. Character development is surprisingly good, and the direction is excellent. Haters of the film most likely can't handle the pornographic material. But, the movie captures the 70s porn scene very well, and the film is excellent, albeit a little too long. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
There was a time during the long history of the adult entertainment industry that porn films showed signs of artistic ambition. During the late '70s, a small cadre of directors believed that they could combine the raunch of real sex with anThere was a time during the long history of the adult entertainment industry that porn films showed signs of artistic ambition. During the late '70s, a small cadre of directors believed that they could combine the raunch of real sex with an involving plot. It was a lofty goal, and one that ultimately proved impossible to realize, especially with the advent of video forcing movies to be made cheaper and faster. In his new film, Boogie Nights, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson takes us back to the disco era, and, by following a small group of characters, recreates the rise and fall of "artistic porn" and those who participated in it.

But Boogie Nights isn't just an expose of the porn industry -- it's a provocative and involving character study, as well. While it could be argued that Anderson has bitten off more than he can chew -- a few too many of the men and women populating his film are left half-developed -- an overambitious approach is always preferable to the alternative, and Boogie Nights does enough things right that it's easy to overlook its few shortcomings.

One of the movie's greatest, and most immediately obvious, assets is its ability to capture the feel and mood of the late '70s and early '80s. At different times throughout the film, Anderson uses long, single takes where the camera pans from one character to another, putting the viewer in the midst of a swirl of activity. The director also has a talent for picking just the right songs for each scene, making the soundtrack an integral part of the movie rather than just a jumbled collection of old disco hits. Add to that the hairdos, clothing, decor, and attitudes of the era, and you have an effective re-creation of recent history. And, unlike The Ice Storm, which transpires in '70s suburbia, Boogie Nights is set in the sleazy heart of Los Angeles' drug-and-sex industry.

Anderson also does a wonderful job of delineating the differences between the late '70s and the early '80s. The first half of the film, which takes place between 1977 and late 1979, is lively and energetic, with the focus on parties and good times. Then, following a pivotal sequence at a 1979/80 New Year's Eve gathering, Boogie Nights' tone shifts to something more grim and contentious. The porn industry goes into a downward spiral with mass-market video supplanting carefully-made movies, and the actors and directors are sucked down with it. Drugs and death run rampant. No one dies during the movie's first half (although there is a drug overdose), but the final hour features a body count.

At Boogie Nights' center is Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), a waiter at a San Fernando Valley night club who is "discovered" by idealistic porn movie producer/director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). Jack's dream is to make a movie that is "true, and right, and dramatic," and his vision excites Eddie, who changes his name to Dirk Diggler and quickly becomes the hottest young stud in the industry. Together, the director and his star seek to elevate the Adult Film to the next level (which actually resembles a cheap exploitation action flick).

Although Mark Wahlberg has the starring role, and gives the best performance of his career (although there are still times when he is stiff), he is easily overshadowed by two more impressive portrayals. Burt Reynolds, doing his best motion picture work in recent memory, develops Jack into a three-dimensional individual who really believes in his job until disillusionment hits. Matching Reynolds' performance step-by-step is Julianne Moore, who can add her role in Boogie Nights to an ever-increasing list of interesting and challenging characters. Meanwhile, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, and William H. Macy are impressive in smaller parts (all of them deserve more screen time). And porn icon Nina Hartley gets some mainstream exposure, and even a few lines, as Little Bill's wife.

Boogie Nights is filled with so many subplots and secondary themes that it would be impossible to recount them all here. Some of the most obvious involve the allure of stardom and the price certain individuals are willing to pay to attain it, the difficulty of "rehabilitating" one's name after being associated with something as "damaging" as the porn industry, and the inner need to belong. All of the men and women populating Boogie Nights encounter at least one of these elements as they traverse their character arc.

With Boogie Nights, Anderson has realized the potential he showed in his previous feature, Hard 8 (which featured John C. Reilly and Philip Baker Hall, two members of this movie's ensemble cast). Boogie Nights is a dramatically rich and visually arresting motion picture that has earned (and is deserving of) comparisons to the films of Robert Altman. The result is a memorably penetrating motion picture.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
ReelViews94Mar 23, 2016
There was a time during the long history of the adult entertainment industry that porn films showed signs of artistic ambition. During the late '70s, a small cadre of directors believed that they could combine the raunch of real sex with anThere was a time during the long history of the adult entertainment industry that porn films showed signs of artistic ambition. During the late '70s, a small cadre of directors believed that they could combine the raunch of real sex with an involving plot. It was a lofty goal, and one that ultimately proved impossible to realize, especially with the advent of video forcing movies to be made cheaper and faster. In his new film, Boogie Nights, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson takes us back to the disco era, and, by following a small group of characters, recreates the rise and fall of "artistic porn" and those who participated in it.

But Boogie Nights isn't just an expose of the porn industry -- it's a provocative and involving character study, as well. While it could be argued that Anderson has bitten off more than he can chew -- a few too many of the men and women populating his film are left half-developed -- an overambitious approach is always preferable to the alternative, and Boogie Nights does enough things right that it's easy to overlook its few shortcomings.

One of the movie's greatest, and most immediately obvious, assets is its ability to capture the feel and mood of the late '70s and early '80s. At different times throughout the film, Anderson uses long, single takes where the camera pans from one character to another, putting the viewer in the midst of a swirl of activity. The director also has a talent for picking just the right songs for each scene, making the soundtrack an integral part of the movie rather than just a jumbled collection of old disco hits. Add to that the hairdos, clothing, decor, and attitudes of the era, and you have an effective re-creation of recent history. And, unlike The Ice Storm, which transpires in '70s suburbia, Boogie Nights is set in the sleazy heart of Los Angeles' drug-and-sex industry.

Anderson also does a wonderful job of delineating the differences between the late '70s and the early '80s. The first half of the film, which takes place between 1977 and late 1979, is lively and energetic, with the focus on parties and good times. Then, following a pivotal sequence at a 1979/80 New Year's Eve gathering, Boogie Nights' tone shifts to something more grim and contentious. The porn industry goes into a downward spiral with mass-market video supplanting carefully-made movies, and the actors and directors are sucked down with it. Drugs and death run rampant. No one dies during the movie's first half (although there is a drug overdose), but the final hour features a body count.

At Boogie Nights' center is Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), a waiter at a San Fernando Valley night club who is "discovered" by idealistic porn movie producer/director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). Jack's dream is to make a movie that is "true, and right, and dramatic," and his vision excites Eddie, who changes his name to Dirk Diggler and quickly becomes the hottest young stud in the industry. Together, the director and his star seek to elevate the Adult Film to the next level (which actually resembles a cheap exploitation action flick).

Although Mark Wahlberg has the starring role, and gives the best performance of his career (although there are still times when he is stiff), he is easily overshadowed by two more impressive portrayals. Burt Reynolds, doing his best motion picture work in recent memory, develops Jack into a three-dimensional individual who really believes in his job until disillusionment hits. Matching Reynolds' performance step-by-step is Julianne Moore, who can add her role in Boogie Nights to an ever-increasing list of interesting and challenging characters. Meanwhile, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, and William H. Macy are impressive in smaller parts (all of them deserve more screen time). And porn icon Nina Hartley gets some mainstream exposure, and even a few lines, as Little Bill's wife.

Boogie Nights is filled with so many subplots and secondary themes that it would be impossible to recount them all here. Some of the most obvious involve the allure of stardom and the price certain individuals are willing to pay to attain it, the difficulty of "rehabilitating" one's name after being associated with something as "damaging" as the porn industry, and the inner need to belong. All of the men and women populating Boogie Nights encounter at least one of these elements as they traverse their character arc.

With Boogie Nights, Anderson has realized the potential he showed in his previous feature, Hard 8 (which featured John C. Reilly and Philip Baker Hall, two members of this movie's ensemble cast). Boogie Nights is a dramatically rich and visually arresting motion picture that has earned (and is deserving of) comparisons to the films of Robert Altman. The result is a memorably penetrating motion picture.
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10
jedwardsMar 17, 2016
How on earth is this masterpiece rated so poorly by users!?

This is an absolutely fantastic film: it's incredibly entertaining; brilliantly directed, written and acted; and a fantastic exploration of the shift from the 70s to 80s, whilst
How on earth is this masterpiece rated so poorly by users!?

This is an absolutely fantastic film: it's incredibly entertaining; brilliantly directed, written and acted; and a fantastic exploration of the shift from the 70s to 80s, whilst also exploring cinema through the medium of pornography. This is easily one of the best films of the 1990s (how this didn't win Best Picture and Director is beyond me - and certainly how it lost to Titanic.) I highly encourage anyone even remotely interested in films to watch this.
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
alwayswatchingDec 6, 2015
I guess I am not a Paul Thomas Anderson guy. His movies never attracted me and trust me, I tried very hard. I am sorry PT Anderson, I love you but somehow your movies are not for me.
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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9
viuuiuvyDec 2, 2015
There are some deep moments in this movie & lots of hidden secrets to the plot. The movie delivers & will entertain you. The plot line is really good & after watching this movie I found myself thinking about how everything plays out.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
smartmartOct 8, 2015
This movie is absolutely astonishing! It manages to have plenty of humour as well as strong drama, while always being visually interesting (Paul Thomas Anderson is a genius filmmaker). I'd recommend the film to most people who can handle theThis movie is absolutely astonishing! It manages to have plenty of humour as well as strong drama, while always being visually interesting (Paul Thomas Anderson is a genius filmmaker). I'd recommend the film to most people who can handle the explicit content and some of the tough subject matter. One of my new favorites! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
SpangleOct 2, 2015
A look into the dark, twisted world of the porn industry, Boogie Nights manages to be a film about porn that never slips into being actual porn. Thanks to the great direction and writing from Paul Thomas Anderson, Boogie Nights may haveA look into the dark, twisted world of the porn industry, Boogie Nights manages to be a film about porn that never slips into being actual porn. Thanks to the great direction and writing from Paul Thomas Anderson, Boogie Nights may have subjective subject matter, but uses that solely as a springboard into the lives of dark, troubled people who are actually incredibly sympathetic, believable, and relatable. In a sign of things to come, the film uses an ensemble cast to great effect with phenomenal performances from Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Alfred Molina, Thomas Jane, and many others. Truly, Anderson knows how to get the most out of ensemble casts and this film plus Magnolia stand as stunning proof of just that. A brilliant character study, Boogie Nights is a brilliant work from a brilliant mind that may not be his best work, but is an incredibly impressive film to have come from a sophomore director. Expand
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9
Movie1997Jul 16, 2015
Paul Thomas Anderson strikes gold with arguably one of his best works. It's a movie more than the usual life of the party story in which fun and drugs ensue. It tells its story with fascinating characters, including an absolute standout leadPaul Thomas Anderson strikes gold with arguably one of his best works. It's a movie more than the usual life of the party story in which fun and drugs ensue. It tells its story with fascinating characters, including an absolute standout lead by Mark Whalberg. But what makes this movie stand out is Anderson's style and technique on how he tells this story and never loses your attention. The situations feel grounded in reality that we can identify with the characters and the struggles they go through. It does not just show the fun to be had behind the porn industry, but the dark side as well. The transformation in structure is done so beautifully that it stands out from other movies that take on this similar formula. Overall, "Boogie Nights" is a standout thanks to its excellent style, storytelling and performances (even if it hits familiar beats.) I give this an A! Expand
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8
ydnar4Apr 23, 2015
Boogie Nights is excellent storytelling by Paul Thomas Anderson and serves as a breakout role for a young Mark Wahlberg, who has since become a big star. I love the cast of this film so much. Burt Reynolds was the perfect character to playBoogie Nights is excellent storytelling by Paul Thomas Anderson and serves as a breakout role for a young Mark Wahlberg, who has since become a big star. I love the cast of this film so much. Burt Reynolds was the perfect character to play Jack in this movie. He is cool as hell. I didn't care for Julianne Moore until I saw this movie, I thought she did a great job and she was the character that I liked the best just because she was such a nice person. There is also Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly both of who I really like and are great in this film. I think what is so special about Boogie Nights is that it captures its time so well and brings us behind the scenes of the pornographic industry a place where we have never been before. Expand
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10
UCSD1978Jun 28, 2014
A Masterpiece! A very nostalgic look at late 1970's and early 1980's San Fernando Valley and the porn industry. Mark Wahlberg and John C. Riley are hilariously serious in their roles which take them from top-tier porn actors to junkieA Masterpiece! A very nostalgic look at late 1970's and early 1980's San Fernando Valley and the porn industry. Mark Wahlberg and John C. Riley are hilariously serious in their roles which take them from top-tier porn actors to junkie rock-star wannabes. YOU GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWERRR! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
heeldavidMay 4, 2014
Boogie Nights is a movie that tells you it's vision about the 70s and 80s, and it's a very wise way to show it. Paul Thomas Anderson gives you a film that has colorful characters, great writing, direction and great perfromances by Wahlberg,Boogie Nights is a movie that tells you it's vision about the 70s and 80s, and it's a very wise way to show it. Paul Thomas Anderson gives you a film that has colorful characters, great writing, direction and great perfromances by Wahlberg, Reynolds, Moore, Reilly, Hoffman and the whole supporting cast. I would totally watch this film twice! Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
imilhoferDec 27, 2013
So full of energy is this film that the two and a half hours goes by in the blink of an eye it seems P T Anderson has a talent for keeping his audiences engaged for a longer period of time, as Magnolia, his 3 hour long epic montage, is oneSo full of energy is this film that the two and a half hours goes by in the blink of an eye it seems P T Anderson has a talent for keeping his audiences engaged for a longer period of time, as Magnolia, his 3 hour long epic montage, is one of the most interesting films I've seen. In Boogie Nights, Mark Wahlberg and Julianne Moore offer exciting and brave performances, charging head on into the film's courageous and teasing sexual controversy. This is a brave film that will pleasantly embarrass and secretly intrigue any audience. The soundtrack and cinematography keeps this film pulsing and exciting, and P T Anderson's sheer talent holds this near-perfect film together as an outrageous and alive masterpiece. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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9
George-rootsJun 25, 2013
Something of a Number 1 Favourite Movie of all time for lots of people, "Boogie Nights" is a Film that didn't impress me to that extent, however i still really enjoyed what it is and see why so many people liked it.

Mark Whalberg plays
Something of a Number 1 Favourite Movie of all time for lots of people, "Boogie Nights" is a Film that didn't impress me to that extent, however i still really enjoyed what it is and see why so many people liked it.

Mark Whalberg plays Eddie Adams, a late teen who washing dishes for a living and bearing the weight of his over-protective mother, one day he is approached by Jack Horner (Played by Burt Reynolds) a Pornographic Film-maker who introduces him to the many others he has taken under his wing.

Among them are Amber Waves (Julianne Moore) a Porn Actress longing to see her kids who are in her ex-husbands custody, Rollergirl (Heather Graham) a teenage Porn Actress constanly in rollerblades and fleeing tormentors at school, Reed Rothchild (John C. Riley) a Porn Actor with a unique taste in Magic, Buck Swope (Don Cheadle) a Porn Actor who is extremely knowledgable on stereo systems and is keen to run a buisness based on them, Scotty J. (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) a Gay boom operator who immediately falls for Eddie, "Little" Bill Thompson (William H. Macy) whose wife (real-life porn Actress Nina Hartley) constanly embarasses him by having sex with other men in movies and public, them and many other colourful characters.

Eddie becomes acquainted to all of these quirky, likable characters and joins the industry under the name "he sees in bright, blue neon lights" Dirk Diggler, And becomes the industries hottest thing.

Eventually Drugs kick in, the 80's is approaching and everyone goes there seperate ways, Dirk hits rock-bottom countless times, Bill shoots his wife them himself, Julianne Moore fails again to legally see her kids, Buck fails to get a loan. in a nutshell everything get's to their individual heads and ultimately it destroys them.

Eventually though everything works out, in both unhappy and happy ways, Dirk reconciles with Jack, Rollergirl continues education, Buck uses stolen money to fund his buisness and aid his pregnant wife, Reed becomes a magician in a Nightclub. Essentially everything is back uder Jack Horner's control.

Paul Thomas Anderson has made a film that is not solely based on Pornography, but based around the Actors and behind the scenes of it all, inspired by watching 70's porn flicks and enjoying the cheesy stories and setups which would eventually be missing from the 80's ones. he wrote "The Dirk Diggler story" a 30 min tribute flick about a fictional porn star.
Obviously sometime later he managed to build this wonderpiece around that original idea.

Boogie Nights is an Essential PTA movie, everything he does has always had character development in mind, and in all honesty with this film he's not asking you to engage the characters or Pornography, but rather watch and identify the individualism of the real people behing the fictional Camera.

Aside from that everyone is wonderful, Burt Reynolds steals the show as the always laid back director, Mark Wahlberg's insecurities give him alot to work with and he does well,
Everyone in their own right in this movie, actors and characters are all perfect.

Final Verdict: Sit down and Enjoy, Great casting, An Excellent screenplay, Sharp directing and of course one of the 90's best hits.
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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9
BrianMcCriticJun 20, 2013
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the great film makers of our time. Boogie Nights isn't my favorite P T Anderson film, but all his films are so strong that I still can't go lower than a 9.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
Nesbitt10Dec 29, 2012
Everything about "Boggie Nights" is sincere and straightforward, and with an wide array of unforgettable characters, it is one of the most distinctive American films made in the late 1990's. Everyone's born with one special thing, and EddieEverything about "Boggie Nights" is sincere and straightforward, and with an wide array of unforgettable characters, it is one of the most distinctive American films made in the late 1990's. Everyone's born with one special thing, and Eddie Adams (Marc Wahlberg) uses his "special gift" and is poised to take the world of porn by storm. Eddie Adams, (also known as Dirk Diggler), is discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and soars to the top of the pornography industry. After achieving great success in the industry during the 1970's, the 80's did not fair so well for Dirk. A change of culture coupled with a drug addiction, he quickly hits rock bottom not knowing anything else to turn to. At the heart of the story is a group of eccentric, outlandish group of characters, an unorthodox "family" if you will. An incredible collection of actors and performances keep this lengthy film completely engaging throughout the 155 minutes. Despite of what you may think of these people and their profession, you can't help but be drawn into their lives and personal stories. Paul Anderson's attention to the fine details; decor, style, culture, and social attitudes of the era are spot on. It is heart-rendering and darkly humorous with an message of redemption and forgiveness. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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10
EsaiSouzaNov 26, 2012
The film is always alive. It is Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece. It has obvious influences from legendary director Martin Scorsese which in my opinoin isn't a bad thing at all. It is a masterful film of art with a complicated subject andThe film is always alive. It is Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece. It has obvious influences from legendary director Martin Scorsese which in my opinoin isn't a bad thing at all. It is a masterful film of art with a complicated subject and that's what makes this film and PTA so great. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
cameronmorewoodNov 8, 2012
I was blown away by Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Boogie Nights.' Never have I seen a film so alive. The writing, directing, acting, editing, cinematography, and epic soundtrack are all key elements in the construction of this nearly flawless film.
6 of 9 users found this helpful63
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6
seancriswellOct 7, 2012
Most peoples favorite PT Anderson movie is probably my least. I don't dislike this film, it just hits me on a less emotional level than his other work. There is plenty to like here. Reynolds in particular is excellent. The scenes betweenMost peoples favorite PT Anderson movie is probably my least. I don't dislike this film, it just hits me on a less emotional level than his other work. There is plenty to like here. Reynolds in particular is excellent. The scenes between Wahlberg and Reilly's characters are among the most memorable in any Anderson film. There is a lot more humor from scene to scene than in most Anderson films, ironically that may be why I didn't connect with these characters as well as would have liked. The scene where Diggler and the boys go to a drug dealers house to rip him off best illustrates this. This is a scene that is ultimately where the protagonist of the movie hits rock bottom, but instead of feeling that emotion, I was laughing and shaking my head in disbelief. Don't misunderstand, I enjoyed this scene, and I think Anderson wanted us to see the absurdity. However instead of connecting with these characters as I have in other Anderson films, these moments disconnect me. For me moments like this are what takes this film from being great to just another good movie. Expand
1 of 7 users found this helpful16
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8
benido326May 8, 2012
Set against the backdrop of late 1970â
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
2GUI2Jul 7, 2011
The moment you start watching "Boogie Nights", written and directed by the artist Paul Thomas Anderson, it is quite visible that the movie isn't just very bold and distinct from all the other films of the 90's but that it represents a matterThe moment you start watching "Boogie Nights", written and directed by the artist Paul Thomas Anderson, it is quite visible that the movie isn't just very bold and distinct from all the other films of the 90's but that it represents a matter that hasn't been approached almost at all. It is in the 70's and the 80's that the film is set, around the pornography-film-industry. Filled with astonishing performances (from practically every supporting actor and Mark Wahlberg in the leading role) and a great script, "Boogie Nights" is one of the year's must-see. Collapse
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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10
OLucJul 27, 2006
Sometimes, I come back to this movie and I think about it, and I wonder, "Why isn't this movie being praised as well as othe movies of it's era, like Fargo, or Titanic?" More and more I wonder why people look more towards Quentin Sometimes, I come back to this movie and I think about it, and I wonder, "Why isn't this movie being praised as well as othe movies of it's era, like Fargo, or Titanic?" More and more I wonder why people look more towards Quentin Tarantino then P.T. Anderson when it comes to directing, because this movie is just one of those movies that really is brought togethor by the film's atomesphere and screenplay, which were both done by Anderson. This movie is better than what many grade it to be, so if you like Robert Altman, than see Boogie Nights, the modern-day Nashville! Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful