Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
Everything about Boogie Nights is interestingly unexpected, even the few seconds of darkness before the film's neon title blasts onto the screen. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, [displays talent that] is as big and exuberant as skywriting.
Los Angeles Times:
The film is bemused and entertained, as we are, by this pack of sexual extremists, and the eye it casts on them is both benevolent and wry.
Boogie Nights, an epic tale of porn, pleasure, and excess, offers a purer hit of exhilaration than any movie this year.
New York Observer:
Not since the mysteriously reclusive Terrence Malick has there been such an explosion of sheer talent on the American movie scene.
Boogie Nights isn't just an expose of the porn industry -- it's a provocative and involving character study, as well.
As a writer and director, Paul Thomas Anderson is a skilled reporter who fills his screen with understated, authentic details.
Boogie Nights is truly audacious because Anderson doesn't beat you over the head with his daring. In the first half, he goes about turning conventional morality on its head nonchalantly, almost sweetly.
San Francisco Chronicle:
With Boogie Nights we know we're not just watching episodes from disparate lives but a panorama of recent social history, rendered in bold, exuberant colors.
In terms of sweep, ambition and precocious cinematic competence, it heralds the arrival of a new talent.
Considering the potentially explosive nature of the yarn, set in the porn world, Anderson's strategy is remarkably nonjudgmental and nonsensationalistic, largely due to his love and respect for all the characters and his impressive storytelling skills.