Rock Star


Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. Even though it's weak in the final stages, Rock Star has more than enough sparkle to last you. That's chiefly thanks to Wahlberg, the main firework of this movie.
  2. 80
    But even here, in a role that doesn't ask much of Wahlberg, I find plenty of evidence that he's among the finest actors of his generation.
  3. 80
    Wahlberg has turned into one of the most sympathetic and persuasive young actors around, and while his new movie remains safely, even shrewdly, in the middle of the road, he rocks.
  4. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    As generic as its title, but two things enable it to land: the basic likability of Mark Wahlberg as the wannabe protagonist, and the contagious energies in the rock concert sequences.
  5. The acting is excellent, and the movie has a good-natured spirit to match its ultimate faith in the hero's deep-down goodness.
  6. Easily one of the most enjoyable big-budget Hollywood movies to come along in a while, Rock Star is an unexpected pleasure.
  7. An irresistible movie about a guy who goes on a journey, the kind an audience can't wait to take with him.
  8. A genial look at what happens when a wannabe becomes a headliner, Rock Star only stumbles when it decides it has to deliver a lesson about What's Really Important.
  9. 70
    Raking over the same clichés as "Almost Famous," Rock Star is far less reverential -- it isn't burdened by generational nostalgia and doesn't take itself too seriously.
  10. Represents the usual victory of simplistic screenwriting conventions over the rich, gamy ambiguities of the subject. But while its slide into perfunctory storytelling dilutes the raw, silly spectacle of sex and noise, the movie still has enough wit and insight to make it worth watching.
  11. 70
    The most unlikely of undertakings: an energetic feel-good movie about sex, drugs and other rock-related depravities.
  12. This movie is as packed with flashy bogusness as a lead singer's tight leather trousers. On the other hand, there's nothing bogus about the charisma and tough sweetness of Wahlberg.
  13. It's a goofy, tongue-in-cheek, my-gawd-how-could-we-be-so-dumb shrine, but a shrine nonetheless.
  14. Its familiar story has pleasing quirks.
  15. 63
    By the end of the film I conceded, yes, there are good performances and the period is well captured, but the movie didn't convince me of the feel and the flavor of its experiences.
  16. Rock Star sinks into a morass of melodrama.
  17. 50
    Herek does capture the rush and crush of a stadium concert, and the music (more Leppard than Priest) isn't half bad -- in a disposable, arena-rock sort of way.
  18. 50
    Like the type of music it celebrates, Rock Star is just a lot of posing, adding up to very little.
  19. Rock Star roars to life with a promise of something inspired and inventive whenever Wahlberg leaps onstage. Offstage, however, even he can't breathe life into this same old song.
  20. Rock Star takes itself so seriously it becomes full-on parody -- "This Is Spinal Tap" as a sanctimonious cautionary tale. And how rock 'n' roll is that?
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    This is a good-natured retro romp that is truer to Golden Age movies than to golden oldies songs.
  22. 50
    The movie can't quite embrace its characters or their scene; Wahlberg even cracks a joke over the end credits that heralds the late-'80s ascendance of hip-hop, which, of course, spawned Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
  23. It's sweet but not the least bit plausible that any kid in the mid-'80s would be surprised that along with rock 'n' roll come sex and drugs.
  24. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    The deeper problem with Rock Star is its insistence on turning a heavy-metal fairy tale into a morality tale that's as heavy as lead.
  25. 42
    Somewhere along the way, Stephen Herek's Rock Star decided to become a dippy, cliche-ridden drama and, worse, an odd indictment of metal music. Joy.
  26. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Feels particularly like old news after the risks of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle were laid out for the previously uninformed in last year's "Almost Famous."
  27. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Kevin Maynard
    By the time Rock Star reaches its cop-out, "All About Eve"-ish ending, the only thrashing that should be going on is of the filmmakers, for bungling such a promising premise.
  28. 38
    Rock Star neither touches a raw nerve nor garners any resonance as a period piece. You'd be better off renting "This is Spinal Tap."
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    When it's not aspiring, unsuccessfully, to satirize the world of metallica, Rock Star veers into even drearier territory and becomes a head-banging, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll version of "A Star Is Born."
  30. The music could have been better in this spineless drama, which has several angles but no perspective.
  31. 20
    Launches the fall season with a crashing thud.
  32. Has a terrific premise that shatters almost upon arrival; no bad-boy legend trashing a hotel room could have done a more complete job.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Jun 1, 2016
    A good watch, entertaining, well known and good actors, good story line, some very good tunes.

    Watch it online for free:
    A good watch, entertaining, well known and good actors, good story line, some very good tunes.

    Watch it online for free:
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2012
    Rock Star follows a familiar story line to its logical conclusion without stopping for too many detours along the way. Mark Wahlberg stars asRock Star follows a familiar story line to its logical conclusion without stopping for too many detours along the way. Mark Wahlberg stars as the singer of a heavy metal cover band who gets the chance of a lifetime when the group he idolizes needs a new front man. Suddenly he finds himself catapulted to the kind of life he's always fantasized about. Of course, as is usually the case, it comes with a price. Rock Star echoes another of Wahlberg's films, Boogie Nights, in the way that his character gets swept up into a decadent lifestyle that eventually overwhelms him. There are also shades of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous and, perhaps unintentionally, Rob Reiner's This is Spinal Tap. Rock Star, however, lacks those films' ambition, depth, and originality. Still the movie is fairly enjoyable, and is certainly never boring. It boasts an admirable cast, highlighted by Dominic West, Timothies Olyphant and Spall, and a very funny though rarely seen Beth Grant. Steel Dragon, the fictional band, is perhaps less engaging than the sight of Wahlberg fronting a glam rock group; their songs are largely uninteresting, and they seem like the sort of band that might tour with Spinal Tap. The movie's tone comes off as slightly schizophrenic, switching between earnest drama and fevered camp. Whether the laughs are intentional or not, things progress with an undeniable charm, driven by the logic of male preteen fantasies. Rock Star is indeed worth checking out; viewers may be swept up along with Wahlberg or may find themselves laughing at his ridiculous exploits, but either way, they will likely end up having a good time. Full Review »