Velvet Goldmine


Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25

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Critic Reviews

  1. 90
    There are moments when Velvet Goldmine threatens to collapse under the weight of writer/director Todd Haynes' (Poison, Safe) ambition. But, sometimes amazingly, it doesn't, becoming in the process one of the year's freshest, most exciting films.
  2. Brilliantly reimagines the glam-rock 70's as a brave new world of electrifying theatricality and sexual possibility, to the point where identifying precise figures in this neo-psychedelic landscape is almost beside the point.
  3. In terms of sheer, unrelenting visual invention, Velvet Goldmine is a wonder.
  4. Velvet Goldmine is no masterpiece, but, at its best, it's a ravishing rock dream.
  5. It's a shimmering, thorny, and consummately self-aware valentine to a paradise, however illusory, lost.
  6. 75
    The plot only slows a film that works best as a feast of sight and sound.
  7. The music and camera work are dazzling, and the story has solid sociological insights into a fascinating pop-culture period.
  8. Dazzling and dizzying, confusing and even annoying, Velvet Goldmine is a feverish dream of a film, a riot of color and attitude that is all pop decadence, all night long.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Haynes sets out to demonstrate the power of popular music to change people's lives--to tell them it's OK to fashion themselves into anything they please.
  10. Conceptual to a fault, writer-director Todd Haynes (Poison, Safe) realizes one of his oldest and most cherished projects -- a celebration of the glam-rock era and the bisexuality it turned into an opulent circus -- with wit, glitter, and energy, but with such a scant sense of character or period that it leaves one feeling relatively empty as soon as it's over.
  11. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A brainy three-ring circus.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A constantly imaginative, stylistically lively but dramatically inert chronicle of cultural and sexual rebellion.
  13. 70
    Weighed down with self-important messages, but it's also splashily opulent.
  14. The film is a visually beautiful but clumsily plotted mishmash of "Citizen Kane," "Eddie and the Cruisers" and England's last overblown movie musical, "Absolute Beginners."
  15. The movie is dramatically limp, running out of narrative steam long before the set decorator runs out of colours.
  16. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    Now the big question: Does this whole thing actually work? Some of the time.
  17. 60
    Writer-director Todd Haynes (Safe, Poison) still makes movies like a first-time filmmaker afraid he won't get another chance; he crams every idea, every image ever dreamed, onscreen.
  18. 60
    After a most promising beginning, Velvet Goldmine's progress grows increasingly labored, stumbling around the structural roadblocks Haynes has erected in its path.
  19. In trying to compose a poetic love letter to a time of liberation and freedom, Haynes has merely conjured up memories of druggy excess, egotism and tight trousers. The only mementos worth saving from the experience are available on the soundtrack.
  20. On the one hand, you want to praise it for its stylishness and originality in tackling some fascinating subject matter. On the other hand, it's frustrating because it could have been so much better.
  21. 50
    It wants to be a movie in search of a truth, but it's more like a movie in search of itself.
  22. 50
    Director Todd Haynes' (Safe) much-anticipated look at the "glam rock" scene of two decades ago, is like a jigsaw puzzle with half of the pieces missing.
  23. One can admire it, but it's hard to get caught up in it.
  24. 30
    Quite an achievement: the American director Todd Haynes revisits the world of London glam rock and manages to make it look dull.
  25. Reviewed by: Neil Jeffries
    On paper, fine; on celluloid, a Rocky Horror Show of nightmarish proportions.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 22, 2013
    Velvet Goldmine is a mostly interesting glide through the times of glam-rock culture. Certain characters are obviously thinly veiled versionsVelvet Goldmine is a mostly interesting glide through the times of glam-rock culture. Certain characters are obviously thinly veiled versions of real life artists such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Velvet Goldmine has a good soundtrack (obviously), some eye popping visuals and a chance to catch Christian Bale before mega fame. That said, it does lose traction during it's final third. Full Review »
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    It's quite something to behold. Fantastic cast, and an interesting interpretation of the world of Ziggy Stardust. Do not expect a plot that isIt's quite something to behold. Fantastic cast, and an interesting interpretation of the world of Ziggy Stardust. Do not expect a plot that is easy-to-follow and clear-cut - because you won't really find it here.
    Walk into this storm of glam-infused psychedelia with an open (and 'artsy') mind and you should end up quite satisfied.
    Certain aspects of the plot and the mythology surrounding these glam-icons may remain frustratingly elusive, but in the end it's all part of the film's method.
    Full Review »
  3. SarahM.
    Oct 23, 2005
    Amazing soundtrack, great actors!