Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. 0
    Camp has also been compared to Alan Parker’s "Fame," which operates with a similar love of behind-the-scenes melodrama and youthful idealism, but different in that it doesn’t induce brain-swelling revulsion in the viewer.
  2. It's impossible not to be exhilarated by the energy and determination that infuses every frame.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    A comedy, and for all its cliches and clumsiness, close to a great one.
  4. If you can get into the spirit of the proceedings, you're likely to find some fun.
  5. Does have heart and enthusiasm. But it might have worked better if it had been glitzed up and energized the way "Fame" was. It's not a script that can survive this kind of minimal, earnest, self-congratulatory treatment.
  6. "Meatballs" handled the sleep-away sex stuff better; here it feels like filler between the killer musical numbers that make even special guest Stephen Sondheim smile on his way out the door.
  7. The sum is no greater than the ''Fame''-style saga of any one of them, and Graff, an actor and screenwriter making his directing debut, is less successful at developing each story than at conveying his general affection for the curtain-call species.
  8. Reviewed by: Rich Cline
    80
    This is the kind of film you can watch over and over again on several levels, especially as you mine the script for knowing jokes about the theatre (it's packed with them).
  9. 30
    The movie is so rigged to elicit the audience's empathy that it becomes difficult to watch; it's stifling.
  10. Has a good deal of the appeal, and the drawbacks, of a high school play. It can be pokey and overly earnest and its dramatics are not always polished, but, on the other hand, would you want them to be?
  11. 88
    At the film's uplifting conclusion, when a stilled voice finally makes itself heard, you can unmistakably feel your heart lift, as if it had grown tiny wings. Camp reminds you that once you believed it would always soar, just like that.
  12. There's humor and expected back-story pathos.
  13. Art as a passport to healing may be what audiences are craving these days, but the poultice provided by this movie couldn't cover a paper cut.
  14. 88
    A summery confection crammed with fresh young talented faces that's hard not to love.
  15. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    A hilarious, rousing musical comedy set at a summer camp where NOBODY plays sports and EVERYBODY worships Stephen Sondheim.
  16. The film's title is a double entendre, meant to be taken straight as a noun (as in summer camp) and bent as a verb (as in "to camp," an action self-consciously exaggerated or theatrical).
  17. 50
    So strained in its "charm" and "pluck" that you grow weary by minute 15, hoping that the teens whose lives it depicts will stop being so darn peppy or sweetly confused or irritatingly dramatic.
  18. 63
    Camp may not be great cinema, but it's passionate and original enough to be special.
  19. 75
    The modestly perfect antidote to a synthetic, overblown movie summer: a blast of exuberant fun that stays rooted in humanity.
  20. Another of those summer movies that want to pluck at our heartstrings. If it would just stop plucking for a second, it might be enjoyable.
  21. Starts slowly, takes a turn for the better for a couple of reels and then, not having much to say or anywhere to go, flatlines into something akin to "American Idol."
  22. 70
    Camp offers plenty of reasons to bristle at its cheery shamelessness, but it's too high-spirited and charming to resist.
  23. There's no doubt the cast is driven and talented; some day, it might be interesting to watch a film about what such kids are really like.
  24. A fresh, young energetic cast is this wobbly musical comedy's main claim to "Fame."
  25. A crude but irresistibly effervescent movie cut from the same sequined cloth as "Fame," Camp couldn't be better timed to ride the coattails of "Chicago" to cult popularity.
  26. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    The pressure often shows: For all its charm, the dramatic moments are awkward and the final act feels rushed and under rehearsed.
  27. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    The situations are mighty broad, but exuberance counts for something in the movie with perhaps the year's most double-edged title.
  28. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    A big-hearted, exuberant, compassionate film with a wicked sense of humor and terrific songs performed by some preternaturally talented kids.
  29. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    50
    Camp is self-conscious when the teens aren't singing, but the quote marks fall away as soon as they lift their voices.
  30. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    50
    The film's examination of confused sexuality, psychic scars and unsupportive parents never moves a step beyond cliche.
  31. 70
    Spiked with some genuine show-stopping musical numbers, and the sheer pluck of its young cast is nothing if not admirable.
  32. Occasional clumsiness is easily coated over by the movie's overarching goodwill.

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