Rock of Ages 2012

Critics score:
41 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: So willfully bad that not even Cruise's valiant CPR can help. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "Rock of Ages" is exuberant, silly, overlong, sexist; it's clever in little matters and proudly dumb in the things that should count. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ...a cinematic endeavor that, for all intents and purposes, is asking the consumer to put down his or her money to watch movie stars do karaoke. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: It looks like Disneyland and sounds, well, like a bad Broadway musical, with all the power belting and jazz-hand choreography that implies. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: It's about as entertaining as an iron lung. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: What's not fine is the dead zone occupied by the monster of the piece, Tom Cruise's veteran rocker, Stacee Jaxx. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: I cannot possibly dislike a movie in which Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, equipped with abundant '80s tresses, sing "I Love Rock & Roll" into a hairbrush. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: A shameless crowd-pleaser where cardboard characters use the most overplayed and ubiquitous hits of the 1980s to express the aching banality of their souls. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: To truly enjoy it, you must be willing to pretend that some of the songs from one of the worst periods of the rock era -- the late 1980s -- are inspirational anthems instead of commercial pabulum. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The thing runs more than two hours, but this is the sort of project that's indemnified against charges of excess. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: A few days after seeing a screening, I was driving by a billboard for the movie, and I thought, well, who knows? That might be fun. Then I realized I'd already seen it. And forgotten it. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: However you play up this material -- as camp, melodrama, anthem, or goof -- it sags under the weight of its lightweight pretensions. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Pour some sugar on it, indeed. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: For the most part, rock and roll should feel insulted. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Most of the numbers in Rock of Ages are flatly shot and choreographed, and they look as if they'd been edited together with a meat cleaver. With rare exceptions, they don't channel the excitement of the music - they stultify it. Read more

Laremy Legel, Cruise, as Stacee Jaxx, is the living embodiment of a rock god. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: [Shankman] succeeds in draining most of the fun from a vehicle that was all about the winking humor of its flagrant cheesiness. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Blessed with unstoppable energy, an undeniably bawdy sense of fun and Tom Cruise in backless leather pants, it takes songs you may never have loved and turns them into a musical that's easy to enjoy. Read more

Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News: Choppy editing, tepid pacing and generic vocals are bad enough to rival "Grease 2." Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: For a movie that prides itself on celebrating music, Adam Shankman's Rock of Ages is oddly tone deaf. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Cruise once again steals the show, but this time he drives it straight off a cliff. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Rock of Ages is not a spoof, but it might as well be, given how little there is to root for. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The film's problems begin with who it cast as its leads. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: Just like the music, it's far more fun than it has any right being. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: It's worth the novelty, but you may have a hard time looking at everyone involved the same way again. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: This plodding mess may help put to rest Hollywood's inexplicable two-decade love affair with the awful '80s, a pop- culture decade that's overdue for a break. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: There are worse ways to spend a couple of hours than with this odd assortment of courageous thespians bringin' on the heartbreak, and feelin' the noize. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: There's a variable quality to the vocals, but the production design and choreography are solid, leading to a cheesy enjoyability. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Every time an actor belts out a hit, you're reminded that the original, however cheesy, was better. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The actors are having a lot of fun, and the production values of the musical numbers are slick and high-spirited. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: There's no denying the party-time pow of Rock of Ages, or of Tom Cruise's performance. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, "Rock of Ages" is an effulgent celebration of fakeness. It isn't trying to be real; it's trying to be faker than any fake thing has ever been before. Read more

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle: No matter how you feel about Guns N' Roses, Tom Cruise's as a bandanna-headed Axl Rose type will hit you as the purest bit of genius in the man's entire film career. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Once you accept the utter and profound inconsequentiality of Rock of Ages, there's much to enjoy in it... Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: If this era was a formative time in your life and you're feeling a yearning for kitschy nostalgia, "Rock of Ages" provides a sufficiently fun little escape. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A perfectly fine backward-looking, trivia-centered guilty pleasure. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: To his credit, campy director Adam Shankman knows that his source material is a joke - but it's a joke at the expense of musical history. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: The movie's supporting stars are always, inevitably, winking at the audience, but it's unclear whether the dewy-eyed leads even know how to blink. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Far too mild for its supposedly outrageous subject. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Two hours of Reagan-era pop hits recorded in a way that makes Kidz Bop sound like "Glee" and "Glee" sound like GWAR. Read more

Guy Lodge, Time Out: As with Shankman's knowingly naff 'Hairspray', the sheer performance gusto on display proves thoroughly winning. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: You're here to see a bunch of game A-listers play celebrity karaoke with the '80s glam-band tunes of Def Leppard, Journey, Twisted Sister and others. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: How can you hate a film that promotes its guitar-pick-thin story with the surprisingly honest advertising tagline, "Nothin' But a Good Time"? Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Don't stop believing. Just avoid cliched musicals that try to capture the anarchic spirit of rock with trite commercial re-treads. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Given the proliferation of high-school musicals and American idols on TV, the spectacle of aspiring young singers belting out an umpteenth cover of Journey offers little in the way of novelty value. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: It's not every day, after all, that you get to see two great American traditions -- guitar/bass/drums rock music and Tin Pan Alley musical theater -- so thoroughly, mutually degraded. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: It's content to keep toes tapping, when it should be bringing the arena to its feet. Read more