'Rock of Ages': What the Critics are Saying

4:15 PM PST 06/15/2012 by THR Staff
Warner Bros. Pictures

THR gathered reviews from top critics of the '80s rock musical starring Tom Cruise.

Rock of Ages, starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta is based on a musical that originated in a Hollywood rock club in 2005 and then moved to Broadway, where it continues to pull in fans at the Helen Hayes Theater. The cast also includes Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

PHOTOS: 'Rock of Ages' Premiere Features Tom Cruise and Julianne Hough, plus Josh Duhamel and Fergie in Costume

Hough and Boneta play the small-town girl and city boy in this tribute to '80s hair metal and the L.A. rock scene, which is set in 1987. The film is directed by Adam Shankman and written by Justin Theroux, Allan Loeb and Chris D’Arienzo (who also wrote the original show) and it's based on the stage musical by D’Arienzo.

Rock of Ages has currently received a 43 percent on RottenTomatoes.

Read below for some of the reviews from the top critics:

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney says: "In a plodding script that takes two long hours to tell a thin boy-meets/loses/wins-back-girl story in an elusive paradise, none of these threads provides any sense of urgency. That’s because the screenwriters and director run out of fresh ideas in the first half-hour."

New York Times' Manohla Dargis says that the movie is, "A jukebox musical turned junky big-screen attraction about making it in the music biz back when it still existed, [Rock of Ages] is just entertaining enough to keep you from dark thoughts about the state of Hollywood."

Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan deems the film "the guiltiest of guilty pleasures," and praises the actors' performances, saying "the film is also filled with actors willing to dive headfirst into their roles and take the endeavor's inherent foolishness seriously, all with an eye toward enhancing the audience's fun. And though Rock of Ages is very much an ensemble film, its success is grounded in Cruise's fearless work as ultimate rock god Stacee Jaxx."

VIDEO: Tom Cruise’s 'Rock of Ages' Performance Praised by Def Leppard

Kimber Myers from Indiewire criticizes the film saying that "Is a celebration of excess that only a passed-out, nearly deaf groupie would love," adding that "even focusing on the songs (of which there are approximately 729) reveals that they aren't of the caliber that we've come to hope for in solid Hollywood musicals."

Claudia Puig from USA Today says that "Rock of Ages can't seem to decide on how to play its simplistic story — straight or farcically. It ends up half-mocking, half-revering the era." The critic went on to point out that "the film is flatly shot, badly choreographed and brimming with bad wigs. The boring dance sequences are all the more disappointing." 

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